Below are some stories that track how things have unfolded since sending my letter.
The latest news is at the top.
It was such a lovely surprise to be awarded the first Love Your Eyes Campaigner of The Year award by HRH Countess of Wessex at the Vision for the Commonwealth gathering in London. The work the IAPB, Sightsavers, Clearly and HRH are doing in the commonwealth to eradicate Trachoma and give every child access to an eye test and glasses is humbling and truly inspiring.
Watch this space...
Dreams do come true
What an amazing honour to actually meet and chat with Jared Bush, writer and director of Encanto. BBC Radio Nottingham surprised me in the studio and I could not believe I was actually talking to him. We spoke the next morning on BBC Breakfast. It was late at night for Jared, and early in the morning for me and I cannot thank Jared enough for his kind and encouraging words.
I can't believe he actually knew about my letter all those years ago.
Mirabel is the perfect role model.
Thank you Jared.
The Writer and Director of Encanto tweeted
Well what a day it was when Jared Bush tweeted in response to a BBC Radio Nottingham interview I did about the amazing new Disney Film Encanto. My dad and I went to watch it together and I smiled the whole way through. I especially loved it when Mirabel's mom said that her glasses were cool. I was asked before the film was released about how I felt about the fact that Mirabel was wearing glasses in the trailer. I said that I really hoped she was wearing her glasses at the end and guess what....she was. WOW.
Mirabel is the best character and I could not have wished for a better glasses wearing role model. I even got to chat to the amazing Stephanie Beatriz (Mirabel) on Radio 2, who said she is a glasses wearer too.
I love Spanish and I am learning it at school, So for Mirabel to bring the Columbian vibes to the screen is an added bonus. I have to mention Lin Manuel Miranda and how much I love his music. He scored again with Encanto.
Jared's Tweet was such an encouragement and I am delighted at the success the film and music is having. Have a look in my videos for the clip he was referring to...
Natalie and I are delighted to announce the release of the Japanese edition of our book. Special thanks must go to Japan Uni Agency for introducing us to our publishers Hayakawa Publishing Inc. We are so grateful that you believed in the story and made this edition a reality. The publishers included an illustrated overview of the journey I have been on and I am thrilled by the way it turned out. Have a look in the gallery for pictures of the illustrations.
Brides with Glasses
Just this time last year, my book was at the printers and getting ready to be launched. I had attended St James’ Palace where I met Sophie, Countess of Wessex and so many wonderful people from within the optometry/eyesight sector.
We talked about how it’s so important to get glasses wearers into mainstream things to help break stereotypes and help people feel confident with their glasses on.
One of my mam’s really good friends was due to get married and she mentioned how everyone kept asking her if she would wear contact lenses for her wedding day. This really got us thinking. Why is it that when you search for wedding inspiration photos, you rarely see brides with glasses on.
Perhaps something needs to be done about this!
With the help of a great team of suppliers from the wedding industry and a stunning model, we brought Princess Rose and her Golden Glasses to life.
We hope that some of the images from this shoot will end up in the right hands and help to normalise wearing glasses on your wedding day.
Our dream is that these photos will make a positive impact, helping brides to know they are beautiful with their glasses on.
Bridal glasses could even be a beautiful (maybe even a statement) accessory and perhaps some eyewear brands could help with this by offering a special bridal range.
If you work in media and would like to preview images & possibly feature our shoot, please get in touch.
Letter from a Real Princess who wears glasses
What an amazing letter to receive. HRH Sophie, Countess of Wessex, sent me this lovely message after receiving my book. I will never forget our time together at St James Palace.
National Woman's Magazine
I am honoured to be featured in Woman's Day, a national woman's magazine in Australia. I have had some lovely messages from people all across the country and many people have kindly ordered Princess Rose.
I had a lovely interview with a reporter from the Daily Express and this article was so encouraging. It is really exciting to see how the story is resonating with so many people. The feedback we have received from people all over the world proves that this is something worth talking about. My mam even had a call from Japan.
Complete surprise!! ITV called up in the morning and wanted to do an interview for the evening news. We all thought it was ITV central but no, it was ITV main news. The website went mental after the programme.
Gallery of Princesses (and Super Cool Kids)
What a lovely surprise to receive this amazing picture. It gave us an idea to start a 'Gallery of Princesses and Super Cool Kids',
If you have a picture you would like to be entered into the gallery we would love to hear from you.
Share it on social media or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
A budding writer
My heart melted when this little one came to pick up her book (they live near by) and she brought her very own book for me to read. Her mother said that up until then she didn't really like writing but when she heard I had released a book she thought she could write one too.
Can't believe it...
Both of us are delighted with the way the book has turned out. We are nervous and excited and really hope people enjoy the story and illustrations.
A massive thank you to www.instantprint.co.uk for your generosity, speed and quality of work. We can't believe that before we went to sleep, 30 books had already been sold .
The book has arrived
I had the privilege of opening the first box of books with the senior staff of my school and my year 6 teacher Mr White. I am so grateful for their support throughout my time at school and for championing me to be the best I can be. My idea to write to Disney came from a creative writing lesson in year 5.
Our book is out NOW
Natalie and I are so proud of our first book. It is available now to purchase. Please send us pics of your child wearing their glasses and holding the book. This will help us get the message out there that glasses do not define you. You are beautiful no matter what.
First to know...
I received my first two notifications from people wanting to know when our book will be available. We are all working hard to get it ready. I really hope it will be an inspiration to the children that read it as one of the people that emailed said her daughter wears glasses and doesn't feel beautiful. She hopes the book will encourage her. My message to everyone is YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL NO MATTER WHAT.
Vision for the Commonwealth
I had a lovely evening with my mam at St James Palace. I was honoured to say a few words to the group and have a beautiful conversation with HRH The Countess of Wessex. She, and everyone in the room, wants to see every child in the Commonwealth have access to eye tests and glasses. We also met the High Commissioners to Ghana and Uganda and it was lovely to see James from Clearly again.
I was invited to St James Palace to be part of an event that aims to help improve access to eye tests and glasses across the Commonwealth.
I felt very happy to be asked to be an ambassador for CLEARLY. Here I am in London at the 'sightgeist conference' where I met some amazing people and got to share my story on stage. James Chen and the team do an incredible job raising awareness that everyone, everywhere deserves to see.
I am proud to be part of spreading this message.
My Website is now live. So excited. It has been a whirlwind since that letter went viral. My folks thought this would be a good way to capture the adventure and also sell our new children's book when it is released. Thanks for visiting and remember you are beautiful no matter what.
I was in Manchester with my Mam, Elis (brother) and Bethan (sister) and we popped into BBC studios to say hello to Degraft. Lovely to see him again.
I really am so grateful to Degraft from Newsround. He made me feel so relaxed as I was really nervous doing interviews. All the interest was a huge surprise and he was so kind and encouraging.
This interview not only got the message out to lots of young people but on a personal note it helped me grow in confidence. For that I am so grateful.
BBC Radio Nottingham
After my mam posted a pic of my letter on social media, and it went crazy, our local BBC radio station invited me in for a chat. It was from here that things really took off. The next day I was invited back to meet Natalie Owen from Left Lion Magazine where she presented me with the my very own princess Lowri with glasses illustration. Then the next day I was back in the studio being asked if i wanted to be an ambassador for Clearly.
The letter that started it all.