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The apple princess

You may not have to call her “your majesty,” but Northeastern student Fabienne Rudolph is known as a princess in her native country of Germany.

Rudolph, MS’14, is in the midst of a two-year term as apple princess of the Odenwald region, serving as a cultural ambassador who promotes and markets its apples and apple wine. This unique volunteer job is well known in Germany, where its “royalty” promote everything from wine to asparagus.

“This is very predominant in Germany,” says Rudolph, who is studying for her masters in music industry leadership. “It’s really about putting a face to the region and raising awareness for the area.”

Rudolph, whose reign ends in October, serves with one other apple princess and an apple queen. The hotel and restaurant unions in the region selected them for the gig, the duties of which include attending parades, festivals, and grand openings.

Rudolph’s 88-year-old grandfather first introduced her to the apple royalty, showing her newspaper photos of past princesses. She applied to be a princess for him, she says, and today he is her biggest supporter.

“He never implied that I should do it,” Rudolph explains. “It was just something he shared with me. I wanted to do it for him because he likes it so much.”

The spring and summer are the busiest seasons for any apple princess, with as many as six events on any given weekend, And that means a lot of smiling and waving. As Rudolph jokes, “Having to wave for so long is harder than you think.”

Rudolph came to Northeastern last summer on a Fulbright scholarship and hopes to work in music marketing management or production. She’ll return to Germany in the summer, not only to complete her reign as apple princess, but also because of a two-year home residency requirement for all Fulbright scholarship winners.

“I don’t really want to leave,” she says.