The Princess Diaries

Last Updated on: June 26th, 2024

The Princess Diaries (2001 Movie)

“The Princess Diaries” is a delightful 2001 romantic comedy film directed by the talented Garry Marshall. Based on the equally charming novel by Meg Cabot, the movie revolves around the life of Mia Thermopolis, an ordinary and unpopular high school student in San Francisco. However, her world turns upside down when she discovers she is the heir to the throne of the fictional European kingdom of Genovia. Enter her elegant grandmother, Queen Clarisse Renaldi, played by the iconic Julie Andrews, who begins to give her princess lessons to prepare her for her royal duties.

As Mia embarks on her transformative journey from a self-conscious teenager to a poised and confident princess, she encounters a rollercoaster of emotions and experiences. The film beautifully portrays her struggle to embrace her newfound identity while staying true to herself. Anne Hathaway’s portrayal of Mia is commendable, capturing the essence of a relatable young girl navigating through the complexities of royalty.

Throughout the movie, “The Princess Diaries” exudes heartwarming moments, clever humor, and valuable life lessons. As Mia navigates the challenges of her new royal status, she learns about the importance of friendship, loyalty, and staying true to oneself. The film’s underlying message of embracing one’s uniqueness and finding strength in vulnerability resonates with audiences of all ages.

Garry Marshall’s direction brings out the best in the cast, with Julie Andrews’ regal presence adding a touch of elegance to the film. The chemistry between Anne Hathaway and Julie Andrews is a highlight, making the mentor-mentee dynamic a joy to watch.

The film’s success led to a well-received sequel, “The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement,” which continued the story of Mia’s journey as she grapples with her royal responsibilities and the complexities of love.

In conclusion, “The Princess Diaries” is a heartwarming and entertaining film that captures the essence of self-discovery, empowerment, and embracing one’s uniqueness. With its endearing characters, captivating storyline, and valuable life lessons, the movie continues to be a beloved classic among Disney enthusiasts worldwide.

Fun Facts

  1. The film is based on the 2000 young adult novel of the same name by Meg Cabot.
  2. The Princess Diaries was Anne Hathaway’s feature film debut and helped launch her career as an actress.
  3. The film was shot on location in San Francisco and at Walt Disney Studios in Burbank, California.
  4. The Princess Diaries was a commercial success, grossing over $165 million worldwide, and was followed by a sequel, The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement, in 2004.
  5. The film features a score by composer John Debney, as well as songs by artists such as Mandy Moore and Krystal Harris.
  6. The film’s plot centers around a teenage girl named Mia Thermopolis who discovers that she is the heir to the throne of the fictional European country of Genovia.
  7. Julie Andrews, who plays Mia’s grandmother Queen Clarisse, had not appeared in a major film in nearly a decade before The Princess Diaries and was reportedly persuaded to take the role by her granddaughter, who was a fan of the book.
  8. The Princess Diaries was well-received by critics, who praised the performances of Hathaway and Andrews as well as the film’s positive message and themes of self-discovery and empowerment.
  9. The success of The Princess Diaries helped to establish the trend of adapting young adult novels into feature films, paving the way for franchises such as Twilight, The Hunger Games, and Harry Potter.

Additional Details

  • Movie Studio:
  • Year Released:
  • Type of Movie: Live-Action
  • Box Office: $165.3 million
  • IMDB Link


  • Julie Andrews: Clarisse Renaldi
  • Anne Hathaway: Mia Thermopolis
  • Héctor Elizondo: Joseph
  • Heather Matarazzo: Lilly Moscovitz
  • Mandy Moore: Lana Thomas
  • Caroline Goodall: Helen Thermopolis
  • Robert Schwartzman: Michael Moscovitz
  • Erik von Detten: Josh Bryant
  • Patrick Flueger: Jeremiah Hart
  • Sean O’Bryan: Patrick O’Connell
  • Sandra Oh: Vice Principal Geraldine Gupta
  • Kathleen Marshall: Charlotte Kutaway
  • Mindy Burbano: Gym teacher Ms. Anita Harbula
  • René Auberjonois: Voice of Philippe Renaldi
  • Larry Miller: Paolo Puttanesca
  • Patrick Richwood: Mr. Robutusen
  • Mayor Willie Brown: Himself
  • Fat Louie: Himself


  • Director: Garry Marshall
  • Producer: Whitney Houston, Debra Martin Chase and Mario Iscovich
  • Music: John Debney

Movie Trailer:

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About the Author

Craig Smith
I am founder and editor of My passion for all things Disney goes pretty far back to my first trip to Walt Disney World in the mid-80's. I have since returned to the magical place more than 20 times. I started this site when I came to the realization that I spent a significant portion of my day reading articles about Disney and watching Disney content with my 8-year old, so it made sense that I would start sharing some of what I read and see and building a little community around it. Other interests include 80's nostalgia, vintage toys, video games, LEGO, Star Wars and tech gadgets. Other site isDMR.