For more than two years, an entire nation has taken part in a dress-up game that has been called “every little girl’s dream about becoming a princess.”
In April 2011, a little commoner named Kate was selected to marry a handsome “prince” named William. The pretend wedding was organized by the Ministry of Special Events and is said to be the largest pretend game ever put together. Millions of actors have been hired for the game and dozens of “magnifisent (sic) princess houses” — as Kate called them in her initial application — were built. These included castles all over Great Britain as well as a full-size palace in the heart of London. The cost of the 27-month event is estimated to be over 100 million pounds — or 150 million dollars.
“We weren’t sure we could pull it off,” said Valentina Posetti, who oversaw the project. “I mean, we hadn’t put together an event like this since 2004, when a little girl named Letizia was chosen to be a Spanish princess. But our hard work and the invaluable help of the British public paid off. I think Kate’s reign as princess has been successful beyond our wildest expectations.”
The Ministry of Special Events estimates that nearly 300 million people have participated in the game, including tens of millions of foreigners who were paid to travel to London to pose as tourists and adoring fans. It is estimated that at least seven million Americans were hired. On Saturday, Kate spoke to the BBC about her tenure as princess.
“I’ve had a lovely time,” Princess Kate said from the balcony of the warehouse-turned-palace built for the event. “During these last two years, I’ve got to ride in pretty carriages, and bow and curtsy like a real princess. I wore the most beautiful princess dresses. The afternoon teas were wonderful, including the raspberry-honey scones delivered every day by Claridge’s. Oh, my most favorite thing was when I got to meet the queen. She smiled at me and told me I was the prettiest girl in the whole kingdom.”
When asked about which of her experiences would be most memorable, Kate said she would never forget the ball that was thrown after her pretend marriage.
“It was a magical night,” she said. “All my besties were invited. We danced and played princess games until morning.”
“Don’t tell my mum,” Kate added. “I’m not allowed to stay awake all night.”
In a few days, Kate will say goodbye to her adoring “subjects” as she passes them for the last time in a horse-drawn carriage. The rules of the princess event stipulate that Kate can only remain princess until her looks render her unsuitable or she gives birth to a child, the latter of which occurred Monday.
The Ministry of Special Events said that the next pretend princess will be selected one year after Kate officially steps down next week, giving organizers time to sort through the two tons’ worth of applications they have already received.
“Kate was a lovely little princess,” said Howard West, spokesman for Prime Minister David Cameron. “She carried herself as a real princess should — with overflowing grace, the most benevolent of smiles, and that special glow that one thinks only exists in story books. We will miss Kate dearly and wish her the best of luck when she returns to her life as a commoner.”
Haley Aston, one of the actors hired as an adoring fan, says the experience was hard work, but she’s happy she did it.
“The first few months were very grueling,” Aston said. “I was required to stand outside the palace gates, every day, with a large sign that said ‘we love you Kate.’ My arms got quite sore. I also was required to decorate my home in the most ridiculous, gaudy merchandise you can imagine. But after some time, I took to enjoying my role as obsessed fan. And to be honest, Kate does seem to be a very sweet, lovely girl. If I could participate in such a grand dress-up game again, I wish it would be for a girl as dear as little Kate.”
Kate is expected to return home to Reading where she will work as a photographer and raise her baby boy. Christopher Nelson, the actor who played Prince William, is said to be in Belgium, playing the part of a foreign dignitary in the pretend coronation of the country’s new king.