From Mia to Buttercup: 10 Great Fictional Princesses for National Princess Week

In honor of National Princess Week, we've rounded up our favorite fictional princesses and the fabulous women who played them. Get that tiara ready!
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From Mia to Buttercup: 10 Great Fictional Princesses for National Princess Week

In honor of National Princess Week, we’ve rounded up our favorite fictional princesses and the fabulous women who played them. Get that tiara ready!

-Lucia Peters

Fictional Princesses

Guess what, Bettys? It’s National Princess Week! Not only that, it’s the first annual National Princess Week, so break out your tiaras and get ready for a celebration!

Okay, back up: Let’s deal with the cynical side of things for a moment. It’s true that National Princess Week was created by Disney and Target and is therefore largely a marketing ploy to get all of us credit card-happy consumers to buy llots of princess-themed things. I also suspect that it’s not an accident that National Princess Week coincides with the week leading up to William and Kate’s first wedding anniversary (by the way, happy anniversary, you two! We’ll have a feature for you later in the week). Weird? A little.

But all that aside—and even putting aside for a moment some of the problems we’re seeing with princess culture these days—it’s still kind of fun, no? After all, Julie Andrews was also part of this magical week’s creation, and the way she sees it, it’s “a moment in time for children to celebrate their individuality and let their inner sparkle shine.” That’s a nice sentiment, and it’s one that we think everyone should embrace, no matter what their age or gender.

So in honor of the occasion, we’ve put together a list of some of our favorite fictional princesses and the phenomenal actresses who have played them. From Mia Thermopolis to Xena: Warrior Princess, there are some pretty awesome royal women out there. Ladies? We salute you!

Did we miss your favorite princess? Tell us about her (or him, I suppose!) in the comments!

1. Anne Hathaway as Mia Thermopolis, The Princess Diaries

Mia Thermopolis

Anne Hathaway played a lot of princesses early in her career—Ella Enchanted comes to mind—but Mia Thermopolis of The Princess Diaries is probably the most notable. Little did 15-year-old Mia know that her absentee father was actually the crown prince of the (fictional) country Genovia—and that his death would leave her next in line for the throne. And also little did she know how much she would HATE learning to be a princess. It’s a good thing Julie Andrews was on hand to teach her, no?

2. Miranda Otto as Eowyn, The Lord of the Rings


Eowyn is by no means the only princess in J. R. R. Tolkien’s epic, but she’s by far the coolest, especially as played by Miranda Otto in Peter Jackson’s films. As a shield maiden of Rohan, she got to kick way more arse than elven princess Arwen (Liv Tyler) did. Wouldn’t you rather ride into battle with a sword in your hand than lie wasting away on a bed in a deserted elf haven? Yeah, me too.

Read From Katniss Everdeen to Juno MacGuff: A Decade of Fearless Film Heroines

3. Amy Adams as Giselle, Enchanted


You know, I resisted watching Enchanted for a really long time… but when I finally did, I quietly ate my words with regards to my assumptions about it. Oh, all right, I choked on them, mostly because I was laughing so hard. My personal favorite Giselle moment? When she turned Patrick Dempsey’s relatively tacky curtains into a ridiculous fantasy dress. Classic!

4. Robin Wright as Princess Buttercup, The Princess Bride

Princess Buttercup

Admittedly, Buttercup is kind of a bitch for a lot of The Princess Bride, but at least she undergoes a pretty steep learning curve, right? And hey, at least she figured out that Westley (Carey Elwes) was a significantly better dude than Prince Humperdinck (Chris Sarandon) by the end of it all. As you wish!

5. Carrie Fisher as Princess Leia Organa, Star Wars

Princess Leia

Okay, yes, without Queen Padme/Amidala/whatever the heck you want to call her (aka Natalie Portman), we wouldn’t have had Princess Leia, but let’s face it: Leia is WAY cooler than Padme. Hoorah for the Rebels!

More awesome fictional princesses and the actresses who played them, including Cameron Diaz as Princess Fiona, up next!

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0 thoughts on “From Mia to Buttercup: 10 Great Fictional Princesses for National Princess Week

  1. You know who an epic princess is? Princess Serenity from the anime and manga Sailor Moon. As a princess, she died and then her mom sacrificed her life so Serenity could be reborn in another century to become the warrior and leader of the Sailor Scouts, Sailor Moon. And here’s WHY she’s awesome.

    First off, she was 14 when she first transformed as Sailor Moon. She was told that she’s the legendary Sailor Moon and was out here to fight a whole bunch of monsters, protect the Eartth AND find the moon princess while having absolutely NO memories of her previous life as the princess.

    Second, after she DID get her memories back, she had to fight to save the Earth after seeing all her friends – Sailor Mercury, Mars, Jupiter and Venus – die to protect her and then continue on to fight the brainwashed and kidnapped love of her life – who she had just gotten back before he was taken from her and this has happened, like, four times in the entire anime and three in the manga – only to see him die after he finally got his memories back for good and then dying to protect her before actually dying herself in her mission to protect Earth. Luckily, she was brought back to live again but she also lost her memories again.

    Third, after having her memories given back to her to fight MORE monsters to save the earth and fight to get the love of her life’s memories back because his weren’t as easy to get back (anime only), she still fights with everything she has to protect the earth, no matter what is going on in her personal life and no matter how hurt and heartbroken she is.

    Fourth, in one of the anime movies, she dies AGAIN. And this time she knows that she is going to die for sure. Because she has to save the earth from an asteroid so she uses all her life force to move this asteroids trajectory to give her Silver Imperium Crystal – which is what allows her to transform – more power.

    Fifth, she was put in a sleep trance – kinda like Snow White, only with the apple – which, if she was taken out of REAL, REAL SOON then she would be asleep, like, forever. And all because people from the future wanted to rule and they couldn’t do that as long as she’s around. This was also during the time the love of her life broke up with her – it was to protect her but still – and she still managed to keep fighting – to keep the earth safe and to get the love of her life back (also anime only).

    So, in short, she is one of the most epic princesses ever because she has died or almost died to protect the earth while dealing with personal problems and all of this started when she was 14. So she also had to balance it with school, and normal teenage girl problems and keeping her identity as Sailor Moon and Princess Serenity a secret from anyone who wasn’t one of the Sailor Scouts or the love of her life – meaning her parents and younger brother and normal human best friend.

    She should be, like, at the top of this list.

  2. Oh, and, let’s not forget that her personality is a crybaby who cries whenever she gets hurt and that she really never wanted to BE Sailor Moon in the first place but she knew that the world needing protecting so she sucked it up and took the responsibility of being Sailor Moon, anyway.

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