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P is for Princess

27/01/2011

The girls are at the age now where they love to play “make-believe” and one of the most popular make-believe games of course is the princess one  (alongside the fairy one). Usually this means putting on a lot of bracelets and necklaces that I have collected in a box for them and then telling me over and over ‘I’m a princess mummy.’ To which my reply is ‘Oh, so you are!’

Playing princess is replicated everywhere from our favourite Peppa Pig through to the latest Disney creation Tangled which I am dying to see but fear the girls won’t last that long in a cinema just yet. We even have a real princess wedding to celebrate here in the UK this year on April 29th…why did they have to choose my birthday? That’s my day!

 But yesterday on my way to our weekly Twin Club appointment I parked up quickly (where I shouldn’t have) leapt out of the car and took a few photos of our very own local princess – Pocahontas.

I use the term ‘our’ princess very loosely but she has been commemorated by our town with a beautiful sculpture and  is mentioned frequently in local writings. Pocahontas, a native American and daughter of Chief Powhatan, was born in Virginia, USA. Her father’s rule was threatened by the arrival of the Spanish, French and English mariners, exploring for a Northwest Passage to the (East) Indies. In 1607, three London ships appeared in Chesapeake Bay, Powhatan discouraged them from staying and when they started to build a fort the Indians attacked, but were repulsed by ship’s cannon. The ships sailed home before the winter, leaving 105 men who were only saved from starvation by the success of Captain John Smith in obtaining corn from more distant Indians.

At the end of December of 1607, Captain John Smith was brought before Powhatan, his two companions having been killed. He was forced down on to two large stones ready for execution when Pocahontas ran in and placed her head over his thereby saving his life. He was allowed to return to his base and it was understood he was to be friends with Pocahontas. In 1609 the captain was badly injured by gunpowder and put on a ship for home which is where Disney left their fabulous telling of her story but Pocahontas’ story is worth reading on. In 1610 at the age of 16 she was married to Kocoum an Indian who is believed to have died a few years later.

In 1612, she was taken by Captain Samuel Argall on his ship to Jamestown there she was treated as an honouored guest and assured that she would be in a position to bring back friendship and faith between Powhatan and the English. She began to be instructed into the Christian faith and she also met John Rolfe who had lost his wife and daughter shortly after their arrival in Jamestown. John Rolfe fell in love and asked permission to marry her. Permission was granted and she was baptised Rebecca. Her father sent two of his sons to witness the marriage in 1614. They left for England with the Governor, 16 Indians and an infant son called Thomas and here she spent much time as a regular in the court of King James.

In March 1617, they prepared to leave on Argall’s ship “George” returning to Virginia with the govenor and his family but at Gravesend Pocahontas was taken form the ship dead or dying. It is thought that she was buried in the vault beneath the chancel of the local parish church St George’s. Her son, Thomas is said to have returned to Virginia where it’s understood he has many descendants.

Many a childhood fantasy of mine was also built around being a princess, finding a prince and I love to watch the girls do the same. I’m one of very few in my circle of anti-royalist friends actually looking forward to the Royal Wedding, for me it is an exciting event, I love to see her dress, watch the regal processions and see Great Britain put on a grand party. What are your thoughts on our royals? Love ’em or hate ’em?

This post was written for Jenny Matlock’s Alphabe Thursday, pop over and have a look at some of the others, there’s always an amazing collection of ideas ranging from recipes with beautiful photographs to thoughts and humour – go have some fun!

Photo credit

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24 Comments leave one →
  1. Alessandra permalink
    27/01/2011 10:34 am

    I cannot say that I hate the Royals but I just think that they are just anacronistic spoilt rich people. They have no purpose any more as they have been involved in too many very “common” scandals and they do not up-hold any image of any type any more after lovers, divorces, very public affairs and confessions in front of tv audiences and to newspapers, dodgey financial dealings and so on and so forth. Maybe the last Royal with some Royal qualities is Queen Elisabeth II, but I say, when she goes, please let’s pension them off to enjoy their money and their easy life-style and let’s get a Republic!
    As for the 29th of April, I plan to be very far from central London and any TV screen….

    • 27/01/2011 4:09 pm

      I wouldn’t have expected anything less than this reply from you 🙂 If they weren’t here any more I think I’d miss them so we must agree to disagree xxx

      • Alessandra permalink
        28/01/2011 10:20 am

        Eh, eh. eh….! xx

  2. 27/01/2011 10:51 am

    I have recently discovered that an ancestor of mine was on Capt John Smith’s ship, checking out the New World before deciding to set up a new life over there. However, it was a later emigration by another family member (not too long after) that started my family tree in the States.

    I don’t think I would like to be a princess. I have too many bad hair days I would hate to feel I’ve got to present myself perfectly all the time!!

    • 27/01/2011 4:11 pm

      No, I wouldn’t want to be a princess today but as a child I did a pretty good job of princessing around I must say. What a fabulous claim to fame to have an ancestor of Capt John smith’s ship! I am so impressed

  3. 27/01/2011 12:19 pm

    My sisters and I would dress up in my mom’s old bride’s maid dresses and pretend to be princesses. It was such fun.

    • 27/01/2011 4:12 pm

      Love it! I used, scarves, shawles, anything I could find…even a towel 🙂

  4. 27/01/2011 12:56 pm

    Ahhhh. Dress-up. What fun for little girls.

    I had forgotten the complete story of Pocahontas. Nice little history lesson.

    Well, the Royals are fun to watch – at least on this side of the Atlantic.

    • 27/01/2011 4:13 pm

      Sounds like she may have had a tough time over here with our dreadful weather, I think TB got her in the end. The Royals are a continuous debate here, love ’em or hate ’em

  5. 27/01/2011 2:02 pm

    In my dream I always wanted to be a princess, and I’m fascinated with British royals, but I could also live without them. They do live out their scandals publicly, which is really sad!

    • 27/01/2011 4:15 pm

      …or is it the media that live them publically for them? Don’t know if you’ve heard but there’s a huge telephone ‘hacking’ scandle here by one of the major newspaper companies, they even hacked the prince’s Harry and William’s phones. Seems like journalists won’t stop at anything.

  6. 27/01/2011 2:10 pm

    I also dreamed to be a princess when I was a child and sometimes I even thought I was one, which the King and the Queen had lost (that was when I was angry with my parents !)

  7. 27/01/2011 5:35 pm

    My granddaughter loves princesses, too, and Pocahontas is a particularly interesting one.

    =)

  8. 27/01/2011 8:31 pm

    They’re getting married? This year? Where the hell have I been?

    I LOVED TANGLED!

  9. 27/01/2011 8:52 pm

    Oooh I am looking forward to the wedding too! I wonder what she will feel like – I remember my wedding day being exciting enough as it is, let alone have THE WORLD watching you. Such pressure. I hope that she enjoys it!

    And what little girls don’t like being Princesses?!?

    Lovely.

    Maggy x

  10. 27/01/2011 9:05 pm

    Hi ,thanks so much for you comments ,I do love the lililes ,also enjoyed your post on the letter P ,your twins are so cute too,
    Take care Sharon

  11. 27/01/2011 10:47 pm

    Alll little girls want to dress up as princesses, I’ll bet! And when they become teeagers, dressing them can cost a princely sum!!

  12. 27/01/2011 11:37 pm

    I don’t know if I have an opinion on the Royal Family. They are so far removed from anything I’m connected with.

    I’m sure the wedding will be wonderful and I’ll probably watch to see the Princess’ dress. A little more beauty in our world can’t be a bad thing!

  13. 28/01/2011 9:25 pm

    I love the royal family, so interesting to watch … and they are human and some of them make grave errors … I for one cant wait to see the wedding … it will be amazing i’m sure!

  14. 29/01/2011 1:35 am

    i enjoy watching the pomp and all the gala
    but i’m glad we don’t have ROYALTY in the U.S.
    happy alphabe-thursday

  15. 29/01/2011 3:47 am

    Pocahontas is the mama’s favorite historical character. I like Sacajawea. I didn’t know that Pocahontas’s son lived. Would be interesting to learn about her descendants. As for royals, I’m glad we have none. I think the ones in England should be paid less for their work.

  16. 30/01/2011 3:16 am

    I love springing that little bit of trivia that one of the great American heroines of years gone by actually died across the ocean! Loved this P post.

  17. 30/01/2011 10:42 pm

    Two of our grands are into being Princesses…one thinks it is a total waste of time.

    I love going to Disney movies…sometimes I wish they would have a chubby, plain heroine, though!

    Thanks for a perfectly wonderful stop on our little journey through Alphabe-Thursday’s letter “P”.

    I enjoyed visiting you today.

    A+

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