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A royal pain

In the early 1800s when Hans Christian Andersen penned his literary fairy tale The Princess and the Pea it received mixed reactions.

A story that begins with the classic fairytale story hook of a handsome prince in search of his perfect princess, The Princess and the Pea sees the prince in a three-bears-like pursuit of a ‘real’ princess, unlike the imperfect princesses he has encountered so far. So, when a young woman claiming to be a princess takes shelter from a storm at his castle, her regal sensibilities are put to the test by placing a pea underneath the 20 mattresses that comprise her bed. The following morning when the princess complains of a poor night’s sleep, she proves her royal lineage and seals her fate to marry the prince. 

Whichever way you look at it, it’s a funny old tale. 

Christian Anderson’s contemporaries saw the tale as an attack on the Dutch bourgeoisie, an elite section of society in which he never felt at ease. Many modern critics lament the weakness of the princess in the tale and the fact that her feebleness to withstand discomfort and her rudeness to complain to her hosts win her the day. Others read the tale more compassionately and see her sensitivity as a metaphor for her depth of character.

Thankfully in a modern world we don’t need royal lineage to demand a comfortable bed to sleep on, and certainly most of us will have experienced our share of right royal aches and pains when we’ve slept in a poor quality bed!

Sleep like a royal when you choose a bed or mattress from our Perfect Sleep collection from Millbrook Beds. Find out more about our handmade beds at millbrookbeds.co.uk now and our pea-free recipe for Perfect Sleep.