Olivia Grace Clarisse Mignonette Harrison never thought that being a real life PRINCESS OF GENOVIA could ever be boring, but with all of the new vans and paparazzi staked out in front of the palace, the whole family has been on lockdown for weeks. So when Grandmere suggests a shopping trip to buy a small present for Princess Mia, Olivia jumps at the chance—especially since the shopping trip comes with the promise of lunch at the Royal Genovian Yacht Club (makers of the best ice cream sundae in the world)! Surely nothing could go wrong with such a simple day out, could it?
A quick shopping trip with her royal Grandmere turns into a much bigger deal than Olivia Grace, the newest Princess of Genovia expected in this e-short edition (Royal Day Out) to Meg Cabot's illustrated chapter book series From the Notebooks of a Middle School Princess.
About the Author
Hometown:New York, New York
Place of Birth:Bloomington, Indiana
Education:B.A. in fine arts, Indiana University, 1991
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Royal Day Out
A from the Notebooks of a Middle School Princess E-Short
By Meg Cabot
Feiwel and FriendsCopyright © 2016 Meg Cabot
All rights reserved.
Saturday, May 30, 9:00 A.M.
Royal Genovian Gardens
Grandmère just told me that she's going into town today to buy a gift for my sister Mia.
"Just a little pick-me-up," she said as we had soft-boiled eggs and café au lait in the garden. (Mia wasn't there. She never comes down for breakfast anymore. Grandmère says she has something called "morning sickness," but if you ask me, this is a terrible name for it because Mia seems to be sick all the time, afternoons and evenings, too.)
"Taking over the throne from your father is a huge responsibility," Grandmère went on, "and I'd like to show Mia how much we appreciate her hard work."
"I want to show my appreciation for Mia, too!" I cried.
I thought Grandmère's idea was brilliant, and not just because I think Mia deserves a present (although I do). It's also because I hardly ever get to leave the palace anymore because of all the news vans staked out in front of it, trying to snap photos of us as we prepare for my sister's royal wedding.
Dad says if we're going to ask the Royal Genovian Guard to take time away from strategizing for The Big Day and escort us into town, it had better be for something serious, like a trip to the children's hospital to cheer up a sick patient or my going to school, not something frivolous, such as a visit to the local shops.
I've tried to keep very, very quiet on the subject of school, so as not to remind anyone that they've forgotten to enroll me. With so much to plan for the wedding and all, it's easy to see how it's slipped their minds.
But a visit to the local shops to buy a gift for Mia isn't frivolous! It's serious and necessary! It will boost her spirits and remind her how much we love her.
And get me out of the palace for a little while before I go completely nuts!
"Can I come, Grandmère?" I asked. "Please?"
"May I come," Grandmère corrected me.
"May I?" I asked. I haven't been a princess for very long, and it turns out there's a lot to learn. Proper grammar is the least of it.
"Yes, you may, but only if you've completed your princess duties ... such as your thank-you notes."
I groaned — but only on the inside. I don't want to seem ungrateful for everything that's happened recently, including:
Finding out I have a loving family, including a father, grandmother, sister, and something like nine million French and Italian cousins.
Coming to live with my family in my new home (which happens to be a palace).
All the lovely things they have given me to make me feel more at home in my new role as princess, and in my new country, Genovia, such as a poodle puppy, pony, wardrobe, personal bodyguard, cell phone, etc.
But some of it is taking time to get used to. Such as all the thank-you notes I now have to write. I may not be going to regular school, but I have princess lessons with Grandmère (and Mia, when she's feeling up to it and has time away from ruling the country) every single day.
Writing a good thank-you note, it turns out, is an essential part of those lessons, "since good manners," Grandmère says, "are a reflection of one's character."
Many people mistakenly believe that observing proper ettiquette and having good manners are the same thing. But Grandmère says this is untrue.
"I've met many a royal who knew which fork to use first at dinner but not how to show compassion and empathy for their subjects," Grandmère says, "nor even that they ought to send a note to their hostess the next day, thanking her for the lovely meal."
So she's instructing me how to write proper thank-you notes (and also how to have empathy).
"Here," I said, showing her the latest thank-you note I'd written that morning. "I'm all caught up, I swear!"
"A princess doesn't swear, Olivia," Grandmère said, putting on her diamond-framed reading glasses to examine my note. "She faithfully promises, and then only if she's certain she can keep that promise."
"Well, I faithfully promise, then."
I knew my thank-you note was perfect because I'd followed all of Grandmère's rules for a good thank-you note. It was:
Handwritten (of course).
Detailed (mentioned the item I'd received and how I intended to use it).
Gracious (thanked the giver twice).
Written on nice stationery (mine happened to have the royal crest of the house of Renaldo on it, but Grandmère said any nice paper would do).
My Dear Baroness Ferrari,
I cannot thank you enough for the wonderful hoverboard you sent me as a welcome gift to Genovia. I have always wanted one! My stepbrother Rocky and I have had such fun taking turns riding on it.
Thank you again a thousand times for the delightful present. It was too kind of you!
Yours very affectionately,
Her Royal Highness
Princess Olivia Grace Mignonette Harrison Renaldo
"Excellent," Grandmère said when she was done reading. "I see that you diplomatically kept from mentioning that the dreadful thing exploded and caught fire in the Hall of Portraits, nearly destroying a historic painting of your great-great-grandfather, Prince Jacques the First."
"Of course," I said. "Or how Serena, my bodyguard, had to put out the fire with her energy drink. Or how Dad took the hoverboard away, saying it was a death trap and a menace."
"And rightfully so," Grandmère said, putting away her reading glasses. "Knowing the baroness as I do, I'm certain she was hoping to put you out of commission for a month or two with a broken limb so that her granddaughter, your cousin Luisa, could take over your place in the royal wedding."
"Grandmère!" I laughed. "I'm sure the baroness didn't mean for that to happen at all. It was an accident."
"Pfuit!" Grandmère raised one of her painted-on eyebrows. "I suppose I could agree with you, but then we'd both be wrong. Nevertheless, I'm very pleased with your progress on the thank-you notes. Therefore, you may indeed join me outside the palace on my outing this morning."
I clapped my hands with joy, startling my poodle puppy Snowball so much that she forgot to stand at attention beneath my chair, alert for falling pieces of croissant, and began to leap up and down in excitement. I felt like doing the same thing but refrained, since I'm a princess.
But then things only got better.
"After we've successfully secured a gift for your sister," Grandmère went on, "I think we should lunch at the Royal Genovian Yacht Club. How does that sound?"
"That sounds amazing, thank you!" I said very loudly, but did not shout, because Grandmère says shouting at the breakfast table is rude, and also gives her a headache.
Lunching at the Royal Genovian Yacht Club has become one of my favorite things that Grandmère and I do together, and not just because they have the best ice-cream sundaes in the whole world, but also because Grandmère has belonged to the Royal Genovian Yacht Club for ages, and everyone there knows her.
Well, everyone in Genovia knows Grandmère. But they REALLY know her at the yacht club.
When Grandmère walks into the Royal Genovian Yacht Club — which is located on the Genovian Bay, and is where everyone parks their fancy yachts — it's like a movie star walking down the red carpet at the Oscars. Rudolfo, the maître d' there, shouts, "Principessa Clarisse! How are you? Principessa, oh, Principessa, your table is waiting outside beneath the biggest sun umbrella! Here, wait, let us shoo away the seagulls. Oh, wait, Principessa, let me get you a sidecar," which is Grandmère's favorite drink.
And other people bow and say, "Oh, Your Highness, how we've missed you! Is that your granddaughter with you today, Your Highness? She is the most beautiful girl in the world!"
Also, the chef knows exactly how I like my sundae — vanilla ice cream, hot fudge, whipped cream, and cherry only, no nuts.
But I knew this day wasn't about me. It was about doing something nice for my sister.
"This is such a great idea," I said in a very calm voice. "I'll be sure to wear my best sequined high-tops. What should we get Mia?"
"Oh, I don't know," Grandmère said breezily. "We'll look around and see what's new in the shops. It's important that, as royals, we support the local economy, you know."
"Great," I said. "What about a book? You know Mia loves to read. Why don't we get her a book?"
There are over fifty thousand books in the Genovian palace library, but most of them are very old, and when you open them up, dust flies out. Since everything is making Mia sick these days, a new book might be better.
"A book? No." Grandmère shook her head emphatically. "No. Your sister has enough reading to do with her job. I was thinking we should get her something lovely."
"Something lovely?" I was confused.
"Yes, you know. Some lovely, sparkly thing. That always cheers me up. You can never go wrong getting someone some lovely, sparkly thing."
I nodded like I agreed, because I really wanted that trip to the Royal Genovian Yacht Club.
But truthfully, I didn't think "some lovely, sparkly thing" was something that Mia would like. Mia already has tons of jewelry — she's a princess after all. There are jewels lying around all over the place in the castle. Sometimes for fun I try them on (with permission, of course) and take selfies to send to my best friend, Nishi, back in New Jersey.
And sometimes they MAKE me wear them for state functions (they're heavy and very uncomfortable). For Mia's wedding to Michael next month, for instance, I'm going to be wearing a tiara and brooch worth over five million dollars (Nishi told me they're worth even more in euros).
But Mia, like me, isn't really a jewelry person. The happiest I've seen her lately was when:
Rocky and I opened up a can of Genovian tuna in front of her cat, Fat Louie, and he smelled it and got so excited he actually quivered all over, then ran — Fat Louie is so old and so fat that he hardly ever walks, let alone runs — across the room to eat it.
Her fiancé and future prince consort Michael Moscovitz brought her some cold sesame noodles from their favorite Chinese restaurant back in New York City as a surprise when he returned to Genovia from a business trip. I guess the smell of cold sesame noodles is the only thing right now that doesn't make her feel sick (although Grandmère said actually it is the smell of Michael. But that makes no sense).
But before I could point this out, Grandmère said, "If you're going to change before we leave, Olivia, you'd better hurry. We haven't got much time. I understand that the baroness is hosting a luncheon at the Royal Genovian Yacht Club this afternoon, to which my invitation appears to have been lost in the mail. I don't want to disappoint the populace by failing to arrive punctually."
I was a little shocked to hear this.
"But Grandmère," I said, "if you didn't get an invitation to the baroness's luncheon, maybe it isn't because it was lost in the mail. Maybe it's because ... um ... you weren't invited."
Grandmère blinked at me in astonishment. "Don't be absurd! I'm the Dowager Princess of Genovia, and you're its newly discovered heir. Of course we were invited. Now go and put on your sparkle sneakers while I call for an armed escort."
I'm pretending like I think everything Grandmère is saying makes sense because I want to go into town very badly.
And if there's one thing I've learned in life, it's never say no to any plan that ends with ice cream (unless it's being offered by a stranger, of course, or a known enemy of the state).
But I'm not sure this is the best idea she's ever had.
Saturday, May 30, 11:00 A.M.
You would think it would be easy for a princess to hop into her waiting limousine and go shopping in her own country.
But it's not, because of course you have to arrange for your bodyguards to plan out a route, and then (if you're Grandmère) re-paint on your eyebrows because they didn't turn out right the first time, then choose something to wear that's by a Genovian designer so you look like you're supporting local artists, then find the right shoes that don't pinch your corns, then argue for a long time with your son about how yes it is so important for you to go out right now and how dare he try to stop you and why doesn't he concentrate on more important things than your life, like for instance his own?
And then maybe (if you're Grandmère) you have to go find out who put crab shells in the royal kitchen garbage where they're stinking up the place, when of course everyone knows they need to be taken out immediately to the compost heap well behind the Royal Orchard.
And then finally, finally you're ready to go.
But of course, everywhere Grandmère goes, she attracts a huge crowd of paparazzi who all want to take her photo. They even want to take MY picture now, and yell questions like, "What's it feel like to be Genovia's newest princess, Olivia?" and "How's your sister doing, Olivia?" (which Grandmère says is BEYOND rude and I shouldn't answer. It's impolite to inquire about the health of a royal, or anyone who is in the delicate state of health that my sister is in).
But that's not even the WORST part.
The worst part is that Grandmère has to take her hairless poodle, Rommel, with her everywhere she goes!
I would take my poodle puppy, Snowball, with me everywhere I go, too, except that I don't want Snowball to get trampled by all the reporters and photojournalists and bodyguards who follow us around everywhere. It isn't safe for a puppy. It's barely safe for a twelve-year-old!
Grandmère doesn't care about that, though.
"They should look where they're going," she says snootily about the press. "When I was a girl, everyone knew to keep to the right. When you're passing someone on the street, Olivia, always keep to the right, and allow fellow pedestrians to pass to your left. It's simple common sense. But of course no one seems to possess that anymore, no doubt from spending too much time with their faces buried in their mobile devices, texting or looking up trivial facts! How everyone hasn't fallen into the sewer or walked off the edge of a cliff, I don't know."
And if someone steps on Rommel, Grandmère tells them they're invading her dog's personal space.
"My dog has more intelligence than you do," she often berates reporters. "Do you see him asking if he can take a selfie with me? No, because Rommel doesn't care how many followers he has on social media!"
Dad says that Grandmère is what's known as an "eccentric" and that everyone in Genovia knows it and respects and even admires her for it.
But based on what's gone on so far today, I'm not sure that's true.
Because the very first shop we went into, Genovian Jewelers by the Sea, which Grandmère says is the oldest and most respected jewelry shop on the Riviera, where many of her past suitors bought her "lovely, sparkly things" in an attempt to woo her, the woman behind the counter looked up when we came in, smiled at Grandmère, and said, "Well, hello. How may I help you, dear?"
You would have thought the saleswoman had called my grandmother a dirty word, the way she reacted!
Grandmère threw back her shoulders — which is hard to do, since Grandmère always stands ramrod straight. Good posture in royals is a must, Grandmère says, since slumping projects lack of confidence — and said, "You may not help us. Come along, Olivia. We're leaving."
"But we only just got here, Grandmère!" I cried.
I didn't want to leave because:
It had taken us (okay, Grandmère) almost an hour to get ready and another to get to the shop because the traffic in downtown Genovia was so bad.
I was enjoying my day out.
I'd already seen some very lovely, sparkly things — horse figurines made out of crystal — behind the counter, and I badly wanted to buy them.
I'm not necessarily a fan of jewelry you can wear, but jewelry shaped like horses is different! Did I mention that my dad had gotten me a pony? Well, he did, and I'm learning to ride her — see, who needs school? — and she's pretty much the best thing that's ever happened to me (except for Snowball and finding out that I have a family who loves me and being a princess and all).
The shop also had miniature crystal dogs — like Snowball and Rommel! —
and these completely adorable crystal cat figurines that looked just like Fat Louie.
I suddenly knew what Grandmère meant by lovely, sparkly things. I wanted some!!!!
Excerpted from Royal Day Out by Meg Cabot. Copyright © 2016 Meg Cabot. Excerpted by permission of Feiwel and Friends.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
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About the Author,
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
22pg story. Cute, easy read. A lot of fluff, not much substance.
I have an advanced 8 year old reader who enjoyed the first few pages....then the words "sex" and "sexless" were used instead of "gender". I think the author could have used more age-appropriate words to get paint the scenes.
I loved the book it was awesome and cut
This book is awesome
OMG HOW CAN YOU NOT LIKE IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Royal Day Out is Olivia's day out after being on lockdown in the castle and it seems nothing goes as planed! As Grandmere plans a day of shopping, nothing seems to be what it is until Olivia suggests something that will change everything. At the end of the day, the whole family is excited over what had happened and two princess receive a gift that they will both treasure! This was a very quick read for me but if you haven't read the series Princess Diaries in a while, then I would suggest reading this book to fall in love with the characters all over again! Even though this is the novella to the first book in this series, it makes you glad that there will be a whole new generation loving the characters I came to love so many years ago! I could see this book being a hit with young girls who love anything to do with being a princess!! Thank You to Meg Cabot for having this great series that will make anyone a fan of the Princess Diaries!! I received this book from the Publisher via NetGalley in exchange for a honest review.
Kiss your hand then post this three times look under your pillow
Mia was sick