Annie Liebovitz And The Disney Princesses Part 2

Annie Liebovitz turns her extrordinary  talent to photographing the Disney Princesses and other Disney favourites.

Watch out for Russell Brand!



Princess Eugenie, Her Life and a Hat.

Princess Eugenie - Tatler, 2008

An unexpected by-product of the Princess Letters has been patience. Patience and the pleasure of a surprise waiting in the letterbox.  And so it was on Monday, when completely out of the blue, a Princess Letter  was sitting between the phone bill and a  leaflet for the local plumbing business.

My delayed gratification was further delayed because Miss E is now at school and the letter was propped up on the bookcase waiting for her return from school. All I knew was it had made its way from Buckingham Palace in the distinctive cream envelope with the bold, red ER stamped on the front. When Miss E arrived home she ripped open the letter, was immediately disappointed  there was no photo and decided afternoon tea was more interesting.


Christmas at Sandringham 2012, with her grandmother, The Queen

So after spending 9 months nurturing our letter, yes the same length as most pregnancies, Princess Eugenie of York’s Letter Writer, finally responded, but we really would’ve preferred a photo. But at least she  did respond, we are still waiting for some Princesses to get back to us. Yes, that would include Princess Eugenie’s older sister, Princess Beatrice.

Anyhow back to the letter we have received. It’s a pretty standard letter from the British Royal Family. Thanks for writing, we don’t answer questions, have a nice life. Although I am impressed with the Letter Writer, Amanda Thirsk’s very generously sized hand-writing.

The Letter

Of course, everyone now knows Princess Eugenie because of the interesting outfit she wore to her cousin, Prince William’s wedding. But in true older sister style, Princess Beatrice pretty much stole the spotlight. Which is a shame, because Princess Eugenie is a very attractive young woman under those hats.  And as we all know, we don’t get to choose our family, and Princess Eugenie has a cracker of a family.

The Family York

Princess Eugenie Victoria Helena is the younger daughter of Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson. I always felt quite sorry for Sarah Ferguson, it can’t have been easy being the sister-in-law of Princess Diana and always being unfavourably compared to her, but Sarah Ferguson has gone on to make her own mark with a series of spectacularly disastrous choices. Prince Andrew was the good-looking second son, never a great role in life (read any Shakespeare history play) and doesn’t appear to be blessed with a huge intellect. However, they do seem to have managed their divorce much better than your average divorcing couple.

Eugenie's Christening with mum and Princess Diana

Skiing with the cousins (Harry and William)

Princess Eugenie was only 6 years old when her parents divorced, although they had been separated for several years by then. She was born at Portland Hospital, London on 23rd March, 1990. Her first school was Cosworth Park School in Surrey and then attended Marlborough College as a boarder, the same school as Kate Middleton. Perhaps it specialises in Princesses and aspiring Princesses. Princess Eugenie not only studied hard, achieving 2 ‘A’ s and 1 ‘B’ in her A Levels, she also remembered how to play. She was caught frolicking naked in the school grounds in the May of her final year.

The Little Princesses

Once she finished school, she took off on a Backpacking gap year around South East Asia. She finished the year visit Kenya to support one of her mother’s charities, ACE Africa, an organisation committed to helping children affected by AIDS.


Partying in Goa, India

Princess Eugenie is now studying English Literature, History of Art and Politics at Newcastle University.


At The Boodles Boxing Ball, 2011

Somehow I think it’s going to take quite a while before she outshines her sister and that Hat. You know the one!


Princess Eugenie at another cousin's wedding - Zara Philips


Another interesting hat choice


Ah yes, Princess Beatrice grabs the headlines again....

The Perfect Princess Antidote


Princess Leia

I wasn’t sure whether Miss E, now nearly 5, was ready for Star Wars. I was worried that Darth Vader’s heavy breathing blackness might be a little intimidating, or all that Storm Trooper blasting a bit loud and scary. But I needn’t have been concerned. Miss E took to Star Wars like Luke Skywalker takes to The Force, a bit bemused initially, but quickly gets the hang of it.


Princess Leia dress-ups available

The Star Wars thing started when we saw a plush toy version of Yoda, otherwise known in our household, as The Elf. So, a new chapter in Miss E’s cultural education began. Fortunately, we were watching in the comfort of our own living room, because the questions were endless as most of the major plot points were far too complicated for Miss E to follow. But two things didn’t escape her nearly five year old steel-trap of a mind.The fart-like noises made by R2-D2 (the squat, non shiny robot) and the wondrous Princess Leia.


The All-Action Princess

Princess Leia, she of the bagel-styled earmuff hairdo, the smart mouthed, all-thinking, all-action, super Princess, has usurped the pink sequined throne of the Disneys. She has achieved in a space of approximately 1½ hours what I and assorted letters from real life princesses failed to do. Princess Leia is now officially ‘the Best Princess in the World.’


'That' costume

I am delighted by this turn of events because I think Princess Leia is a great role model. I am, of course, ignoring the whole chained to a fat slug, lap-dancing costume moment. This Princess isn’t waiting for any Prince to help her out or rescue her from a dysfunctional family situation (except the slightly odd romantic love triangle with her twin brother – but we’ll ignore that along with the lap-dancing weirdness). Princess Leia is in charge of her own fate, she is pro-active, never reactive and if she has to kill to save herself, she does. Not that I’m advocating murder either, but you get my drift.


The 'Love' Triangle

It’s Princess Leia who makes the move on Han Solo (and who wouldn’t?) and decides who she wants to be with, obviously a decision made easier by the revelation that Luke is her twin brother. No hanging around waiting for some random prince to ride by on his trusty steed and save her from a hundred year sleep/glass coffin/ evil step-mother and then choose her for his wife to live in blissful happy-ever-after land. In fact, the romance is a by-product of her quest to overthrow the evil empire, not her primary source of happiness.  And for little girls who are bombarded with messages about love from their ‘Prince Charming’ being the source of ultimate happiness, this is very special message. That there are causes worth fighting for that are greater than just your personal happiness and that your personal happiness is enhanced by the love of a man, not created by it.

The Princess gets Her Man

So, next month, when Miss E turns 5, she won’t be having a Princess party, but she will be receiving her special gift request – a Lightsabre. And may she use it well.


These might make a guest appearance at Miss E's party!

A very Princessy Christmas

Queen Victoria and Prince Albert around the family tree


This will be my last Princessey post for this year, but we’ll be back in the New Year ready to go.


The Queen's Speech

To all of you who have been following the Princess Letters Project, a very Happy Christmas. May Santa pop a Prince in your stocking and a Tiara under the tree. But if not, champagne and chocolate should do the trick.


Queen Margrethe of Denmark with the Royal Tree


Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden choosing the Royal Tree


The Duchess and the Tree


The Duchess and Her Prince on their Royal Christmas Card


The Belgian Royal Tree


The Norwegian Royal Christmas Card


The Spanish Family Christmas Card


A Princess makes wish ...


Princess Stephanie enjoys some Christmas caring and sharing


the Will and Kate Royal Bauble


And remember, too much of this could lead to...





Tattooed and Pierced

What would happen if the Disney animators left their bubble of 1950’s inspired dresses and sensibilities and created Princesses that you might see hanging out in vintage clothing boutiques, fashion markets and listening to indie pub rock music? You know, your average young woman in 2011?

Well they might end up looking a bit like this…

Alice in Metalland


Still cheesey - nothing can fix that grin!

Cinderella rocks it in a Little Black Dress

Thoroughly Modern Mulan

Bent like Beckham

La Belle Goth

Ariel channeling her inner Pink-ness

One very cool rock chick

Images courtesy of Buzzfeed.

10,000 Springs of Happiness

I’ve been off gallivanting around in Laos and Vietnam, which is why it’s been a little quiet in the far away land of Princesses Letters. But as always, fairy tales and princesses present themselves to me in the most unexpected of places. Like downtown Hanoi, for instance. So, just a couple of images today that I snapped on my adventure.

I’m pretty sure one is a slightly bizarre Beauty and the The Beast and the other is possibly Sleeping Beauty, or Swan Lake. I’m open to suggestions!

Hanoi-style Beauty and The Beast

But I’ve been learning a thing or two about Princesses in South-East Asia, which I’ll be sharing with you soon. (Well, hopefully before Christmas – it does get frantic doesn’t it?) Time to break the model of the anglo-centric Disney Princess model.

Sleeping Swan Lake Beauty, maybe

And I wish you all 10,000 Springs of Happiness – 10,000 Springs being the symbol for Eternity in Vietnamese culture.

A Hanoi Princess with her Prince

Fashionista Fairy Tales

Shoes by Blahnik Elves

Fairy Tales are not what they used to be. Now they are very grown up, luxe and sophisticated. All thanks to British fashion journalist, Camilla Morton.

Camilla Morton, author of the best selling, ‘How to Walk in High Heels’,  has written the first two of a planned series of fashion fairy tales. Her first tale, The Sleeping Beauty has been illustrated by Christian Lacroix who uses the same rich jewel-like colours in his illustrations as in his clothes. The second in the series, The Elves and The Shoemaker, is illustrated by the stiletto guru, Manolo Blahnik. His drawings have a light, whimsical touch. Both are beautiful, part fairy tale, part fashion memoir with more than a dash chic elan.

Personally, I’d rather be dressed by these fairy godmothers, than the Disney variety.





Manolo Blahnik


Camilla Morton’s books are available  through Amazon UK.


Princesses, Batman and Wedding Dresses

Don’t say you weren’t warned.

That’s all I have to say about these images of wedding gowns inspired by Disney Princesses and designed by Alfred Angelo.* It’s one thing to be a four year old pretending to be a Disney Princess, but a grown woman? On your wedding day? It really demonstrates the power of marketing and the exploitation of the ‘Princess Myth’. It’s promising more than just a dress, it’s comes with the implication that you are marrying your Prince Charming and you will live a life of Happy Ever After. Call me an old cynic, but I don’t think it works that way.

But before the wedding dresses, check out the little girl in this photo. that’s what I call bucking a trend!


'Princess Batgirl"


And now for the gowns –




Snow White




*credit where credit is due – I found these images at

The Letter from Princess Kate.

The Kiss

Well, it took a while, but as far as Miss E is concerned, it’s been more than worth the wait. Not only did she receive a letter from the Princess who inspired the Princess Letters Project, but better still, a photo. With her Prince!

The Official Photo

Although, technically, she’s not actually a Princess, Catherine Middleton became the Duchess of Cambridge when she married Prince William. But who cares? Princess, Duchess  – she still fills the Fairy Tale Princess shoes very neatly. And as far as Miss E is concerned, she’s not just a princess, she is The Princess, the only real Princess that she knows the name of and recognizes instantly. She is Cinderella, Belle, Sleeping Beauty and Ariel  rolled into one.

The Official Thank-you

Like nearly all the other Princesses, the Duchess has a Letter Writer, Mrs Claudia Holloway. Claudia very sweetly apologises for sending such a disappointing reply, but she needn’t have bothered, Miss E was just thrilled with the photo. Of course, there are the obligatory thank-yous etc and a link to the website, which is very interesting.  And the letter was on very thick, quality stationery, in a very stylish grey-lined envelope.

The Letter

Now, I don’t know the Duchess from a bar of soap, but she strikes me as being a grounded, normal kind of young woman who happened to fall in love with a Prince, despite his receding hairline and military lifestyle. She’s certainly very pretty and has a lovely, open, friendly smile. But I think one of the reasons there was so much excitement about this Royal Wedding was the hope that this marriage would work out a whole lot better than Prince William’s parents’ marriage had. The previous ‘Fairy Tale’, which proved to be a more of a cautionary tale.

Graduation, 2005

Certainly, The British Royal Family could do with an injection of commoner genes. Catherine Middleton was the first commoner to marry a future of King England since Anne Hyde married the Duke of York, later King James II, in 1660. And to help prepare the commoner for her future role, The Duchess of Cambridge is having private lessons on the working of the State and the Establishment. The idea being that unlike Princess Diana, Catherine Middleton will be prepared for everything the official lifestyle will involve.

December 2007

Catherine Elizabeth Middleton was born to Michael and Carole Middleton on the 9th January, 1982, the eldest of three children. The family lived in Amman, Jordan for 2½ years when Catherine was a toddler.

From the Family Album

With her father and sister, Pippa, in Jordan

When they returned to England, she attended St Andrew’s School in Pangbourne and completed her education at Marlborough College in Wiltshire. She studied Chemistry, Biology and Art at A-Level and represented the school in tennis, hockey and netball. She also completed her Gold Award in the Duke of Edinburgh Awards.

5 year old Catherine

In 2000, she had a gap year, studying at the British Institute in Florence, undertaking a Raleigh International programme in Chile and crewed on Round the World Challenge boats in the Solent.


In 2002, she began study at the University of St Andrew’s in Fife. She met Prince William (affectionately nick-named P-Willy) when they became student housemates. She graduated with a 2:1 degree in Art History. Since graduating she worked as juniour buyer for fashion retailer Jigsaw and has worked in the family’s party business.

With Chelsy Davy and Claire Tomilinson - 2008

At the Polo - 2009

Catherine Middleton become officially engaged to Prince William on 16th November, 2010. The engagement ring belonged to his mother, Princess Diana.

The Official Engagement

The Ring

She and Prince William married at Westminster Abbey on 29th April, 2011. Her dress was designed by Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen. Her sister Pippa has become the world’s most famous bridesmaid.

At The Altar

I’ve already seen the first magazine cover claiming she’s pregnant and an article stating she has gone up a dress size as she is getting ‘baby-body’ ready.

Good luck to her.

A Home Fit for a Princess

I’m sure you’re all familiar with Disney’s Sleeping Beauty Castle, it’s an iconic image which has come to represent the ideal Princess castle.  But how close is it to reality?  Not very.

The Sleeping Beauty Castle

Here are a few of the residences of our ‘real-live’ Princesses.

St James's Palace, London - Home to Princess Anne and Princess Beatrice

Kensington Palace - Home to Duchess of Cambridge and previously, Princess Diana

Buckingham Palace - The Queen

Haga Castle - Home to Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden

Drottningholm Palace - Home to Princess Madeleine of Sweden, although she actually lives in her New York Apartment

Skagum Estate, Home to Princess Mette-Marit of Norway

Princess Martha-Louise of Norway, Lommedalen

Princess Stephanie of Monaco has left her circus caravan and returned to the Family Home in Monaco

 although she lives with her family in a modern home in Jordan

Raghadan Palace Official residence of Queen Rania, although she lives with her family in a modern home in Jordan

The Imperial Palace, Tokyo, Home to Princess Kiko

The gates of Chitralada Villa of Dusit Palace, Thailand

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All text and artwork are the property of Jennifer Smart.

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