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Anne Hathaway is an award-winning actress, who is best known these days for her work in dramatic movies. Still, for many of Hathaway’s long-time fans, her most iconic role is in the coming-of-age film The Princess Diaries.

The film, which co-starred Julie Andrews, cemented Hathaway’s superstar status and helped to open the door to even more opportunities in Hollywood. These days, The Princess Diaries remains as popular as ever, and with all the ongoing buzz about a third film in the franchise, fans are looking to learn even more about the original film that influenced so many childhoods. 

When did ‘The Princess Diaries’ come out?

Julie Andrews and Anne Hathaway at the premiere party for 'The Princess Diaries'
Julie Andrews and Anne Hathaway at the premiere party for ‘The Princess Diaries’ | SGranitz/WireImage

The Princess Diaries was released in 2001, based on a popular young adult novel of the same name. Starring the up and coming young actress Anne Hathaway (who was at the time best known for her work in the television series Get Real), the movie co-starred the iconic actress Julie Andrews, Hector Elizondo, Mandy Moore, and Heather Matarazzo.

The movie tells the story of a young, socially-awkward woman named Mia Thermopolis, and how her life drastically changes when she finds out that she is the heir to the throne of a small European kingdom. The Princess Diaries became a big commercial success, with critics praising Hathaway’s performance, as well as Andrews’ stately grace.

A sequel to The Princess Diaries was released three years later, and while The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement, wasn’t as big of a hit as the original film, it was quite well-received. 

Fans still love ‘The Princess Diaries’

Over the years, The Princess Diaries has become a nostalgic touchpoint for many fans, especially those who were young when the film was first released. These days, it is considered to be one of the most beloved films of the early 2000s.

For the past several years, there has been some serious buzz that a third film in the franchise is in the works. While nothing official has been announced yet, Anne Hathaway has confirmed that she is on board for a sequel.

“There is a script. I wanna do it, Julie (Andrews) wants to do it, Debra Martin Chase our producer wants to do it. We all really want it to happen, it’s just we don’t want to do it unless it’s perfect because we love it just as much as you guys love it,” Hathaway told Andy Cohen in 2019. “It’s important to us as it is to you, and we don’t want to deliver anything unless it’s ready. But we’re working on it.”

What happened in the alternate ending to ‘The Princess Diaries’?


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Whether a third film happens or not, the fact remains that the original The Princess Diaries is a hugely popular film. A lot of the film’s enduring popularity could have to do with the warm and touching way that the film ended, with Mia Thermopolis agreeing to take ownership of her heritage and deciding to move to Genovia to train as a royal.

The final seconds of the film show Mia on a plane to Genovia, surrounded by the people she loves the most. Still, at one point, the film was going to end very differently.

According to, the film was originally supposed to end with Mia simply agreeing to become a princess. However, director Garry Marshall’s granddaughter spoke up after she saw the finished cut of the movie, stating that she would like it more if audiences could see the castle that Mia is traveling to. Marshall placated his daughter, adding the footage of a lavish castle, and giving viewers a better sense of closure in the process.