And according to my Mum (Her Majesty Sophia XII, Queen Of Waldenburg, if you want to be technical), if there is one thing, (actually, according to my mother there are many, but for the sake of simplicity I’ll stick to one here) a princess and future Queen does not do it is vlog about fashion …
(Royal Rebel by Carina Axelsson. P10.)
Lily has always wanted to be a vlogger. There’s only one problem. Princesses are not supposed to be on social media. As the future Queen of Waldenberg, there is a whole list of rules Lily is supposed to follow. When she finds a secret turret in the castle, she is able to follow her dreams and set up a fashion vlog. The only trouble is keeping it a secret from Grandmaman.
The Princess Diaries gets a makeover for the YouTube generation. This is the story of a princess who wants to live her own life and who is unafraid of breaking the rules.
Her battle is with her grandmother, and all the rules a princess must follow to maintain composure.
The story shows readers that it is possible to be independent and motivated while loving dresses and tiaras and all things glitzy. Lots of gatekeepers (adults who pick books for children) who are thinking about gender identity are getting stuck on that issue. Should we ban stories of princesses and fashion vloggers. The answer is not at all. Just make sure those girls aren’t stuck in stereotypical roles and make sure those books are available to children regardless of gender. (Fingers crossed for some boys from the fashion vlogging scene in later books. They are the perfect example of boys who like dressing up.)
I loved Waldenberg. It follows in a tradition of fictional European royalties which is beloved of children’s literature enthusiasts (indeed author Katherine Woodfine pays homage to these countries by dropping them into her first Taylor And Rose novel). Waldenberg is a little bit fairytale with its turrets and twisting pavements, but it also has all the modern necessities a fashion vlogger could dream of.
Waldenberg is a place noted for its positive approach to feminism. The university specialises in the subject, children take their mother’s name and the country is ruled by Queens. This gives young readers a chance to question the things they take for granted and form their own views.
Lily is not only a princess and vlogger, she’s unafraid to use her own brain. A lovely story which encourages readers to form their own views. This will be a big hit with anyone who loves all things pink and sparkly.
Royal Rebel is available from Usborne Publishing. Thanks to EdPr for my copy.