Tradition could be a right bugbear. Three good fairy godmothers was what tradition said and appease the wicked fairy when she inevitably turned up, or try and turn the resulting curse into a way of attracting a useful son-in-law. Tradition didn’t say what to do if only the wicked fairy turned up and said wicked fairy then pronounced the baby to be a nice child, gifted her with a rather expensive but tasteful silver christening mug and drifted off after the buffet lunch with the departing promise to, “Mention her to some people I know who’ll be looking for a wife.” It all seemed rather anticlimactic.
Unblighted by fairy gifts, Princess Honoria grew up a normal girl of normal appearance. Her older sister had “hair of gold and eyes of blue”, her younger sister had eyes that were “sapphire stars” and hair that was “a torrent of midnight sable”, but Honoria had brown hair and grey eyes. Instead of being “deft with all she turns her hand to” she had to persevere with her sewing and dancing and although bright, she was not so bright as to out shine her masters or be bored by her lessons. Not for her the dodging of talking frogs and discovering that her horse could talk, her life was much more comfortable than that. Then suitors began to turn up.
Her sisters got handsome, gifted, fairy blessed suitors: handsome princes, every one seeking the hand of the fairest in the land. Honoria got the plain and ordinary looking, often frighteningly intelligent sons of wicked usurpers.