A mere 20 inches in height, the whimsical Little Princess of Budapest sits on a tramway railing by the Danube Promenade, wearing a raggedy crown and a bathrobe, an expression of childlike ennui on her face.
Created by award-winning sculptor László Marton in 1972, the royal little statuette was inspired by his six-year-old daughter Évike, who would play pretend as a princess wearing a bathrobe for a cloak and a newspaper crown her father had made.
When the city of Budapest commissioned Marton for a sculpture to be on public display, the image of his own little princess immediately came to his mind, a scene of undying childhood glee. The statue received a hearty welcome as soon as it was unveiled, and today it is sometimes seen as an icon of Budapest itself.
The original version sculpture, which was replaced by a larger cast in 1990, now resides in the collection of the Hungarian National Gallery. In addition to this, two notable copies exist; one can be found in Marton’s hometown of Tapolca, and another, quite interestingly, stands in front of the concert hall of the Tokyo Metropolitan Theatre, representing the years of friendly Hungarian-Japanese relations.