I am a royal genealogist and historian. I work closely with a Princess that lives in America. We are very curious to ask Ms. Cabot of her original interests to write the "Princess Diaries" (2000). If you do not mind I would like to ask a few questions and see if she can answer them directly. Or, if possible, may you send me a private message as to how I might reach her?
1. Until her death in 1991, Princess Ileana of Romania (daughter of Queen Marie of Romania) was Mother Alexandra at her Monastery of the Transfiguration, Ellwood City, Pennsylvania USA. Did you ever meet her?
2. How did you come up with the name, "Genovia"? Do you realize it translates to "A Negative blood type" when spelled backwards?
3. Have you ever read any books by Lillian Hellman? "Pentimento"? or "Watch On The Rhine"? Had you ever seen the film "Julia" (1977), starring Jane Fonda, Vanessa Redgrave and Meryl Streep (her first film debut).
4. What made you decide to choose San Francisco as the city for Genovia's Consulate?
5. Is there any historical significance to "The Princess Diaries"?
I have many other questions to ask, however, I wanted to see if I can make a connection here. I found no other way to communicate with Ms. Cabot to ask her directly.
Hello! In answer to your questions:
1) I'm sorry, but I never had the pleasure of meeting Princess Ileana.
2) I came up with the name Genovia because it is a mix of the city of Geneva, Switzerland and the town of Monrovia, Indiana.
3) I have never read any books by Lilian Hellman or seen the film Julia.
4) I did not choose San Francisco for the fictional setting of Genovia's consulate. Genovia's fictional consulate is in New York City in the book series of the Princess Diaries, of which I am the author. Garry Marshall, who directed the films based on my books, chose to set the movies in San Francisco.
5) The Princess Diaries are fiction and not based on any historical event or person except for the fact that my mother began dating one of my teachers, causing me to wish I was actually adopted and the secret heir to a foreign throne. This however turned out not to be true.
Best of luck in your endeavors as a royal genealogist!