Shy San Francisco teenager Mia Thermopolis (Anne Hathaway) is thrown for a loop when, from out of the blue, she learns the astonishing news that she's a real-life princess! As the heir apparent to the crown of the small european principality of Genovia, Mia begins a comical journey towards the throne when her strict and formidable grandmother, queen Clarisse Renaldi (Julie Andrews), shows up to give her "princess lesson." The two instantly clash - Mia has no intention of leaving her normal life to become the ruler of a far-off country, while queen Clarisse insists it is her duty. Clarisse is determined to do a complete makeover of this sparkling - if not polished - diamond in the rough in order that she take her rightful place in the royal line of succession. Now the reluctant princess must make the biggest decision of her life - whether to remain with her family - or leave everything behind to accept the royal responsibilities that comes with being the princess of genovia.