I always love some news about the British royal family and its been mere hours since Prince Harry and actress Meghan Markle announced their engagement! It’s the fairytale story we all dream about: the handsome prince falls for a beautiful girl. And nine out of ten times this girl is a commoner, lacking any title (a.k.a a regular person). It’s classic yet contemporary, old school yet a crowd favorite. What’s not to love about two humans who can drop everything and take hold of love rather than the negativity that may surround them?
Sadly, no matter how hard we may wish, we will most likely not get to marry Prince Harry. I know; I, too, am devastated by it. Yet these stories still win our hearts with their timeless tales of love and ever afters. The female character is usually a good person, inside and out. She’s strong, believes in herself, and stands her ground. Marrying the handsome prince is her choice. Now, isn’t that fantastic? Plus literary husbands just seem a bit better than the real thing.
I’ve compiled a list of some magical Cinderella-style fairytales and stories. Some you may know, others may be in the history books. Either way you may fall in love with them… The stories that is.
1. The Princess Diaries by Meg Cabot
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This is the one we all loved when it first came out in book form in 2000, then in film in 2001. I remember going to the theaters to see The Princess Diaries and I knew then that Garry Marshall did something really awesome. The story of the awkward Mia Thermopolis unknowingly falling into a life of royalty at the peak of her teen years is hilarious, heartwarming, and full of valuable (and royal) lessons. Follow the ten book novel series as Mia finds her true self, princess and all. And if you haven’t seen the movie then get on that quick, so you can know that ‘shut up’ just means wow, gee whiz, or golly wolly.
2. Mufaro’s Beautiful Daughters : An African Tale by John Steptoe
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This beautiful African tale is one of both morality and virtue. Mufaro’s two daughters are both beautiful, attractive girls, however beauty only runs below the skin of one of them. Maynara is arrogant and rude while Nyasha is humble and selfless. When the Great King requests to meet with the women of the village to pick the perfect wife, the sisters set out on a journey to get to their possible future husband. On the way to the King, they encounter several obstacles, all set up by the King to test their characters. Needless to say, these tests decide who he will marry. Who do you think he’ll choose?
3. Unexpectedly Royal by Jennifer Domenico
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Here, we meet a relatable narrator who lives life within the safe borders of her comfort zone. It takes one New Year’s Eve resolution to bring her to the man who will change her life forever. From being steady on the ground to falling hard, the heroine knows her life will change once her relationship begins with the charming Lathan. So, can this happen to me already?
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This Cinderella-like fairytale takes place in ancient China and is one of the oldest versions of the classic story dating back to the 9th century! It follows a young girl whose family was turned out onto the street after her mother and father both died. She was forced to become a servant for her evil stepmother and cruel stepsister. Upon the visit of a spirit that resembled an old man, Ye Xian is given the chance take part in the New Year Festival where women in town meet eligible husbands. Needless to say, a fish guardian, a pair of golden slippers, and a possible happy ending are all involved. History definitely repeats itself, ladies.
5. Becoming Mrs. Lockwood by K.I. Lynn
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This novel is about a small town Indiana girl suddenly getting married to Hollywood royalty; the Hollywood part being that he’s an award-winning movie producer and actor. When the two characters suddenly wake up to find they were married after they met on a trip to Vegas, the happily-ever-after story suddenly gets a huge twist. How do you fall for someone in the eye of millions? If you’re a romance buff, give this one a try and you just may want to be Mrs. Lockwood.
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This tale is said to be the earliest version of a Cinderella story. It beats out Ye Shen by dating back to the 1st century when it was first recorded by a Greek historian. It’s quite an amusing yet lovely tale in which a beautiful woman had undressed to bath when an eagle landed swiftly and snatched up one of her leather sandals. The bird flew it to the capital city and dropped it right in the lap of the King as it flew over him. The King was taken aback by the occurrence and sent out all his men to search for the woman it belonged to. I don’t want to give away the happy ending, but c’mon, you know it’s a happy.
These stories and tales trace out some of the best and most classic storylines in history. The Cinderella story never seems to age no matter how many people may call it predictable or over-used. Personally I love to see the old and new come together. They’re stories that give the heroine strength and teach us to be kind and virtuous. Whoever you desire to end up with, may we all have the happy ending.
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