Calera girls learn to be princesses

Published 2:29 pm Monday, February 27, 2012

Princesses Bethany Harris, left, and Oliva Haskin demonstrate the proper way to pour tea into a teacup. (Contributed)

By MOLLIE BROWN / Community Columnist

When I was a child and really, really, really, wanted something I wouldn’t just say please. I would say, “Pretty please with a cherry on top!” It was a way of being polite and insistent at the same time.

Children today are insistent, but words like “please,” and “thank you” seem to be forgotten. Spend a few moments in Walmart’s toy department and you’ll see what I mean.

Roy Downs Memorial Library Fairy Tale Ball on Feb. 18 was preceded by an afternoon tea to teach etiquette and manners. Rhonda Cracraft, Friends of the Calera Public Library vice-president, said being a princess is contingent on inner beauty.

“Princesses rely on their royal advisers — mom, dads, grandparents — to lead and guide them,” Cracraft said. “There are proper ways in doing things like sitting, using manners, being beautiful on the inside, showing kindness and being a true friend.”

As the princesses arrived, they were escorted by Snow White, Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood, Tinker Bell, Humpty Dumpty, Goldilocks, Little Miss Muffett, Ariel and Prince Charming to the tea room. Tables were set with tiaras to decorate, punch glasses and scrumptious cupcakes.

The tea was led by Bethany Harris, a senior at Evangel Christian School. Harris leads girls Bible studies, tutors in math and reading and teaches theatre and princess workshops. Harris said being a princess is fun, but you must learn how to act, talk and dress like a princess.

“You may know you’re a princess, but no one else will know if you don’t act like one,” Harris said. “You must have poise, that’s the way you carry yourself. You must sit like a princess, feet together or heels crossed, and your back straight. And when you’re standing, your shoulders back to show you’re proud to be a princess.”

Harris said basic table manners begin with placing your napkin in your lap and waiting for everyone at your table to be served. It is important to say please and thank you, as well as chew with your mouth closed. The princesses served themselves from a buffet table of finger foods and practiced pouring tea.

Harris asked if anyone knew what it meant to have inner beauty. Aeryn Busby raised her hand. “It’s the inside of you, when you’re good on the inside you’re pretty.”

The tea concluded with the princesses learning the royal wave. If you are interested in Harris’ summer theater and princess workshops, contact her at

Mollie Brown can be reached at