It’s National Princess Week here in the US and since I was a little girl, thanks to Disney, I’ve had this fascination with what the word “princess” represents. To me it was always the story of a girl, who was just herself, and then fell in love with a handsome guy that swept her off her feet and treated her like the bee’s knees. And princesses were elegant, beautiful, and always liked by everyone in those movies. We all know that’s not real life, but it sure is fun to dream! Sometimes life presents unbelievable opportunities that drop in my lap and I do feel like a princess who has stumbled into a real life fairytale.
Meeting A Princess
I’m counting the days until Princess Cruises launches their first ship in five years, the Royal Princess. Not only is it an historic occasion in the cruise industry, but also because I get to be there in person to see it happen. I’ll get to attend the Royal Gala honoring not only the cruise ship, but also the ship’s Godmother, Kate Middleton, Duchess of Cambridge. Plus, Princess Cruises is the REAL Love Boat portrayed in the tv series. You know, the one where everyone always went to Acapulco. But you can’t go to a royal ball without a dress!
Dressing Like a Princess
In anticipation of this exciting event, I went on a quest to find the perfect dress and I wanted to find someone special to dress me. After extensive research and interviews, I decided that Harold Clarke Couturier Atelier, a Louisiana based designer, would be the perfect one for this situation. I met with Harold and his wife at their Lafayette location and my transformation from Louisiana mom to Royal Gala attendee began. The best part? Anyone can have this experience. Harold Clarke gowns range in price depending upon the customer’s needs.
Harold Clarke is a local secret, but really, it’s hard to contain my excitement knowing the man who dresses Vanna White, Patti Labelle, and a multitude of fashionable celebrities is right here near my home. And HE’S DRESSING ME TOO! The best part? He designs dresses for women with curves, and that makes me giddy. Let’s face it, with all the travel and restaurant reviews I do, I’m definitely not a slim woman and excited to have a fitting with him. I can’t wait to share my full experience of having a bespoke dress to wear to a Royal Ball! Here are a few of his couture gowns available in his showroom:
Act Like a Princess
Of course, if one wants to celebrate National Princess Week in true form, then how about a few tips from a real princess? Ivana Pignatelli Aragona Cortes knows what the word “princess” really means…because she is one. Ivana’s now-husband, Adriano, is prince of the Holy Roman Empire and can trace his lineage—which includes kings of Sicily and Spain, Catherine of Aragon, a pope, and a saint—back over a thousand years. In addition to being a princess, Ivana is also a featured blogger at Modern Mom, founder of Princess Ivana—The Modern Princess, and coauthor of the upcoming book A Simple Guide to Pregnancy & Baby’s First Year. Here are a few tips from her on how every woman can be a modern day princess:
Take care of your inner sparkle. Call it charisma, personality, verve, allure, or whatever you like—but “inner sparkle” is real. It attracts and inspires others, and it gives you the motivation and good attitude you need to keep moving in a positive direction. “Make it a priority to take care of yourself so that your inner sparkle stays polished,” Ivana instructs. “In other words, be kind to yourself. Take time to do things you enjoy. Go to the spa. Get dressed up and go out on a romantic date with your prince charming. And when you’re shining brightly, work to cultivate someone else’s sparkle!”
Fairy godmothers are real. It’s true, Ivana says—and they come in the shape of best friends. “True friends can turn your mood around, make you feel like royalty, and help you accomplish things you thought were impossible,” she comments. “Take good care of these relationships—and look for opportunities to be a fairy godmother to your own friends, too!”
Make good deeds a part of everyday life. Princesses, whether they live in the real world or in a fairy tale, are known for doing good deeds and taking care of the people in their kingdoms. “Be generous with your time, energy, and resources,” Ivana suggests. “Support the causes you care about. Feel and accept a responsibility to make a positive difference in the lives of your family, friends, coworkers, and others, such as your child’s teacher or the cashier at the grocery store. A compliment or smile counts!”
Dream, and dream big, to get what you want. Many young girls idolize fairy-tale princesses because they are able to accomplish incredible tasks against all odds. The lesson modern-day princesses can draw? “Big dreams have big results, even if you don’t end up exactly where you thought you would,” Ivana answers. “My dream is to grow The Modern Princess Foundation, which I started to offer educational and artistic support to disadvantaged kids around the world. The foundation is based upon the belief that everyone deserves the opportunity for their dreams to come true.”
Always, always dance! Ivana has a challenge for you: Name one popular princess who hasn’t twirled to a favorite song or spun in the arms of her prince. “The lesson is clear: Don’t stay on the sidelines of life’s ballrooms,” urges Ivana. “Always take advantage of the opportunity to dance. Say yes!”
It doesn’t matter if you are a real princess, marry a prince, or just like to wear a tiara around your house. Be it a charity ball, Mardi Gras Gala, or any event that comes your way where you can dress up and pretend to be a princess, just know that nothing is impossible. And most of all whether traveling the roads or at home in between trips, we’re all princesses and queens and should be good to ourselves so that we can be good to the important people in our lives.