This Nigerian Princess Leads A Relatively Normal Life

When it comes to royal life, maintaining normalcy may seem just short of the impossible. Indeed, on an international level, royals are subject to a level of scrutiny that most normal people never have to face. For example, when Haakon, Crown Prince of Norway started dating his now-wife, Mette-Marit, Crown Princess of Norway, he came under fire for dating a commoner. To make matters worse, Mette-Marit had an unconventional past that led many Norwegians to question whether or not she was fit for the throne. Prince William and Princess Catherine of Wales faced a similar dynamic due to Catherine's middle class background. At the time that the couple started dating, the British elite was not entirely open to accepting a non-aristocratic princess of Wales. 

In addition to this intense scrutiny, royals from across the world have to follow strict protocols that uphold the tradition of monarchy. In Japan, royals are forbidden from marrying commoners. The country's former princess, Mako Komuro, cast her titles aside to tie the knot with Kei Komuro in 2021. Meanwhile, Dutch royals are not supposed to wear a crown — not even during a coronation ceremony. At these events, the crown is placed beside the king, rather than on his head. 

Despite all of these complicated dynamics, there is one princess that has managed to maintain a sense of normalcy in her daily life. Princess Keisha of Nigeria keeps things real by going to work, taking the train, and even shopping at Target.

Princess Keisha and Prince Kunle met in a normal way

When Princess Keisha first met her prince, she didn't know what to think. At the time, she was a typical American girl, trying to make a name for herself in the modeling world. Prince Kunle, meanwhile, was a member of Nigeria's royal family. However, despite Kunle's position, he approached Keisha organically. The young model was standing outside the W Hotel in New York City, when Kunle noticed her. Speaking to Insider, the princess recalled, "I could feel this presence looking at me, and I look up and see this handsome gentleman just standing there. And nobody just stands in New York City. Everyone's on their way somewhere, moving, going."

Like any normal young man who was interested in a girl, Kunle decided to go up to Keisha and ask her out. The way that Keisha remembers things, Kunle approached her and said, "You are the most beautiful woman I've ever seen in my entire life. Would you do me the honor of having your number? I'd love to take you out." Most princes would probably get an immediate "yes," but Kunle is not your average prince. He chose not to divulge his royal status to the pretty girl on the street, and she walked away. However, as she turned her back on Kunle, Keisha had an inexplicable change of heart. "I thought I should just give him my number and see what happens," the princess told Insider. 

She didn't know that Kunle was a prince for two years

Prince Kunle didn't immediately tell Princess Keisha who he was, and, for years, he kept his royal status a secret. This allowed the couple to have a normal courtship, without any media drama about a prince dating a commoner. Of course, Keisha understood that Kunle was well-off. For their first date, Kunle rented an entire restaurant for the night. As the prince revealed in an interview with Access Hollywood (via YouTube), "I told the restaurant to close down. And, then, petals on the floor. And, she was like, 'Are you showboating?'" Nevertheless, Keisha didn't realize that Kunle was a prince until they were together for two years.

Ultimately, it was Kunle's mother who shared the news with Keisha. In a conversation with Insider, Keisha remembered, "I remember meeting his mom. She was just so welcoming. She wrapped me in her arms and called me her daughter straight away. She said, 'You are my princess.'" At first, Keisha didn't think much of the nickname. "And when you hear, 'princess,' well, all moms call their daughters princess. So that's what I thought she was saying," Keisha admitted. It didn't take long, though, for the word's true meaning to come to light. The princess explained that she and Kunle's mom "sat down. And she told me the story of who her son was, what his name means, where he comes from." Keisha's reaction was reportedly, "Oh my goodness!"

Even after Keisha became a princess, she continued working

After getting married, most royal brides give up their jobs to focus on their royal duties. However, that has not been the case for Princess Keisha. The California native worked as a model before ever meeting Prince Kunle — and she made a point of pursuing this career even after tying the knot. 

Chatting with Insider, Keisha explained that it was important for her, on a personal level, to continue chasing her dreams: "I don't know about you, but I love receiving deposits and checks in the mail that have my name on them. I've always felt it's important for women to remain independently wealthy, and independently happy — even if and when they decide to marry the person of their dreams, their life partner."

Unfortunately, however, not everybody agreed with Keisha's choices. Several voices criticized the princess for breaking free from her traditional princess role. Even members of the modeling community assumed that Keisha's marriage would somehow disqualify her from building a career. As Keisha told Insider, "Everyone assumed that I would no longer want to work because I was married." Even so, Keisha remained steadfast in her beliefs. On a royal panel organized by Insider (via YouTube), the princess asserted, "It should be okay that if you're a royal and you want to act, or you want to model or ... just to have a job outside of your royal duties."

Princess Keisha and Prince Kunle sometimes use public transportation

As royals, Princess Keisha and Prince Kunle have access to private transportation, but that doesn't mean that the couple shies away from the real world. On the contrary, the Nigerian royals have been known to embrace aspects of normal living — including using public transit from time to time. Speaking on the Insider panel "Royal Representation," Keisha explained that people "may be surprised that they may find me on the train one day." 

Although it might seem unusual for a royal to take the train, this was not the first time that Keisha spoke about using public transportation. In a previous interview with Insider, the princess shared, "I love that my children know what it feels like to have a driver, but then they're not afraid to hop on the Jubilee line every now and again."

Interestingly, Keisha and Kunle might take public transportation as a way to stay rooted to reality. As the princess told Insider in the same interview, "In any room [Kunle] goes to, he needs to be relatable, he needs to fit in, he needs to be of service. He knows how to talk to someone who has nothing, and someone who has everything." Indeed, Keisha affirmed, "It also comes from how my husband was raised. In his tribe, he was raised to be a prince of all people, not just a prince of people who are well-to-do or who have money."

Princess Keisha likes shopping at Target

In the spirit of being the prince and princess of "all people," Prince Kunle and Princess Keisha try to enjoy the simple things in life. For Keisha, this means appreciating stores outside of the luxury circuit and even some discount brands. Speaking on the Insider panel, "Royal Representation," the princess divulged that, as an American, one of her favorite places to shop is at Target. She gushed, "When I'm in the U.S., oh my gosh, I love Target. So you might find me at Target." However, even as she dropped this bombshell revelation, Keisha admitted that not everyone sees this more down-to-earth side of royals. She noted that people like to put princes and princesses "in a box" that doesn't reflect the full span of who they are. 

According to Keisha, members of the public have plenty of misconceptions about what life is actually like for a modern princess. She told the Insider panel (via YouTube), "I feel that [people's] perception of what royalty is ... is not always accurate. We are very, very feisty individuals, us princesses." To clear things up, Keisha explained that royals "have multi-faceted lives, and we have great interests, and we have causes that we're working on. But sometimes, for me, my day-to-day life is just very non-royal."

Princess Keisha and Prince Kunle abdicated the throne to be more normal

Although Princess Keisha and Prince Kunle are able to do normal things like take the train, this is only the case because they abdicated the throne. At one point, Kunle was invited to be crowned King of Nigeria. However, he and Keisha turned down this opportunity to maintain a sense of normalcy. Dubbed the "Harry and Meghan of Nigeria," the couple stepped down from royal duties because of the protocol their new positions would entail. As the crowned king, Kunle would no longer be allowed to share a bed with his wife. Keisha, in turn, would not be allowed to wear certain types of clothes — including bikinis. 

As Keisha explained in an interview with Insider, "I remember my mother-in-law calling and telling me what [Kunle's ascension] would mean, and she's saying how I can't call him 'baby' anymore. He's no longer 'my sweetheart.' She said, 'You do realize if you say yes, you are basically giving your husband away.'"

Because of the protocol that goes hand-in-hand with royal life, Kunle and Keisha decided to abdicate the throne. Instead, they have shown their dedication to the citizens of Nigeria by taking on charity work that they are truly excited about. Speaking on the "Royal Representation" panel with Insider (via YouTube), Keisha shared, "My husband and I, we've stepped down from royal duties because it gives us the freedom that we want to have to change the world."

Princess Keisha's husband cooks for her

Stepping down from royal duties has given Prince Kunle and Princess Keisha the freedom to enjoy the simplicity of non-royal life. However, that has not always been the case. When Kunle, in particular, was growing up, he had to follow royal protocol — oftentimes, to the detriment of his personal relationships. As Keisha told Insider, "My husband grew up with handlers and different housemaids. If he sneezed, he had five people coming to him to wipe his nose but it was never his mom because she was the royal, she couldn't be seen doing that." When Kunle became an adult, he did not want to create those same barriers between himself and his children. The princess explained, "So as a result, he wanted to be hands-on because it couldn't be that way in his home."

Part of Kunle's "hands-on" approach to his own family involves spending time in the kitchen. Indeed, Keisha revealed in a separate interview with Insider that Kunle often enjoys preparing dinner, even though this activity is forbidden for Nigerian royal men. Due to this tense history, Kunle reportedly jokes that cooking is his "guilty pleasure." In the end, though, it is a hobby that Kunle can only enjoy because he walked away from the throne. As Keisha shared on the "Royal Representation" panel (via YouTube), walking away from the throne can give royals the chance to express themselves beyond the constraints of protocol.  

The princess is committed to changing the world

Princess Keisha may not perform royal duties in an official capacity, but that doesn't mean that she doesn't want to change the world. In June 2017, Keisha founded A Crown of Curls, a brand that she originally created to help mixed-race children style their curls. She got the idea after being approached by parents of multi-racial kids who simply didn't know how to do their children's hair. "I decided a supportive community was definitely needed, so I decided to create it," Keisha told Insider

As A Crown of Curls took off, though, Keisha expanded the brand to include children of many different backgrounds. The princess explained, "I started ACOC for children with mixed-race hair, but have since opened it up to all hair types and textures, whether it's straight, curly, or wavy." The reason that Keisha ultimately made this change was to help girls reach a level of self-acceptance. As the model told Insider, she wanted her project to include girls of different hair textures "because at the end of the day, it was more about self-love and instilling that in young girls and women."

Ultimately, Keisha's goal is to give young women confidence in their bodies. "That way when they grow up and someone tries to tell them anything opposite of that, that would be foreign to them."

Keisha doesn't always tell people that she is a princess

Although Princess Keisha's charity work keeps her busy, she tries to keep her public life separate from her private one. For Keisha, this means keeping her royal titles a secret from many of her acquaintances. During Insider's "Royal Representation" panel (via YouTube), Keisha opened up about this unusual dynamic: "I don't say who I am on a day-to-day basis for my day-to-day life. As mom, as wife, I'm just Keisha."

Of course, during the Internet Age, it is impossible to keep such a big secret forever. As Keisha told the Insider panel, a few people have uncovered her true identity via a simple web search. The princess explained, "Most of the times people have Googled me after knowing me for some time. And, that's when I get the reaction, if I'm being honest. Because, I personally don't go around saying, 'I'm Princess Keisha. You must bow when you speak to me.' You know, that's just not how I am. And, that's not how my husband is."

Ultimately, this sense of secrecy allows the prince and princess to go about their lives with a certain degree of normalcy. After all, they are free to do their household chores and parental duties without any kind of fuss. Speaking on the panel, Keisha divulged, "If we're just doing something simple, like a birthday party for our daughter, or a school pick-up ... We're just Kunle and Keisha."  

She mostly uses her titles for a good cause

Although Princess Keisha does not divulge her royal status to everybody, there is one situation in which she always uses her titles to her advantage. Whenever Keisha promotes a business, charity, or a cause, she invokes her position as a princess. As she explained on the Insider "Royal Representation" panel (via YouTube), "When I'm on the red carpet, if I am promoting A Crown of Pearls, or a business that we are launching in Europe — a cultural network — then I am, of course, addressed as Princess Keisha. But, in that setting, people are expecting that. Because they know who they've come to see."

Being called a princess might sound like fun, but the main reason that Prince Kunle and Keisha use their titles is to try to make a difference. Naturally, being referred to as royals puts the couple in a position of power. Keisha and Kunle like to use this power to do good. Speaking on the panel, Keisha described this dynamic: "If we are doing royal duties in a way by which we want — a cause that means something near and dear to us — then we are presenting ourselves as Their Royal Highness. And we are going in that direction." Ultimately, Keisha says, the couple chooses to share their titles with a sense of discretion in mind: "I usually take my cue from [Kunle]. He's very humble."

Princess Keisha's titles help her sort through friends

Princess Keisha does not use her titles to attract new friends. However, her royal status does help her determine which of her friends are loyal. The reason for this is that Keisha likes to keep her princess status on the down-low — and the way that her friends react when they discover the truth can say a lot about their character. 

During Insider's "Royal Representation" panel (via YouTube), Keisha opened up about what it's like to experience this particular dynamic. "There's something very special about being able to see who a person truly is when they interact with you for months — or years — and then they find out who you are. Most of the time, that's how we can truly know what's in the heart of someone," she said.

One of the most positive reactions that Keisha gets from people are offers to help with her charity work. According to the princess, some of her favorite reactions to receive are questions like, "How can we get involved? What causes are you working on? What are you doing? How can we help?" On the other hand, though, Keisha said that there are people who learn about her title and then suddenly want to deepen their relationship with her, revealing, "And then you have those [people] that sometimes all of a sudden want to be extra friendly." The way someone reacts shows the princess whom she can trust.