Once again, my life seems to be taking on a theme (though not on purpose!). This week the theme is Princesses, both fairy-tale and not-so-much.

Last week, of course, saw the 10th anniversary of the death of Princess Diana on August 31st. I was always something of a Diana-phile. The royal wedding happened when I was a little kid, and it was my first taste of “romance” (oh, the slippery slope! It started with a tiara…). I remember snuggling with my mom on the couch in the dark early morning hours to watch Diana make her way up the aisle of St. Paul’s with that monster train. (I then played Dress-Up Princess with my mom’s bathrobe and a bedsheet for days after, though really ‘princess’ never supplanted pirate/archaeologist/ballerina in my career plans). It was so completely enchanting, and that sparkly storybook atmosphere of it all just made the sordid fall all the sadder. And 10 years ago (was it really that long ago?) I again got up in the dark early morning to watch much more tragic pomp and pageantry (and those sad little boys) on the TV.

Recently I read Tina Brown’s dirt-dishing book The Diana Chronicles, which left no gossipy stone unturned. Majorly dysfunctional families, tragic ignorance on all sides, the worst judgment in men I have ever seen –it was a train wreck, for sure, but it kept me turning the pages all night. A very sad story indeed.

And, tonight, I’m going with a friend and her two daughters to see the Disney Princesses on Ice! I’m probably just as excited as them because (confession time) I love Disney movies. Especially Beauty and the Beast, with Belle wandering the village with her nose in a book. These same girls and I went last summer to see a road show of the B&B musical, and they wore their yellow tulle Belle dresses. I was jealous, though I have a large Disney princess pillow I lean on while I’m writing that is just as nice. Tonight they’re coming dressed as Snow White and Cinderella (maybe–the younger girl keeps changing her mind. Cinderella or Jasmine? Or Belle again?). There will undoubtedly be junk food and caffeine galore, vast quantities of princess merch, and a fabulous time had by all. (And, after all that sugar and grease, there’ll be hell to pay at bedtime, but I will be gone by then!). It’s a striking contrast between “real” princesshood, and Disney princesshood.

When I browse the romance book shelves, too, I often find myself drawn to titles with “princess” or “prince” in them. I do enjoy a good royal fantasy, though I haven’t yet had an idea for a “princess” book of my own. What about you? Do you like princess stories? And what’s your favorite Disney movie? (C’mon–you can tell me…)