It was the film that introduced us to the small nation of Genovia and the idea that anyone could secretly be a royal (subject to the ditching of glasses and the brushing of hair, apparently).
Now, 16 years after The Princess Diaries landed (all the way back in 2001), starring Anne Hathaway as reluctant royal Mia Thermopolis, the tantalising spectre of a third instalment edges ever closer.
Meg Cabot, the author of the book series the first film was based on, has revealed in a new interview that the wheels are in motion behind the scenes – and she’s even seen a script.
The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement was released in 2004.
Speaking to Entertainment Weekly, Cabot said The Princess Diaries 3 “could happen” and that if so, it would be “as a tribute” to director Garry Marshall, who passed away last year.
Pressed for further details (because fans need DETAILS), she said she was “not allowed” to discuss the plot (which says to us that it’s definitely happening, because you wouldn’t be banned from talking about nothing, right?) but that as far as she knew, the storyline wouldn’t follow the books – which means Hathaway is likely to remain the central star.
In 2015, Cabot published Notebooks of a Middle School Princess, in which orphaned 12-year-old Olivia Grace Clarisse Mignonette Harrison finds out she is Mia’s half-sister and thus part of Genovian royalty. A second book released this month, Royal Crush, follows Olivia as she steps up her new princess role because Mia is pregnant with twins.
“It’s really more following the movie than the books,” she explained. “The last version [of the script] I read, she definitely did not find out that she has a biracial younger sister […] which I personally would’ve thought was hilarious, but that was not the direction they were going.”
The second film, which starred Chris Pine alongside Hathaway and returning cast member Julie Andrews as Queen Clarisse Renaldi, departed from the books with a tale of Mia having to marry in order to assume the throne.
Shortly before his death, director Marshall had told press that he was planning a third film, and had spoken to Hathaway about setting it in Manhattan.
Andrews, meanwhile, revealed in February this year that Hathaway “had an idea that she wanted to pursue” and described herself as “all for it”.
Despite the lack of details about The Princess Diaries 3, Cabot did drop one more bomb: she’d love to see a musical version: “I’m just keeping my fingers crossed that someday we’re gonna get one of those. That would be so fun.”
Main image: Disney