Whatever comes,” she said, “cannot alter one thing. If I am a princess in rags and tatters, I can be a princess inside. It would be easy to be a princess if I were dressed in cloth of gold, but it is a great deal more of a triumph to be one all the time when no one knows it.”
― Frances Hodgson Burnett, A Little Princess
This is a true story. Sort of. Once upon a time in a hot and distant land there lived a humble peasant. He was a good and honest man who toiled in the fields all day until late in the evening in order to make enough money to care for his young family, whom he loved dearly.
One evening as he was walking home, in the distance he spied a wicker basket perched on top of a huge boulder. Hurrying closer, he peered into the basket and to his great surprise he saw a tiny infant nestled within and laying upon the child’s blanket was a parchment bound up with a deep blue velvet ribbon.
Curious now, he unbound the parchment and began to read, “This baby girl is a princess whose family fear for her safety and should you agree to care for her, she will bring you good fortune and untold joy for the rest of your days. I must caution you however to keep this secret, you can never tell anyone that she is a princess. One day when she is grown, she will meet her soul mate, a handsome prince with ebony hair and eyes as deep as pools. The princess will recognise him immediately by the beautiful light in his eyes and he in turn will recognise her by the delicate gold crown, only visible to him, resting lightly upon her head.”
The peasant somewhat taken aback by all this, was unsure of what to do next when all at once the tiny babe gave a sharp cry and opening her dark eyes, fixed him with her steady gaze. He was immediately overcome with joy and determined to take the child home and treat her as one of his own. “I shall call her Shantal”, he said to himself, “because I found her on a boulder in this stony place.”
So it was that many happy years passed and as promised, Shantal brought much joy to her parents and grew into a tiny but beautiful maiden. One hot summers day as she sat at the feet of the village’s wise man, listening to his lessons, out of the corner of her eye she saw a young man coming towards her. “I thought you might be thirsty,” he said, offering her a cup of cool water. As she took it from him, their eyes met and she recognised the beautiful light in those dark pools and he glimpsed the invisible crown upon her head, they fell in love in an instant.
Even though they were both as poor as church mice, the handsome prince vowed to make her his own and one day build her a palace fit for a princess. Princess Shantal’s father, now grown old and weak, delighted with the young man exclaimed, “What a good and noble son you are, I know that you will take great care of my princess and give her all that her heart desires! With that knowledge, I can die a happy man.”
Some years later, including the exhilarating highs and devastating lows that life has to offer, the prince and princess finally built their palace together and just recently I spent one delightful night there.
The princess spoiled me rotten with delicious food and drink.
Every corner is a new delight for the eyes. Top right hand image shows a hand blown chandelier all the way from the fairest Cape; it is the pièce de résistance and hangs in the double volume entrance hall.
Cool, tranquil and peaceful. Muted colour schemes to soothe and calm.
Reflective surfaces causing beautiful light to bounce all around the vast space.
The cantilevered staircase designed by the prince himself. How divine is that Vespa lamp?
This raised fireplace between the kitchen and the dining area is a fabulous idea. Taste bud tickling, mini red velvet cupcakes made by the princess’s own fair hand.
Exquisite royal taste is evident in all the decor and finishing touchs.
A fabulous bathroom fit for a prince and princess to relax in. Wink, wink, nudge, nudge – say no more…
Who wouldn’t love a kettle like this? The main bedroom below has a gorgeous balcony overlooking a sparkling blue swimming pool and covered outdoor entertainment area.
Carved headboard and duck egg blue accents. Those bedside lights leave me speechless.
The prince and princess love to decorate their palace with treasures they pick up whilst travelling. Here is the prince hanging a canvas of an image they took in Tuscany. You can also see part of the underside of the cantilevered staircase in the image far left. Oh and I forgot to mention the prince built himself a 9 seater cinema with surround sound upstairs…
Love, love, love the reading room, the buttoned couch and light wood coffee table.
Look carefully, can you see the princess’s crown? I can.
No-one deserves this beautiful home more than these two special people.
The moral of the story? Some fairy tales do come true.