Rachel Maddow wasn't an intrepid journalist for nothing. When the kingdom of Far Far Away became embroiled in a political scandal to top all scandals, Rachel knew she just had to get involved and investigate the mysterious disappearance of the heir-apparent Princess. She didn't imagine falling in love with the 'troublesome' princess, but that's getting way too ahead of the story. Let's start at the beginning, with a King and Queen who did not want to join the modern age, a Jester who liked to cause trouble, and an evil cousin who really wanted to be King.
There were no boys had by the King and Queen, you see, so the Princess was all that was left. And whomever married her would be King and she would be the doting Queen. Or so the story was supposed to go. The Princess – and it's here Rachel Maddow got so fed up with 'Princess' she started calling the Princess Amy, just to 'give the poor woman a normal name' – had other plans. Amy did not want to be married off and watch as someone else ruled the kingdom. So she'd announced her intentions to not marry. And, to put it simply, she hadn't.
Such an uproar was had, with many of the loyal subjects calling for her abdication. Lest you think all of Far Far Away was backwards about how things were done, Amy also had a great deal of supporters, who wondered in awe about what a Queen would be like as a leader of their people. The King and Queen – in particular the King – were very nervous about this. They invited many suitors over who might woo her, but she was not wooed and (very) politely turned them away.
Which brings us to the evil cousin, the son of the Queen's brother. If Amy were out of the way, he was next in line for the throne. So he devised many a way to get rid of Amy, to turn the public against her, so she would have no choice but to step down. But Amy would hear none of it, and said such things like 'I won't let the loudest people become the majority just because they're loud'. This worried the evil cousin, because he feared that she was right, that it wasn't as large a sample of the population. Luck fell into his lap when Amy announced she was pregnant through an anonymous sperm donor.
Now Rachel Maddow [yes, you thought I'd forgotten all about her, didn't you?] had been paying a little attention to the story. She liked empowered women; she liked being able to go on her show at night and talk to a lot of other women and girls about the powerful women who were all around them. She liked that Amy had decided not to marry and was forging ahead into worlds unknown to Far Far Away. She knew the story up to the point where Amy had announced that she was pregnant by an anonymous sperm donor. The Kingdom hadn’t erupted into too large an uproar over that announcement - they were used to the scandals. But then the Jester had announced that he was really the father, and thus entitled to be King, and Amy had disappeared from the all-seeing public eye. The evil cousin argued that without her presence, this meant she had abdicated-by-silence [which Rachel Maddow didn’t even realise was a valid option], and thus he was to be named heir-apparent. The Jester was having none of it, and was demanding that he be named the heir-apparent.
Knowing something was up - because Amy had never appeared to be the type to just abdicate the throne - Rachel put in for two weeks of vacation time and headed off to the land of Far Far Away, as this was not a story the network really wanted to pursue. The Jester was far too eager to talk to her, but he couldn’t tell her anything about the baby - how far along Amy was, or even how long he’d been sleeping with Amy. Or why - and this was most important to Rachel - he had waited until after Amy announced she was pregnant by a sperm donor to come forward. If he had wanted to be King, why didn’t he announce the pregnancy - or the relationship - first? Why all the secrecy? He was not too helpful.
Also not helpful? Was the evil cousin, who very smarmily told Rachel that she would have to talk to his publicist. ‘What’s a guy who wants to be a leader doing with a publicist?’ Rachel asked when she called her boss to let him know how vacation was going. He agreed and sent her a camera man. Not that a camera man helped her get to the bottom of it, but she did go back and try to re-interview the Jester, who refused to be on camera.
She didn’t have access to the King and Queen, which made trying to find Amy all the harder, as she had no-one to ask about where the woman might go. The nursemaid however, proved exceptionally helpful. She approached Rachel right after Rachel had left the castle, turned away by the King and Queen. ‘I know where the Princess is’, she said, ‘and I’ll talk about why the Princess left.’ Rachel knew better than to turn down information, so she set up a talk with the girl.
‘A Kingdom besmirched by a pregnancy scandal. A Princess in hiding. And an uncooperative Court. Tonight’s special report: What is going on Far Far Away? We’ll be joined later by Princess Amy’s handmaiden to help shed some light on the situation, but first, let’s look at where it all started …’
Now Amy, who had been in hiding, didn’t really know what was going on. She didn’t have a television deep in the woods where she was hidden. She when Rachel Maddow showed up in the woods, with a camera man, she was surprised, to say the least.
‘I can’t let my child be dragged into this,’ Amy said, with quiet resolve. ‘This was my fight, and now that it’s turned into a power struggle, I will not subject my child to endless paternity tests from every lustful, wishful man.’
Rachel was flabbergasted. ‘Don’t you think the people have a right-’
‘I don’t owe them anything. This is my choice’
Rachel was still flabbergasted. ‘How can this be your choice when they ran you out, when they essentially put you to sleep? Don’t you -’
Amy stamped her foot in frustration. ‘Don’t think that just because you’re a journalist you can convince me to go back!’
‘Do you know how many people have Tweeted me since I ran the segment last night?’ Rachel asked. ‘Too many for words. There’s a hashtag dedicated to you: #findthePrincess.’
Her curiosity piqued, Amy logged on to her twitter to see for herself. Sure enough, there was an outpouring of support for her. It made her afraid to check her email, which she had been avoiding since the whole scandal had started. [Not that a single woman who is pregnant should be a scandal, even when it’s the heir to a throne, and especially when it’s as independent of a woman as Amy, but I don’t write the rules, sadly.]
‘You can go back,’ Rachel said. ‘Considering that the Jester doesn’t even know how pregnant you are and can’t tell the King and Queen why he was performing at the balls meant to find you a suitor during a time frame during which he would have had to have been sleeping with you … I’d say no one is going to take his claims too seriously when you show back up.’ She signaled the camera man to stop rolling and added: ‘Besides, you really don’t want evil cousin to be King do you? It would definitely mess up relationships between the US and Far Far Away. I can’t promise things will go well, but you’ll always have me as an ally.’
Truth be told, Rachel was a little impressed that Amy would sacrifice being Queen to ensure that her child didn’t have to be drawn into a huge paternity test brouhaha. If she didn’t have Susan, she could see herself falling for Amy.
Amy did not help matters by leaning in and kissing Rachel full on the mouth.
I could end the story there, I really could, and leave you with that ambiguous ending and wailing about ‘but did they get their happily ever after?’ I could tell you this is a fairy tale, and not all fairy tales end well, and let you extrapolate from that what you will. But as I said way in the beginning, Rachel didn’t anticipate falling in love with the Princess. I threw that in to be snarky, to be honest, to keep you reading. Because while Rachel did fall in love with Amy the Princess, who went on to retake her claim to the throne and beat down all losers who attempted to claim paternity, Rachel had her own fairy tale ending to go home to. Love exists in many forms, after all.
[Oh, I should add, the Princess? Was so impressed with Rachel Maddow’s accomplishments while being openly gay* (aside to the aside: not that being gay SHOULD be a disadvantageous thing, but I don’t write the rules, and Far Far Away isn’t exactly liberal-utopia, nor for that matter is the US), that she found the courage to come out herself and once she got over Rachel, she starting dating a very nice woman named Sarah. In due time, Far Far Away will likely have two Queens to lead them, and Amy will inspire a new generation towards being open and honest and not letting anyone ‘put you to sleep’ by making you something you’re not. A true ‘Sleeping Beauty’ indeed.]
[This is a fairy tale people. Of course that end bit is sappy. You want cynicism, go read the news. Except Rachel. Because she’s awesome. Trufax.]