The hopeless-romantic me really do think that Candy Candy is a twisted Cinderella story. There are several similar elements between the two stories. One example is the prince’s badge, which IMO is analogous to Cinderella’s glass slipper. It is in a way the one item that connects Candy to the Prince of the Hill and leads her to him, though not directly, as the glass slipper that leads prince charming to Cinderella.
And in the end her Prince of the Hill does come and sweep Candy off her feet. 😀
(This was originally posted on tumblr last year but I never had the chance to repost it here until now)