Recently, I have some interesting discussions with one of my readers pertaining to my earlier post
Her insights have inspired me to write this. We agreed that Albert had changed both his look and body build during his adolescence. For example, here is a link that contains photos from various life stages of Prince William in Great Britain. You can compare Prince William’s appearances being a teenager and being a grown-up. The older Prince William was, the more he looked like his adult self.
When Princess Diana died in a car accident, Prince William was merely 15 years old. In the picture shown in the link below Prince William was nearly as tall as his father, Prince Charles (about 180 cm). His brother, Prince Harry, being two years younger, still looked very childish. Now both Prince William and Prince Harry are roughly 190 cm tall.
Thus, as I have explained in my previous post, it makes more sense that Prince on the Hill was at most fifteen then. (Many thanks to my reader for providing the links.)
The picture above shows that Anthony and Candy’s prince looked like the same person (if you look closely the hair of Prince on the Hill is thicker and more wavy than Anthony’s), so that was why at first sight Candy mistook Anthony as her prince. However, once Candy had cleared her head she realized that her prince should have been an adult by then. It was six to seven years after their first encounter after all. Hence she knew they were not the same guy. But my reader doubted Candy truly remembered her Prince on the Hill that well. Could it be that Candy’s memory of her prince was vague and Anthony’s image simply replaced the prince in her mind?
I don’t think so. Anthony seemed to know who her prince was just based on the simple facts that her prince looked very much like himself and also had left Candy a badge with the Ardlay’s family insignia.
According to the novels, Albert had been isolated from his family clan ever since he had become the only male descendant, but he could spend time with his own sister, Rosemary, Anthony’s mother, before she passed away. Therefore, Anthony might have remembered his young uncle; as a matter of fact, minutes before his tragic accident in the forest, Anthony was about to reveal to Candy that her prince might be the boy by his mother’s side.
In Candy Candy Final Story (CCFS), Candy with hindsight remembered this conversation with Anthony in her mental letter to Anthony. She confirmed that Anthony and Albert indeed shared similar appearances, having the same eye and hair colors. We readers could also see that they were both placid and tender-hearted kind of men, who loved nature (with the main difference being Anthony liked flowers whereas Albert liked animals).
My reader then joked that Candy’s eyes or memory were not reliable because Candy thought Terry looked like Anthony too when she first saw Terry on the ship. However, I reasoned that Candy soon realized her own mistake, and yet she still insisted that Anthony and her prince looked very similar.
At any rate, my reader and I both acknowledged that the memory of Prince on the Hill had made a big impact on Candy. She developed interest in Anthony (almost love at first sight) mainly because he looked like her Prince on the Hill. Likewise, she noticed Terry because he reminded her of Anthony. However, Candy had strong affection for Albert not because he looked like anyone. Albert was just Albert, the original. She didn’t even see her prince in Albert. She liked Albert a lot after being rescued by him from the waterfall. Their bond and friendship after that was nearly inexplicable. Just like Candy said in the novels, she and Albert had been tied by invisible thread.
So what did Albert think? Did he think that he and Anthony looked alike?
In the old Candy Candy novel, Albert wrote to Candy the following: “The prince living in your mind is as young as Anthony. I was worried I would ruin your dream…”
What exactly did he mean? Was he joking that her prince had grown too old that she simply couldn’t recognize him even after living together with him for more than a year? Or was he serious that she had wanted to keep her prince’s image as young as Anthony?
Only Mizuki knows what Albert was thinking when he wrote the statements above, but in CCFS Candy gave excuses why she couldn’t see her prince in Albert. Her first impression of Albert, his pirate’s image, had been well imprinted in her memory (with long, unkempt brown hair and full beard). My reader and I wondered why the handsome and neat Albert could not erase that pirate image in Candy’s mind, but is it possible that Albert was well aware of that so he was worried that he would ruin her dream?
Nonetheless, one thing is indisputable. Candy was thrilled to know that Albert was actually her prince. Her letters to Albert (in both novels) after he had revealed his ‘princehood’ indicated that she was overjoyed that her prince was no other man than Albert. Therefore, Albert should not have worried. From the old novel, Albert told Candy in his letter that a load had been lifted off his shoulders because Candy readily accepted him as her prince. Let me guess. Candy had told Albert long ago that Prince on the Hill had been her first love, so do you see what Albert implied here? And what essentially made Candy so ecstatic about Albert being her prince?
Last but not the least, note that Candy used to be keen on meeting her prince again and eager to find out more about him from Anthony. However, after Candy had discovered Albert’s true identity, she could have asked Albert about her prince but she didn’t. Had she lost interest or simply forgotten about Prince on the Hill? Or was her heart already occupied by someone else (like what she had told Anthony years ago)?
What do you think?
I believe the answer can be found in the old novel when Candy wrote her first letter to Albert, addressing him as her prince. She told Albert that she had never forgotten her childhood prince, and it was such a precious memory to her. In her writing, she could hardly contain her joy, and the way she described her feelings was like a typical girl who had fallen in love. Her letter was so dreamy like she was floating in the clouds. Why? Because she was back to her first love. I will talk more in my next post.