Kate Middleton and Meghan Markle: A Modern Princess Essay

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry's royal wedding hit the headlines last month. Meghan has been in the spotlight since her engagement with Prince Harry one year ago. An unknown actress who was raised in the slum married Britain’s golden bachelor. Prince Harry and this divorced African American lady fell in love at first sight, as Meghan recalled amid an interview in Kensington Palace. People’s immense enthusiasm to this unprecedented royal wedding is alike the mania when Kate Middleton and Prince William were united in 2011. Different from Meghan’s divorcee identity and black decent, which are rare in The Royal Family history, Kate is more conventional while her commoner family is the highlight. The cult of two emerging commoner princesses indicates the transformation of princess image from an ingratiating and compliant figure to mettlesome and independent one.

Kate is a new Cinderella. She is the same age as Prince William, and was voted the tenth People’s most beautiful women in 2012. Buss stated in his book Evolutionary Psychology: The New Science of the Mind that men have mate preferences for young, attractive women because these traits are associated with high fertility and reproduction (Buss, 2015, 136-145). Kate is a good choice for long term mating according to the preferences mentioned above. Additionally, fidelity after marriage is vital to solve paternity uncertainty adaptive problem (Buss, 2015, 148). Kate has dated with William for many years, which makes them know each other and increases the probability to develop a solid sense of safety. Faith in dating could herald a large probability of fidelity after marriage (Buss, 2015, 148). The brightest difference between Kate and previous princesses is her commoner identity while they both share demure and graceful behaviors. After marriage, Kate obeys most of the Royal Family rules, such as wearing pantyhose in public, wearing skirt over knee, skipping the public displays of affection. Moreover, she is not a stubborn follower. She changes royals modestly. She gave birth to Prince George two years after their marriage, which breaks the royal tradition that giving birth to child one year after marriage, as Princess Diana did. Besides that, Kate is the first princess with a college degree. Therefore, princess Kate is disciplined and somewhat unruly Cinderella.

Meghan is a rule breaker. Her actress occupation indicates the undoubtedly beauty. However, her experiences is quite different from Kate's. Meghan’s sex scenes in TV series Suits set off a storm of discontent during British netizens. Additionally, she is suffered damning words from her step siblings who claimed that Meghan is acting phoney. Moreover, the unprecedented difference between Meghan and Kate or other princesses is her divorce history and African descent. Meghan is not a typical woman that most man would prefer because she is too far away from male preferences as stated before. Compared with Kate, who is conventional and scratches traditional rules occasionally, Meghan is a firmer rule breaker. Meghan has broken royal rules plenty of times, such as ignored the pantyhose policy, wearing a sleeveless dress, and most highlight, be the first royal family member to have a church wedding with a divorcee (McKenna, 2018). Kate still meets the heroine imagination in the princess dream to a large extent. However, Meghan is no longer a typical princess. She is a much more brave, independent, and nonconformist.

Fairy tales about princess are told to young girls in their childhood and root a princess dream in their innocent heart. The original princess could be traced to Snow White, who is highbred and innocent. All she does is awaiting the Prince Charming to rescue her. However, princesses in the princess dream change as decades passed. One reflection lies in Disney princess movie series. The heroine princess changes from Snow White, who treats Prince Charming as the only salvation, to the independent and distinct black princess Diana, and then to princess Elsa who does not need a prince and does not treat marriage as a ultimate goal (Wilde, 2014). The cult of two British commoner princesses is also mirrored this evolution. Kate comes from an ordinary family, but she is highly educated and is good at sports. She is no longer a noble but delicate princess in need of protection. Megan's characters are more sensitive and her union with the Royal Family could be considered as a milestone. The two princesses did not say "I obey" but "I do" at their weddings. From obedience to resistance. From waiting redemption to pursuing initiatively. The transformation of princess reflects changes in social values, such as increasing attention on the colored race, and raising of women's independent consciousness. Independent women are easier to adapt to modern society than delicate dependent women in the past. People with these new adaptive characters have larger probability to produce offsprings and pass these traits on.

In conclusion, princess’s image nowadays is breaking away from innocent and delicate stereotype. The emerging new commoner princesses are independent and strong minded, which mirrored breakthroughs on female roles in the society. Princess dream is no longer a desire to be redeemed by princess, but a dream to be independent and strong.


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