Famous Quotes From Princes & Princesses

Jun 10, 2022 | Aristocracy, Noble Titles

Marie Antoinette, in response to the peasant folk facing a lack of bread;

“Let them eat cake.”

According to some sources, the actual phrase was, Let them eat brioche – which is a rich and buttery type of French bread, more akin to indulgent cakes than the daily staple of basic loaves. 

Regardless of the details or the accuracy of the translation, these four words were widely regarded as symbolic of the French monarchy’s disregard for the plight of its people – a dangerous notion that led to the French Revolution and the end of France’s sovereign rule.

However, it has been much disputed over the centuries whether Marie Antoinette ever said these exact words. The Queen of France, born an ArchDuchess of the mighty Hapsburg Dynasty of Austria, may have lived the rich life that epitomised the gap between the wealthy elite and the nation’s poor. Yet it’s believed that this famous quote was actually attributed to another of France’s ‘great princesses’, one that predates the arrival of the Austrian Archduchess on the French throne. 

Over time, however, the legend of Marie Antoinette and the infamy of this scandalous phrase became intertwined in people’s minds, and ultimately, in the records of the period. 

Modern Quotes From Princes & Princesses

The origin of the famous quote above is just one example of how the spoken words of history’s legendary characters can be distorted over time, or even lost completely. 

As much as the historians of the ages strive for accuracy, the very nature of early history was subject to much hearsay and interpretation, with verbatim quotes being few and far between. 

So we may never know what pearls of wisdom or humorous witticisms the royals of earlier centuries shared with their subjects. 

In recent times, however, there is a wealth of documented evidence of the precise quotes and famous phrases spoken by modern royals, something that some members of contemporary royalty may wish were not the case. 

But it does mean that all classes can get to know royalty a little better than past generations, as we have access to their opinions, comments and even their faux pas, courtesy of the media’s fascination with all things royal. 

Thanks to the documentors of today’s members of the world’s royal families, here are some famous quotes from some princes and princesses of recent times.

“Whatever ‘in love’ means…” 

~ HRH Prince Charles, Heir to the British Throne

During a media interview to celebrate his engagement to Lady Diana Spencer, the heir to the British throne was asked whether he was very much in love with his new fiancée. His response was, ‘whatever in love means’. 

This somewhat cryptic comment has been regarded by many as an unromantic slight, even an indication of the troubles that were to come in the marriage in the years ahead. It’s also been reported that his fiancée herself was confused and unsettled by the phrase. 

Yet maybe it was simply an attempt to regain some privacy and ownership over deeply held emotions that were being disclosed to public scrutiny. Prince Charles had been raised under strict conditions within the British Royal Family, notorious for keeping their emotions in check and not displaying any deeply held feelings. 

So perhaps, whatever in love means was Prince Charles’ way of aligning cliched or romantic notions with his pragmatic royal upbringing.

“I’d like to be a queen of people’s hearts.” 

~ Princess Diana

In a twist worthy of the greatest Hollywood movies, another of the most famous quotes from princes and princesses comes from the object of the above controversy, this time towards the end of The Wales’ famous marriage. 

In a BBC interview in 1995, just a few years before her untimely death in 1998, Princess Diana was asked by the interviewer, Martin Bashir, if she thought she would ever be Queen. After a saddened downcast glance, Princess Diana responded that she did not think she would ever become the Queen of England – the role that had seemingly been destined for her upon her marriage to Prince Charles. 

Within moments, however, the princess brightened and announced that she’d like to instead be the queen of people’s hearts, a role that she undoubtedly achieved with her subsequent works for humanitarian causes.

While this famous quote was originally regarded as an impromptu response, it’s since been suggested that Princess Diana was inspired to use this phrase by a title of the book Queen of Hearts, written by her step-grandmother, the prolific and beloved British author Barbara Cartland. 

Whatever the origin of this famous quote, it served as a return to the fairy-tale narrative that Diana had embarked on so hopefully so many years before.

“Getting angry doesn’t solve anything.” 

~ Princess Grace of Monaco

Another pearl of wisdom from a beautiful fairy-tale princess, this is perhaps one of the most famous quotes from Grace Kelly, the Hollywood actress who married Rainier III, the Crown Prince of Monaco, in 1956. 

By the time Grace Kelly became Princess Grace of Monaco, she had already established her reputation and image through her acting career, being renowned as an elegant and classical beauty, a vision of charm, poise and serene composure. 

So, it’s perhaps not so surprising that she held such a pragmatic and cool-headed approach to angry passions, tantrums and emotional outbursts. As she grew to embody the grace that she was literally christened with, this famous princess became a global ambassador for the quiet power of keeping your temper and employing charm instead of brute force. 

Of her many legacies – her films, her children, her role as Princess of Monaco, and her charitable works – these wise and inspiring words may be one of her most enduring gifts to the world. 

While these famous quotes from princes and princesses may vary in their context, they reveal the influential roles that the royals of the ages have played in society. 

And while these highly public and well-documented stories may not always have had the happiest of endings, they affirm the role of royals as occupying a rare place in the world – an elevated opportunity to inspire, uplift and inform with their words, comments and quotable insights.

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