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If there’s anyone who knows how difficult it is to go from life as a normal American to the strictures and expectations of royalty, it’s Princess Mia Thermopolis of Genovia, the heroine of Meg Cabot’s bestselling series of Princess Diaries novels (and subject of two Disney films based very loosely on the books).

When Princess Mia finds out she’s not just a normal teenager, but the heir to the throne of a small European principality, she’s thrown into a world of princess lessons that include etiquette instruction, a make-over, and more. Mia celebrated her own happily-ever-after and royal wedding in 2015 with the publication of Cabot’s first adult book in the series, Royal Wedding: A Princess Diaries Novel.

Given that, we knew Princess Mia would have some invaluable advice for the soon-to-be-royal Meghan Markle and turned to Meg Cabot to get Mia’s thoughts on the matter. Written exclusively for EW, here are “10 tips for Meghan Markle on her royal wedding day.”

From the Desk of Princess Mia Thermopolis of Genovia

Top 10 Tips for Meghan Markle on Her Royal Wedding Day

Having been through a royal wedding myself recently, I have some advice for Ms. Meghan Markle, who will soon be wed to Prince Harry in front of a mere billion people:

#10) DO recognize that your power to influence the opinion of the British monarchy — and perhaps the world — will be extremely powerful. Use this power wisely (you’ve been doing an excellent job so far).

#9) Do NOT choose a train for your royal wedding gown that weighs more than you and your bridesmaids can easily lift. Trust me on this.

#8) DO remember that though you’re about to become a cog in the wheel of one the most powerful royal families in the world, you’re still marrying the love of your life! You’re in this journey together…take time to enjoy one another.

#7) Do NOT Google yourself, and never, ever pick up a magazine with your picture on the cover. It is guaranteed that whatever “scoop” is inside did NOT come from a “close friend or family member”— and if it did, that person is someone with whom you should no longer associate.

#6) Speaking of which, one thing I learned pretty fast when I found out I was the new Princess of Genovia was who my real friends are: The people I was friends with BEFORE I became a royal. Believe it or not, there are people out there who are only interested in you for your title (and tiara)! DO avoid people like this.

#5) Do NOT consider your bodyguard your stylist or therapist. It took me a long time to learn that he (or she) is being paid to keep me from being shot, not solve my life problems.

#4) Do NOT invite heads of state to your wedding. It’s hard enough figuring out where to seat squabbling family members. Avoid the headache of trying to satisfy squabbling politicians.

#3) Do NOT put anything of an intimate nature in writing, including texts, Tweets, Facebook updates, and even personal diaries, as it’s highly likely some snoopy writer (such as Meg Cabot) will try to publish it.

#2) DO remember the immortal words of Jane Austen: “Where she feared most to fail, she was most sure of success, for those to whom she endeavored to give pleasure were prepossessed in her favor.” In other words: Most people are ready to like you. Let them.

#1) Do NOT curtsy to anyone except the Queen. Remember: YOU are the royal now.

As told to Meg Cabot, author of The Princess Diaries series, including 2015’s Royal Wedding and the upcoming Royal Crown (August 2018), which will feature Mia’s long-awaited coronation day.

The Princess Diaries
  • Movie
  • 115 minutes