Like most jobs, there can be a steep learning curve, but there's no promise of advancement. You can hang in there for many years and get nowhere. Look at Kate Middleton - seven years, press harassment, and look at where she is now; suffering her allergies in silence at polo games.
Clearly being a princess-in-waiting is a tough job.
One look at Charlene Wittstock, sitting beside Prince Albert of Monaco at a football match, her bored expression says it all.
"How much longer do I have to sit here?"
If you want to stick it out Miss Wittstock, you're going to have to perfect the look enraptured thrall at mind numbing events. Cater to your prince. Feign interest in his hobbies, laugh at his jokes, a few flattering comments about his mother/sister/or niece can't hurt. Tell him how adorable his illegitimate children are. Do these things and maybe, just maybe you'll be wearing a tiara before long. Hang in there. This is the job interview of your life.
Don't forget the success stories as you keep your eye on the prize. Patience is rewarded. Camilla waited 30 years, Queen Sonia 9 years, Queen Silvia 4 years, Mary of Denmark 3 years, and Maxima, 2 years. It's unknown how long Letizia of Spain, Mathilde of Belgium or Mette-Marit of Norway had to wait but now they have their pictures on stamps and commemorative china. They also spend their time doing good deeds, making important speeches, and wearing endlessly glamorous outfits. See there's hope yet.
However, despite hanging in there, you may still encounter obstacles. Princess Marie of Denmark, née Marie Cavallier is an example. She spent two years smiling for the cameras, only to have Queen Margarethe downplay an engagement. It's enough to drive a princess-in-waiting around the bend! But was only a ruse, as Marie and Prince Joachim eventually did get married. Phew that was a close call!
Another obstacle might be a prince who is not ready to settle down. Charlene you may want to take note of that. If things don't work out, Prince Harry is now available. I've heard that Prince Hubertus of Coburg, Prince Leopold of Baden, and Prince Ali Reza of Iran are also still on the market. They're not as well known but they are Princes.
Also, remember to never speak to the press. Giving interviews has been proven to derail royal romances. Look at Lady Sarah McCorqudale (sister of Diana, Princess of Wales). She spoke to the press about her relationship with Prince Charles and her sister snapped him up. Her consolation prize was a prime seat at the wedding of the century.
If things are looking up, practice your engagement interview answers and royal wave. It's always good to claim you didn't have a clue who he was at first. Take a page from Mary and Maxima. It makes you look like you weren't trying too hard and that you love him for who he is and not for what he represents. Saying it with a straight face earns you bonus points.
Good luck to you in your endeavor. You'll need it. Remember, that if you ever need someone to commiserate with, Kate Middleton, the ultimate princess-in-waiting, is always available.
© Marilyn Braun 2009
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