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[[quoteright:331:[[Disney/SleepingBeauty http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Princess-Aurora-and-Prince-Philip-disney-couples-6486109-331-500_9891.jpg]]]]
[-[[caption-width-right:331:"One gift, beauty rare, [[HairOfGoldHeartOfGold Gold of sunshine in her hair]],\\
Lips that shame the red, red rose,\\
She'll walk with springtime wherever she goes."]]-]

When we think of a {{Princess}}, the most common association is the [[ArchetypalCharacter archetypical princess]], the perfectly good, innocent, and beautiful princess, who is practically a saint with a royal title. These are largely associated with {{Fairy Tale}}s, and are considered to be as old as those types of stories.

Actually, this character [[NewerThanTheyThink started in the Victorian Era]]. In that time when stories were being shaped by {{Disneyfication}} and {{Bowdleri|se}}zation, the concept of CourtlyLove was warped to take all the sexual SubText out, and turn the noble lady into an [[SlidingScaleOfIdealismVsCynicism ideal of the times]]. All to provide only the most positive and [[ViewersAreMorons uncomplicated]] image to children, and even adults as well.

PrincessClassic has many general traits (the first two points are required):
* Being [[RoyalBlood actual royalty]], by birth or marriage, or adoption.
* She is [[TheIngenue innocence personified]]. All virtue, no vice. More than likely, she's a [[VirginPower virgin]] (if that even comes up). She's good and kind, no matter what, and would be an AllLovingHero or even a MessianicArchetype.
* [[TheBeautifulElite She is always beautiful]], whether or not she is the WorldsMostBeautifulWoman. In animation, her beauty can shower her with {{sparkles}} and flowers, and [[FriendToAllLivingThings make birds and small woodland creatures flock around her]]. NiceMice are common, as is the BluebirdOfHappiness.
* Her clothes are always elegant, whether [[ModestRoyalty simple]] or [[ErmineCapeEffect opulent]] (and either [[VirginInAWhiteDress white]], [[PrincessesPreferPink pink]], [[TrueBlueFemininity blue]], or [[GracefulLadiesLikePurple purple]]). If she [[PrincessInRags ends up in rags]], she still makes the rags beautiful on her.
** When she wears her RequisiteRoyalRegalia, it tends to be dainty, to represent her demure and delicate nature. Particularly, her CoolCrown will often be a tiara or small crown.
* If it's a musical, her singing voice is gorgeous and probably a soprano.
* She is shy and demure, and so delicate that [[DamselInDistress she usually can't lift a finger to defend herself]]. That's what [[KnightInShiningArmor the brave knight]] [[MenAreTheExpendableGender is for]].
* She lives HappilyEverAfter with her [[PrinceCharming prince]], whom she always falls in love with, even if it's an ArrangedMarriage.
* If the story is for children, she doesn't die at the end. If the story is for older audiences, she may die--but she will definitely be TooGoodForThisSinfulEarth.

Now [[ValuesDissonance changing values]] have eroded the idealism that this character represented. So even though [[DiscreditedTrope this character has only slightly more credibility than the geocentric universe theory]], she's not a DeadHorseTrope yet. She's still around in some fiction for really young children due to the GrandfatherClause. And even in everywhere else, there is still the belief that EverythingsBetterWithPrincesses.

Also, there is still the important fact that TropesAreTools, and this trope doesn't mean a princess must lack CharacterDepth. She can still be well-rounded while having some of these traits.

One the other hand, some girls who grew up on this trope apply some of the above traits to their FanFiction, meaning a lot of the traits of this character match the traits of a PuritySue. Heck, mix and match this trope with being better than everyone else at their skills, and with suddenly being the SpotlightStealingSquad, and there you have the archetypal MarySue.

These days, if she's played straight in a story, it's highly unlikely for that story to be taken seriously. Most writers would give her some flaws, some depth. She could be sheltered and demure, but not a FlatCharacter.

Also, being ground zero for any PrincessTropes, she can [[TookALevelInBadass get an upgrade]] to BadassPrincess if the story requires her to (and can even overlap with KickingAssInAllHerFinery). Likely to browbeat SillyRabbitCynicismIsForLosers into any GrumpyBear she finds.

A SisterTrope to YamatoNadeshiko, TheIngenue, ProperLady, (those two are also archetypes built of idealistic views), SouthernBelle, ThePollyanna, TheHighQueen, ShelteredAristocrat, PrinceCharming (the latter two being her {{Spear Counterpart}}s).

Compare IdleRich, ParasolOfPrettiness, OldFashionedRowboatDate.

Contrast TomboyPrincess, RebelliousPrincess, LadyOfWar, BadassPrincess, RoyalBrat, PoliticallyActivePrincess, DaddysLittleVillain.
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!!Examples

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder:Anime and Manga]]
* ''RoseOfVersailles'' both {{deconstruct|ion}}s this, through the filter of MarieAntoinette's actual history, and {{invoke|dTrope}}s it when Maria Theresa orders a PR campaign to make her daughter seem like this.
* Princess Charlotte in the ''{{Berserk}}'' anime, and the origin arc of the manga, is the sheltered and demure version of this. [[spoiler:After the Eclipse, the Kushan empire took Wyndham and Charlotte was taken prisoner by Ganishka. Griffith rescues her after being reincarnated back on earth. She's now part of his new Band of the Hawk]].
* Koon Maria Zahard of ''TowerOfGod'' was so perfect and pure in the eyes of [[TheLancer Koon]] [[GuileHero Agero]] [[SupportingProtagonist Agnis]] that [[EnforcedTrope he made sure]] she would become am adoptive daughter of King Zahard.
* ''Anime/CodeGeass'':
** Nunnally Lamperouge looks the part at first glance, but the moment you ''begin'' going below the surface she suddenly becomes more of a deconstruction than anything.
** Euphemia also fits in the oozing virtue and sweetness and light way [[spoiler:until Lelouch accidentally Geasses her and sends her out on a killing spree.]]
* Screwed around with in ''RevolutionaryGirlUtena''.
* Subversion in the various incarnations of ''Franchise/SailorMoon''. Usagi/Serena ''wants'' to be like this and at times comes close despite herself. Being the {{Dojikko}} and a part-time PersonOfMassDestruction doesn't help.
* Princess Fala of ''GoLion'' (aka Princess Allura of ''{{Voltron}}''), even when fighting the bad guys.
* Princess Rune Venus of ''Anime/ElHazardTheMagnificentWorld'' is played this way most of the time, although she's considerably more savvy, politically, than the usual princess.
* ''LightNovel/ACertainMagicalIndex'' has the youngest royal daughter, Villian, who is an apparently timid but virtuous young woman.
* Played with at every turn in ''Anime/PrincessTutu''. Neither [[MagicalGirl Princess Tutu]] nor [[DarkMagicalGirl Princess Kraehe]] are actually royalty - the only reasonable explanation for their titles is that they both assume they're going to marry [[PrinceCharming the Prince]]. Tutu might fit the model aside from that (replacing "amazing singer" with "amazing ballerina", naturally)...except that [[FirstEpisodeSpoiler she's actually a duck]], and [[NiceJobBreakingItHero she inadvertently causes misery for the whole cast]], if not a DownerEnding. Suffice it to say that [[WomanInBlack Kraehe]] [[DaddysLittleVillain isn't]] [[GreenEyedMonster exactly]] [[BrokenBird innocent]]. And [[spoiler: ''Kraehe'' gets the HappilyEverAfter]].
* While she isn't actually royal, (though [[NationsAsPeople being a principate]] is pretty close) Monaco from ''Webcomic/AxisPowersHetalia'' [[LongHairIsFeminine grew out her hair]] to give off this vibe according to WordOfGod, though the actual word used is Grand Duchess, not Princess.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Film - Animation]]
* Daria from ''WesternAnimation/ThePrincessAndThePea''.
* Most of the princesses in the {{Franchise/Barbie}} films are this trope.
** Ro of ''WesternAnimation/BarbieAsTheIslandPrincess''
** Anneliese of ''WesternAnimation/BarbieInThePrincessAndThePauper''
** Most of the princesses in ''WesternAnimation/BarbieInTheTwelveDancingPrincesses''.
* Of the "core" {{Disney Princess}}es, the three earliest, Disney/SnowWhite, Disney/{{Cinderella}} and [[Disney/SleepingBeauty Aurora]], fit this trope (even though Cinderella is a princess by marriage). Others like Ariel, Belle and Jasmine have stories that are a bit more complex.
** Interestingly, two of Disney's most recent princesses, [[Disney/{{Tangled}} Rapunzel]] and [[Disney/{{Frozen}} Anna]], are actually a lot closer to the Princess Classic standard than the {{Rebellious Princess}}es of its Renaissance films, due to them basically growing up sheltered. [[{{Reconstruction}} This in no way stops either of them from having well-rounded personalities]] or being {{Badass Princess}}es at the same time.
*** Rapunzel has a much more [[TheIngenue innocent and gullible personality]] than the likes of Belle and Jasmine, HairOfGoldHeartOfGold, and is even a FriendToAllLivingThings.
*** Anna has a similarly innocent and optimistic disposition despite being a bit tomboyish, and even falls in LoveAtFirstSight with a handsome prince. [[spoiler: Given that her prince charming reveals himself to be a power-hungry sociopath who preyed on her naivete, however, this may be something of a [[DeconstructedTrope Deconstruction]].]] Her sister Elsa fits many traits of this trope herself despite actually being crowned queen.
* In ''WesternAnimation/TheCareBearsAdventureInWonderland'', the Princess of Hearts is like this, to the point where the purity of her touch [[GreenThumb can revive withering flowers]].
* One half of the soul and fiber of ''{{Shrek}}'' is about subverting this one by turning Princess Fiona into TheLadette. It is deconstructed further in ''Shrek the Third''. Sleeping Beauty is narcoleptic, Cinderella is an obsessive-compulsive cleaner, Snow White [[FriendToAllLivingThings summons woodland creatures]] with Music/LedZeppelin, and Rapunzel [[spoiler:wears a wig and is also TheMole]].
* Princess Oriana of ''WesternAnimation/FelixTheCatTheMovie''.
* Odette from the SwanPrincess is a slightly more wise version of this. Much of the plot is driven by her refusal to marry her LoveInterest until he can list a reason to love her ''beside'' her beauty. Other than that though, she's sweetness and light personified, especially in the sequels.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Film - Live Action]]
* Sara Crewe in the movie versions of ''Literature/ALittlePrincess'' is about as close as this trope gets without any actual royalty. But in the book she isn't sweetness and light. Part of why she is disliked is because of her ability to make adults uncomfortable by standing up for herself. Unfortunately, the Shirley Temple version completely destroys what made the character great, while adding in an inability to face reality. Whereas in the book she is remarkably competent and tough for her age. The 90s version seems to fix that though.
* ''Disney/{{Enchanted}}'': [[RedheadedHero Giselle]] is a spoof of this, but a loving spoof, in that Giselle is [[TheDeterminator determined against all odds to make the best of her situation.]]
* The titular mouse in ''WesternAnimation/TheTaleOfDespereaux'' searches for and finds one of these in the beautiful but useless Princess Pea.
* The princess of ''SnowWhiteAndTheThreeStooges''. Her first scene shows her sweet as a little girl and sweet as a young woman, both in different white skating dresses [[PrettyInMink trimmed with ermine]].
* Lyssa from ''Film/{{Krull}}'', who rebukes the advances of [[BigBad The Beast]], holding faith in ThePowerOfLove, [[spoiler:which does bear out, although [[KillItWithFire ultimately in a pretty violent way]]]].
* Princess Lili from ''Film/{{Legend}}'' starts out as a quintessential PrincessClassic, only to go through a BreakTheCutie process, accumulating in an intense case of CorruptTheCutie, only for [[spoiler:this to be revealed as a ruse she put on in order to trick Darkness into letting her get close enough to free a captured unicorn.]]
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Literature]]
* George Martin's ''ASongOfIceAndFire'':
** PrincessClassic was what Sansa Stark always aspired to be. Sansa lives in a CrapsackWorld. You can guess where this is headed.
** Dany is also a deconstruction; she starts out an impoverished PrincessClassic, but then loses a great deal of her innocence (including her virginity) when she's sold as a wife to Khal Drogo, swaps the violet silks for painted leather, learns to ride and rule like a Mongol warlord, loses her husband, [[spoiler:has the woman who betrayed her burnt alive, hatches some dragons, creates a new army all on her own, handles multiple assassination attempts, faces down a house full of warlocks, gains a brand new army, burns down entire cities full of slavers, and eventually sets up shop with an army of freed slaves and starts ruling a city as an imposing empress, Daenerys Stormborn, Mother of Dragons.]]
** Margaery Tyrell appears to be this... [[spoiler: It's all an act, of course.]]
* Also deconstructed in MarkTwain's ''Literature/AConnecticutYankeeInKingArthursCourt'', where Morgan realises the ladies are as rude and crude as the not-so-noble knights.
* Princess Alexandra from ''Literature/AHoleInTheWorld'' is this. She's also a lesbian. Her PrinceCharming is a girl named Bianca.
* In ''Literature/{{Xanth}}'', Princess Irene was a RoyalBrat. Her daughters, Ivy and Ida are straight examples.
* The Lady Amalthea in ''Literature/TheLastUnicorn'' acts like this as she loses her memories of being the last unicorn.
* Averted in MercedesLackey's {{Valdemar}} books by Princess Elspeth, who starts off a RoyalBrat and becomes a {{tomboy}} after she's broken of the brattishness. Eventually she [[spoiler:abdicates her position as heir when it becomes obvious (to her, at least) that she'll serve her country better as a Herald-Mage than as its queen.]]
* Belinda in ''TheRapeOfTheLock'' by Alexander Pope is certainly meant to reflect this trope. She's SpoiledSweet - not any sort of royalty, but the Queen Bee of all the court she surveys, while still being friendly (and uncommitted) to everyone. That is, [[BerserkButton until a certain involuntary haircut happens...]]
* Poked fun at in ''[[Literature/GarrettPI Angry Lead Skies]]'', when Garrett ponders Kip Prose's childish fantasies about saving beautiful princesses, and how, despite having run into everything ''else'' on his weird cases, he's never met a PrincessClassic. [[BrickJoke Near the end]], Garrett does catch sight of two genuine royal daughters, and they're both quite ''un''attractive, yet are praised and fawned upon constantly by political kiss-ups.
* ''Literature/ThePaperBagPrincess'' has Princess Elizabeth starts as this type of character, but becomes an ActionGirl later on, especially when she finds that [[PrinceCharmless Prince Ronald]] is an UngratefulBastard.
* Literature/FirebirdTrilogy: Princess Carradee Angelo is gentle, honorable, sweet, and rather uninterested in politics. Unfortunately for her, as eldest, she is the heir to the throne, which leads to her being thrust into ruling before she is truly ready for it. She contrasts with her sisters Phoena, who is a PoliticallyActivePrincess, and Firebird, who is a BadassPrincess.
* PlayedWith in the tale of Vivenna and Siri from ''Literature/{{Warbreaker}}''. Vivenna was raised as a PrincessClassic but ended up getting pushed into a BadassPrincess role, while her RebelliousPrincess sister Siri ended up in the PrincessClassic slot. Both do excellently in their new role.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* Used in the most famous Halloween episode of ''Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer''. Buffy dresses up as one of these on the Halloween when Ethan Rayne conjures up a spell that causes her and all of her friends to get turned into their costumes. So Willow, who dressed as a ghost, becomes a ghost and Xander, who dressed as an Army Guy, becomes an actual Army Guy. Ethan lucked out when she chose the Princess costume: the powerful Slayer becomes a simpering, helpless bundle of nerves and snobbery.
* [[PlayingWithATrope Played with]] on ''Series/{{Merlin}}'' with the portrayal of Princess Mithian. Characterized as the embodiment of a PrincessClassic, she's genuinely lovely, as well as beautiful, royal, elegant, talented and with an extensive wardrobe of gorgeous outfits; yet it's all done in order to provide more impact to the fact that KingArthur turns her down for the sake of the blacksmith's daughter.
* Princess Ariadne from ''Series/{{Atlantis}}'', though she gets a bit more spunk than this trope usually implies.
* Queen Anne from ''Series/TheMusketeers'' may technically be a ''queen'' (and occasionally passes into TheHighQueen territory) but for the most part embodies all the traits of a PrincessClassic instead.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Music]]
* Fairytale imagery featured on Music/TaylorSwift's second album, ''Fearless''. She explored the disconnect "between fairy tales and the reality of love": "We're raised as little girls to think that we're a princess and that Prince Charming is going to sweep us off our feet". Seen in "Love Story", "White Horse", and "Today Was A Fairy-Tale".
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Video Games]]
* Princess Sarah of ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyI'' is a kind gentle lady and AllLovingHero according to her subjects. She wears a golden dress, is demur in person and gives away an ancient family heirloom without a second thought to the heroes as thanks for saving her life.
* ''Franchise/SuperMarioBros's'' Peach and ''Franchise/TheLegendOfZelda's'' Zelda may have started out like this, but Peach is sometimes a parody (or at least heavily lampshaded version) of this (see the ''VideoGame/PaperMario'' games), and Zelda [[LadyOfWar got more depth]] to her character. Zelda even lampshades this in ''Spirit Tracks'' by saying that waiting for the hero to do his job is a "family tradition."
* Rozalin in ''VideoGame/{{Disgaea 2|Cursed Memories}}'' is what you get when you take a Princess Classic and [[FallenPrincess throw her in the boondocks without warning]]. ''VideoGame/{{Disgaea 3|Absence of Justice}}'s'' Sapphire, on the other hand, [[AxeCrazy gleefully decapitates this trope]] with a [[ChainsawGood chainsaw]].
* Princess Shine from ''VideoGame/SuperRobotWars'' often struggles to maintain the image, particularly in her language, and of course, the fact that most Princesses don't take on threats to her [[TheKingdom Kingdom]] head on in a (oddly cute) HumongousMecha.
* ''FireEmblem 4'''s Princess Yuria. RoyalBlood? She's got it. Innocent? Definitely (Virgin? Well, she cannot marry without really knowing what you're doing.) Pretty? [[{{Moe}} Well, extremely cute would be the line here.]] Elegant Clothing? She wears long white robes with a purple cape held by intricate gold shoulder wraps. Good and Sweet? [[AlternateCharacterInterpretation Usually when]] [[MurderTheHypotenuse she's not]] BrainwashedAndCrazy. Shy and Demure? Check. However she's a LadyOfWar, of the Caster Variety. Notable that her ultimate weapon summons a dragon to do the fighting. Marries the Prince and lives happily ever after? [[BrotherSisterIncest She Can. If the player knows what to do. Note that there aren't many countries for her Prince to be from... and all the other countries' Princes are taken...]] Doesn't die? Ummm... AnyoneCanDie in this game. TooGoodForThisSinfulEarth? No. [[NintendoHard If she dies, it's a tragedy]] [[{{Unwinnable}} that should've been avoided]].
* Princess Satera from ''VideoGame/ShiningWisdom'' is this. Daughter to the King, described as beautiful, [[SaveThePrincess prone to kidnapping]], always wears an elaborate dress with [[CoolCrown magical tiara]], shy and it's hinted that she has a thing for the hero.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Webcomics]]
* In ''Webcomic/GirlGenius'', when Zeetha tells Agatha [[http://www.girlgeniusonline.com/comic.php?date=20120420 you are in serious need of some princess lesson]], Agatha's first thought is of this trope. Cured when Zeetha starts, "First lesson. Every princess needs a battle axe."
* In ''Webcomic/{{Sinfest}}'', [[http://www.sinfest.net/view.php?date=2006-09-28 Monique, rejecting stereotypes/diners, rejects the Vapid Princess Eatery.]]
* In ''Webcomic/YetAnotherFantasyGamerComic'', this trope is lampshaded, harpooned, and trampled into the ground in "The [=DinSea=] Princess" (starting with episode 2200).
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Web Original]]
* Subverted with all the subtlety of a chainsaw in [[http://www.funnyordie.com/videos/5e27224abb/disneys-princess-kesha this video]] starring Music/{{Kesha}} as, well, ''herself'' if ''she'' were a Disney Princess. Yeah, [[SelfDeprecation that's really her in the video]].
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* Princess Bubblegum of ''WesternAnimation/AdventureTime'' is mostly an AffectionateParody of this trope, but is often played straight. She is prim, proper, poised, is frequently a DamselInDistress, and loves pink. Later seasons have been subverting it more and more, revealing her to be a LadyOfWar ActionGirl, PragmaticHero who will do [[WhatTheHellHero ''anything'']] to protect her people, and teetering very close to becoming a MadScientist.
* Princess Clara from ''WesternAnimation/DrawnTogether'' is '''the''' comical {{Deconstruction}} of this kind of princess.
* Played straight with ''LadyLovelyLocks''.
* Princess Yue from ''WesternAnimation/AvatarTheLastAirbender'' who ends up TooGoodForThisSinfulEarth by way of a HeroicSacrifice.
* Angelica Pickles in ''{{Rugrats}}'' suspects she may be one but decides to take three tests to prove it. First is by having [[{{Rapunzel}} Phil and Lil try and climb up her hair]]. Second she attempts to see if [[Literature/ThePrincessAndThePea she can feel a pea through a series of pillows]] but Chuckie eats the pea so they use a fork instead. And finally they check to see if [[Literature/{{Cinderella}} a slipper fits her foot]].
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Real Life]]
* Debatable if there are actual examples in RealLife (that weren't this from being sheltered and not taught about the world), but Queen Victoria of England did her best to make royal ladies ''appear'' to be that way. To the point of the UrbanLegend of noble women being advised to "[[LieBackAndThinkOfEngland Close your eyes and think of England]]".
* On the subject of Saints with a royal title, Saint Catherine of Alexandria provides a very early example of this trope (her name even comes from [[IncorruptiblePurePureness "Katharos", the Greek word meaning "pure"]]!. It is a somewhat unusual one, however, as the virgin princess is wed to ''{{Jesus}} Christ'' in mystic marriage (ie. a dream-vision) and ''chooses martyrdom rather than betraying her vows to Him!''
[[/folder]]
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