Which Princess Movie Is Better? Princess Diaries vs. The Royal Engagement


Based on the book series of the same name, The Princess Diaries premiered in 2001. Starring Anne Hathaway and Julie Andrews, the movie followed average teenage girl Mia Thermopolis, who learns she is a Princess. Her Grandmother, Clarisse, is not just her Grandmother but also the Queen of Genovia. The novels, written by Meg Cabot, take a different direction than Garry Marshall’s film adaptations. Throughout the movie, Mia must undergo Princess lessons and eventually decide if she wants to take the crown or renounce it.

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The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement advances the first film’s story, and Shonda Rhimes wrote the screenplay. Mia has been officially a Princess for a few years, but the time has come for a promotion. Soon, Mia will become Queen of Genovia, but there’s one thing getting in her way. An old law states that a Princess can not become Queen unless she is married. So, wishing to rule Genovia, Mia agrees to the outdated law, but not for long. In a massive decision, Mia steps up, making a motion to abolish the marriage law.

10 Princess Diaries: I’m A What?

The Princess Diaries Mia and Clarisse Princess Training

Mia’s first meeting with her grandmother comes with one massive shock: Mia is a Princess. Never knowing that Clarisse is the Queen of Genovia or that her father had been a Prince, Mia is more than surprised to learn the truth.

This is a huge game-changer for Mia, who sees public speaking as one of her biggest weaknesses. Mia must balance her average life while coming to understand what it would mean to rule a country.

9 Royal Engagement: Spending Time In Genovia

Princess Diaries 2 Mia, Lily, Clarisse, Charlotte, and Joe Look For A Possible Husband For Mia

The Princess Diaries reveals several things about Genovia through Clarisse. Yet, references to the country are nothing compared to living in Genovia. In The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement, the viewers finally see more of Genovia than what appeared in the first film’s final moment.

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Mia will become Queen, so it is only natural that Mia and the viewers witness and experience the people, culture, lifestyle, and landscape of Genovia.

8 Princess Diaries: High School Drama

Since the sequel finds Mia at twenty-one years old and graduated from college, it is more focused on her adult life as she prepares to become Queen of Genovia. The Princess Diaries, on the other hand, takes full advantage of Mia’s high school status. Although Mia learns she is actually a Princess, Mia is still the teenage girl she had been before, which comes with friendship drama, crushes, and insecurities.

Mia still faces the problems she had previously, and those experiences help to fuel who she is and her choices.

7 Royal Engagement: Clarisse And Joe

The Princess Diaries Clarisse and Joe

Mia isn’t the only one with romantic relationships. Clarisse also holds a romantic subplot with Joe, her head of security. Joe is very protective of Clarisse and Mia, something that is recurring in both films.

While the first movie hints at a future relationship, the sequel pushes them forward, putting their relationship into question when Joe wants to be with Clarisse in public. When Mia successfully has her motion passed, she encourages Clarisse to have a fairy tale ending with Joe. In the end, the two get married.

6 Princess Diaries: Clarisse In San Francisco

The Princess Diaries Mia and Clarisse At Arcade

While Mia often looks very out of her element during princess lessons, Clarisse is always controlled and precise. That is what makes their day having fun in San Francisco that much better. For the first time, Mia is more comfortable, while Clarisse is intrigued by her new experiences.

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As most of their relationship up to that point had shown more of a mentor/mentee dynamic or Queen and Princess, this is a moment that is between a Grandmother and Granddaughter. Allowing them to bond outside the constraints of royalty training gives another layer to their relationship.

5 Royal Engagement: Mia Vs. Nicholas

Both films spend plenty of time arguing if Mia would be a good Princess or Queen, or if she would fail. However, Nicholas brings up an interesting argument.

Nicholas says that he could become King because he knows the people of Genovia, and Mia doesn’t. Mia grew up in America and has only spent some time in Genovia since High School. Meanwhile, Nicholas had grown up in Genovia and had lived with the country’s customs. Even if Mia is the better choice to lead the country, Nicholas challenging Mia does add an intriguing perspective.

4 Princess Diaries: Mia And Lilly’s Friendship

princess diaries Mia Thermopolis & Lilly Moscovitz

Lilly is significantly more supportive of Mia during The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement. However, the highs and lows of their relationship are further explored during The Princess Diaries. As Mia transforms into a Princess, it brings out jealousy in Lilly. One of the biggest reasons why is Mia’s influence.

Lilly wants to change society and uses her cable show “Shut Up And Listen” to use her voice. Even though they fight, Lilly encourages Mia to become a Princess because she could cause real change. Although the duo may fight, they forgive each other.

3 Royal Engagement: Parade

The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement Mia leads children during Genovia Parade

In a movie that questions if Mia has what it takes to be Queen, Mia proves herself during the Parade. While waving to the citizens, Mia catches two boys tugging at a little girl’s hair. Stopping the carriage and the parade, Mia walks over to the children.

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Learning that they are orphans, Mia decides to involve them in the Parade and let them walk with her. It is a big move and influences Mia’s choice to convert a second palace into a place for children until their own center can be built.

2 Princess Diaries: Becoming Royalty

Anne Hathaway and Julie Andrews in The Princess Diaries (2001)

How does a Princess walk? Sit? Eat? Mia gets a front-row seat when she is the singular person on the receiving end of lessons. Mia is not a traditional Princess at the beginning of the movie, and Clarisse transforms the awkward teen into a young royal. Changing her appearance, posture, and other aspects, Mia starts to look the part of a Princess.

However, she isn’t without quirks. Mia causes a scene at her first dinner party, eating ice too quickly and accidentally causing an array of accidents. While plenty of moments make Mia determined that she could never be a good Princess, in the end, Mia decides to believe in herself and take on the position.

1 Royal Engagement: Queen Without A Husband

The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement Mia Gives Andrew His Ring Back

Mia has thirty days to find a husband, or else she can’t be Queen. The three-hundred-year rule is very problematic, and Clarisse has no issues with calling out the law. But, the parliament insists, and Mia has no choice but to have an arranged marriage. Determined to take the crown, Mia goes along with the plan, deciding to marry Andrew Jacoby.

However, one of the best parts of the film is the ending. Mia makes it all the way to her wedding when she breaks, admitting she can’t marry Andrew. But, it isn’t over yet, and Mia delivers a grand speech about how Clarisse had ruled without a husband for a while and that women should not have to marry to become Queen. Mia doesn’t need a husband to be Queen.

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Updated: November 5, 2020 — 5:30 pm

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