The Ordinary Princess by M.M. Kaye, 1986.
When you are king,
I shall be queen.”
Everyone is excited when a seventh princess is born in the kingdom of Phantasmorania. Everyone knows that seventh princesses are always the luckiest and the most beautiful. Indeed, when Princess Amethyst Alexandra Augusta Araminta Adelaide Aurelia Anne is born, she is a beautiful baby who never cries and who has perfect blonde curls and blue eyes. But, when one of her fairy godmothers, Old Crustacea, comes to the christening to give her blessing and sees all the perfect presents everyone has given her and little Princess Amethyst’s six perfect older sisters, she decides, “I am going to give you something that will probably bring you more happiness than all these fal-lals and fripperies put together. You shall be Ordinary!”
Of course the king and queen are horrified, but there’s nothing to be done. From that day on, Princess Amethyst becomes an ordinary baby who grows up to be an ordinary girl. She cries when she’s hungry and tired. Her golden hair darkens to a mouse brown and loses its curl. She gets freckles! Sometimes, she even makes spelling mistakes!
While everyone else is distressed at Princess Amethyst’s (now called Amy most of the time) lack of perfection, Amy realizes that Old Crustacea was right about it making her happier. While her perfect sisters must behave themselves and keep their clothes clean, Princess Amy sneaks off to run and play. She meets ordinary people, makes new friends, and has fun adventures.
But, eventually, all of her sisters grow up and get married. When it’s Princess Amy’s turn, most of the princes aren’t interested because she’s not the beautiful, perfect seventh princess that she’s supposed to be. Amy would be alright with that, but when her father and his advisors come up with an outlandish scheme to attract a prince that involves a dragon, Amy decides to put a stop to it by running away.
For a time, she lives a carefree life in the forest, but eventually, like all ordinary people do, she realizes that she’s going to need money to buy new clothes. On the advice of Crustacea, she journeys to a neighboring kingdom and finds a job in the palace there as a kitchen maid. Actually, she finds more than that, finding her place in the world and someone who loves her for the ordinary princess that she is.
The book contains many small, black-and-white illustrations.