Academy Award-winning actress Julie Andrews and her daughter-turned-writing partner Emma Walton Hamilton are gearing up to celebrate the first annual National Princess Week from April 22-28 with Target and The Walt Disney Company.
Next week, children across the country are cordially invited to indulge their inner princesses with movies, toys, games, books, décor and more available at Target.
But don’t let the kids have all the fun—we may have grown out of fairytale fantasies of magical kingdoms and princes on white horses, but that doesn’t mean we’re too old for tiaras or royal behavior.
Below, Emma and the lovely Miss Andrews (who has played countless ladies of distinction throughout her career) list out a few ways to be a modern-day princess.
Do your best Audrey: Wear a tiara to breakfast. Own it.
Cinema cotillion: Follow in the (glass slipper) footsteps of princesses before you and screen some fairytale-inspired films. Our favorites? The classics, of course:Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, The Little Mermaid, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. Follow up the masterpieces with modern takes on “happily ever after:” The Princess Diaries and The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement, Enchanted, Tangled, Shrek, A Little Princess and The Princess and the Frog.
Sleep like a princess: You need your beauty sleep! Make a simple princess canopy out of tulle to hang over your bed, or place a lavender sachet underneath your pillow for the full effect (but it’s best to forego any peas under the mattress).
Throw a tea party: Send elegant invitations sealed with sealing wax. Suggest that guests come dressed in their best royal attire—but have extra tiaras on hand. Serve champagne and tea (or apple juice, depending on the age of the princesses!) in pretty china cups, with finger sandwiches on the side. Then dish out delectable cakes, cookies or cupcakes.
Be charitable: Pick a charity or cause you are passionate about, such as a local animal shelter, food kitchen or literacy program, and make a donation or offer to volunteer.
Mirror, mirror on the phone: Download a copy of the free Very Fairy Princess app. Customize your own wand, and upload a photo of yourself to crown with a tiara and send to friends and family. You’re the fairest of them all.
Master the royal wave: Hold your arm straight, bend at the elbow and then with a relaxed, open palm, rotate your wrist side-to-side lightly, as if you were screwing in a light bulb.
Flower yourself with flowers: Put together a bouquet of ‘royal’ flowers with picks like Princess Feather, Queen Anne’s Lace, Queen Anne’s Thimbles, Queen of the Meadow, Royal Bluebell, Crown Princess Margareta and Crowning Glory.
Perfect your curtsy: The curtsy (or curtsey, which originates from the word “courtesy,”) is a gesture of respect. Princesses usually curtsy when greeting or taking leave of someone (especially the King or Queen) and prior to dancing with a partner. Here’s how to do it correctly: 1. Lower your head respectfully. 2. Take hold of your skirt with both hands and hold it out sideways just a little bit. (If your skirt is too narrow, then hold your hands out to the side, palms upward.) 3. Bend slowly as you lift your right foot and place it behind your left foot. 4. Keep bending your knees with one foot forward, and the upper body straight, eyes lowered. 5. Rise up slowly.
See a show: Princesses are patrons of the arts. Attend a play, musical, concert or other arts performance—and dress up for it!
Make an elegant entrance and exit: Learn how to step into and out of a carriage (cab, limo, car) with grace: Turn your body slightly sideways, and step in with the foot closer to the carriage (or car). Bend forward slightly and lower yourself onto the seat. Draw your outside leg in after you. You can also keep both legs together and sit first, then draw them up and in after you. Do the reverse when exiting.
Step out in style: Get gussied up for the simplest of outings. Princesses always dress elegantly and stylishly, even when they’re not attending a ball or on official duty. Of course, remember that a princess’s best accessory is her smile.
Style school: If you want to take princess style a step further, study and experiment with Hime gyaru—a Japanese style that draws inspiration from Rococo France and European royalty. The literal translation is “Princess Girl.” Japanese girls who enjoy the style often attach the “hime” suffix to the end of their name, rather than the traditional chan/san, thereby indicating they are a princess, i.e. Keiko Hime = Princess Keiko.
Stand up straighter: Princesses are very mindful of their posture and body language experts say that good posture portrays confidence and security. So drop your shoulders, stand up straight and hold your head high. Imagine you are wearing a crown at all times.
Can I have this dance?: Take a ballroom dancing class, so you can dance beautifully and gracefully with a princely partner. Just be home by midnight!