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пятница, 10 марта 2017 г.

Unlucky in love? Tantrums & tiaras: princesses on the pull!

Unlucky in love? Try being a princess!

Lady GaGa blasts from the stereo as a group of lads kick off their weekend by downing a few pints at the bar of the grotty old man's pub.
Tucked in a corner, Aaliya sips anxiously on her Diet Coke, as a shaven-headed local stalks up to her. "Alright darlin'?" he leers. "I'm a fireman. Fancy sliding down my pole?"
For Aaliya, 35, whose romantic fantasy of British men is a foppish cross between Mr Darcy and Hugh Grant, this introduction to Essex boys is all too much. She runs from the bar and bursts into tears in the middle of the street.
"I thought all British men were perfect gentlemen - the kind who hold doors open and treat women like ladies," she explains.
Clearly, Aaliya has never been to the UK before. To say she's led a sheltered life is an understatement. Back home in Western India, she's known as HRH Princess Aaliya Sultana Babi of Balasinor. And the sort of men she mixes with are a world apart from those propping up the bar in a local boozer.

The princesses in all their regal glory enjoying English life.
She's far more comfortable in the opulent surroundings of her family's palace than deepest, darkest Essex. Privately educated by nuns in the ladylike arts of needlework and music, Aaliya's never even brushed her own hair - she's got a servant to do that, natch.
But there's one thing her money can't buy - love. Dating is unheard of in Aaliya's conservative culture and the only men she meets are through her well-connected parents.
Having failed to find the man of her dreams with their help, she's now travelled to the romantic hot spot of Essex to search for him. Yes, that's Essex.
She's not the only foreign princess keen to find love on UK shores. Two other royals - Princess Xenia Florence Gabriela Sophie Iris of Saxony, who goes by the more manageable Gaby while in Essex, and Princess Sheillah Nvannungi Cindrellah of the Buganda kingdom in Africa - are also trying to find Prince Charming. Their search is the subject of a new BBC3 show, Undercover Princesses.
Living as 'commoners', the trio have dropped their royal titles and share a modest three-bed semi, ironically called Queen's Lodge. Swapping maids for do-it-yourself and high-end fashion for the high street, they're learning to become fully fledged Essex girls for three weeks.

Aaliya gets chatted up.
Gaby, a 23-year-old pretty blonde, is heiress to one of the oldest and most noble royal houses in Germany. But she's worried she'll always be a singleton because she never knows whether men like her for herself, or for her royal status.
Having left behind her flourishing pop career and precious chihuahua, Josephine, at her lavish house in Munich, Gaby is eager to get started on her manhunt.
"I only meet aristocrats at balls," she sighs. "They're so formal and stiff. I've had a couple of boyfriends, but they were jealous of the attention I get from my career as a pop star."
Citing Prince William as "very attractive", Gaby's expectations seem manageable - she's looking for someone funny who'll treat her with respect.
Princess Sheillah Nvannungi Cindrellah has slightly higher standards, however. The long list of things she looks for in a man goes some way to explaining why 31-year-old Cindrellah - as she opts to be known by the bemused people of Essex - is still waiting for her prince.
"He has to be God-fearing, honest, faithful, trustworthy, educated, confident, loving and caring," she states. And her list doesn't end there.
"Above all, he has to be clean. And very, very attractive. That's probably why I'm still single!" she laughs.

The girls make themselves at home in Essex.
A pop star and radio presenter in her own country, Cindrellah, who lives with her parents in a large residential house, is the most famous woman in her kingdom of 5.5 million people and is mobbed by adoring subjects everywhere she goes.
"If I want to go shopping, it takes about three hours," she sighs. "Everyone wants to talk to me. It can make things difficult."
As the royal romantics get to grips with a life without cooks and cleaners, they also ditch their demure designer gear for a full makeover and a night out - Essex style.
Gaby, who usually has a personal shopper and designer, revels in being able to choose her own look.
"When I was 17, all I wanted was to dress a little crazy, like Britney Spears. But because of my position, I couldn't. Now my favourite label is Lipsy - it's cool, just like Britney would wear," she squeals, pulling on a neon-pink minidress.
Cindrellah has no qualms at swapping her conservative clothes for body con, but Aaliya's transformation from princess to party girl is a struggle.
"I never wear anything skimpy," she says, looking in horror at the racks of backless, sideless, thigh-high and see-through garments on offer.
As they hit the town, a gaggle of local girls takes them under their wing and Aaliya's nerves are finally soothed. But as the titled trio start dating, it's not just the cheeky banter in bars that upsets her. Aaliya has to get used to being on her own with a man.

Gaby's more used to dancing at balls than gigs.
"In my culture, men and women are never left alone until they're married," she explains.
Once her worries about the opposite sex are set aside, she finds that men aren't all that scary. In fact, she's disappointed to discover they can be a bit boring. One date ends after she realises they had nothing to talk about except the weather.
"I'm used to being able to converse intelligently about subjects such as art or architecture," Aaliya explains sadly. "I don't like it when they have nothing to say."
And it's not just conversation that proves a sticking point - it's attraction too.
"I was set up on a date by a friend who promised I'd love the guy," says Cindrellah. But her would-be suitor clearly didn't tick even a few of her extensive boxes. "When I saw him, I thought he was old and he wasn't good looking."
It seems it doesn't matter whether you're in line to the throne, meeting men is still a minefield. There's dodgy chat-up lines, disastrous blind dates and, of course, the infamous fireman episode. But no pain, no gain.
And for one princess there is a happy ever after. The other two, meanwhile, may be losers in love, but they all agree that their Essex experience is one they'll never forget.
"I feel like I've got two new sisters now, not just friends," says Gaby, while Aaliya's hoping that one day the three of them will all move to London and live together again.
As for Cindrellah, she's back in Buganda and planning on opening a British-style caff as a reminder of her time in Essex. And with the way to a man's heart supposedly being through his stomach, maybe she'll finally find love.

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