Prince on the Hill. If you’re a Candy Candy fan you must know about this iconic character from the series. He’s the handsome teenage boy, whom a six-year-old Candy met on Pony Hill. He represents the image of a prince charming little girls dreaming to meet someday, an unattainable childhood dream, a fantasy, at least that’s what we are led to believe by Mizuki until we find out the truth when we reach the last few pages of the manga.
Throughout the story, Prince on the Hill appears in person only twice. In the first and last chapters. Evidently, his appearance marks the beginning and the end.
Before I delve further, I want you to know that everything I write here (deduction, analysis, and interpretation) is based on the manga adaptation only. There is no reference to the anime or the novel versions, including CCFS. In addition, you’ll also notice how I present the analysis mostly through Albert’s POV.
With that out of the way, let’s continue, shall we?
Once you finish reading the manga, you know who the Prince of the Hill is. He’s Albert, a.k.a William Albert Andrew (or Ardlay if you prefer)
Did you ever wonder what was he doing on the hill in his flashy ethnic costume in the first place? Did he just magically appear out of nowhere and approach a sobbing Candy?
No, I don’t think so. For whatever reason, he most likely is already up on the hill when Candy runs up there to read Annie’s letter. He remains hidden and watches her quietly. Then after seeing her crying for some time, he feels compelled enough to approach her and later make an attempt to console her. He could’ve stayed away from her until she finally leaves, but he didn’t. Why is that?
I think, as he observes her, he sees something in her that moves him deeply. Maybe it’s something that reminds him of himself, of a specific experience he had in the past. Or maybe it’s something that reminds him of someone close to him, his sister. Or maybe he’s just curious and can’t help but wonder what causes the drastic transformation in her, from laughing jubilantly to sobbing in despair.
So he approaches her…
When he approaches her, he didn’t think she would react the way she did, for her to stop crying instantly and asking him funny questions. Easily, he’s amused by her, by the carefree way she talks, by all her cute and candid expressions. Here he is trying to comfort her, only to have himself immensely entertained by her.
As for Candy, it’s clear how she feels completely at ease with him, forgetting all her sorrows, to a point that she dreamily declares him as her prince. He becomes her Prince on the Hill.
In the brief moment they interact, these two strangers find solace in each other, which is something they’ll continue to do and experience in their future encounters. And this serendipitous meeting marks the beginning of Albert and Candy’s relationship. Without them completely being aware of it, a bond that withstands against the tides of time, distance, and everything in between is formed between them.
As the story progresses, aside from his seemingly carefree and free spirited nature, we can get a sense of Albert’s loneliness from time to time, from his pensive glances and melancholic inner thoughts. It’s not something he expresses readily, as we all know how well he covers his emotions. And I don’t believe he’s content to live in total recluse–it’s not his choice. Candy is likely the first (stranger) girl he ever approaches and interacts with. No doubt, his encounter with her has left a deep impression in him, yet he probably thinks he would never meet her again.
But as luck would have it, through many twists of fate, he somehow finds his way back to her again and again and again.
The first happens about six years later, right in his own ‘backyard’. She suddenly ‘appears’ before him, and he saves her life. Despite his rather horrid appearance due to his disguise, she doesn’t run away from him, and they become fast friends within the short time they spend together, strengthening the bond that was developed a while back. And this is also the starting point of their correspondence, a significant milestone in the evolution of their relationship, from two strangers to friends.
The second time he finds his way back to her again, their roles are reversed. He’s the one who suddenly ‘appears’ before her, and this time she saves him. This is interesting. It’s almost like they both have to experience a near death experience to find their ways back to each other, and because of this, they’re in equal grounds, having saved each other lives.
Then we all know what happens next as they live together: he falls in love with her. But due to his secrets and some other reasons, including his doubt of her ever reciprocating his feelings for her and his fear of losing her for good, he’s resolved to never confess to her, and he even tries to ‘reunite’ her with Terry, as he’s sure that’s where her happiness lies–so he thought.
When Albert ‘sent’ Candy to Rockstown, he probably didn’t expect she would return to Chicago and leave Terry behind. As there isn’t much time lapse between her arrival back at the apartment and George fetching her under Aunt Elroy’s order, there’s a high possibility Albert hasn’t heard the news that Candy is back in Chicago from George yet–Albert knows nothing about the engagement, which suggests he hasn’t talked to George for quite some time (due to George traveling for business, perhaps?)
(ETA: It appears I made a mistake here. Based on the manga, it seems there’s a substantial time lapse as the season changed from winter to spring. Hence Albert should’ve known that Candy had returned to Chicago, leaving Terry behind. Yet he didn’t make any effort to approach her, as though he had decided to forget about her, about his feelings.)
So can you imagine how Albert feels when he hears from George that Candy is on her way to Lakewood to see him? He must’ve been shocked and for a moment at a loss of what to do before realizing there’s nothing much he can do but to disclose everything to her. Yes, I think George must’ve notified him about Candy, and that gives Albert time to prepare himself before she confronts him.
In the manga, we can see how calm and in control he is talking to Candy. But let’s try to remove the calm facade he’s wearing, which is something he has mastered to do throughout the story (from the first time he appears on Pony Hill), and let’s analyze his reaction from his perspective instead.
How would you feel if you’re caught red handed doing something you shouldn’t be doing? That’s exactly how he feels the moment he hears Candy’s soft, timid voice piercing through the silence in the room.
Yet she surprises him with her reaction after the truth behind his identity is revealed. She doesn’t bear grudges nor show any ill feeling toward him. Instead she’s genuinely happy to finally know his real identity, and she expresses her gratitude to him without reserve. Not once does she speak to him in an accusing tone. He feels deeply encouraged by this and takes her in a stroll around the estate. What begins as another dull, lonely day has turned into something almost surreal to him–he gets to spend a whole day with her.
As they reminisce about the past, sharing their grief and laughter, it occurs to him that maybe he still has a chance with her. It’s interesting how he chooses not to divulge the part about him being her ‘prince’ at that time despite the seemingly perfect timing, alone with her, just being himself, free from guilt.
At some point, he must’ve done a lot of pondering and introspecting with regard to what role he wants to play in her life. While he hasn’t quite made up his mind, there’s one thing he can’t deny: he wants Candy in his life. And he conveys his intention to her and possibly to everyone in his family (and to everyone else who are present at that time) by making his unannounced appearance at the engagement party and standing by her side (to support and protect her). I truly believe this is his first move to progress his relationship with her although it may seem his action bears no romantic connotation whatsoever, with his public declaration as her legal guardian.
But we all know how he doesn’t act at all like his guardian. With him sneaking out of the party to meet her on top of a tree, he acts more like a teenage boy who’s eager to spend time alone with the woman he’s madly in love.
I adore this scene to bits. This is one of the best Albert and Candy moments captured in the manga. There’s no more pretenses between them, only genuine feelings of affection, adoration, and of course, love. And the message he sends to her is clear: I may be your guardian on paper, but in reality I’m your friend (and maybe more if you allow me). And look at the image above and focus on their expressions. Do you honestly think they see each other as friend? 😀 She’s clearly mesmerized by him, by the real him.
Then she surprises him, yet again, when she informs him of her plan to move to Pony Home. Aside from being surprised, he’s also disappointed and maybe a bit sad. However, he realizes he can’t force her to stay with him, knowing full well of her independent spirit, something he can relate well.
One thing I want to point out is his inner thought in the scene below, which takes place after Candy told him about her plan to leave Chicago.In the original Japanese version, he refers to her as a lady (レディ一), not a woman, not a young woman as written in the other translations. I think that’s an important detail that can easily be missed. It shows he considers her as his equal, someone worth considering to be his partner. By this time, he probably already made up his mind of what role he wants to play in her life, and he has no intention of letting her walk out of his life. This is when he decides to make the conscious decision to pursue her and tread the path to win her heart.
And this brings us to the final scene in the manga. Back to where it started. On Pony Hill.
Just like many years ago, he’s already on top of the hill when she runs up there, crying to grieve over the past, of Anthony, of Terry, and of her childhood. Interestingly, she doesn’t think of her prince at all, considering she’s standing right at the exact spot where she met him. That makes you wonder, eh? Why? I think it’s because she has found her ‘real’ prince. She has replaced the image of her ‘dream’ prince with the real one, and it’s Albert. He has become her ‘real’ prince in her life. He has saved her, protected her, and cared for her. Albert is her prince.
As for Albert, seeing her sobbing brings him back to the past, when he met her for the first time. Then just like that, the words flow out of his mouth, and he reiterates the words he said in their first encounter, unrehearsed and unplanned, like how it happened the first time, startling Candy.
No words are exchanged between them. But the expressions on their faces and their body language convey everything they wanted to say to each other.
Candy realizes at once. The images of her Prince on the Hill and Albert merge into one. Albert is her Prince on the Hill. Her one and only prince. He’s her savior, her friend, her protector. He’s her everything.
And this is exactly what role Albert wants to play in her life. As her ‘prince’, her partner in life, her love, her everything.
When he calls her, he addresses her as chibi-chan, a term usually reserved for a small child or a cute child. So in a way, he’s teasing her, but unfortunately it’s not clear in the translation–the true meaning is lost. You can only get the right feeling when you say the phrase in Japanese:
おチビちゃん… (O chibi-chan…) – little girl
わらった顔のほうがかわいいよ… (waratta kao no houga kawaii yo…) – you’re cuter when you smiled…
But in his thought, he refers to her by name and admiringly praises her in a way that a man would to a woman, as if he’s completely taken by her beauty.
ほんとうにきみには笑顔が似合う… (hontou ni kimi ni wa egao ga niau…) – you really are beautiful when you smile… (literal: the smile really suits you)
いつまでもその笑顔を忘れずに… (itsumademo sono egao o wasurezu ni…) – don’t ever forget that smile…
忘れずに… キャンディ– (wasurezu ni… Candy–) – don’t forget… Candy–
This is the confirmation of his non fraternal feeling for her, the display of his attraction toward her in a physical sense, that so far has been non existent in the story. Throughout the amnesia arc, we can sense his feeling for her, but there’s no concrete proof to support that, no evidence of physical attraction. But here at the very last page, it’s shown to us through his inner thought.
The fact that he keeps his thought about her to himself is significant. He doesn’t (can’t) express it out loud since it’s not something that should be said to a friend. So he keeps it to himself as it would be more appropriate to say it in a courtship. And he has all the intention to court her.
And that’s the end of Prince on the Hill.
With that, the story ends or…
Has it just begun?
Prince on the Hill -> The beginning. On Pony Hill, Albert sees Candy crying. Two strangers end up laughing together and comforting each other.
Albert the vagabond -> In Lakewood, Albert saves Candy. Two strangers become friends, and they begin corresponding through letters. After she lost Anthony, Albert is the only person who manages to make her stop crying. They part ways and meet again in London. Interestingly, their meeting happens because of Terry, as they both are saving Terry. Then a while later he leaves to go to Africa, and Candy returns to America, following his and Terry’s steps.
Albert -> Candy saves Albert. He lost his memory. She’s the only person who cares about him, and she manages to pull him out of depression. They live together in Magnolia Apartment. After Candy and Terry broke up, she seeks solace in Albert. Since then Albert and Candy grow closer than ever and become best friends, maybe even more at times from the way they interact with each other. Albert is the only person to whom Candy can confide about Terry and talk about her childhood prince, and to Albert, Candy becomes the only place he wants to come home to—she’s his true home. Two friends fall for each other and wish to become more than friends. Albert leaves.
William Albert Andrew -> Candy searches for Albert in Rockstown and unexpectedly finds him in Lakewood. The truth is revealed. He’s William Albert Andrew. Candy accepts Albert as he is, and he considers her in equal status, a wonderful lady. Two friends are in love with each other but keep their feelings to themselves. Candy leaves.
Prince on the Hill -> Albert pursues Candy to Pony Hill. Albert sees Candy crying. He reveals himself to Candy that he is her Prince on the Hill. Candy runs to his awaiting arms. Two friends who love each other take their first steps to advance their relationship. The end.
It begins with Prince on the Hill and ends with Prince on the Hill.
A new phase in their relationship begins -> William Albert Andrew starts courting Candice White.
Now do you still believe that Albert is not Candy’s destined love?
Even Mizuki herself implied about it in her essay, which can be found here. (ETA: correction. this isn’t the essay that specifically mentions the three loves for Candy but it confirms that Candy’s parting from Anthony and Terry were planned from the start) It’s in Japanese, but I assure you it’s a site worth exploring. The main site has a vast collection of information about the series and all the different adaptations, including events chronology and characters bio. So do check it out.
Oh wow! I’ve written quite a bit about this topic. It’s, after all, an endearing topic that is near and dear to us. I hope my rambling doesn’t bore you, and you find it somewhat stimulating. Thank you for reading 😀