Updated: Oct 22, 2019
"The real history behind royalty."
Growing up, most fairy tale princesses I read about, if not all; were blonde. Some had red hair, but most were the typical blondes you see in movies and books such as: Rapunzel, Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella, even the Super Mario Bros. Princess Peach. Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against blondes, or blonde princesses. But it can be very hectic when you find yourself looking in the mirror and seeing that you don't look like your beloved heroines you look up to so much. And though they filled my favorite stories and books, I didn't exactly mind. But as any typical little girl, I dreamed of becoming a princess, living my dreams in my own palace! I even made my own costume tiaras and wore the heck out of them. Those were the days. Yet back then, no brunette princess was ever thought of, at least not in my books.
I remember back in my Elementary School days, as we auditioned for a play called "Sleeping Beauty", where the role usually got a blonde. But not this time. I auditioned and I got the part, at only 7-years-old. And this was before "Beauty and the Beast" came out as a Disney movie. Funny how that was. I got some awkward looks. I even had some jealous kids approaching me saying:
"So, I heard that you got the Princess part."
"Yes," I replied. I was so excited, only to hear the response:
"Well, you shouldn't have, because you are too ugly to be the princess."
Nothing can be discouraging than your peers cutting you down at that age, especially after you made a huge accomplishment. I stood in shock at what this kid said. Did I believe that it was because I wasn't blonde? Maybe. Maybe not. But I had a pretty face and a pretty heart. So what did that matter? This can sometimes shame kids out of confidence.
I was determined to show the world that beauty can come in different colors and types. I defied all odds and played the part well. There is nothing that feels better than proving your haters wrong.
It's true, when we think about a Princess, we usually think of a graceful beautiful blonde girl in that role. On the other hand, when most people imagine a brunette, it's the typical nerdy librarian stereotype that usually comes to mind. There’s nothing like being portrayed as the information desk person. Can I get a witness? #BrunetteProblems
To this day, it still remains an icon. We hear it about it all the time don't we?
Today, we now have Belle as the only Brunette Disney Princess in the bunch. That could explain why you may have loved her so much. She's the one and only brown haired brown eyed Princess. And though I think brown eyes are cool, what about the green eyed brunettes? Blue eyes? Curly heads? The freckled one? Different personality types other than your stereo typical librarian nerdy type brunette? There are so many differences that can be portrayed. It kind of makes you wish they would create more brunette Disney princesses that reflect these differences. But that's just how the cookie crumbles, doesn't it?
Here is the part that has raised some questions for many brunettes, such as myself. The newest blonde princess, Rapunzel, had that long golden beautiful hair with superpowers! It's that white blonde superpower that many in our ethnic group talk so much about. Her hair glowed while she sang, and even worked to keep her youthful (and her wicked kidnapper). She was the center of envy to her dark haired mistress, especially with those golden locks. But what happened at the end of the movie? Her hair is cut off and it loses it's power, therefore; defeating the wicked kidnapper and causing her to lose the youth she gained from Rapunzel's white blonde superpower. Now her hair is short and brown.
Although Flynn says: "You know I have a thing for brunettes", it still raised some questions for brunettes:
"Why did her hair turn brown when it lost it's power?"
"What is she now.... ugly?"
"Does that mean she is less valued now that her hair is brown?"
Though... I wouldn't think she would look bad as a brunette with her long hair.
You don't even want to get me started on this one! But I am going to anyway, so let's move on.
And, of course; they just can't resist making jokes like this can they?
But little do they know about history. So let’s step out of the fairy tale land and step into the real history of royalty, in particularly in Europe. The more you read history, the more you will find that the majority of royalty that existed from the middle ages all the way up to the 19th and 20th centuries (even today) are portrayed brunettes. Oh, the irony! Taking the main royal titles, these Brunette Princesses and Queens played their roles extremely well. Here I will list five brunette princesses and queens who have made history!
Duchess Louise of Mecklenburg-Strelitz
(Luise Auguste Wilhelmine Amalie; 10 March 1776 – 19 July 1810) was Queen of Prussia as the wife of King Frederick William III. The couple's happy, though short-lived, marriage produced nine children, including the future monarchs Frederick William IV of Prussia and German Emperor Wilhelm I.
Her legacy became cemented after her extraordinary 1807 meeting with French Emperor Napoleon I at Tilsit – she met with the emperor to plead unsuccessfully for favorable terms after Prussia's disastrous losses in the Napoleonic Wars. She was already well loved by her subjects, but her meeting with Napoleon led Louise to become revered as "the soul of national virtue". Her early death at the age of thirty-four "preserved her youth in the memory of posterity", and caused Napoleon to reportedly remark the king "has lost his best minister". The Order of Louise was founded by her grieving husband four years later as a female counterpart to the Iron Cross. In the 1920s conservative German women founded the Queen Louise League, and Louise herself would be used in Nazi propaganda as an example of the ideal German woman. View video below for more of her biography.
Princess Marie of Prussia
Another German brunette beauty. She born and raised in Berlin, she was the daughter of Prince Wilhelm of Prussia, a younger brother of King Friedrich Wilhelm III of Prussia, and his wife Landgravine Marie Anna of Hesse-Homburg. As a young woman, Marie was seriously considered as a wife for Ernest II, Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, until her engagement to Maximilian was announced. Marie became the Queen of Bavaria and the mother of Kings Ludwig II and Otto of Bavaria.
On 12 October 1842, she married the Crown Prince, and later King of Bavaria, Maximilian II. Marie was loved equally by both the Protestants and Roman Catholic populations. (At that time, Prussia was mostly Evangelical, whilst Bavaria was mostly Roman Catholic.) A specific emphasis of her "great social engagement" was a reactivation of the Bavarian Women's Association, which took place on 18 December 1869 with the aid of her son, Ludwig II. Its aim was "Pflege und Unterstützung der im Felde verwundeten und erkrankten Krieger" (Care and support of soldiers wounded and injured in the field). The Bavarian Red Cross was officially founded as a result of the Bavarian Women's Association. The Red Cross eventually took over for the Queen.
With the sudden death of Maximilian II on 10 March 1864, Marie became a widow. On 12 October 1874, she converted to Roman Catholicism.
In later years, she lived a secluded existence at her country estate in Elbigenalp in the Lechtal Alps and at Schloss Hohenschwangau near Füssen. Marie outlived her elder son, Ludwig II, by several years. He died on 13 June 1886. Marie died in 1889 in Hohenschwangau.
She is interred in the Theatine Church in Munich in a side chapel opposite her husband.
View her biography video here:
Princess Victoria Luise of Prussia
(Viktoria Luise Adelheid Mathilde Charlotte; 13 September 1892 – 11 December 1980) was the only daughter and the last child of German Emperor Wilhelm II and Augusta Victoria of Schleswig-Holstein. She was a great-granddaughter of Queen Victoria through her father. Her 1913 marriage to Prince Ernest Augustus of Hanover was the largest gathering of reigning monarchs in Germany since German unification in 1871, and one of the last great social events of European royalty before the First World War began fourteen months later.
Shortly after the wedding, she became the Duchess of Brunswick by marriage. Through her daughter Frederica, Princess Victoria Louise was the maternal grandmother of Queen Sophia of Spain (mother of Felipe VI, King of Spain) and the former King Constantine II of Greece. View here video biography here:
On 29 May 1818, her mother remarried to Prince Edward Augustus, Duke of Kent and Strathearn, the fourth son of King George III of the United Kingdom. The following year, the household was moved to the United Kingdom since the duchess' pregnancy was coming to an end and so that the new potential heir to the British throne could be born on British soil.
By all accounts, Feodora enjoyed a very close relationship with her sister Victoria, who was devoted to her elder half-sister. Despite this, Feodora was eager to leave their residence at Kensington Palace permanently, as her "only happy time was driving out" with Victoria and her governess Baroness Louise Lehzen, when she could "speak and look as she liked". See video below.
Augusta, Empress of Germany and Queen of Prussia
Princess Augusta of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach (Augusta Marie Luise Katharina; 30 September 1811 – 7 January 1890) was the Queen of Prussia and the first German Empress as the consort of William I,German Emperor. Augusta Victoria was the eldest daughter of Frederick VIII, Duke of Schleswig-Holstein and Princess Adelheid of Hohenlohe-Langenburg.
On 27 February 1881, Augusta married her half second cousin Prince Wilhelm of Prussia. Augusta's maternal grandmother Princess Feodora of Leiningen was the half-sister of Queen Victoria, who was Wilhelm's maternal grandmother.
Wilhelm had earlier proposed to his first cousin, Princess Elisabeth of Hesse and by Rhine (known in the family as "Ella"), a daughter of his mother's own sister, but she declined. He did not react well, and was adamant that he would soon marry another princess.
Wilhelm's family was originally against the marriage with Augusta Viktoria, whose father was not even a sovereign. However, Chancellor Otto von Bismarck was a strong proponent of the marriage, believing that it would end the dispute between the Prussian government and Augusta's father In the end, Wilhelm's intransigence, the support of Bismarck, and a determination to move beyond the rejection of his proposal to Ella, led the reluctant imperial family to give official consent. Here is the video of her biography.
Very interesting, when we look at history; what significance brunette women had in society. They had remarkable beauty and they had influence in European society. These women weren't chosen out of spite. These princes and kings married these women and many of them were born in royal families. Wonderful! This is the true history of royalty. So remember this the next time someone wants to tell you that a blonde woman is the ideal for a princess or a queen. Remember these historical princesses and queens. They were real people, not fictional characters. There are many more we could mention. But here are a few that can give you inspiration.
These brunette princesses go down in history!