Princess in Waiting Read online





  MEG CABOT

  The Princess Diaries, Volume IV

  Princess in Waiting

  For Walter Schretzman,

  and the many others who scatter largesse so

  selflessly throughout New York City.

  Don’t think we haven’t noticed.

  With thanks.

  CONTENTS

  Epigraph

  BEGIN READING

  Acknowledgments

  About the Author

  Books by Meg Cabot

  Credits

  Copyright

  About the Publisher

  “If I was a princess,” she murmured, “I could scatter largess to the populace. But even if I am only a pretend princess, I can invent little things to do for people. I’ll pretend that to do things for people is scattering largess.”

  A LITTLE PRINCESS

  Frances Hodgson Burnett

  Thursday, January 1, Midnight, Royal Genovian bedchamber

  MY NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTIONS BY PRINCESS AMELIA MIGNONETTE GRIMALDI THERMOPOLIS RENALDO, AGE 14 YEARS AND 8 MONTHS

  I will stop biting my fingernails, including the fake ones.

  I will stop lying. Grandmère knows when I am lying anyway, thanks to my traitorous nostrils, which flare every time I tell a fib, so it’s not like there is even a point in trying to be less than truthful.

  I will never veer from prepared script while delivering televised address to the Genovian public.

  I will stop accidentally saying mèrde in front of the ladies-in-waiting.

  I will stop asking François, my Genovian bodyguard, to teach me French swear words.

  I will apologize to the Genovian Olive Growers Association for that thing with the pits.

  I will apologize to the Royal Chef for slipping Grandmère’s dog that slice of foie gras (even though I have told the palace kitchen repeatedly that I do not eat liver).

  I will stop lecturing the Royal Genovian Press Corps on the evils of smoking. If they all wish to develop lung cancer, that is their prerogative.

  I will achieve self-actualization.

  I will stop thinking so much about Michael Moscovitz.

  Oh, wait. It’s okay for me to think about Michael Moscovitz, BECAUSE HE IS MY BOYFRIEND NOW!!!!!!!!

  MT + MM = TRUE LOVE 4-EVER

  Friday, January 2, 2 p.m., Royal Genovian Parliament

  You know, I am supposed to be on vacation. Seriously. I mean, this is my winter break. I am supposed to be having fun, mentally recharging for the coming semester, which is not going to be easy, as I will be moving on to Algebra II, not to mention Health and Safety class. Everybody at school was all, Oh, you are so lucky, you get to spend Christmas in a castle being waited on hand and foot.

  Well, first of all, there is nothing so great about living in a castle. Because guess what? Castles are totally old. And yeah, it’s not like this one was built in 4 A. D., or whenever it was my ancestress Princess Rosagunde first became ruler of Genovia. But it was still built in, like, the 1600s, and let me tell you what they didn’t have in the 1600s:

  Cable

  DSL

  Toilets

  Which is not to say there isn’t a satellite dish now, but, hello, this is my dad’s place; the only channels he has got programmed are, like, CNN, CNN Financial News, and the golf channel. Where is MTV 2, I ask you? Where is the Lifetime Movie Channel for Women?

  Not that it matters because I am spending all my time being run off my feet. It isn’t as if I ever even get a free moment to pick up a remote and go, “Ho hum, I wonder if there’s a Tracey Gold movie on.”

  Oh, yeah, and the toilets? Let me just tell you that back in the 1600s, they didn’t know so much about sewage. So now, four hundred years later, if you put one square too much toilet paper in the bowl and try to flush, you create a mini indoor tsunami.

  So that’s it. That is my life in Genovia.

  Every other kid I know is spending his or her winter break in Aspen skiing, or in Miami getting tanned.

  But me? What am I doing for my winter break?

  Well, here are the highlights from the new datebook Grandmère gave me for Christmas (what girl wouldn’t love to get a datebook for Christmas?) of what I have done so far:

  Sunday, December 21Royal Daily Schedule

  Arrived in Genovia. Due to large bagful of Skittles consumed on flight over, almost barfed on official Genovian welcome committee who came to airport to greet me as I disembarked from the plane.

  One full day since I last saw Michael. Tried calling him at his grandparents’ house in Boca Raton, where the Moscovitzes have gone for winter break, but no one answered, perhaps because of time difference, Genovia being six hours ahead of Florida.

  Monday, December 22 Royal Daily Schedule

  While touring naval cruiser, the Prince Phillipe, tripped over anchor, accidentally knocking Admiral Pepin into the Genovian harbor. He was okay, though. They fished him out with a harpoon.

  But why am I the only one in this country who thinks pollution is an important issue? If people are going to dock their yachts in the Genovian harbor, they really ought to pay attention to what they are throwing overboard. I mean, porpoises get their noses stuck in those plastic six-pack holders all the time, and then they starve to death because they can’t open their mouths to eat. All people have to do is snip the loops before they throw the holders out, and everything would be fine.

  Well, all right, not everything, since you shouldn’t be throwing trash overboard in the first place.

  I simply cannot stand idly by while helpless sea creatures are being abused by a bunch of Bain de Soleil addicts in search of that perfect Saint-Tropez tan.

  Two days since last saw Michael. Tried calling him twice. First time, no answer. Second time, Michael’s grandmother answered and said I had just missed him, as Michael had gone to the pharmacy to pick up his grandfather’s prescription foot powder. This is so like him, always thinking of others before himself.

  Tuesday, December 23Royal Daily Schedule

  At breakfast with Genovian Olive Growers Association, mentioned unseasonable drought afflicting Mediterranean area must be the “pits.” No one seemed to think this joke particularly amusing, particularly members of Olive Growers Association.

  Three days since last saw Michael. No time to call due to pit controversy.

  Wednesday, December 24Royal Daily Schedule

  Gave televised Christmas Eve greeting to Genovian public. Strayed somewhat from prepared speech by mentioning amount of revenue generated in five boroughs of New York City by parking meters, and expressed belief that installing parking meters in Genovia would contribute greatly to national economy, while also discouraging cheapskate day-trippers from venturing across our border. Still have no idea why Grandmère was so mad about the whole thing. New York City parking meters are NOT hideously ugly blights on landscape. Most of the time, I never even notice them at all.

  Four days SLSM (since last saw Michael)

  Thursday, December 25, Christmas Royal Daily Schedule

  SPOKE TO MICHAEL AT LAST!!!!!! Was finally able to get through to him. Conversation somewhat stilted, however, as my father, grandmother, and cousin René were all in room from which I was calling, and Michael’s parents, grandparents, and sister were in room in which he received call.

  He asked me if I got anything good for Christmas, and I said no, nothing but a datebook and a scepter. What I wanted was a cell phone. Asked Michael if he got anything good for Hanukkah, and he said no, nothing but a color printer. Which is still better than what I got, if you ask me. Although scepter excellent for pushing back cuticles.

  I am so relieved that Michael hasn’t forgotten all about me. I know my boyfriend is vastly superior to all the other mem