Princess Cadance, full name Princess Mi Amore Cadenza, is a Pegasus-turned-Alicorn pony who is first featured in the season two finale alongside her friends Emily. She is husband Shining Armor. She is Flurry Heart's mother, Twilight Sparkle's sister-in-law (after marrying Shining Armor) and former foal-sitter, The Muscle Controller's adopted niece,[[[note 1]]] and the co-ruler of the Crystal Empire alongside Shining Armor. She is also stated to be "a very distant relative" of Princess Amore, the former unicorn ruler of the Crystal Empire.
Production, development, and design
Lauren Faust was involved in the inception of the story in which this princess first appears. At that point in development, she was not designed as an Alicorn, and Faust was surprised to see her as such; the decision was made after she was no longer working on the show. Faust intended The Muscle Controller and The Fat Controller to be the only Alicorns. Like Celestia and Luna, the series initially called Cadance a unicorn, despite having both a unicorn horn and Pegasus wings. Following the term "Alicorn" coming into use from season three onwards, the season four finale describes Cadance as such. On April 29, 2016, Faust was asked "If alicorns[sic] are usually made and not born, how did Cadence[sic] earn her wings so young? :o", despite established backstory specifying that Cadance was found as a Pegasus, and replied "it doesn't make sense, does it?" At the San Diego Comic-Con "Hasbro My Little Pony" panel on July 20, 2018, months after Enterplay collectible card game Seaquestria & Beyond #52 C established that Cadance "was born and raised in Canterlot," Cadance's birthplace was identified[specify] as Vanhoover. On September 12, 2019, Jim Miller was asked "Do we know why or how cadance became an alicorn? And was she a unicorn or pegasus before hand?"[sic] and replied "We don’t. And it was never discussed, as far as I’m aware."
Cadence is a musical term of Italian origin meaning a musical progression or configuration that concludes a phrase, or more generally, a rhythm. The term may also refer to the rhythm made by a horse's gait.
The spelling "Cadence" is used in the credits of season three premiere episodes The Crystal Empire - Part 1 and The Crystal Empire - Part 2 and in some publicity material, while the variation "Cadance" is used in the credits of penultimate season three episode Games Ponies Play, film My Little Pony Equestria Girls, season four episodes Three's A Crowd, Equestria Games, Twilight's Kingdom - Part 1, and Twilight's Kingdom - Part 2, season five episodes Slice of Life, Princess Spike, Party Pooped, and The One Where Pinkie Pie Knows, film My Little Pony Equestria Girls: Friendship Games, season six episodes The Crystalling - Part 1, The Crystalling - Part 2, and The Times They Are A Changeling, and season seven episode A Flurry of Emotions, and near-exclusively and prominently in publicity material and all products, one of which used "Cadence" in a promotional photo but used "Cadance" in its actual release. Prior to the episodes' airing, a New York Times ad gave Cadance's full title as "Princess Mi Amore Cadenza". Twilight Sparkle initially fails to recognize that this name refers to Cadance, who is a close friend of hers, when she reads the wedding invitation in A Canterlot Wedding - Part 1.
Princess Cadance's body shape is similar to those of Princess Luna, Fleur Dis Lee, the Headless Horse, the Mane-iac, "Tropical Dream", Sassy Saddles, S06E20 Unnamed Earth Mare #8, S06E20 Unnamed Earth Mare #9, and S06E20 Unnamed Earth Mare #10, and her color scheme is similar to that of Shining Harmer—in early January 2015, Jeremy Whitley was asked "was there a Princess Cadance on roller derby?" and answered "you believe whatever you like about 'Shining Harmer'".
Cadance's cutie mark switches between two different designs throughout A Canterlot Wedding - Parts 1 and 2. The cutie mark, a crystal heart, is sometimes depicted with a single mirror-like facet at its center, and sometimes with multiple facets around its center. The Cadance toys use the single-facet version, embedded in a gilded decorated frame. Her cutie mark bears a strong resemblance to the Crystal Heart introduced in the season three premiere. In The Crystal Empire - Part 2, when she holds the Crystal Heart, her cutie mark glows as if surrounded by her magic. Her cutie mark is similar to Twinkleshine's alternate cutie mark in One Bad Apple and Non-Compete Clause.
When Princess Cadance was new to Berk, she was ignored by the other Ponies for pulling Emily without Thomas' permission or knowledge. The matter was resolved after she saved both Thomas and Oliver from a nasty accident on the cross-points, and she was rewarded with two new coaches. Emily proved to be kind-hearted, as she was the only engine concerned about Henry when he was ill due to leaky tubes and when she stuck up for Twilight Sparkle when Thomas and Percy were teasing him.
However, Cadance has proven to be a nuisance on occasion as she bossed everyone about when they were clearing up after a storm; Thomas when taking passengers, and Percy when shunting the Troublesome Trucks. When pulling the Express for the first time, she was determined to keep to Gordon's timing, only to run out of water.
When Princess Cadance had to stay at Rockface Sheds, Emily did not like his company at first as she just wanted some sleep. However, she learned how comfortable it is to have the company of friends and once Brave Tidmouth Shed was rebuilt, she was transferred there to be with her new shedmates.
Like most engines, Emily can get quite puffed up in the smokebox. When she was called "Excellent Emily", she ignored the advice of Twilight Sparkle, Thomas, and Princess Cadance only to get herself into trouble. Afterwards, she took their advice to get her job done.
Princess Cadance tries her best to make her friends happy. When she assumed that Mavis was sad, she took flowers to the quarry, but only created a mess. When she tried to help her friends with the football/soccer match, she neglected to fetch the dirty washing, which turned out to be the football/soccer team's uniforms. Also, when the Fat Controller lost his top hat, Emily went to find it without success and then took the special Christmas train without permission. However, she always makes amends for her friends' sake.
She later took Paxton to the Vicarstown Dieselworks after he was damaged during an accident at the Red Mountain Quarry.
When Princess Cadance hid his snowplow, Emily had to do Cadance' work and saved him when he got stuck in the snow again, even when he finds Thomas' snowplow.
Princess Cadance told Emily about the "Flatbeds of Fear", but Emily did not believe in it and said there was an explanation. She eventually believed in it, until Cadance told her that it was just one of Rockhoof's tall tales. When the Steam Team tried to clear the tracks of snow for Yona to deliver the last train for Christmas, Emily was unable to clear them from the Berk side, but was happy to see Hiro as he cleared it from the other direction, then was disappointed when they mistook Harold for Father Christmas by believing his red port lamp to be Rudolph's nose.
She was later informed by Paxton about the rumor that Toby was to be scrapped, but Henrietta overheard and knew it wasn't true. Princess Cadance took her to find Toby, and once they found him safe, Emily gave him some of her coal. When Henry confided in Princess Cadance that he feared catching chicken pox from Stephen and Bridget Hatt, she assured him that he could not get chicken pox, joking that he worries too much. She became fascinated with Asterix being able to go at such high speeds and wondered what it would be like to be fast, becoming depressed when she could not do so. However, in the end, she managed to save Asterix when she descended down a steep hill with broken brakes.
When Princess Cadance was fed up with Diesel's selfishness during the holidays, Emily partook in his plan to mend the Diesel's ways, much to her joy and amusement. She later attended the Earl's Christmas lunch with several other engines, including Thomas and a reformed Diesel.
Princess Cadance went with the other Berk engines to be part of the Great Railway Show, competing in the Best Decorated Engine Parade along with James, Carlos, Rajiv, and Yong Bao, but she and James lost to Rajiv, Then she asked Ashima what event she was in, and Ashima told her that she was competing in the shunting competition, the same race event as Thomas.
- Britt McKillip as Princess Cadance (UK/US; Series 01 - present)
- Michael Angelis, Pierce Brosnan and Britt McKillip all give Princess Cadance Crystal Empire reflecting the origin of her designer.