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Princess of China - The Hidden Meaning


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Yesterday, me thinked that song should be called "Queen of China". Why? Because King go with Queen (not "Princess"). If he King, and she with him, then she become Queen. You see?


OK, but then last night, I realized the following:


Maybe the line "you'd be a King" is a reference to the future. The male, currently Prince, would become the King. Basically, we're gaining insight into the female character's persona. She's doesn't really care for the guy. She cares more about what he will be (and what she'll be, Queen). She speaks of rings and castles and stuff.


This must be why the male character left her (hurting her), because this hurts him.


The song is about a Prince, and his would-be Princess bride that's only concerned with becoming Queen (as a Princess, in the present, she can only think of her destiny as a Queen... because he'd be, at some point, a King). So he leaves her.



Coldplay didn't make a Monarchy-mistake. The lyrics are deeper than they appear.

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She sings 'I could have been a princess, you'd be the king'

It's both set in the future (hence the 'd') and related to eachother as in he would only become a king if she would have become a princess, at least that's how I read it.


I don't understand how this would hint at her only being concerned with becoming a queen. If so, then I would expect her to sing 'I could have been a queen' instead of 'princess'. She also says how he would have a ring, not her.

Also, I think people are taking this king/princess thing too literal. She's not talking about how they would become a royal couple, she's talking about king/princess as in feeling that they both would rule the world when being a happy couple. Yep, now you can find that deep as well ;)

Do you think that makes sense?

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Eh okay, so not :S


But I still don’t see how she cares only about becoming a queen according to the lyrics :S


• She could have been a Princess

• He would be King

• We assume it's a love song about these two, and King/Princess sort of makes sense... both refer to Monarchy.

• But, WAIT A MINUTE, a Princess is the daughter of a King. The female a King ends up with becomes a Queen! Why is the word "Princess" used?


One way to make sense of it, is to treat the girl as only being interested in the title. She can't even say "I could have been a Princess... you would be a Prince." She skips that whole consideration. All she cares about, is what he will be one day, a King. Why would she care? Well, she'd be Queen!


"I could have been a Princess. You'd be a King."


I could have been a Princess with someone destined to be a King.

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  • 4 months later...

Your logic breaks down at the assumption that "could have" refers to right now. "Could" refers to a possibility - in this case, she sings about the past in which the possibility of her becoming a princess was destroyed. Thus, as a possibility, and NOT the present, it remains in the future.


On top of that, you can't assume that all she wants is the title by a few lines of the song. It's like reading "Thank you for applying to our college" and assuming that that means you're accepted, but when in reality, the letter later says "We're sorry, but we regretfully say that we cannot admit you to our school."


Look at the song as a whole.


What you need to do is take into consideration what they mean by Princess and King. Don't take it literally. They're just metaphorical personas. What is the connotation of a princess? Girls who are called princesses are usually provided for, even spoiled, to the point where they demand a lot (however, that's not to say they act like brats, nor is that to say that all they want are material objects. Maybe the "princess" demands more time and attention from the "king"). What about a king? A man who rules over the nation and can provide. But maybe the king can't always provide for what the princess wants (maybe he doesn't have enough time to spend with her and give her the attention she wants).


What the king wants and what a princess demands can conflict. With enough conflict, the king can decide to disown the princess. In doing so, the family, home, and their unity are destroyed. Where does the song support this? "Could've had a castle, worn a ring." In this case, the castle represents the grand home/family they could have continued to have together, as also represented by the ring - unity in how the ring is continuous. The two even "fell apart"


The song also supports this theory in the fact that both artists sing "You really hurt me." The king was hurt because the princess, in demanding so much and conflicting with him, seemed to turn against him. The princess in this case could have been hurt by the fact that the king disowned her and left her with no place to go. All a metaphor for why the two lovers broke up - they couldn't meet each other's demands, so in conflict, they decided to break up, leaving each other hurt in the end.

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  • 3 months later...

I have recently gotten into a fight with my dad and my step mom. She is being really abusive and evil, I would say. And this is making my father and I drift apart, to the point where we are kind of like strangers. I love him a lot, and this is really making me sad.

So then I was listening to the acoustic version of Princess of China, and then it hit me. Maybe, just maybe it is about a Father and his Daughter, who are fighting, but want to resolve the problem.


"Once upon a time we fell apart

You're holding in your hands the two halves of my heart"

They got into a fight, but the daughter still has hope.


"Once upon a time we burned bright

Now all we ever seem to do is fight

On and on, and on and on and on

Once upon a time on the same side"

They were strong together, as one family, on the same side, but now all they do is fight.


"I could have been a princess, you'd be a king"

They feel as if they aren't a family, "I could have been a daughter, you'd be the dad"


Cos you really hurt me, no you really hurt me

They had both made a mistake.


I don't know, but this is my interpretation of the song, sorry I made it too personal. :(

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the songs not about monarchy nor royalty, its about a love in which the woman and man felt they were each others princess and king, but unfortunately they hurt each other in a way that was irreparable... Before they're love could grow more the got one got scared of hurting the other even thought the damage was done... and now theryre blaming each other.... is it really so hard to understand?

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  • 11 years later...

Perhaps it means that he broke her heart immeasurably. Maybe she had been consequently wounded and felt no other choice except to forfeit the chance at royalty, titles, and wealth because they might never have a chance at true happiness. Thus proving that a real relationship was what she yearned for all along and benefits of status were a mere cherry on top in her eyes. She left and he let her go without fighting for her.

Edited by truemeaning
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