Why call it a “Princess Guide”?

Ay yi yi… Princess is such a loaded term these days, isn’t it? Being a fierce little feminist, I really struggled with whether to use it at all.

And yet, I kept getting such an incredible reaction to it. Even from the cynics. And the feminists.

La Dolce Vita fashion

La Dolce Vita fashion

When people asked me, “So, what’s new?” I would casually mention that I was writing a book called “The Princess Guide to Rome.” Women immediately grasped the concept: a travel guide to all the fabulous stuff in the most romantic cities in the world. Written by a woman, for women.

More importantly, their reactions were intense and physical. Their eyes would light up, they’d declare “I LOVE it!” or simply “Oh my God, yes!”, grab my arm and immediately ask me where they could buy a copy. Some wanted multiple copies.

That pretty much sealed it.

Clearly, the word “princess” still holds great power over the imaginations of women of all ages. I suspect this explains much of the appeal of shows likeĀ  Downton Abbey and Mad Men: all those fabulous dresses, shoes, jewels, hair… It seems superficial to like “girly” things, yet we are drawn to them like a moth to a flame. Whether it’s hard-wired or simply a result of all that Cinderella cultural indoctrination, there’s no denying that it’s powerful stuff.

Now, obviously I could abuse that power by writing a fluffy “pink” city shopping guide plus a review of the top 10 sights. But where’s the challenge in that?

Feminism wrapped in a fancy bow?

I decided it would prove far more rewarding to use the power of the word “princess” to attract women, and then deliver substantial and original content, all written from an entertaining and deliciously feminist point of view. (I learned that move after watching this funny Meryl Streep speech). For my subversive plan to succeed, I knew I had to not only meet their Cinderella expectations, but to wildly exceed them.

Glorious fountains of the Villa d'Este, Italy.

Glorious fountains of the Villa d’Este, Italy.

How? By providing a wealth of practical tips specific to each city that would be guaranteed to save my readers time, money and stress; a guide to the most beautiful sights and extraordinary experiences; and some pertinent her/history to enrich their understanding of what they are seeing, thereby making the adventure so much more meaningful.

In so doing, I hope to restore the term ‘princess’ to its former glory.

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