19 December 2018

Your Favorite Crown Princess

Our December Twitter poll asked readers to choose a favorite crown princess from among Mary of Denmark, Masako of Japan, Mette Marit of Norway and Victoria of Sweden. It wasn't an easy decision for some people. "I voted but it's complicated," wrote Nathalie @MmedeParis, "because I like a lot of these four crown princesses...I love these four amazing women." The Spanish-language account Familia Real UK @FamiliaRealUK stated it more simply, "Difícil elección."

By Frankie Fouganthin via Wikimedia Commons
The bottom two princesses were virtually tied: Mette Marit earned 4% of the vote while Masako earned 5%. Not surprisingly perhaps, both of these ladies have faced more public challenges. At the time of her engagement to Crown Prince Haakon, Mette Marit Tjessem Hoiby was highly controversial as an unmarried mother with a young son. His royal aunt Princess Ragnhild event felt moved to publicly proclaim that this marriage could destroy the monarchy. Nevertheless, Mette Marit became a hardworking a popular princess. She had two children with her prince, but her path has still not been easy because of health issues. Over the years, she occasionally has had to cancel engagements due to headaches, vertigo, pneumonia, concussion, neck and back pain, flu, broken ankle, severe sun burn, Norovirus and low blood pressure (during her last pregnancy). In 2018, many people were devastated to learn that the princess has been diagnosed with pulmonary fibrosis, a potentially terminal condition that causes scarring in the lungs. Nevertheless, she continues to try to carry out a full program of engagements although they are not always announced in advance in case she is not able to well enough to attend. Her fans, like Nathalie @MmedeParis appreciate her for all that she has been through: "She had all against her to be a Royal as a single mother with a not-so-good past. But with the love and support of Haakon she showed to the world that she could be an amazing princess. Love when time puts everyone in his just place."

From Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan
Masako's health concerns have been even more enduring. From the beginning, she struggled with fertility, successfully completing only one pregnancy with the birth of a daughter, who, because of Japan's gender-biased inheritance rules cannot inherit the throne after her father. Vonnie A @missfroggy63 selected Masako as her favorite because of her moxie, noting "she married into the family for love, but that choice proved debilitating for a while." Fairly early on, she withdrew entirely from public life and the Imperial Household officially announced that she was suffering from an adjustment disorder. Speculation blamed three primary causes: fertility issues in general, public criticism for not producing a male heir and the stringent demands of Imperial House rules. As Nathalie @MmedeParis wrote, "Lots of tenderness for Masako, who is a very intelligent woman but the well-reserved Imperial House and certain people made her suffer a lot." For years, she appeared at only a few events a year and did not accompany her husband, a Crown Prince Naruhito, on overseas visits. More recently, she has begun making more public appearances and even undertaken some international visits. "She rising like a Phoenix," according to Nathalie, "thanks to the support of her husband." Vonnie A agrees that "love is helping her recover. And sheer determination -- moxie." In spring 2019, when her father-in-law abdicates, she will become Empress. I hope that she feels adequately prepared for this huge role and does not suffer any setbacks because of it. After all, many would agree with Vonnie who says, "She seems so gentle and kind. I am inspired by her recovery."

By Erik Christensen, Porkeri Website
Your second-favorite Crown Princess, Mary of Denmark, took a whopping 42% of the vote. The Australia-born Mary Donaldson married Crown Prince Frederik after meeting him during the 2000 Olympics in Sydney. The Royal Watcher @saadsalman719 said choosing a favorite was tough, but "Crown Princess Mary wins for me because she has a lovely balance between charity, business and gala events, and manages to bring her children to many events (more than the others it seems)! I also really like her style (most of the time)!" Nathalie @MmedeParis also made note of Mary's family life, writing, "I always thought Frederik was a little weak in the character to be future king but, in my opinion, she made a big difference and I think she made him be a better crown prince. I see him more serious, more on his duties." Nathalie also admires Mary because, of the four women in this poll, she is the only one to have left her own country, learned another language, adapted to a new culture and adopted a different lifestyle." Fellow Aussie MF Stylist Perth @PerthsFashion selected Mary "as she is effortlessly stylish." [Read my post about Mary.]

Photo: Linda Broström The Royal Court, Sweden
Earning 49% of the vote, your favorite Crown Princess is the only one of the group who did not marry into her position. As the oldest child of the King of Sweden, Victoria became Crown Princess and future queen regnant at age two when Sweden changed the laws to allow gender-blind succession. She faced some personal struggles in her youth, particularly a long bout with anorexia, and has an ongoing condition that causes her to be unable to recognize people's faces. In the last 10 years, however, she has emerged as a model princess, marrying her former personal trainer Daniel Westling and raising two children. Lauraf68 @lauraf68 had a difficult time choosing between Mary and Victoria but ultimately went with Victoria because "she was born into the position and is still down to earth and relatable! I would expect Mary to be relatable since she was born into 'normal' circumstances." Nathalie @MmedeParis says she loves Victoria: "she’s all simplicity. She’s great. She showed the world her best. Daniel is solid and they have formed a great family." Having overcome anorexia, Victoria is "a future Queen who will be the pride of her country," Nathalie adds. Sloane Murray @THERoyalCrabbit puts it simply: "Go Victoria!" [Read my post about Victoria.]

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