This thought came accross my mind during the trip back home from HNMUN training earlier this afternoon.
To my limited knowledge, outside the philosophical realm, you’re a queen when you’re either: a) regnant: an official female heir (daughter) of a King inheriting his land and people, or b) consort: a normal citizen who weds a member of the royal family who is or, later, becomes the King.
But then, does a little girl deserve the prefix of queen as soon as she’s institutionally engaged (read: married) to the man with throne, or shall she not be entitled to such powerful jargon before she could prove to people in her country that she does possess wisdom, trained by the merciful teacher named ‘experience’? Does a princess need to acquire certain qualities, traits, or level of tangible skills in order to be a queen? In a world with meritocracy system, what can justify her higher position in the societal structure?
Linguistically speaking, (meaning: to include certain amount of subjectivity) how can the word ‘princess’ so oftenly correlated to an image of a kind yet spoiled girl in a luxuriously spacious room who is obliged to simultaneously study statesmanship and sewing lessons whereas ‘queen’ constitutes a completely different persona of exceptionally sound and sensible woman whose people worship and love?
My first attempt of answer was: time.
Time forces you to age. Time adds extra height and weight to your body, as well as extra wrinkles to your previously smooth face. But that’s not merely it. Time lets you undergo a sequence of problems and unhappy endings from which you can extract big lessons. Time allows a princess’ mind to grow and discover new emotions. Time permits you to be familiarized with different situations, and thence understand different strategies to deal with different issues.
Yet again, can time guarantee that you will be able to rule a country, or be completely relied by the ruler himself?
Dear Queen, what makes you deserve all the respect?
Another contributing factor, I believe, is experience.
I strongly negate the idea that ‘experience’ is inherently embedded in ‘time’. I believe that a 9 year old kid can be wiser than somebody in their 40s, evidently because he’s got through certain calamity or story that gave him valuable lessons.
Growing up with the royal family, a princess has the limited access to broader understanding and information upon all the intertwined problems that her father has encountered in his incumbency. But then again, don’t the other royal staff perceive (see, hear, meet) the same events that she does? Why don’t they deserve the same title?
What’s left on the table now is, per se, marriage with the King.
Simply put, to be married with the King means being his Queen. No matter how reckless or self-centered or obtuse you are, the institution of marriage makes your title as queen official. I believe that this is the saddest way to see queens i.e. relating it to the existence of bigger power, a man, that is utterly external to her own being.
However, this does not mean that queen-by-marriage does not deserve the same respect. Bear in mind that, behind a great man there will always be a great woman, and vice versa. Thus, having gained trust from the perceivably wisest gentleman in the whole country as his lifetime partner, such woman must have a prodigious heart and mind.
The most idealistic way to fathom the gap between princesses and queens is then based on three keywords: wisdom, leadership, and elegance.
If a princess cries over her people’s suffering, a queen takes necessary measures to mitigate her nation’s level of poverty.
If a princess wishes to have some fancy dresses, a queen knows the condition of her country’s tailor industry.
If a princess is admired for she cares about her people, a queen is loved precisely because she’s brave enough to take risk for her people’s good.
I know I have the body of a weak and feeble woman, but I have the heart and stomach of a king. —Queen Elizabeth I
What makes a prince king, then?