- “A queen is never late. Everyone else is simply early.”
- ―Queen Clarisse Renaldi
Queen Clarisse Renaldi is the deuteragonist of Disney's 2001 feature film, The Princess Diaries, and its 2004 sequel. She is the ruler of Genovia, but when her country is left without an heir following the unexpected passing of her son, Clarisse must prepare and teach her estranged granddaughter, Mia Thermopolis to become a princess in order to ensure Genovia's future.
Clarisse was born and raised in Genovia and comes from a prestigious noble family. In her early life, Clarisse agreed to an arranged marriage with Rupert Renaldi, the future ruler of Genovia, but despite the arrangement, she was already in love with her close and dear friend, Joseph, the head of her sectary. However, Clarisse decided to put her duty above her heart and went on to marry King Rupert and rule at his side as Queen of Genovia, but in time, they grew fonder and became best friends. Despite her marriage, however, Clarisse and Joseph remained deeply in love with each other and although they kept it hidden from the public, several people, including Clarisse's right-hand woman, Charlotte Kutaway were aware of their true feelings for one another.
At some point, Clarisse and Rupert had two sons, Pierre and Philippe. Clarisse's eldest son, Pierre decided to willingly abdicate the throne to join the church, causing her youngest son, Phillippe to become the Crown Prince and next in line to become king. However, during his college years, Philippe was strongly considering giving up the throne when he met and fell in love with Helen Thermopolis and they were married. Clarisse did not approve of their relationship but allowed her son to decide for himself regarding his future as Genovia's ruler, knowing she could not make the decision for him. Eventually, Philippe chose to succeed as Genovia's next ruler, wanting to put the wellbeing of his country and people ahead and later he and Helen secretly divorced.
When Helen gave birth to her and Philippe's daughter, Mia Thermopolis, Clarisse, Philippe and Helen all agreed to keep her royal heritage a secret from Mia to ensure she would get to live a normal life and planned to reveal the truth when she turned eighteen. Due to this, Clarisse and Philippe kept their distance and were not involved in Mia's life and continued their royal duties and life in Genovia. Although they remained absent from Mia's life, Philippe always hoped that one day, Clarisse and Mia would meet each other. A year prior to the events of the film, Clarisse became a widow and the sole ruler to Genovia following the passing of her husband, King Rupert. Clarisse was preparing Philippe, knowing he was ready to assume the throne and become King. However, two months before his daughter's sixteenth birthday, Philippe passed away in a car accident. Clarisse was left saddened by the loss of her son and Genovia was left without its next king. Due to being married into the royal family, Clarisse knew she could not continue to rule the country and needed to find the next suitable heir to the throne, otherwise, Genovia would potentially cease to exist and her family would lose the crown. In order to secure Genovia's future, Clarisse decided to travel to San Fransico to meet her granddaughter, Mia, and reveal the truth of her royal heritage since being Philippe's daughter, she is next in line to inherit the throne.
Clarisse is almost entirely different from the Dowager Princess Clarisse in the books. Both do share two qualities: they are very strict and care about Mia.
Clarisse visits San Francisco to contact her granddaughter, Mia, and tells her that she is the Crown Princess of Genovia.
As Mia turns 21, Clarisse is helping her prepare to become queen. However, during a session with the Genovian Parliament, Clarisse (and Mia, who is spying) learns that Mia cannot become queen unless she is married.
- Clarisse has many differences from her character in the book and film series.
- The novel version of Clarisse is a smoker, manipulative and brutally critical of Mia mostly because of her love life, although she does comfort Mia at one point in the first novel by telling her a story about when she was a girl and had been picked on by a girl named Genevieve. According to Clarisse, Genevieve was just like Lana Weinberger (who was renamed Lana Thomas in the film), who used to torment Mia (until she had a change of heart in a later book). The film version of Clarisse is portrayed as a non-smoker, and is also the polar opposite of her book counterpart, being more nicer and more gentle.
- In the books, Clarisse is the mother to the reigning prince (Mia's father), serving a similar role to a queen mother. However, in the films, her son is dead and she serves as a regent queen, only ruling the country until Mia comes of age and can take over Genovia.
- In the books, Clarisse has Rommel, a small, misshapen poodle with most of his fur missing while in the sequel she has a large white poodle, Maurice.