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Princess in Love

Meg Cabot

  Meg Cabot

  The Princess Diaries, Volume III

  Princess in Love


  For Benjamin, with love


  “One of Sara’s ‘pretends’ is that she is a princess,” said Jessie. “She plays it all the time—even in school. She wants Ermengarde to be one, too, but Ermengarde says she is too fat.”

  “She is too fat,” said Lavinia. “And Sara is too thin.”

  “Sara says it has nothing to do with what you look like, or what you have. It has only to do with what you think of, and what you do,” Jessie explained.


  Frances Hodgson Burnett



  Title Page



  English Class

  Assignment (Due December 8): Here at Albert Einstein High School,…

  Saturday, December 6


  Saturday, December 6, 11 p.m.

  I thought my life was over because I have a…

  Sunday, December 7

  Just got back from dinner at Grandmère’s. All of my…

  Sunday, December 7, 11 p.m.

  Okay. I am in shock. Kenny so did NOT ask…

  Monday, December 8, Homeroom

  Lilly doesn’t believe me about Kenny calling and saying he…

  Monday, December 8, Homeroom

  They just passed out the final exam schedules. Here is…

  Monday, December 8, Algebra

  WHY???? WHY can’t I ever remember my Algebra notebook?????

  Monday, December 8, World Civ

  It’s clear what I have to do.

  Monday, December 8, G & T

  Lunch was a disaster.

  Monday, December 8, French

  In spite of that disastrous incident at lunch, I had…

  Monday, December 8, Bio

  Kenny just passed me the following note:

  Monday, December 8, 3 p.m., Mr. Gianini’s Algebra review

  Okay, so the bell rang before I had time to…

  Tuesday, December 9, Homeroom

  All right. So I didn’t break up with him.

  Tuesday, December 9, English

  What was THAT just now in the hallway? Did Kenny…

  Tuesday, December 9, Bio

  Gifted and Talented was so not fun today. Not that…

  Tuesday, December 9, 4 p.m., in the limo on the way to the Plaza

  The following conversation took place between Mr. Gianini and me today…

  Tuesday, December 9, 7 p.m.

  I don’t believe this. I’m home before Baywatch Hawaii starts…

  Tuesday, December 9, 7:30 p.m.

  Okay, so I was taking a study break, and I…

  Tuesday, December 9, 8:30 p.m.

  I just got an e-mail from Lilly. I’m not the…

  Tuesday, December 9, 8:45 p.m.

  I just got the following Instant Message from Michael:

  Wednesday, December 10, 3 a.m.

  You’re never going to believe this. Something Grandmère said is…

  Wednesday, December 10, Homeroom

  Okay, I was up all night thinking about it, and…

  Wednesday, December 10, Homeroom

  Lars just pointed out that I’m not exactly risking anything,…

  Wednesday, December 10, Algebra, 9:30 a.m.

  I just saw Lilly in the hallway. She whispered, “Don’t…

  Wednesday, December 10, Algebra, 9:45 a.m.

  Lana just leaned back and hissed, “You gonna walk out…

  Wednesday, December 10, Algebra, 9:50 a.m.

  Ten minutes until the walkout. I can’t take this. I’m…

  Wednesday, December 10, 9:55 a.m.

  Okay. I’m standing in the hallway next to the fire…

  Wednesday, December 10, 10 a.m., East 75th Street, beneath some scaffolding

  I don’t get why she’s so mad. I mean, yeah,…

  Wednesday, December 10, G & T

  I can’t tell if Michael got the note or not!!!!

  Wednesday, December 10, French

  You know what else I just realized? That if this…

  Wednesday, December 10, 9 p.m., in the limo on the way home from Grandmère’s

  I am so tired I can hardly write. Grandmère made…

  Thursday, December 11, Homeroom

  Lilly is going to drive me crazy.

  English Journal

  This semester, we have read several novels, including To Kill…

  Thursday, December 11, fourth period

  No PE today!

  Thursday, December 11, G & T

  Today was my lunch with Kenny at Big Wong.

  Thursday, December 11, 9 p.m.

  Grandmère is seriously out of control. Tonight she started quizzing…

  Friday, December 12, Homeroom


  Friday, December 12, Principal Gupta’s office

  Well, I guess it’s official now:

  Friday, December 12, 5 p.m., the loft

  Well, that’s it then. I’m suspended.

  Friday, December 12, 8 p.m., the loft

  Oh, my God, I just checked my e-mail. I am…

  Friday, December 12, 9 p.m., the loft

  Now we know why Mr. G was so late getting home:

  Saturday, December 13, 2 p.m., Lilly’s apartment

  Well, the first meeting of the Students Against the Corporatization of…

  Saturday, December 13, 2:30 p.m., Lilly’s apartment

  Maya wasn’t in the kitchen. She was here, in Michael’s…

  Saturday, December 13, 3 p.m., Grandmère’s

  How, you might ask, did I go from the Moscovitzes’…

  Saturday, December 13, 5 p.m., the loft


  Saturday, December 13, 8 p.m., the loft

  I’ve already gotten seventeen e-mails, six phone calls, and one…

  Saturday, December 13, 9 p.m., the loft

  I just had to go out and see the part…

  Saturday, December 13, 9:30 p.m., the loft

  I was really curious about what Michael could possibly want,…

  Saturday, December 13, 10 p.m., the loft


  Saturday, December 13, Midnight, the loft

  I can’t believe it’s midnight already, and I am still…

  Sunday, December 14, 10 a.m., the loft

  Only forty-eight hours until the Algebra final, and I am…

  Sunday, December 14, 10:30 a.m., the loft

  Lilly just came over again. She wants to study for…

  Sunday, December 14, 11 a.m., the loft

  Tina just called. Her little brother and sisters are driving…

  Sunday, December 14, Noon, the loft

  Michael told Boris where Lilly is, so now Boris is…

  Sunday, December 14, 12:30 p.m., the loft

  Now Kenny’s here. I don’t know how I am supposed…

  Sunday, December 14, 8 p.m., the loft

  I told Lilly, and she agreed, that once Boris and…

  Monday, December 15, Homeroom

  Here are the number of students at Albert Einstein High…

  Tuesday, December 16

  Algebra and English finals completed.

  Wednesday, December 17

  World Civ exam finis.

  Thursday, December 18, 1 a.m.

  It just occurred to me:

  Thursday, December 18, 4 p.m., limo on the way to the Plaza

  THAT’S IT!!!!!

  Thursday, December 18, 7 p.m.

  I have now watched myself on all four major networks,…

  Thursday, December
18, 9 p.m.

  Tina just called. She didn’t want to talk about the…

  Friday, December 19, Homeroom

  They are holding us hostage here in Homeroom until they’ve…

  Friday, December 19, Winter Carnival

  Oh, God.

  Friday, December 19, still the Winter Carnival

  Well, I still haven’t found Kenny, but I really have…

  Even later on Friday, December 19, still the Winter Carnival

  Well, I’m in the girls’ room again. And I think…

  Friday, December 19, 5 p.m., the loft

  I don’t know why people can’t just leave me alone.

  Friday, December 19, 5:30 p.m., the fire escape

  People have a right to their privacy. If I want…

  Friday, December 19, 7:30 p.m.

  Well. You could knock me over with a feather. Guess…

  Saturday, December 20, Royal Genovian Jet

  When I was about to turn six years old, all…


  About the Author

  Other Books by Meg Cabot



  About the Publisher

  English Class

  Assignment (Due December 8): Here at Albert Einstein High School, we have a very diverse student population. Over one hundred and seventy different nations, religions, and ethnic groups are represented by our student body. In the space below, describe the manner in which your family celebrates the uniquely American holiday, Thanksgiving. Please utilize appropriate margins.


  by Mia Thermopolis

  6:45 a.m.–Roused by the sound of my mother vomiting. She is well into her third month of pregnancy now. According to her obstetrician, all the throwing up should stop in the next trimester. I can’t wait. I have been marking the days off on my ‘N Sync calendar. (I don’t really like ‘N Sync. At least, not that much. My best friend, Lilly, bought me the calendar as a joke. Except that one guy really is pretty cute.)

  7:45 a.m.–Mr. Gianini, my new stepfather, knocks on my door. Only now I am supposed to call him Frank. This is very difficult to remember due to the fact that at school, where he is my first-period Algebra teacher, I am supposed to call him Mr. Gianini. So I just don’t call him anything (to his face).

  It’s time to get up, Mr. Gianini says. We are having Thanksgiving at his parents’ house on Long Island. We have to leave now if we are going to beat the traffic.

  8:45 a.m.–There is no traffic this early on Thanksgiving Day. We arrive at Mr. G’s parents’ house in Sagaponic three hours early.

  Mrs. Gianini (Mr. Gianini’s mother, not my mother. My mother is still Helen Thermopolis because she is a fairly well known modern painter under that name, and also because she does not believe in the cult of the patriarchy) is still in curlers. She looks very surprised. This might not only be because we arrived so early, but also because no sooner had my mother entered the house than she was forced to run for the bathroom with her hand pressed over her mouth, on account of the smell of the roasting turkey. I am hoping this means that my future half-brother or sister is a vegetarian, since the smell of meat cooking used to make my mother hungry, not nauseated.

  My mother had already informed me in the car on the way over from Manhattan that Mr. Gianini’s parents are very old-fashioned and are used to enjoying a conventional Thanksgiving meal. She does not think they will appreciate hearing my traditional Thanksgiving speech about how the Pilgrims are guilty of committing mass genocide by giving their new Native American friends blankets filled with the smallpox virus, and that it is reprehensible that we as a country annually celebrate this rape and destruction of an entire culture.

  Instead, my mother said, I should discuss more neutral topics, such as the weather.

  I asked if it was all right if I discussed the astonishingly high rate of attendance at the Reykjavik opera house in Iceland (over 98 percent of the country’s population has seen Tosca at least once).

  My mother sighed and said, “If you must,” which I take to be a sign that she is beginning to tire of hearing about Iceland.

  Well, I am sorry, but I find Iceland extremely fascinating, and I will not rest until I have visited the ice hotel.

  9:45 a.m.–11:45 a.m.–I watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade with Mr. Gianini Senior in what he calls the rec room.

  They don’t have rec rooms in Manhattan.

  Just lobbies.

  Remembering my mother’s warning, I refrain from repeating another one of my traditional holiday rants, that the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade is a gross example of American capitalism run amok.

  At one point during the broadcast, I catch sight of Lilly standing in the crowd outside of Office Max on Broadway and Thirty-Seventh, her videocamera clutched to her slightly squished-in face (so much like a pug) as a float carrying Miss America and William Shatner of Star Trek fame passes by. So I know Lilly is going to take care of denouncing Macy’s on the next episode of her public access television show, Lilly Tells It Like It Is (every Friday night at nine, Manhattan cable channel 67).

  12:00 p.m.–Mr. Gianini Junior’s sister arrives with her husband, their two kids, and the pumpkin pies. The kids, who are my age, are twins, a boy, Nathan, and a girl, Claire. I know right away Claire and I are not going to get along, because when we are introduced she looks me up and down the way the cheerleaders do in the hallway at school and goes, in a very snotty voice, “You’re the one who’s supposed to be a princess?”

  And while I am perfectly aware that at five foot nine inches tall, with no visible breasts, feet the size of snowshoes, and hair that sits in a tuft on my head like the cotton on the end of a Q-tip, I am the biggest freak in the freshman class of Albert Einstein High School for Boys (made coeducational circa 1975), I do not appreciate being reminded of it by girls who do not even bother finding out that beneath this mutant facade beats the heart of a person who is only striving, just like everybody else in this world, to find self-actualization.

  Not that I even care what Mr. Gianini’s niece Claire thinks of me. I mean, she is wearing a pony-skin miniskirt. And it is not even imitation pony skin. She must know that a horse had to die just so she could have that skirt, but she obviously doesn’t care.

  Now Claire has pulled out her cell phone and gone out onto the deck, where the reception is best (even though it is thirty degrees outside, she apparently doesn’t mind. She has that pony skin to keep her warm, after all). She keeps looking in at me through the sliding glass doors and laughing as she talks on her phone.

  Nathan—who is dressed in baggy jeans and has a pager, in addition to a lot of gold jewelry—asks his grandfather if he can change the channel. So instead of traditional Thanksgiving viewing options, such as football or the Lifetime Channel’s made-for-TV movie marathon, we are now forced to watch MTV2. Nathan knows all the songs and sings along with them. Most of them have dirty words that have been bleeped out, but Nathan sings them anyway.

  1:00 p.m.–The food is served. We begin eating.

  1:15 p.m.–We finish eating.

  1:20 p.m.–I help Mrs. Gianini clean up. She says not to be ridiculous, and that I should go “have a nice gossip” with Claire.

  It is frightening, if you think about it, how clueless old people can be sometimes.

  Instead of going to have a nice gossip with Claire, I stay where I am and tell Mrs. Gianini how much I am enjoying having her son live with us. Mr. G is very good about helping around the house, and has even taken over my old job of cleaning the toilets. Not to mention the thirty-six-inch TV, pinball machine, and foozball table he brought with him when he moved in.

  Mrs. Gianini is immensely gratified to hear this, you can just tell. Old people like to hear nice stuff about their kids, even if their kid, like Mr. Gianini, is thirty-nine and a half years old.

  3:00 p.m.–We have to leave if we are going to beat the traffic home. I say good-bye. Claire does not say good-bye back to
me, but Nathan does. He advises me to keep it real. Mrs. Gianini gives us a lot of leftover turkey. I thank her, even though I don’t eat turkey, being a vegetarian.

  6:30 p.m.–We finally make it back into the city, after spending three and a half hours in bumper-to-bumper traffic along the Long Island Expressway. Though there is nothing very express about it, if you ask me.

  I barely have time to change into my baby-blue floor-length Armani sheath dress and matching ballet flats before the limo honks downstairs, and Lars, my bodyguard, arrives to escort me to my second Thanksgiving dinner.

  7:30 p.m.–Arrive at the Plaza Hotel. I am greeted by the concierge, who announces me to the masses assembled in the Palm Court:

  “Presenting Her Royal Highness Princess Amelia Mignonette Grimaldi Thermopolis Renaldo.”

  God forbid he should just say Mia.

  My father, the prince of Genovia, and his mother, the dowager princess, have rented the Palm Court for the evening in order to throw a Thanksgiving banquet for all of their friends. Despite my strenuous objections, Dad and Grandmère refuse to leave New York City until I have learned everything there is to know about being a princess . . . or until my formal introduction to the Genovian people the day before Christmas, whichever comes first. I have assured them that it isn’t as if I am going to show up at the castle and start hurling olives at the ladies-in-waiting and scratching myself under the arms. I mean, I am fourteen years old: I do have some idea how to act, for crying out loud.

  But Grandmère, at least, does not seem to believe this, and so she is still subjecting me to daily princess lessons. Lilly recently contacted the United Nations to see whether these lessons constitute a human rights violation. She believes it is unlawful to force a minor to sit for hours practicing tipping her soup bowl away from her—“Always, always, away from you, Amelia!”—in order to scrape up a few drops of lobster bisque. The UN has so far been unsympathetic to my plight.

  It was Grandmère’s idea to have what she calls an “old-fashioned” Thanksgiving dinner, featuring mussels in a white wine sauce, squab stuffed with fois gras, lobster tails, and Iranian caviar, which you could never get before because of the embargo. She has invited two hundred of her closest friends, plus the emperor of Japan and his wife, since they were in town anyway for a world trade summit.

  That’s why I have to wear ballet flats. Grandmère says it’s rude to be taller than an emperor.