For over 20 years, Princess’ diary was released with Anne Hathaway leading her first big-screen role opposite the well-established Julie Andrews, who had not appeared in a Disney film since her famous portrayal of Mary Poppins in the original 1964 film.The Princess Diaries: Royal Engagement – came just three years later, and now with a third movie confirmed, many are reminiscing about the movies that became childhood favorites.
original fans of princess diaries the movies likely watched them at an early age, so some of the jokes written for older audiences may have been lost on first viewing. Now that they’re older, viewers can enjoy movies in new ways, whether it’s through hidden jokes about feng shui clubs, horse sizes, or more direct jokes that went over their heads in their youth.
“You look so… clean.”
When Mia meets Queen Clarisse, the energy is understandably strange. The first thing the Queen does is scrutinize Mia’s appearance and she doesn’t seem too impressed when the only compliment she can offer is “you look so…young”.
Mia matches Clarisse’s energy with an equally forced response, saying, “and you look so… clean.” Younger audiences might not even find the moment all that funny, but the joke gets better when they’re old enough to catch Mia, forcing themselves to come up with something other than the opposite of young to describe their grandmother.
“I’m still waiting for the normal body parts to arrive.”
Everyone handles shocking news differently, and in Mia’s case, she hasn’t hidden any of the feelings that surged when she found out she was next in line to the throne of Genovia. She even went so far as to tell the current queen regnant to “shut up” (of course, meaning it in the “wow” and “gosh” and “gosh” way).
There are many ways someone who feels inadequate for a crown can explain their position on the matter, but Mia said: “I’m not a princess. I am still waiting for normal body parts to arrive.” It’s a puberty joke that many preteen kids wouldn’t immediately find the humor in, but it gets funnier for people who’ve been through the struggle, especially when they notice the Queen’s look of astonishment after the outburst.
“Frida and Kahlo.”
Queen Clarisse described Mia’s brows as “wild man brows,” but hairstylist Paolo got a little more creative as he walked Mia through one of cinema’s best makeover sequences. “I love your eyebrows. Let’s call them Freida and Kahlo,” he said jokingly.
Paola continued with her illustrious description, saying, “if Brooke Shields married Groucho Marx, their child would have your eyebrows!” Freida Kahlo, Brooke Shields, and Groucho Marx aren’t exactly names that come to mind for kids who aren’t up to date on their Mexican painters, famous 80s actresses, and vaudeville performers. However, with a description like that, older audiences would be able to imagine the thickness and strength of Mia’s brows with her eyes closed.
“If this were a hearse, there would be silence in the back seat.”
Hector Elizondo’s portrayal of Joseph, the Queen’s head of security, was not the first time the actor had appeared in a Garry Marshall film. He was also in Pretty Woman, and he’s not the only reference to Pretty Woman at the princess diaries films. Similar to his other characters, Joe brought a drier and sometimes darker humor to the film, which appealed to fans of all ages.
In a moment between Joe, Mia and Lily, Mia joked that she didn’t want to cause a ruckus by pulling up in the limo to school, which she described as a hearse. Joe kept things light and responded by saying, “this is an anti-riot hearse” and “if it was a hearse, there would be silence in the back seat.” We can only assume that the writers didn’t think it would be younger viewers who would find humor in a hearse reference.
“I reported you.”
Paolo confessed to leaking Mia’s identity to the press in a scene made funny not only by Larry Miller’s performance as Paolo, but also by Sandra Oh’s performance as Mia’s school principal.
The first thing Paolo said when he walked into the Deputy Headmaster’s office to address Queen Clarisse was “…I denounced you! So to speak. I don’t mean to imply—” It’s said during his incoherent confession so that people who don’t understand what he was implying might miss it. These days, with gay culture being more mainstream, younger viewers might get the joke, but growing up in the early 2000s, it’s probably not a line that would stand out.
“May you always be the baron.”
Baron and Baroness von Troken were minor but impactful characters in both princess diaries films. Viewers meet them in the first film at the state dinner, where Mia makes her first official appearance. Almost immediately, it’s clear they’re hungry for the crown with the Baron even telling his Baroness that she’s much prettier than Mia.
Also present was the Genovian Prime Minister who made a speech in which he addressed the two characters, saying: “I would like to propose a toast to the Baroness and Baron von Troken. May you always be Baron.” It’s a stunning jab for the couple intending to tackle its title, but it has a deeper humor for those who know the other hidden meanings in its barren homophone. So the meaning is quite shocking as the prime minister wishes misfortune on them for their inability to have children.
“Rosencrantz, Guildenstern… Lenny, Squiggy.”
the jokes in Princess Diaries: Royal Engagement were very different from those of the first film, with many of them being more visible and substantially less hidden within the context of the film. However, there were still some who cut with her more thoughtful nature, one of which is a recurring joke told by Mia’s best friend, Lily.
Lily was less discreet when it came to her annoyance with the princess’s overbearing maids. At various points, Lily compared them to other chaotic duos like Rosencrantz and Guildenstern and Lenny and Squiggy. Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are two characters who try to thwart the prince in Villagewhile Lenny and Squiggy refer to a musical group in Laverne and Shirley🇧🇷 Both duos are known to frustrate other people, which makes the maid analogy even more accurate. They’re pretty obscure references that even older audiences might miss, but are sure to go unnoticed by most younger audiences.
“I’ve flown a lot in my time.”
Mia’s bachelorette party/royal sleepover was probably one of the funniest scenes in the movie sequence with the international princesses, including Raven Symone as Princess Asana, all having a little fun. It was only fitting that the Queen would join a hidden reference thrown at Julie Andrews fans.
Younger generations will likely associate Emily Blunt with Mary Poppins, but Julie Andrews will always be the original, imaginative, high-flying English nanny. People who hold the 1964 film in high regard probably couldn’t help but cheer when they heard Andrews as Queen Clarisse say, “I’ve flown a lot in my time.”
“I will tell her what she can do with her eggs.”
From princess diaries for princess diaries 2, Mia’s best friend Lily has gone through quite a development. While her true friend status might have been questioned a bit with her jealousy of Mia in the first film, she stood up for her in the sequel and easily became a movie character that fans would love to be friends with.
When Mia and Chris Pine’s character Nicholas Devereaux was caught in a compromising position on the eve of their wedding, Lily quickly went into best friend mode against the Genovian gossip reporter who had something to say. After the reporter signed off with “keep your Sunnyside eggs up,” Lily responded, “I’ll tell her what she can do with her eggs.” She was cut before she could continue, but older viewers knew exactly where this was going, especially as a metaphor for the female reproductive system.
“Adorable on our postage stamp.”
Dedicated older fans are usually those who pick up hidden references in films, whether they be from within the film franchise or from outside the film’s universe. In a swoon-worthy moment for Pine’s unprincely character, he references a small moment in the first film that only the most vigilant fans saw.
In the first film, Baron von Troken told his wife that when she became queen, she would look beautiful on a postage stamp. This is apparently the ultimate form of flattery for Genovian royalty, because Nicholas said something incredibly similar about Mia, saying, “think how lovely she would look on our postage stamp.” For a Disney movie without a Prince Charming, it still delivered all the necessary charm in its male leads.