“For Princess Mia, the past five years since college graduation have been a whirlwind of activity: living in New York City, running her new teen community center, being madly in love, and attending royal engagements. And speaking of engagements. Mia’s gorgeous longtime boyfriend, Michael, managed to clear both their schedules just long enough for an exotic (and very private) Caribbean island interlude where he popped the question! Of course, Mia didn’t need to consult her diary to know that her answer was a royal oui.
But now Mia has a scandal of majestic proportions to contend with: her grandmother has leaked “fake” wedding plans to the press that could cause even normally calm Michael to become a runaway groom. Worse, a scheming politico is trying to force Mia’s father from the throne, all because of a royal secret that could leave Genovia without a monarch. Can Mia prove to everyone–especially herself–that she’s not only ready to wed, but ready to rule as well?”
I picked this book up because this is the end of the Princess Diaries story that I sort-of grew up with. Which makes it embarrassing for me to admit now that I, apparently, only read the first three books of the series. The rest of my Princess Diaries knowledge comes from the Disney adaptation that the series of novels actually make fun of.
Fortunately, Meg Cabot has always this knack of drawing you into the action even without prior knowledge of what has happened before. Her characters, Mia more than the others, have a very distinct sense of the now that you can’t help but be caught up in what is happening rather than what has happened before. That’s why it’s easy to pick up where the last book left off. Doubly easy, I think, because Cabot offers a little refresher at the start, seeing as it has been years since she last wrote a Princess Diaries book. Maybe she was reminding herself of what had happened as well.
Cabot weaves in a child-like maturity into Mia in this final installment of her series. A reflection of her journey, and that of the readers who grew up reading her books. Out of Cabot’s characters, it’s always been Mia who spoke clearly to the Tumblr generation. My generation. And it’s satisfying to see, to read, that Mia hasn’t changed who she is. Yes, she’s older. Yes, she’s more responsible. But she’s still the same Mia. She didn’t suddenly turn into a Kate Middleton or someone along the likes of. And that makes me, and I’m guessing a few other readers, feel better, because it makes Mia more like a real person.
It makes Mia continue to reflect who we are as a generation. The ones who are working our asses off to better ourselves, to do better for our community–and not always succeeding. Mia is an inspiration. That even fictional princesses don’t get to sail smoothly into the horizon. Although, and I don’t know if this requires a spoiler alert, we all know she’s going to get her happily-ever-after sooner or later.
Royal Wedding, much like the other books in the Princess Diaries series, is a book that makes you feel good about yourself. Finishing this book, all I could think of after was that we need more books like this again. Books that will tell a new generation of readers that it’s okay to fail–so long as you pick yourself up and do better next time. That you should never give up. And that while you maybe the star of your own story, you shouldn’t forget that your supporting characters are the main characters of their own stories too.
I don’t know if that makes as much sense to you as it does to me. But that’s the best I can do.
Most Princess Diaries fans would’ve already read this book. If you’re new to the series, you might want to pick up the first couple of books before diving into this one. If you’re not a fan… Well, there’s nothing here that will change your mind.