This has certainly been the year for royal hoopla … the world watched as a real-life prince and princess began their own “happily ever after,” preparations for the Queen’s 2012 Diamond Jubilee are underway, and London’s suddenly abuzz over a star-studded celebration no one wants to miss. On October 2, millions will clamor to catch a glimpse of the newest Disney Princess – Rapunzel – at her official coronation ceremony in Kensington Palace, the home of kings, queens, and many a crowned head!
Becoming the tenth member of the Disney Princess royal court is no small feat – Rapunzel’s joining the company of luminaries like Ariel, Aurora, Belle, Cinderella, Jasmine, Mulan,Pocahontas, Snow White, and Tiana. Each Princess imparts a unique message that inspires young girls to tap into unlimited imagination and follow their dreams. And Rapunzel is no different – even though she has no idea she’s actually a princess for most of her story!
Audiences fell in love with her spunk when Walt Disney Animation Studios’ 50th animated film, “Tangled,” hit theaters last November. Adapted from the original fairy tale by the Brothers Grimm, this spirited modern heroine (voiced by actress Mandy Moore) wiles away her lonely life with art, books, and a wide-eyed curiosity about life beyond the tower walls – until she meets Flynn Rider. Their ensuing adventure tests Rapunzel’s strength, courage, and 70 feet of magical hair, all of which come in handy when she’s finally free from the overprotective clutches of Mother Gothel. As the two ride off into the sunset, it’s easy to see how she appeals to fans young and old.
Pulling out all the stops for a coronation party of this proportion is no small task. All nine current Disney Princesses will be in attendance to honor Rapunzel – along with celebrities, real royal family members from throughout Europe, little princesses-to-be, and perhaps Flynn Rider himself (AKA Eugene) – so the event’s setting has to be perfectly regal. But where?
With its proclivity for everything pomp and circumstance, London, UK, seemed like the natural choice for this first-ever event. Disney selected Kensington Palace for its spectacle, beauty, and majesty – it’s been a residence of the British Royal Family since the 17th century! The Walt Disney Company will host the festivities in collaboration with Historic Royal Palaces, an independent charity that helps people understand how monarchs and other royals have helped shape society – in some of the world’s most exquisite palaces.
Along with the welcoming ceremony, there will be a procession through Hyde Park as well as party activities. Fans in the London area are invited to attend the procession for free (no ticket necessary), and Americans can participate in something a bit closer to home. Now through October 4, Disney Princess is sponsoring “Your Princess Moment,” a contest where girls 12 and under can submit a video of themselves doing “princess-y” things – singing, dancing, dressing up, or re-enacting their fave movie scene – for the chance to win Princess-related prizes.
Once inducted onto the echelon of Disney Princesses, Rapunzel will permanently don her jeweled tiara (previously stolen by Flynn!) and be seen wherever her fellow Princesses appear. Stay tuned to DisneyPrincess.com for more details on Rapunzel’s big day!
Here are a few royally fun facts you may not have known …
• Princess (and later Queen) Victoria was actually born at Kensington Palace in 1819. One of its best-known residents in recent years was Diana, Princess of Wales.
• Mother Gothel is the German term for “godmother.”
• Rapunzel’s Tower can be seen in a railroad scene at the German Pavilion in Epcot.
• There’s a life-sized statue of Rapunzel in her tower at the Old Dresden Market in Saxon, Germany.
• The Brothers Grimm first published the original “Rapunzel” in 1812.
• “Tangled” directors Nathan Greno and Byron Howard first became interested in animation after visiting Disney’s Animation Studio at Walt Disney World Resort.
• Special software was created to simulate hair movement because no one had ever animated that much hair before.
• During the film’s dazzling, lantern-filled skyline scene, each lantern featured its own animated fire that contained 10,000 micro points of light. The highest lantern count in a shot is 46,000 lanterns, which equals 460 million points of light!
• “Tangled” animation supervisor Glen Keane’s real-life daughter, artist Claire Keane, was responsible for designing and painting the storytelling mural that adorns the walls of Rapunzel’s tower home.
• In the film’s final scene, 23 million gallons of virtual CGI water were released in the collapse of the dam!