->''"Once upon a time you dressed so fine\\
You threw the bums a dime in your prime, didn't you?\\
People'd call, say, 'Beware doll, you're bound to fall'\\
You thought they were all kiddin' you..."''
-->-- '''Music/BobDylan''', "Like a Rolling Stone" from ''Music/Highway61Revisited''.

[[AlwaysFemale Usually female]], this is a character has [[HowTheMightyHaveFallen fallen from grace]] and refuses to go down without a fight. It is usually suggested she was once the AlphaBitch, a RichBitch, or a NonRoyalPrincess, and [[PrideBeforeAFall fell hard]] because of the loss of a [[ImpoverishedPatrician family fortune]], [[BigFancyHouse home]], etc. However, instead of adapting to the new situation like the FallenPrincess, the character will either act the same as before, or become even more arrogant and cold, maintaining a WellExcuseMePrincess, better-than-you attitude, while [[ICouldaBeenAContender privately lamenting]] her lost fortune. Frequent StepfordSmiler, with good reason.

If she was known for her beauty and elegance, she will either continue to use the same hairstyle and clothes until the clothes become rags and the hairstyle becomes embarrassingly outdated, or else try to follow the current fashions by creative sewing of old clothes - or creative shopping, with highly variable success. If she has kids, she tends to mutate into MyBelovedSmother, in her desperate attempt to make her kids successful enough to get back the lost status, usually attempting to get her girls to marry rich and her boys to select a "prestigious" profession such as lawyer, medical doctor, or, if the work is particularly old, religious minister or priest.

Often seen in Latin American works, where this kind of character is almost archetypical. The sympathy with this character is treated depends of the writer, but more often than not they are presented as fighting a futile battle against the decadence they are destined to lose. For example, the character could go from being a RichBitch to TheWoobie living in a CrapSackWorld of her own imagination, or from the NonRoyalPrincess to an AntiVillain.

Compare ImpoverishedPatrician and KingOfTheHomeless. Contrast FallenPrincess. She's not a RebelliousPrincess but can be confused for one as she's rebelling against the force that's telling her she's no longer a princess.


[[folder:Anime & Manga]]
* The main character of ''Manga/GoldfishWarning''. However, this is quickly subverted.
* ''Manga/SchoolRumble'' once played this in a play scenario that Akira submitted about Eri. The still-rich-in-reality Eri didn't seem to mind the play idea... for a while...
* Eva in ''Anime/{{Monster}}''. She was the daughter of the director at the hospital Tenma worked at, and as such was rolling in money and engaged to said up-and-coming medical genius. She walked out on Tenma because he [[BewareTheHonestOnes chose to follow his morals instead of what would be politically advantageous]], and after he refused to take her back she went into a downhill slide so hard that by a quarter of the way through the series she'd gotten to the point where she was stealing alcohol from a homeless guy.
* [[spoiler: Naina Peacecraft]] in the ''Anime/MobileSuitGundamWing: Frozen Teardrop'' novels, during the time she spends [[spoiler: in Hilde's orphanage.]]
* Male example: [[spoiler: Hotohori's half-brother Tendou]] from the ''Manga/FushigiYuugi'' novel and OAV ''Suzaku Hi Den''. He was one of the Royal Princes of [[spoiler: Konan]], but was sent away to the country to protect him after [[spoiler: Hotohori's StageMom Motaiko fatally poisoned one of their siblings]]; years passed, [[spoiler: Hotohori ascended to the throne that should've been Tendou's]] and he never got the chance to come back home, which made him ''very'' angry and bitter.
* While not a princess per se, [[spoiler:Siren]] from ''Anime/SuitePrettyCure'' can certainly count. She was [[spoiler:the Song Faerie who was supposed to sing the Melody of Happiness but lost the position, was manipulated by Mephisto into joining her to sing the Melody of Sorrow, and forsook her best friend.]] Once she finally made a HeelFaceTurn to [[spoiler:save Hummy from Trio the Minor, she realized she couldn't return to Major Land or Minor Land, winding up all alone for the better part of three episodes.]]
* In ''LightNovel/TheTwelveKingdoms'', this trope defines [[spoiler: Shoukei]]'s attitude right after [[spoiler: the fall of her parents aka the king and Queen of Hou]]. Even when she's [[spoiler: barely saved from a CruelAndUnusualDeath]] and taken in as [[spoiler: a retainer of the Queen of Kyou]], she doesn't lose her arrogance and entitlement, and it's only after [[spoiler: she escapes from Kyou and then travels with Rakushun]] that she starts straightening up her act.
* Mio of ''Manga/TheWorldGodOnlyKnows'' is the daughter of a wealthy businessman and shows off her wealth with exorbitant spending and a personal servant. After her father died and her family lost its wealth she was unwilling to give up her image and lifestyle. After being captured she is able to accept her new reality and transitions into a FallenPrincess.

[[folder: Film]]
* The object lesson for the Beverly Hills princess in ''MaidToOrder'' was to reduce her to Cinderella-before-the-ball status. She got the riches back, though, in the end.
* The trope is played with as the central joke of the film ''Film/{{Overboard}}'' with Creator/KurtRussell and Creator/GoldieHawn; Goldie is the princess, but suffers amnesia and winds up living in, well, less than salubrious surroundings. Most of the jokes from that point center on her being in this situation.
* There's something of a reference to this trope in Rose's mother, Ruth of ''Film/{{Titanic 1997}}''. Rose [=deWitt=] Bukater's family money is all pretty much gone, and Ruth is counting on Rose marrying money in the form of Nathan Hockley to restore them to financial stability.
* Vanellope Von Schweetz in ''Diseny/WreckItRalph'' is first shown as a homeless, unkempt waif. When [[spoiler:she crosses the finish line of her game Sugar Rush at the end of the movie, the game resets and she is returned to her proper place, as princess of the game]]. She subverts it as she prefers her hoodie, mismatched stockings and ponytail.

[[folder: Literature]]
* The mother of the Dashwood sisters in ''Literature/SenseAndSensibility'' is a good example, albeit there is no shortage of mothers like this in Creator/JaneAusten works.
* ''The Queen and I'' by Sue Townsend.
* In Paula Volsky's ''Illusion'', the aristocratic heroine ends up starving on the streets for a good portion of the novel due to the French...ahem, ''Vonahran''...Revolution. While she initially does retain most of her airs, the streets break her down pretty quickly.
* Queen Morgase and at least a couple of high-ranked Aes Sedai in Robert Jordan's ''Literature/TheWheelOfTime'' books.
* ''Literature/ASongOfIceAndFire'' has a rare male example: Prince Viserys.
** Invoked by a character known as the Tattered Prince introduced in ''A Dance With Dragons''. He's a noble in exile from his home city state turned mercenary commander, and wears a ragged cloak... [[CreepySouvenir which he made out of the clothes of all the people he's killed]]. He seems to be a foil to Viserys, having a similar background, but being pretty mellow and (darkly) humorous about it.
* Katerina Ivanovna Marmeladov from ''Literature/CrimeAndPunishment''. Her husband is drunkard, and she and her children only have one set of clothes apiece, and they've been reduced to renting ''a corner'' of a room to live in. She maintains her pride by insisting on washing her children's clothes every night, by bragging about her upbringing, and verbally assaulting the landlady for looking down on her.
* Fernanda del Carpio in ''Literature/OneHundredYearsOfSolitude''. She was explicitly "raised to be a queen", but when she cames back home from the expensive boarding school where she stayed for years she discovers that all her family fortune was spent in her education. She manages to marry rich with Aureliano Segundo Buendí­a, only to discover that her political family is composed half by eccentrics, half by down-to-earth characters, and both sides ridicule her because of her extreme puritanism and her stiff attitude; she retaliates by taking over with iron fist, becoming the new "public face" of the family, imposing her rather antiquated ideas in her children (with no real success), and indulging in superstitions like the "invisible doctors". She consoles herself reasoning that, at least, her new family is rich and influential, and the town founders. Then, years later, the town collapses, her husband loses all the familiar fortune again, and she discovers in the bad way than she can't be the support the family needs.
* Male example: Jelaudin, son of the shah in ''[[Literature/{{Conqueror}} Bones of the Hills]]''. While on the run from the Mongols, the act of having to pay for things with coins makes him feel unclean, and he still tries to act like a prince even when renting a tiny hovel and having to pay rent daily.
* In ''Literature/ALittlePrincess,'' when heiress Sara Crewe is forced to become a servant after her father's death, she wears her old, outgrown finery, since she has nothing else, and it becomes shabbier with time. Nevertheless, she tells herself, "If I am a princess in rags and tatters, I can be a princess inside."
* Scarlett O'Hara of ''Literature/GoneWithTheWind'', between husbands and trying to run Tara. She also makes use of CurtainClothing.
* In ''Literature/{{Warbreaker}}'', Vivenna finds herself betrayed, starving and alone in the slums of Hallandren.
* Thayet jian Wilima is a runaway princess from a country at war when she first appears in ''Literature/SongOfTheLioness''.
* Morwen in ''Literature/TheSilmarillion'' and ''Literature/TheChildrenOfHurin'' continues to live in her halls and carry herself as a Lady even after her husband is captured and her lands conquered by the Easterlings. She eventually leaves, but ...
* Picture book ''Literature/ThePaperBagPrincess'' features Princess Elizabeth, who lived in a beautiful castle and was set to marry a handsome prince, when a dragon showed up, kidnapped her fiancé, and burned all her stuff, leaving her with only a paper bag to wear. Different from other examples, in that she eventually ends up happier this way, with the possible Aesop of "You don't need to be a princess to be happy".
* Catherine of Aragon in ''Patience, Princess Catherine'' of the historically based ''Literature/YoungRoyals'' series of books chooses to live in poverty rather than going home to Spain, in hopes of marrying her late husband's brother, who will soon be crowned King of England.
** In ''Mary, Bloody Mary'' both mother and daughter choose solitary poverty, instead of conceding to Henry VIII's demands. Devout Catholics, they refuse to accept him as head of the Church of England - nor will they accept the notion that Henry's marriage to Catherine was illegitimate, and that they have been reduced in title to "Dowager Princess of Wales" and "The Lady Mary, the King's daughter."
* Charlotte in ''Literature/TheRubyRedTrilogy''. After she finds out that she doesn't have the [[{{TimeTravel}} time-travel]] gene she was believed to have inherited all her life, she still does everything to help the Guardians' cause and to get some attention. She also acts even colder towards her cousin Gwen (who does have the gene) than before.
* In ''Literature/WingsOfFire'', Tsunami constantly fantasizes she is the legendary stolen princess of the [=SeaWing=] dragons. It's revealed that she ''is'' the princess.
** Later, Glory finds out that she's the descendant of the original [=RainWing=] royal family.

[[folder: Live Action TV]]
* Florinda from ''Series/ElChavoDelOcho'' acts with shameless snobbishness and arrogance, and is prone to treat her other neighbors as "riff-raff". She also instills in her quite dumb son Kiko the same attitude. In the Backstory Episode, is revealed that she married a sailor against the wishes of her wealthy family, and when her husband died they denied her any support. She lives from a meager widow pension, and when that becomes irregular, she finally resigns herself and becomes the patron of a small restaurant.
* An integral part in the premise of ''Series/ArrestedDevelopment''. This applies to every single character in the family except the OnlySaneMan Michael (and his son).
* Blair Waldorf in ''Series/GossipGirl'' has played this role, but always bounces back.
* Cordelia Chase, at the beginning of ''Series/{{Angel}}'', has gone from being "Queen C" of Sunnydale High to living in a roach-infested apartment, and trying to get enough food to eat by scrounging at the parties to which she actually manages to get invited. The process started on parent show ''Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer'' when her father lost all his money due to tax fraud.
* One episode of ''Series/ColdCase'' revolved around the murder of a Cambodian woman who was actually a member of the royal family. Her [[IceQueen beauty and aloofness]] combined with her refusal to be [[WellExcuseMePrincess treated poorly]] made her the object of a DirtyCop's [[IfICantHaveYou obsession]]. Basically, being this trope got her killed.
* Morgana Pendragon from ''{{Series/Merlin}}'', after her betrayal.
* Patricia Fernández from ''Series/YoSoyBettyLaFea''. The [[BrainlessBeauty not very smart but beautiful daughter]] of a rich family, a vain woman with absolutely NoSympathy for others, only went to college to get a MRSDegree (to the point that one of her catchphrases is "I studied six semesters of Finance in San Marino College" as if that was a thing to be proud of), all went to hell the moment her husband unexpectedly divorced her. It's all but explicitly pointed out that her fall is all of her own making, by annoying her husband and alienating her family, and the soap treats her as a ButtMonkey AssholeVictim since all her efforts are not to improve her situation but to maintain the facade.

[[folder: Music]]
* Music/BobDylan's "Like A Rolling Stone", quoted above, is a famous example of this in song.
** His "Queen Jane Approximately," from the same album (''Highway 61 Revisited'') is somewhat similar, although the princess doesn't fall so much as become disillusioned, and said disillusionment hasn't happened yet.
* Don [=McLean=]'s ''Lady in Waiting''.
* Despite its name, {{Gene Pitney}}'s song "Princess In Rags" ''isn't'' an example of this trope.

[[folder: Theatre]]
* Invoking the JustForFun/TheZerothLawOfTropeExamples, Queen Margaret in ''Theatre/RichardIII'' has definitely become this, after going a little crazy following her faction's defeat at the end of ''3 Theatre/HenryVI''.
* Grizabella in ''Theatre/{{Cats}}'' used to be beautiful, but now she's old and ragged. All the other cats shun her.
* Amanda from ''Theatre/TheGlassMenagerie'' was once a beautiful SouthernBelle and daughter of a wealthy plantation owner. Now, she lives in a tiny apartment with her two children, so impoverished that she has to still wear her RoaringTwenties clothing.

[[folder: Video Games]]
* ''Franchise/TheLegendOfZelda'':
** [[spoiler:Midna]] in ''[[VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaTwilightPrincess Twilight Princess]]'' qualifies for at least most of this trope; Link just isn't aware of it for a long time. [[spoiler:She actually is the titular Twilight Princess, but was dethroned and disfigured by the usurper Zant. Everything she does for the first half of the game is done with the intent of regaining her rightful title, though gradually she warms up to the hero and becomes just as determined to regain Zelda's throne for her as she is to regain her own for herself.]]
** Despite not being a princess, Mila from ''[[VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaTheWindWaker The Wind Waker]]'' qualifies. She used to be filthy rich and spoiled, but after she was kidnapped by the Helmaroc King, her father blew all his fortune trying to get her back, forcing both of them into poverty. Her father doesn't mind, as long as his daughter is safe, but she hates the change so much that she's resorted to stealing stuff. If she's caught red-handed she'll realize the error of her ways, deciding to suck it in and work hard and honestly from now on.
* The mother of Prince Gustav XIII is exiled along with him in ''VideoGame/SaGaFrontier2'' after he is shown to be incapable of using magic, which is important to the ceremony of throne-succession in his country. Even living in a shanty and slowly dying from lack of nutrition and the rigors of being rapidly destitute, she never loses her stately composure. [[StartOfDarkness Gustav, on the other hand...]]
* Malice from ''VideoGame/RivieraThePromisedLand''. Her BlueBlood is confirmed in the drama [=CDs=], which also explain how her family lost its prestige. She acts arrogantly toward and despises the protagonist for having power since his birth, but her attitude is never fully explained in-game.
* The Female Dwarf Noble and Female Human Noble in ''VideoGame/DragonAgeOrigins'' both fit this trope. The Dwarf Noble is a bona fide princess, the daughter of the dwarven king, who has been exiled after being convicted of murdering her elder brother Trian. The Human Noble is the daughter of a Teyrn ([[CallARabbitASmeerp Duke]]) who is on the run because her father's best friend invaded her family castle, murdered everyone she ever cared about, and is spreading rumors that they were traitors to the crown.
* The Grave Robber in ''VideoGame/DarkestDungeon'' was once a noblewoman who, for whatever reason, went into serious debt after the death of the rest of her family. As her name implies, she resorted to grave-digging to find valuables to pay it off.

[[folder: Western Animation]]
* This happened to Valerie in ''WesternAnimation/DannyPhantom''; she eventually gave up on trying to regain her lost status and turned to hunting ghosts instead.
* In ''WesternAnimation/TheOblongs'', Pickles is a former "Debbie" (short for 'debutante') who lives in poverty. A very mild example in that she is relatively happy, but she maintains a ridiculous wig, and smokes and drinks heavily to keep her spirits up.

* The Scottish princess Marjorie Bruce, d. 1316, for four years endured solitary confinement in the name of her father [[UsefulNotes/RobertTheBruce Robert I of Scotland]].
* [[UsefulNotes/TheHouseOfTudor Catherine Of Aragon]] chose poverty rather than going home to Spain in hope of marrying UsefulNotes/HenryVIII of England.
** She chose poverty a second time (along with the bonus pain of being separated from her only child, Mary) rather than accept that Henry had divorced her. She went to her death signing her letters as Queen.
* The stubborn streak was hereditary. Henry and Catherine's daughter, [[UsefulNotes/MaryTudor Mary I of England]], lost everything when her father divorced her mother, but she refused to acknowledge him as head of the Church of England or (for a long time) to accept that he had stripped her of her title of Princess.
** Mary's half-sister Elizabeth was also this trope after ''her'' mother fell out of favor with Henry and was executed. Unlike Mary, Elizabeth was a bit too young at the time to be defiant about it and did not lose nearly as much as Mary did in any case. (Henry's third wife, Jane Seymour, eventually got him to admit both of his daughters back to court before she fell victim to DeathByChildbirth.)
* In UsefulNotes/{{Istanbul}} during UsefulNotes/WorldWarII, there were stories of [[NobleFugitive White Russian]] countesses waiting tables. Of course that was at ''really'' fancy restaurants, but still.