Royalty: My Son, the Prince

"There's this princess, see." It is a line that has commemorated countless Hollywood script conferences from The Prisoner of Zenda to Roman Holiday. In reel life, the scenarist can find his Prince Charming at Central Casting. But in real life there are not enough princes—charming or otherwise—to go around.

Listed in the Almanack de Gotha are 26 spinster princesses—and only 16 princes of marriageable age. Not all the princesses come from reigning houses. Two of the prettiest are Maria Gabriella and Maria Beatrice, daughters of Italy's ex-King Umberto. But the biggest problems are...

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