What happens when a clever medievalist spends the summer nannying at Cambridge? She watches cartoons and then questions the legitimacy of princesses:
As many are probably aware, especially those caring for small children, there are certain characters in the Disney film vault who lay claim to some sort of royal title. Most popular today are the Disney princesses who have shown up everywhere from dolls to lunchboxes to elaborately planned birthday parties. Generally the princesses include Belle from “Beauty and the Beast,” Jasmine from “Aladdin,” Cinderella from “Cinderella,” Aurora from “Sleeping Beauty,” Ariel from “The Little Mermaid,” and Snow White from “Snow White.” But are these princesses, in fact, legitimate? What is the strength of their claims to the royal title and right to rule? Under careful scrutiny it appears that only a few of these Disney characters can actually bear the lawful name of princess and only one is uncontested.
The pseudonymous Carolingian may discover that material for this line of inquiry will grow right along with her wee charges, as my friend Kate Marie suggested a couple of months ago after the movie The Queen prompted her to ponder not only the state of the actual British monarchy, but also the strangely malformed and immature legal philosophy of Mia, Princess of Genovia.
Be sure to check out both posts—especially if, like me, you’re a sucker for intelligent women speculating about fake medieval institutions.