The Princess Diaries is a series of epistolary young adult novels written by Meg Cabot, and is also the title of the first volume, published in 2000.
Meg Cabot quotes the series' inspiration on her website stating: "I was inspired to write The Princess Diaries when my mom, after the death of my father, began dating one of my teachers; they later went on to get married just as Mia’s mom does in the book! I have always had a 'thing' for princesses (my parents used to joke that when I was smaller, I did a lot of insisting that my 'real' parents, the king and queen, were going to come get me soon, and that everyone had better start being a LOT nicer to me) so I stuck a princess in the book just for kicks... and VOILÀ! The Princess Diaries was born."
The books are noted for containing many popular culture references, which include singers, movies, and fads in modern culture. Many critics have taken unkindly to this form of storytelling. In response, Cabot added an English teacher in the book, Princess in Training, who criticizes Mia's writing, telling her that it relies too much on "slick pop culture references." By the final novel, this has allowed Mia to progress and grow as a person.
The latest book in the series, The Princess Diaries, Volume XI: Royal Wedding was published in 2015. A spin-off series for tweens featuring Mia's half-sister, From the Notebooks of a Middle School Princess was released in May 2015.