In a move straight out of a Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale, Princess Märtha Louise of Norway has revealed that she once used the pea test to find out if she was actually royalty. Recall that in the fairy tale The Princess and the Pea, a prince’s mother suggests that his potential suitor will only be fit for princess life if she is able to feel a pea through 20 mattresses and 20 feather beds. Princess Märtha Louise, however, found that she was not able to feel the pea through her mattress—just like any regular non-fictional human. “When I did not get any bruises, I became terrified,” she said to Sweden’s Expressen newspaper, per Royal Central.
While the Norway princess didn’t pass the pea test, she has adjusted to princess life relatively well.
The reason, however, that Princess Märtha Louise wanted to see if she was a princess or not is because there was a time when she didn’t understand her special treatment and questioned if she was deserving of it. “I felt I was not good enough, did not understand why people looked up to me just because I was a princess,” she told Expressen. “I had not done anything, I had been born with that status.”
Over the years though Princess Märtha Louise has created a second career for herself, outside of her royal obligations, as an author. It was while promoting her latest book, Born Sensitive, which she co-wrote with her friend Elisabeth Nordeng, that the princess revealed her former self-doubt. In the book, she apparently opens up about her own highly sensitive nature.
“When you meet someone, it’s like having our nerves outside the body and feeling the ones we meet,” she told Expressen. “It’s a bit difficult in my situation when to mingle. Preferably, I want to ask what is the greatest dream of others, what keeps the person back. But in ten minutes you will not get that far, so it will be a lot of talk about the weather anyway. ‘Small talk’ is not high sensitivity.”
While her sensitivity might have its pea-detecting limits, she does live up to Andersen’s stereotypical princess sensitivity in other ways.
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