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Role in the film
As Queen Constantina informs their son Prince Christopher about the ball she is planning to throw in order for him to find a bride, King Maximilian is thinking intently about a chess match. Prince Christopher complains that his mother can't keep interfering with his love life, but she can't seem to accept his views on the matter and asks her husband what their son means. The king explains that their son doesn't want to have another ball, but Queen Constantina can't seem to stomach the idea. She appeals to her husband to talk sense into Prince Christopher, so he tells his son that all they want is for him to be happy, but they feel that it's time he chose a bride and produce and heir. Prince Christopher explains that he wants to marry someone he's in love with and although the king understands, the queen insists there's no reason he can't find his true love at the ball. Noticing that his mother hasn't heard a word he's said, the prince leaves and the king goes back to his chess match as his wife calls Lionel in to inform the village of the ball.
On the day of the ball, the king and queen are overseeing the ball preparations and the prince is not at all happy about it. He confronts his parents and demand that they cancel the ball and tell everyone that they are very ashamed of themselves for going behind his back. The king states that he's never been ashamed in his life, nearly knocking Lionel down from a ladder by accident in the process. Lionel uses his diplomacy skills to arrange a compromise: the prince will go to the ball, but if he does not find a bride there he will be allowed to find his true love in his own way without any interference from his parents no matter how long it takes. King Maximilian easily accepts and convinces the reluctant queen that its a fair agreement. Prince Christopher is so happy he hugs his parents and gives Lionel a grateful pat before he takes his leave. Lionel reassures the king and queen that he is sure the prince will find a bride at the ball, but Queen Constantina says Lionel "will feel it in his bones if he doesn't" and slaps him off his ladder. Glancing unconcernedly at the fallen Lionel, the royal majesties depart.
Later that evening, King Maximilian and his wife preside over the ball from their thrones, watching their son dance unenthusiastically with various maidens. The queen is certain that Prince Christopher is bound to find someone, but her husband isn't so optimistic. However, Queen Constantina turns out to be right when the mysterious Cinderella arrives and sweeps a mesmerized Prince Christopher off his feet. Both royal majesties are very intrigued by this beautiful mystery woman as they watch her whirl past with their son. King Maximilian even implies that if he were a younger man, he'd be wooing her himself.
After it becomes clear that Prince Christopher is positively spellbound by Cinderella and no one else, the royal parents join in the dancing in order to meet her. Deftly switching partners, the queen slips into a dance with her son as the king slides into a dance with Cinderella. King Maximilian comments on her almost-magical arrival and asks her if the prince is treating her well before he and the queen switch partners again. As Queen Constantina has her turn talking with Cinderella, the king holds back Prince Christopher, who is visibly worried that his mother will somehow scare her off. His worries are proved to be justified when Cinderella suddenly dashes outside. Trampling Lionel, whom the Cinderella's stepmother accidentally flung to the ground, the prince follows her into the gardens. The king and queen, completely bemused at her unexpected reaction, wander off to discuss Cinderella after glancing unconcernedly at the once-again fallen Lionel. The next time they see their son, he pushes past them to chase after Cinderella. Unfortunately, he is unable to catch her this time.
The next morning, a very concerned King Maximilian and Queen Constantina ask their son to eat something. He declares that he won't eat or rest until he's found Cinderella, despite his father's warning that he knows nothing about her and may never see her again. But the prince is determined, explaining how he's been looking for something all his life and that's he's finally found it in Cinderella. Realizing his son is truly in love, King Maximilian encourages him to search for her for as long as it takes.
Soon enough, the king and queen are happily attending their son's wedding to Cinderella.
- "Your mother was talking, I was listening."
- "Chris, it's really very simple. All your mother and I want is for you to be happy."