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Princess Diaries, Vol. X: Forever Princess

Meg Cabot

  Meg Cabot

  Forever Princess

  For my agent, Laura Langlie, with love and many thanks for her

  endless patience, kindness, and, most of all, her sense of humor!

  “It’s exactly like the ones in the stories,” she wailed. “Them pore princess ones that was drove into the world.”


  Frances Hodgson Burnett



  Begin Reading


  About the Author


  Other Books by Meg Cabot



  About the Publisher

  teen STYLE


  teen STYLE chats with Princess Mia Thermopolis on what it means to be royal, her upcoming high school graduation and prom, and her fashion must-haves!

  teenSTYLE caught up to Princess Mia this spring as she was engaged in one of her many volunteer activities—tidying up Central Park, along with the rest of her fellow Albert Einstein High School seniors, since they’ll all be taking part in commencement ceremonies there in a few weeks!

  What could be less princessy than painting park benches? And yet Princess Mia managed to look entirely regal in a pair of 7 For All Mankind dark-rinse low-rise skinny jeans, a simple white crew-neck tee, and Emilio Pucci ballerina flats.

  This is one royal who truly knows what it means to have teenSTYLE!

  teenSTYLE: Let’s cut right to the chase. A lot of people are confused about what’s happening with the government in Genovia right now. Our readers really want to know: Are you still a princess?

  Princess Mia: Yes, of course. Genovia was an absolute monarchy until I found a document last year revealing that my ancestress, Princess Amelie, had declared it a constitutional monarchy—exactly like England—four hundred years ago. That document was proven valid by the Genovian parliament last spring, and now we’re two weeks away from elections for prime minister.

  teenSTYLE: But will you still rule?

  Princess Mia: Much to my chagrin. I mean, yes. I will inherit the throne upon the death of my father. The people of Genovia will elect a prime minister, the same as the people of England, while still having a reigning monarch…in Genovia’s case, since we’re a principality, a prince or princess.

  teenSTYLE: That’s great! So you’ll always have the tiara, the limos, the palace, the beautiful ball gowns….

  Princess Mia:…And the bodyguards, the paparazzi, no private life, people like you hounding me, and my grandmother forcing me to agree to meet with you to get my name in your magazine so we can attract more tourists to Genovia? Yes. Not, of course, that we aren’t in enough magazines right now, seeing as how my dad is running for prime minister, and his own cousin, Prince René, is running against him.

  teenSTYLE: And leading in the polls, according to the latest news reports. But let’s move on to your plans for after high school. You’re scheduled to graduate from Manhattan’s prestigious Albert Einstein High School on May 7. What kind of accessories do you plan on wearing to set off your mortarboard hat and gown—

  Princess Mia: Although frankly, I find Prince René’s campaign platform ridiculous. He’s been quoted as saying, “You’d be surprised how many people in the world have never even heard of Genovia. Many of them believe it’s a made-up place, something out of a movie. I’m out to change all that.” But his ideas of changing Genovia for the better include generating more income from tourism. He keeps insisting Genovia could be a vacation destination spot like Miami or Las Vegas! Vegas! He wants to install restaurant chains like Applebee’s, Chili’s, and McDonald’s in order to appeal to cruise ship tourists visiting from America. Can you imagine? What could be more disastrous to Genovia’s delicate infrastructure? Some of our bridges are five centuries old! Not to mention what it would do to the environment, which has already been severely damaged by cruise ship waste dumping—

  teenSTYLE: Er…we can see this is an issue about which you feel passionately. We encourage our readers to take a keen interest in current events—like your eighteenth birthday, which we know is coming up on May 1! Any truth to the rumors that your grandmother, the Dowager Princess Clarisse, has been in New York City for some time, planning a completely over-the-top eighteenth birthday celebration for you, aboard a yacht?

  Princess Mia: I’m not saying there isn’t necessarily room for improvement in Genovia, but not in the way Prince René means. I believe Dad’s response—that if anything, what our citizens need right now is improvements to their daily lives—is utterly correct. My father, not Prince René, has the experience Genovia needs right now. I mean, he’s been prince there his entire life, and has ruled for the past ten years. He knows, more than anyone, what his people need and don’t need…and what they don’t need is an Applebee’s!

  teenSTYLE: So…you’re planning on studying political science in college?

  Princess Mia: What? Oh, no. I was thinking of majoring in journalism. With a creative writing minor.

  teenSTYLE: Really? So you want to be a journalist?

  Princess Mia: Actually, I’d love to be an author. I know publishing is really hard to break in to. But I’ve heard if you start by writing romance novels, you have a better chance.

  teenSTYLE: Speaking of romance, you must be getting ready for something every girl in America is starting to get excited for! A little something called PROM?

  Princess Mia: Oh. Um. Yeah. I guess.

  teenSTYLE: Come on, you can tell us. Of course you’re going! We all know things between you and longtime steady boyfriend Michael Moscovitz ended last year when he went off to Japan. He hasn’t come back yet, right?

  Princess Mia: As far as I know, he’s still in Japan. And we’re just friends.

  teenSTYLE: Right! You’ve often been seen in the company of fellow AEHS senior John Paul Reynolds-Abernathy IV. That’s him painting that bench over there, isn’t it?

  Princess Mia: Uh…yeah.

  teenSTYLE: So…don’t keep us in suspense! Is J.P. the special guy who’ll be escorting you to Albert Einstein High’s senior prom? And what will you be wearing? You know metallics are in this season…can we count on you to glitter in gold?

  Princess Mia: Oh, no! I’m so sorry! My bodyguard didn’t mean to kick that paint can over onto you. How clumsy of him! Do send me the dry-cleaning bill.

  Lars: Care of the Royal Genovian press office, Fifth Avenue.

  Her Royal Highness

  Dowager Princess

  Clarisse Marie Grimaldi Renaldo

  requests the pleasure of your company at a soiree to celebrate the eighteenth birthday of

  Her Royal Highness

  Princess Amelia Mignonette Grimaldi Thermopolis Renaldo

  on Monday the First of May at seven o’clock in the evening at South Street Seaport, Pier Eleven

  The Royal Genovian Yacht Clarisse 3

  Yale University

  Dear Princess Amelia,

  Congratulations on your admission to Yale College! Announcing the good news to a candidate is the absolute best part of my job, and it gives me great pleasure to send you this letter. You have every reason to feel proud of our offer of admission. I know that Yale would be an even richer and more vital place for your being here—

  Princeton University

  Dear Princess Amelia,

  Congratulations! Your academic accomplishments, extracurricular achievements, and strong personal qualities were deemed by the admissions officers to be exceptional and ones we want here at Princeton. We are pleased to be sending you this good news and especially to be welcoming you to Princeton—


  Dear Princess Amelia:

  Congratulations! The Committee on Admissions joins me in the most rewarding part of this job—informing you that you have been selected for admission to Columbia University in the City of New York. We are fully confident that the gifts you bring to our campus will be unique and valuable and that your abilities will be challenged and developed here—


  Dear Princess Amelia,

  I am delighted to inform you that the Committee on Admissions and Financial Aid has voted to offer you a place at Harvard. Following an old Harvard tradition, a certificate of admission is enclosed. Please accept my personal congratulations for your outstanding achievements—


  Dear Princess Amelia,

  Congratulations! The Brown Board of Admission has completed its evaluation of more than 19,000 applicants, and it is with great pleasure that I inform you that your application has been included among our acceptances. Your—

  Daphne Delacroix

  1005 Thompson Street, Apt. 4A

  New York, NY 10003

  Dear Ms. Delacroix,

  Enclosed please find your novel, Ransom My Heart. Thank you for giving us the opportunity to read it. However, it does not suit our needs at the present time. Good luck placing it elsewhere.


  Ned Christiansen

  Editorial Assistant

  Brampft Books 520 Madison Avenue

  New York, NY 10023

  Dear Author,

  Thank you for the submission of your book. Although it was carefully read, it is not what we are looking for here at Cambridge House. Best of luck in your future endeavors.


  Cambridge House Books

  Dear Ms. Delacroix,

  Thank you so much for your submission, Ransom My Heart. We here at AuthorPress were highly impressed by it, and we think it shows a lot of promise! However, it’s important to keep in mind that publishing houses receive well over 20,000 submissions a year, and in order to stand out, your manuscript needs to be PERFECT. For a nominal fee ($5 per page), your manuscript, Ransom My Heart, could be on store shelves by next Christmas—

  The Senior Class of

  Albert Einstein High School

  requests the pleasure of your company at

  the senior prom

  on Saturday the Sixth of May at seven o’clock in the evening at the

  Waldorf-Astoria ballroom

  Thursday, April 27, Gifted and Talented

  Mia—We’re going shopping for prom dresses—and for something to wear to your birthday shindig—after school. Bendel’s and Barneys first, then if we strike out there, we’ll hit Jeffrey and Stella McCartney downtown. You in?—Lana

  Sent from my BlackBerry wireless device

  L—I’m sorry. I can’t. Have fun, though!—M

  What do you mean, you can’t? What else do you have to do? Don’t say princess lessons because I know your grandmother has canceled them while she gets ready for your big pahtay, and don’t say therapy either because you only have that on Fridays. So what gives? Don’t be such a byotch, we need your limo. I blew all my taxi money for the month on a new pair of D&G patent leather platform slingbacks.

  Sent from my BlackBerry wireless device

  Wow. Coming clean about Dr. Knutz to my friends was freeing and all of that, just like he said it would be.

  Especially since it turns out most of them have been in therapy, too.

  But some of them—such as Lana—tend to treat the subject way too casually sometimes.

  I’m staying after school to help J.P. with his senior project. You know he’s putting on his final performance piece for the senior project committee next week. I promised I’d be there for him. He’s worried about some of the performances his actors are giving. He thinks Amber Cheeseman’s little sister, Stacey, doesn’t really seem to be giving it her all. And she’s the star, you know.

  OMG, that play he wrote? God, what are you two, attached at the hip? You can spend ten minutes apart, you know. Now come shopping with us. Pinkberry after! My treat!

  Sent from my BlackBerry wireless device

  Lana thinks Pinkberry solves everything. Or, if not Pinkberry, Allure magazine. When Benazir Bhutto got assassinated, and I couldn’t stop crying, Lana got me a copy of Allure magazine and told me to get in the bathtub and read it cover to cover. Lana was seriously all, “You’ll feel better in no time!”

  And I’m pretty sure she really meant it.

  The weird thing was, after I did what she said, I sort of did feel a little better.

  I also knew a lot more about the dangers of SmartLipo. Still.

  Lana. It’s an artistic thing. J.P.’s the writer/director. I have to be there to support him. I’m the girlfriend. Just go without me.

  God, what is with you? It’s PROM. Fine, be that way. I’ll forgive you, but only because I know you’re freaking out over this election thing of your dad’s. Oh, and where you’re going to go to school next year. God, I can’t believe you didn’t get in anywhere. I mean, even I got into Penn. And my senior project was on the history of eyeliner. Good thing my dad’s a legacy, I guess.

  Sent from my BlackBerry wireless device

  Ha, yeah, well, it’s true! I got the lowest math SAT score you can get. Who’d want me? Thank God L’Université de Genovia has to accept me, on account of my family being its founder and major benefactor, and all.

  You’re so lucky! A college with beaches! Can I come over for spring break? I promise to bring plenty of Penn hotties…Oops, gotta go, Fleener is breathing down my neck. What is UP with these pinheads? Don’t they realize we only have two weeks left at this place? Like our grades even MATTER anymore!

  Sent from my BlackBerry wireless device

  Ha, I know! Pinheads! Yeah! Tell me about it!

  Thursday, April 27, French

  Okay, it’s been four years since I started going to this place. And it still feels like all I ever do is lie.

  And I don’t just mean to Lana or my parents, either. Now I’m lying to everyone.

  You would really think, after all this time, I’d be getting better about that.

  But I found out the hard way—a little less than two years ago now, actually—what happens when you tell the truth.

  And even though I still think I did the right thing—I mean, it did bring democracy to a country that has never known it before, and all—I’m not making that mistake again. I hurt so many people—especially people who I really care about—because I told the truth, I really think it’s better now just…well, to lie.

  Not big lies. Just little white lies, which don’t hurt anybody. It’s not like I’m lying for personal gain.

  But what am I going to do, admit I got into every college I applied to?

  Oh, yeah, that would go over really well. How would all the people who didn’t get into their first-choice colleges—especially those of them who deserved to…and that would be approximately eighty percent of the current AEHS graduating senior class—feel then?

  Besides, you know what they’d say.

  Sure, nice people—like Tina—would say that I’m lucky.

  Like luck had anything to do with it! Unless you count the “luck” where my mom ran into my dad at that off-campus party where they met, instantly hated each other, which of course led inevitably to sexual tension and then to l’amour, and one broken condom later, to me.

  And—despite Principal Gupta’s insistence—I’m not convinced hard work had very much to do with me getting in everywhere, either.

  Okay…I did do really well in the writing and critical reading sections of my SATs. And my college app essays were good, too. (I’m not going to lie about that, at least not in my own journal. I worked my butt off on those.)

  I’ll admit, when your extracurriculars are, Single-handedly brought democracy to a country that otherwise had neve
r known it before, and Wrote a four-hundred-page novel for my senior project, it does look slightly impressive.

  But I can be truthful to myself: All those colleges I applied to? They only let me in because I’m a princess.

  And it’s not that I’m not grateful. I know every single one of those schools will give me a wonderful, unique educational opportunity.

  It’s just…it would have been nice for just one of those places to have accepted me for…well, for me, and not the tiara. If only I could have applied under my pen name—Daphne Delacroix—to know for sure.

  Whatever. I’ve got bigger things to worry about right now.

  Well, not bigger than where I’m going to spend the next four—or more, if I goof off and don’t declare a major right away like Mom did—years of my life.

  But there’s the whole thing with Dad. What if he doesn’t win the election? The election that wouldn’t even be happening if it weren’t for me telling the truth.

  And Grandmère is so upset about the fact that René, of all people, is running against Dad—plus all the rumors that have been going around ever since I made Princess Amelie’s declaration public, like that our family was purposefully hiding Amelie’s declaration all along, so that the Renaldos could stay in power—that Dad has had to banish her to Manhattan and have her plan this stupid birthday party for me just to distract her so she’ll quit driving him insane with her constant barrage of, “But does this mean we’ll have to move out of the palace?”