'Someday My Prince Will Come' author Jerramy Fine proves that chivalry is alive with her tips on how to navigate London's dating scene, finding Prince Harry, and that fairytales do come true.
-Heather Taylor, BettyConfidential.com
In honor of National Princess Week, we're going back into the archives and giving you another look at Jerramy Fine's true adventures of a wannabe princess. Put your tiara on and get ready to go royal!
A not-so-secret confession of mine: Ever since I was a little girl, I've had dreams of one day becoming a modern-day Cinderella. I even came up with a theory I like to call the Cinderella Philosophy - if you work hard, stay positive, and keep moving in the direction of your dreams, eventually good things will come to you. Sound impossible? I don't think so! The only trouble I've ever had is finding others who embraced this life theory.
But right before I left for college, I read the autobiography Someday My Prince Will Come and found a kindred spirit in author Jerramy Fine. In it, Jerramy tells her story: How she moved to London to attend graduate school at the London School of Economics… and how she planned to pursue her "true love crush" Peter Phillips, who just so happens to be the Queen's oldest grandson. After reading (and rereading) the book about a million times, I knew that Jerramy would have totally embraced my Cinderella philosophy! Recently, I was lucky enough to get the chance to chat with her about her life after the events of Someday My Prince Will Come, whether dating in London is any easier than in America, and whether fairytales are real - and what you can do yourself to make them come true.
BettyConfidential: Can you briefly sum up what Someday My Prince Will Come is about?
Jerramy Fine: My book is the true story of my childhood dream to leave my Colorado farm town behind by marrying into the British royal family and what happened when I set out to actually make this dream come true. I eventually arrived in London at age 19 (dream still very much intact) and many royal hijinks ensued!
BC: Your principle goal for so much of the book was to meet Peter Phillips. When you did finally meet him, what was it like?
JF: Surreal. Magical. And at the same, alarmingly normal. I can't tell you anything more than that or I will give away the ending of the book!
BC: What happened after SMPWC ended? I always wondered if there would be a follow-up to it.
JF: I haven't lived long enough to write a sequel! But rest assured, one is in the works.
BC: What's the London dating scene like, as opposed to the American one? Is chivalry alive and thriving overseas (I like to imagine it is!), or is that just a misconception?
JF: Dating in London is very different from dating in the US for the simple fact that Englishmen have no idea what dating actually is. They've seen it happen in American movies and when they pretend not to be watching Sex and the City, but it still confuses the hell out of them. Still, English boys have to get together with girls somehow and once they meet them they have to do something with them. So they make it up as they go along in that charming, bumbling, entirely inept way that epitomizes what it means to be English. My third book, The Regal Rules (out July 2012), dedicates an entire chapter to the act of catching an Englishman. And believe me, it was hard to condense this subject down to a single chapter!
BC: What are your top tips for girls and guys alike who are looking for their own Cinderella or Prince Charming?
JF: The Golden Rules to finding your prince/princess:
• Always be polite, but getting your foot in the royal door is not easy, so be prepared to punch your way in! Once you're there, be sure to dress appropriately, to smile demurely and to say as a little as possible. (Check out the ball scene in the film My Fair Lady for more details.)
• Remember that royal protocol varies greatly according to the formality of setting. (Meeting Prince Harry at a charity reception is very different from meeting him in a nightclub!) When it comes to the younger royals, sometimes too much deference can cause embarrassment and draw unwanted attention. So when in doubt, stay calm, be as discrete as possible and take the lead from his friends.
• Watch your language. When in England, never say "toilet," "couch" or "lounge."
• Ignore fashion trends and stick with the classics. Learn to love cashmere and tweed.
• Buy a copy of Debrett's and study your etiquette. Table manners can make or break your social standing, so memorize the proper way to eat peas and the correct direction to pass the port.
• Forget soccer and football. If you want to rub shoulders with royals, fill your days with rugby and polo matches.
• Do good. Royalty is not just about ball gowns and gemstones, palaces and pageantry. It is about looking beyond yourself in every situation, putting your duty to the nation before any personal desires, and using your position toward the greater good. So choose a charity that's close to you heart and start volunteering!
• Above all, have confidence and believe in yourself. If you carry yourself with the grace and dignity of a princess, you have every right to move in regal circles.
'Someday My Prince Will Come' author Jerramy Fine.
BC: Was there anything you would have done differently in retrospect when it came to moving to London and/or relationships?
JF: I would have enrolled at Oxford or Cambridge instead of LSE - where it would have been so much easier to mix and mingle with aristocratic Englishmen.
BC: Is "princess culture" - the dream of growing up to be a princess and idolizing Disney Princesses - just as thriving overseas as it is in the U.S.?
JF: Princess mania is much stronger in countries like the US, Germany and China where official royal families don't exist. However, I receive up to 10 letters a week from girls who have read my memoir and are amazed that I put down on paper a dream that they have always been afraid to admit. I think all girls secretly want to be a princess when they are young- and it's only when they are told by adults that it is not realistic or appropriate they begin repress this dream. Personally, I think the princess culture should be nourished, not stifled. When girls say they want to be princesses, all they really mean is that they want to be the best possible versions of themselves. That said, I strongly believe that girls should be encouraged to apply the empowering qualities of a princess to whatever they do choose to do in life.
BC: Can you tell us about your second book, Bright Young Royals?
JF: Basically, this is the book I wish existed when I was a teenager! It lists the vital statistics of all the young (and more importantly, eligible) royals throughout Europe - including where to find them and how to win their hearts.
BC: Since you know quite a bit about royalty, I'd love to know your advice for "Harry Hunters!"
JF: The Golden Rules for Harry Hunters:
• Be as discreet as possible. Don't tell everyone in the nightclub that you're looking for Prince Harry because you plan on falling in love and bearing his children (even if you believe this to be true).
• Dress appropriately- not too trendy, not too trashy.
• Smile demurely and say as little possible
• Try not to get nervous. Don't forget that royal guys can be just as hopeless as any other guy!
• Frequent the following night spots as often as possible (ideally on a Monday or Tuesday night): Public, Mahiki, Boujis, and The Box
• Learn to love polo and rugby. If Harry's not playing one, he's watching the other.
• Hang out in the village of Tetbury - you never know if Harry might be home from a military mission and stopping by Highgrove to visit his Dad.
• Read all you can about the House of Windsor. Make sure know who's who, how everyone is related, their official duties and the charities they support. (Tatler, Hello and Vanity Fair can often be better and more up-to-date sources of information than magazines like Royalty and Majesty.)
• Study up on royal history. If you don't know that Queen Victoria is Harry's great-great-great-great-grandmother then you're probably not going to fit into his family that well.
• Don't be discouraged if people make fun of you or call you crazy - there is nothing more honorable than following your heart.
• Don't be discouraged if people tell you that meeting Harry is unrealistic. Winning American Idol is also pretty unrealistic - but if you believe something is your destiny, don't let anyone stop you from trying.
BC: What's your opinion of Kate Middleton as the Duchess of Cambridge?
JF: Kate is wonderful: Always poised, always confident, and always classy. Not only will she be the first British Queen with a university degree, but moreover she has shown us that no matter what your background may be, as long as you conduct yourself with the grace of princess, you have every right to move in royal circles. Her very presence on the balcony of Buckingham Palace has shown ordinary women - women who value ideals based on hard work, self-betterment and unpretentiousness - that they too are worthy of a royal crown. Many have commented on how lucky she is to have married Prince William, but personally, I think Prince William is lucky to have married her.
BC: In so many ways, I feel like we're kindred spirits because I've always had a quiet dream to move overseas and yes, I even wanted to be a princess too. Do you ever meet girls who aspire to be like you and if so, what's your advice to them and their princess dreams?
JF: Like I said before, I really do believe that most girls share our princess dream - it's just that very few openly admit. I hear from girls with similar royal goals all the time - and if they ask to meet me for tea, I always agree. My advice is that once you make a decision about something, the entire universe will conspire to help you achieve it. That each of us has the power within us to move beyond our circumstances to something greater. That fairytales are real. That anything is possible if we believe it. And that your childhood dream is the most honest dream you'll ever have - you should honor it, do your best to indulge it and never let anyone make fun of it.
Someday My Prince Will Come: True Adventures of Wannabe Princess and Bright Young Royals: Your Guide to the Next Generation of Bluebloods are out now. To find out more, visit Jerramy's official website at www.jerramyfine.com.