But for a scheduling conflict, Genovia might have had a different princess on the throne.
Actress Christy Carlson Romano has shared another behind-the-scenes story from her time as a Disney Channel star. This time, Romano said that producers of the Disney sitcom Even Stevens, on which she starred alongside Shia LaBeouf from 2000 to 2003, made her miss an audition for the lead role in The Princess Diaries, which ultimately went to Anne Hathaway.
"It is almost time for me to leave to go get ready for the audition, and I get called in by the producers and they say, 'Christy, we don't have time for you to go to the audition today,'" Romano recalled in a video posted to her YouTube channel. "At the time, you couldn't just put yourself on tape… so if you didn't show up for the audition, chances are you weren't gonna get an opportunity. And this was a big one."
She continued, "It was a big chance, and unfortunately, I didn't get a chance… I wanted to do this audition so badly. I don't know why, but I just knew it could be a big deal for me. I didn't get that audition. I didn't get to go because we had to film overtime or something like that. So, sadly, I never got my shot at that."
A representative for Disney Channel did not immediately respond to EW's request for comment.
Romano added that she believes The Princess Diaries "would have made my career if I would have got it." Released in 2001, the coming-of-age comedy grossed more than $165 million worldwide, spawned a 2004 sequel, and made a star of Hathaway, who received widespread praise for her performance.
Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images; Everett Collection Christy Carlson Romano; Anne Hathaway in 'The Princess Diaries'
Romano also said that her story "isn't to say that [Hathaway] wasn't the right person for the role. She's amazing. She was so cute in it, and so charming." She added that she has met Hathaway multiple times — including at her audition for the Broadway musical Parade in 1998 — and her interactions with the Devil Wears Prada star have been "all positive."
"It's not fair to pit women against each other," Romano said in the video. "I think we can all support one another… Just because [Hathaway] looks like me doesn't mean we're the same talent. It doesn't mean that she or I have more or less talent."