The various aspirants for her hand rapidly withdraw their suit once they realise she is not beautiful and would rather play in the forest than attend courtly events. Worried they might have an old maid in the royal family (not at all the thing) the council decide to engage a dragon (for laying waste the countryside and imprisoning the Ordinary Princess, since no prince can resist such a challenge). Hearing of it, Amy runs away, leaving a letter behind:
True, the splendid jewels and brocades of the kings and princes and barons were quite out of place on her homely little person, but the fairy gifts had been very useful, for though she was ordinary, she possessed health, wit, courage, charm, and cheerfulness. But because she was not beautiful, no one ever seemed to notice these other qualities, which is so often the way of the world. Not that it ever worried the Ordinary Princess.
6 Jun 2012
Nobody ever taught Amy how to be a queen. She has to learn on the job.
In the foreword to this book, author M. M. Kaye recalls reading the Andrew Lang fairy books, which included fairy tales from all over the world, and noticing that the stories were populated with beautiful princesses. She wondered what the stories would have been like if some of those princesses had been “gawky, snub-nosed, and freckled, with shortish, mouse-colored hair.” And so Princess Amy of The Ordinary Princess was born.
My favourite of all was . Being a child of the library, I got it out again and again and again, for years. My local library has long since been pulled down and rebuilt, but if you care to leap inside my mind, I can walk you through the old library and show you the exact shelf where it sat: the perfect little purple hardback, with the Ordinary Princess (brown-haired and freckly, like me) wearing the perfect princessy dress (which I wanted).