Thanks to gendered toys and Disney movies, young girls around the globe are raised on the idea that a handsome prince will some day rescue them. But modern-day princesses – the actual royals and first ladies who co-run the world – don’t need rescuing. Instead, they are self-possessed, politically powerful, philanthropic, stylish, and well-educated.
As adults, it’s impossible to fully quit those childhood fantasies of growing up to be a princess because of how stylish, intelligent, and impeccably turned out today’s royalty is. Figures like Queen Rania of Jordan and Kate Middleton are constant sources of inspiration because they so effortlessly blend the qualities we admire most in women: compassion, kindness, regal bearing, social composure, philanthropic care, and style. When it comes to these factors, the following nine royals and first ladies have them in spades.
Queen Rania of Jordan
If we had to trade wardrobes with anyone on this list, it would probably be Queen Rania of Jordan. Not only does she keep up with current trends and cool, offbeat brands like Loewe, but her accessory game is also always on point. Couple that with an incredibly kind heart that is constantly searching for communities to heal through her philanthropic causes, and you’ve got one royal who we wouldn’t mind growing up to be like.
Queen Letizia of Spain
As a former news anchor, Queen Letizia of Spain sports a wardrobe that consists mostly of polished workwear. She always, however, annihilates the competition when it comes to red-carpet style, choosing regal column gowns and super feminine dresses that prompt a big media reaction.
Princess Tatiana of Greece
Princess Tatiana of Greece’s passion for artisan craft has bled into both her philanthropic work and her wardrobe. While she focuses on celebrating and protecting some of Greece’s native cuisines and customs through projects like TRIA ETC, she appreciates clothes that are touched with unique craftsmanship as well.
Princess Ameerah Al-Taweel
Although Princess Ameerah Al-Taweel is a controversial figure in the Arab world because of her divorce from husband Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal, she has maintained a friendship with him that has led to incredible philanthropic opportunities. As the steward of his Alwaleed bin Talal Foundation, she is tasked with funding and supporting all sorts of incredible initiatives benefiting women’s rights and other humanitarian causes. She also tends to look incredibly fabulous while doing it, preferring more traditional robes or contemporary workwear.
Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden
Out of the royals on this list, no one rocks a tiara quite like Princess Victoria of Sweden. A strong red-carpet aesthetic combined with a host of statement accessories and fearless approach to occasionwear has made for some stunning sartorial moments, like the time she wore a snakeskin sheath dress with pumps to match.
Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge
Kate Middleton – a.k.a. the Duchess of Cambridge – was a style icon long before she was wed to Prince William. The media’s obsession with her every outfit choice eventually led to the “Kate effect”, which meant her looks would sell out online and in stores instantly. While we like her commitment to classic silhouettes and feminine details, we love the fact that she isn’t afraid to wear high-street brands – even to high-profile events.
Princess Charlene of Monaco
Princess Charlene of Monaco has some big fashion shoes to fill. After all, her mother-in-law would have been the inimitable Grace Kelly. Like her predecessor, the princess embodies bold femininity and an innate sense of style. Her red-carpet moments are always unpredictable, and she loves to surprise the public with more experimental fashion.
Although she is ninth in line to the throne of Monaco, Charlotte Casiraghi is no less regal than other successors – in fact, she’s a bona fide “It” girl. Casiraghi is naturally chic beyond measure, which is why Karl Lagerfeld himself considers her a muse. You’ll also find her on the cover of fashion magazines and sitting front row at her friend Stella McCartney’s shows.
Elisabeth von Thurn und Taxis
This German princess has a taste for luxury and can often be seen at Fashion Week sitting front row. Her preference for cult labels like Sies Marjan speaks volumes of her sartorial know-how, as does her appearance at major events like Frieze and the Met Gala.