Princess Camilla was plain and ugly unlike the princesses that we come across in romances and fairy-tales. Her parents, the King and the Queen, were worried that no one would be willing to marry her. They tried their best to get her married. They held a love tournament. There the suitors would try to dislodge the other horse riders and the suitors who would be on his horse after all had fallen off would marry the princess. But none of the suitors were willing to marry her. So everyone fell off from their horses accepting voluntary defeat. The man who fell last was declared to be the winner but he suddenly disappeared and while crossing the moat to avoid the unwanted marriage he fell into the moat and died.
A prince of a distant country, named Prince Simon, who had not seen her or heard of her, was coming to court her. The play started there. The king and the queen were worried that the prince also might not marry her when he would know that she was ugly. But the princess herself was the least worried. She herself thought that she was beautiful while the others thought otherwise. She believed in the blessings of Aunt Malkin, her god-mother that she would look beautiful on her wedding day and she would marry the man who would find her beautiful first. She had blessed her that none would find her beautiful before that. She did so for a wise reason. When a lady is beautiful, everyone praises her. She then, grows vain and proud. Vanity is the root of suffering.
So Princess Camilla grew up without vanity. Thus, she grew beautiful at least in her mind with her spontaneous simplicity and unaffected heart. However the king and the queen who looked at her from an ordinary point of view were very worried. They planned a ruse to get her married through a deception or a ruse. When Prince Simon would come, they decided to present Dulcibella as the princess and the princess as Dulcibella. Dulcibella was the maid of the princess. She was extremely attractive. So the prince would be willing to marry her. But at the time of the ceremony, Princess Camilla veiled in her veil, would be married to Prince Simon. Once married, the prince would be duty bound to take. Prince Simon had however heard that Princess Camilla was extremely beautiful and haughty. He was afraid of meeting her.
He presented his man, Carlo, as the prince and himself as Carlo. But he had planned that at the time of marriage, he would put on his armour to hide himself and marry the princess. Impatient at the tiresome working of the drawbridge, Prince Simon came into the palace and into the court-room. Princess Camilla was there and she met him. Prince Simon presented himself as Carlo, his own servant. Princess Camilla gave herself out as Dulcibella. Camilla admired the courage of the prince that he dared to cross the moat, taking help of the tree, though he did not know how to swim. She further revealed that she often crossed the moat to go out in secret and initially she fell into the moat but she saved herself by swimming.
The prince was very impressed by the courage of the princess. Thus they came to admire each other. Princess Camilla had somehow grown beautiful. The prince found her very attractive. He held her up and declared his love. The princess was also very happy. She knew that she would marry the man who would find her beautiful. They exchanged their secrets. Prince Simon told her that he was not Carlo but the prince himself. Princess Camilla also told her secret to him that she was the princess herself. On the other hand, Carlo met Dulcibella. Carlo was already a married man and did not want to marry anybody. According to the rule of the country, the suitor could marry the princess only if he answers the riddle correctly.
The Chancellor asked the riddle to Carlo: “What was that, that had four legs and that mewed?” Carlo gave the wrong answer intentionally though the correct answer was obvious. He said that it was a dog. He probably thought Dulcibella was too crude for his prince or he had forgotten that he was giving proxy for him. However, Prince Simon came to the rescue. He explained that in his country such an animal was called a dog. The king who was only anxious to get his daughter married somehow agreed with the explanation. At the time of the ceremony of marriage, the real princess in her veil and the real prince in his armour were married. So after all Prince Simon married Princess Camilla only to live happily there after.