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THE PRINCESS DIARIES
Close your eyes and imagine a princess. Maybe you thought of Cinderella and the fairy godmother, transforming her withered and torn nightgown into the iconic blue dress and glass slippers. Or maybe you thought of Belle in her stunning yellow dress, dancing the night away with the beast. Or maybe you thought of Tiana in her fabulous green gown, getting married to Prince Naveen in the magical bayou where they fell in love. If you are anything like me, you loved watching these movies and dreamed of living in your own fairytale. But, as we get older, we realize these fantasies are just that: a fantasy. However, the real life princesses across the world today are also those to be looked up to. They are hard at work dismantling the stereotypes of princesses through their fashion choices, and showing women everywhere that they too can be just like a princess.
Grace Kelly: Princess of Monaco
We all knew her, loved her and wanted to be her: American actress turned princess and legend in the fashion industry, Grace Kelly truly embodied the definition of elegance throughout the 1950s and 60s. From her everyday look of pearls, wool skirts, and cashmere cardigans, to her famous film and red carpet glam, Kelly took the fashion world by storm. But, what made Princess Grace so unique was the way she was able to make her sense of style profitable. In the 1950’s, Grace used her Hermès hand bag to conceal her pregnancy which gave it international fame. The bag was later renamed “The Kelly” and is now one of the most iconic handbags in history. Today, it is incredibly difficult to find, so much so that customers looking to purchase it may be put on a 5 year long waitlist. Vintage stores will even resell the bag with a starting price of at least $10,000. Montblanc has also created a jewelry line -The Montblanc Princess Grace Collection - that is composed of different styles of delicate, silver watches reflective of Kelly’s feminism and grace. Today, Grace Kelly's style still serves as inspiration for fashion designers and women from all around the world admire her natural beauty and elegance.
Keisha Omilana: Princess of Nigeria
Keisha Omilana is a California native who dedicated her time to the fashion industry as a fashion design student and model before marrying Prince Kunle Omilana of Nigeria. Keisha has been spotted on multiple runways sporting colorful, satin gowns made from delicately crafted African textiles honoring her culture. Beyond her duties as a princess, Keisha works in the haircare industry as a model and business woman. She is best known as “The Pantene Girl,” as she was the company’s first black model to have consistent features in commercials. Keisha, along with her daughter, Adediora Omilana, have also worked on campaigns and shoots for companies like Boden, Zara, Milk Magazine, Reign and Gerber. She has also started her own brand, A Crown of Curls, which is a training course for women with curly, wavy, mixed race hair. Between her work as a model and business woman, Keisha Omilana’s net worth is about $13 million, making her one of the richest princesses in the world. As a princess, Keisha allows women to feel empowered and proud of their culture through her sense of style and embracement of African hair styling.
Ameera Al-Taweel: Princess of Saudi Arabia
Ameera Al-Taweel is a less known, but still incredibly influential princess. She has caused a bit of commotion within Saudi Arabia as she does not wear a hijab, a traditional head covering worn by many Muslim women. Some consider this to be an act of rebellion on Ameera’s part and a shame in her culture. However, it is just the opposite. Princess Ameera is an advocate for women to make their own choices whether it be through fashion or politically. She was a very strong advocate in granting women the right to drive in Saudi Arabia and eventually helped lift the ban in July 2018. Ameera is typically spotted wearing floral embroidered matching sets, long, dangly earrings, and red lipstick, a classic look that makes her feel empowered. She reminds us that empowerment is not a universal look; it could be a lavish lace hijab paired with a long dress, a pant suit with a bold blazer, or even a scrub set with a lab coat. Confidence is what matters most. While she is no longer a princess after her divorce in 2013, Al-Taweel remains a highly influential woman in Saudi society and continues to push the limits and status quo through her fashion and humanitarian work.
These three powerful women are just a small sample of female royals who are defying limits and redefining the meaning of royalty. While queens, princesses, and duchesses have always been symbols of fashion, it’s important that we start to look at them through more than one lens. These women are leaders. These women are changemakers. These women are us.