8:30am – Immediate thoughts of “It’s Saturday! Why am I even awake?” closely followed by “Oh yeah, I have important stuff to do today!” Have a quick shower while practising ‘Do You Wanna Build A Snowman’, and wondering for the umpteenth time if the man who lives in the flat below us can hear me. Quickly brush teeth and hope the lipstick I’m wearing later will make them look a bit better.
9:00am – Frantically hunting for clothes as running late. Mum’s meant to be picking me up in a few minutes! No time for breakfast!
9:10am – Mum is late. I needn’t have rushed. Still, I don’t want to start making breakfast in case she turns up and I have to leave my cornflakes to go soggy.
9:30am – Mum picked me up eventually and we drove over to the car dealership. I am now the proud owner of my first car! Happily driving around town and into the countryside, humming along to the radio. Mum looks a bit nervous but is still very encouraging. This is awesome!
10:20am – Back home. Frank, the other half, is still asleep so I wake him up with tea (he frowns at me. I give him my best smile and tell him to get up because I’m starving and it would be fun to go out to eat). We decide to drive over to the garden centre for some brunch and a wander round the food hall to look for some fancy cheese.
10:45am – I eventually managed to find my way to the garden centre. I will admit, it took me a minute to get my bearings. Frank didn’t mind me singing in the car on the way, though.
11:10am – Sat down with garden centre brunch – porridge for me and a fry-up for Frank. I was tempted by the fry-up myself, but I’ll be doing a lot of running around later so maybe not. Also I have to fit into my costume somehow.
11:12am – This porridge is disgusting.
11:15am – Have added strawberry jam to porridge. A slight improvement.
11:20am – Gave up on porridge (princesses don’t eat anyway!). Focusing on hot chocolate with cream and marshmallows instead and convincing myself that I’m using it to get into character.
11:35am – We abandoned our breakfasts and wandered over to the deli. Now the proud owners of fancy cheese, duck paté, a bottle of organic cola and two teatowels with dogs and cats on them. Buying fancy things also helps me get into character *cough cough*…
11:45am – Stalled the car several times coming out of the garden centre car park and had a bit of a panic; later discovered I was trying to pull away in 3rd gear. This isn’t fair! Name me ONE Disney princess that can drive a car. Why can’t I just ride around on a horse all the time?
12noon – We made it home in one piece (or two pieces, I suppose). Elsa will be arriving to pick me up in half an hour: time to put my game face on.
12:05pm – I seem to have misplaced all the nice new makeup I bought the other day, specifically for being a princess. Argh.
12:07pm – Found it!
12:10pm – Luckily, I tested my makeup out earlier this week, so I already know what I’m doing! First things first; I clean my face of the morning’s BB cream and mascara. Then, my hair is clipped back and tucked into a wig cap, fixed with hairslides (not hairpins, they’re too bumpy). I would usually pluck my eyebrows at this point, but they actually seem to be behaving themselves today.
Next comes the makeup itself. Unlike my animated peers, my skin is normal and prone to breakouts at this time of the month (they never ever mention that in the movies, do they?), so I’m wearing more makeup than I’ve ever done before except for stage performances. Mind you, this is acting of a sort, so it’s understandable.
All princesses must wear primer, foundation and powder, then we build up the various different looks from there. For Princess Anna (or The Nordic Princess), which is who I’m being today, I use a pale yellow eyeshadow blended into a coppery shade on the outer lid. On top of that goes a thin line of brown eyeliner, with a little cat’s-eye flick and lots of mascara because I hate wearing false lashes.
Now for blusher – Anna requires a lot of blusher, all across both cheeks and the bridge of my nose. The lipstick I use is a nice pinky-purple colour. I’m leaving it up to Elsa to do the freckles, and decide if my eyebrows need to be gingered up.
12:30pm – Elsa has arrived! She helps me put my wig on, stabbing me with several hairpins in the process, then uses a cottonbud to give me a sprinkling of brown eyeshadow freckles across my face. A final spritz of hairspray to fix my makeup and now it’s costume time!
12:40pm – Laddered my first set of tights and nearly fell over trying to put on the new ones. FML. Finally succeeded, put my shoes on and am now trying to zip up my skirt. I’m really glad this costume is in two pieces!
12:45pm – Struggling with my corset. Who ever thought side zips were a good idea? At least it’s not as tricky as the Rapunzel costume with all the hook-and-eye fastenings…
12:50pm – I am all costumed up! Elsa gives my outfit and wig some final tweaks and then we’re ready to go. Driving like this is going to be fun!
12:55pm – The journey involves practising the songs, running through the party itinerary, several wrong turns, three double-takes from other drivers and speaking in the appropriate accents to make sure we can maintain them. Luckily, the majority of the princesses have American voice actresses, which makes our job a bit easier.
1:50pm – We’ve finally found where we’re meant to be, but we can’t be seen yet, so we drive around a bit then stop in the car park and recline our seats all the way down. It’s not the best way of hiding, but it’ll do in pinch. We chat about what to do at the party and our plans for the evening.
2:10pm – While we’re getting out of the car, we’re spotted by a young girl dressed as Olaf the snowman. She stares, transfixed, before running inside and yelling for her mum.
2:15pm – We’re all set up and ready to go! After saying hello to the birthday girl, who goes into what we call ‘The Princess Coma’ and refuses to say a word to either of us, we set up a colouring activity in the middle of the room and invite the party guests to join us as they arrive. Some immediately start chatting to us, some are stunned, but it’s all good fun. Then we play musical statues, with Elsa ‘freezing’ us accidentally. I have trouble standing on one leg for a long time but it’s okay – Anna is clumsy anyway!
Other activities include a sing-along (my practice in the shower definitely pays off); pass the parcel, princess lessons, which include walking in a straight line with a pillow on your head and learning how to curtsey and we finish it all off with a special birthday song and the gift of a snowflake necklace for the birthday girl.
It’s tough staying in character all the time, especially when I can feel my wig slipping backwards off my head and I keep forgetting that the kids only know me as ‘Anna’! The whole thing is very fun, but also tiring and hot, despite the fact that my costume has very short sleeves and the skirt is very swishy. Smiling all the time can be difficult too, and striking the delicate balance between friendly, happy princess and figure of authority that can keep the kids in line when they get too excited.
3:50pm – We start the drive home, detouring to a friend of Elsa’s place to drop off a few things. We knock on the door in character, terrifying the little girl who answers, but it’s all fun and eventually she gives us a hug before we leave. It makes us feel like we’ve really got our money’s worth out of the costumes when we can do things like this as well as the official stuff!
5:00pm – Home again, home again, jiggity-jig. My phone is dead, so I stay in my costume for a bit while it charges enough for me to take a princess selfie for my best friend to see. Then, finally, I shed the costume and the wig, remove all my makeup, brush my flattened hair and change into jeans and an enormous cardigan so I can have dinner and watch Doctor Who in peace.
It’s a fun and glamorous life to be a princess, but I’m glad I only do it on weekends!