It is not uncommon for little girls to dress up in pink dresses, put on plastic tiaras, and dream of lives as fairy princesses. For a select few, however, these are more than just idle dreams. There are actual princesses roaming the planet, and along with a host of responsibilities, pressures, and demands, there are also innumerable perks and benefits to the position.
One of the most notable (and noticeable) perks is, of course, the jewelry. Whether worn for royal coronations or diplomatic galas, princesses are no stranger to rare, exquisite, and priceless jewels.
Princess Diana, renowned for her grace, beauty, and elegance, often reflected those characteristics in her choice of jewelry. Despite her tragic end, Diana’s stint as princess was peppered with a litany of beautiful pieces. Her engagement ring was of particular note. A twelve-carat sapphire surrounded by diamonds, it was a standout not only for its artistry but because it could be purchased from an upscale catalog. For the admiring public, this meant (with enough money) they could own the same ring as Princess Diana. (Although, it stands to reason that many non-royals would feel more safe keeping something that precious locked away in jewelry safes than being worn on a daily basis.)
Some of Diana’s favorite pieces have even stayed in the family to wow more current generations. A favorite pair of her sapphire earrings was recently given to Kate Middleton, who then revised them into drop earrings for a more modern flair. In this way, the perks of being princess are not solely aesthetic. While it is true the earrings are a showstopper, Ms. Middleton is also very much privileged to own and wear such a personal and stunning piece of royal history.
Predating Kate and Diana, another benchmark in beauty was Hollywood starlet turned royalty, Grace Kelly. Her jewelry of choice often came from Cartier, and this included her ten-carat, emerald-cut diamond engagement ring. Like many famous princesses, Kelly’s fashion and accessory choices were admired by so many because of their timelessness. People today are still wowed and dazzled by Kelly’s brooches, tiaras, and rings, lamenting that those priceless pieces are in museums and not in their own home jewelry safes.
Just like those twirling little girls in pink taffeta imagine, being a princess comes with money, notoriety, and privilege beyond what most of us could possibly imagine. Fashion designers make outfits with you specifically in mind. Jewelers craft pieces with the hopes you will display their wares at lavish events. You have enough money and influence to never want for anything.
But like Princess Diana’s story illustrates, all those benefits can come with heavy costs. Just as those lavish lifestyles are fun to envy from afar, perhaps it is worth appreciating that there is something to be said for the privacy and peace of a life outside the limelight. Perhaps the plastic tiaras of our childhood are just as good as the diamond-encrusted white gold that sits in museums or the Tower of London. Perhaps the more modest fare in our jewelry safes and filling our closets is a worthwhile tradeoff for a life undisturbed by paparazzi and all the related pressures of being royalty.