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->''"[The perfect wife] was intensely sympathetic. She was immensely charming. She was utterly unselfish. She excelled in the difficult arts of family life. She sacrificed daily. [...] Above all, she was pure."''
-->-- '''Creator/VirginiaWoolf''', "Professions for Women"

What is a Proper Lady? Also known as a "real lady", a "true lady", simply a "lady", or an "angel in the house", she's the perfect lady in the Victorian British mindset. The Proper Lady archetype was widely used in Victorian and earlier literature. Creator/JaneAusten was one of the first authors that introduced such qualities to heroines that did not fit into the strictest view of what is acceptable for a Proper Lady, beginning the slow death of this trope. The last time it was seen alive was around the 1950s. Modern ones are likely to be accused of being {{Purity Sue}}s or have some quirk or flaw that sets them apart from their predecessors.

A Proper Lady is a gentle yet strong being, [[IncorruptiblePurePureness incorruptible]] and [[ChasteHero pure as the driven snow]], as unlike TheVamp as she comes, and Madonna-like in her virtues. She sacrifices herself for the good of her family, religion, and country. She is intelligent enough to [[ApronMatron smoothly run a household]], and [[TheConsigliere wisely spends her husband's money]] for the good of her family, never guilty of negligence or selfish frivolity. She possesses the wit, taste and esprit necessary to be [[{{Socialite}} a star of Society]], and never crosses the border of good taste and civility. She is devoted and loyal, never treacherous or scheming. Her manners are never less than impeccable, and her good will and charity are a beacon to those lucky enough to live around her. She is perfectly groomed, likely [[BeautyEqualsGoodness beautiful]] or at least comely (while the female antagonist will be [[BeautyIsBad more beautiful]] and [[EvilIsSexy appealing]]). However, [[TrueBeautyIsOnTheInside more important than her personal looks is her gentle smile]]. Because small size is endearing (and allows for protective embraces from her lucky husband or fiancé), she will probably be on the shorter side. Chances are that she has [[RavenHairIvorySkin dark hair and fair skin]]. ParasolOfPrettiness is a typical prop.

A Proper Lady might [[DamselInDistress not always be able to defend herself]], but should in most cases possess the strength of mind to not panic, and [[PluckyGirl the willpower]] to never give in to any [[FateWorseThanDeath vile demands]].

She is ''always'' [[BlueBlood upper class]] and nearly always [[HouseWife married, often a mother]]. She might also be a ''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Victorian_era#Prostitution redundant woman]]'', in which case she will not be bitter about never getting married, and will instead direct her motherly instincts for the good of [[MaidenAunt her sister's or brother's family]]. Lower class women and maidens can have many qualities of a Proper Lady, and should, per this trope and the ideals behind it, aim to be as like her as possible.

There is no upper age limit to being a Proper Lady. Widowed ladies might easily double-qualify as {{Determined Widow}}s. If a lady dies at an advanced age, her death will be dignified, probably caused by old age, and if she [[TooGoodForThisSinfulEarth dies young]] (of [[VictorianNovelDisease nothing too unsightly]]), it will be a heartbreaking, but not in vain, tragedy. Her absence will leave behind a great void and she will be dearly missed by not only family members and friends, but also by those who only occasionally had the fortune to be graced with her presence. She is expected to show proper ladylike behavior.

'''Related character tropes''':
* EnglishRose: An archetypal English character with similar properties; popular standard for a Proper Lady's looks.
* EveryProperLadyShouldCurtsy: A greeting showing her femininity.
* Typical colours:
** GracefulLadiesLikePurple
** PinkMeansFeminine
*** PrincessesPreferPink
** WomanInWhite: A color showing her purity.
** TrueBlueFemininity
* GrandeDame: A rare subtype is a mature Proper Lady; even then, she would have been a figure of (good-natured) fun even in Victorian times.
* GrannyClassic: An aging Proper Lady.
* TheIngenue: A potential future Proper Lady.
* LadyOfAdventure: Proper Lady (or more likely Spirited Young Lady) meets GlorySeeker.
* LadyOfWar: Proper Lady or Spirited Young Lady meets ActionGirl.
* MadonnaWhoreComplex: Virginal before marriage, chaste during and after marriage. If she ''doesn't'' live up to this standard, she [[DefiledForever cannot be considered a]] Proper Lady.
* MotherhoodIsSuperior: Is a doting (but firm) mother, or aspires to be one, and it's considered her [[MandatoryMotherhood "destiny"]] and/or [[AppealToNature "natural role"]] by society at large.
* PrimAndProperBun: A hairstyle to indicate a Proper Lady.
* PrincessClassic: Princess counterpart.
* SilkHidingSteel: A Proper Lady who is able and willing to take an active role.
* SouthernBelle: Southern USA counterpart. (see ''bonne belle''.)
* SpiritedYoungLady: A little more spunky; a little less prim.
* TheHighQueen: A regal variety.
* TheWomanWearingTheQueenlyMask: Proper Lady meets IronLady, add self sacrifice according to taste.
* YamatoNadeshiko: The Japanese ([[Administrivia/TropesAreFlexible or at least East Asian]]) version.

'''Other related tropes''':
* AllWomenArePrudes: All true ladies are free from carnal desire.
* AngelicBeauty: Is often described in these terms.
* BeautyEqualsGoodness: Will always be ''extraordinarily'' beautiful ([[MakeupIsEvil naturally, of course]]), or at least conventionally-attractive, for the time and place in which she resides.
* HeroicSelfDeprecation: ''Always'' puts others' needs before her own, never expects anything in return, or thinks of herself as special for doing it.
* HystericalWoman: A lady usually has enough dignity to avert this, although she usually is emotional.
* LieBackAndThinkOfEngland: Originally the only proper way to deal with the wifely duties while not compromising the purity of a lady.
* TheLostLenore: If her husband outlives her, she will most likely be this to him.
* NotLikeOtherGirls: Will often be elevated above other girls/women precisely because she meets the standards of a ProperLady, and they're somehow lacking (not pretty enough, not chaste enough, too flighty or free-spirited, not polite or refined enough, aspires to be something other than a wife and mother, etc.)
* TooGoodForThisSinfulEarth: If and when she dies, this is probably {{invoked|Trope}}.
* VictorianNovelDisease: This is the way she will die, if she does not simply die of old age or [[DeathByChildbirth as a result of childbirth]].
* WidowsWeeds: If she gets married and manages to outlive her husband, she will wear this, [[TheMourningAfter often until she herself]] [[TogetherInDeath joins him]]. (In many cases, she would not even ''dream'' of remarrying, or having a romantic or sexual relationship with anyone else.)
* WomenAreDelicate: Super Trope to Proper Lady.



[[folder:Anime and Manga]]
%%* Marianne Hamilton, Emma Queensbury, and [[spoiler: Emma's dead older sister aka Francis and Keith's deceased mother]] from ''Anime/AshitaNoNadja''.
* ''Webcomic/AxisPowersHetalia'' has [[TokenMiniMoe Liechtenstein]], a YamatoNadeshiko who comes from West/Central Europe rather than East Asia. She's humble, kind, quiet, deferring yet not completely submissive to her brother Switzerland, very mature for a young nation, and quite competent at housework.
* Elizabeth Middleford wants to be Proper Lady for [[KissingCousins her cousin and fiance]] Ciel in ''Manga/BlackButler''. In the manga [[spoiler:she hides her LittleMissBadass side from him, [[NoGuyWantsAnAmazon fearing he'd think she was "uncute"]] and reject her affection (as he was shit scared of her AlmightyMom Frances). This causes her lots of inner pain as she forces herself to hide her strength for Ciel's sake rather than her own...]]
* Vivi, Sandra, Nadia, Liliya, and Valentine from ''Manga/ACruelGodReigns'', and oddly enough all of them also fall under the {{Broken Bird}} trope, to varying degrees. Each girl is portrayed as sweet, loving, pure, gentle, and fragile.
* ''Manga/FairyTail'':
** It presents the mild mannered Mirajane, who is not only the most feminine member of Fairy Tail but adorable and capable of cooking. [[SilkHidingSteel She runs the guild from behind the scenes and her rank as a mage is Class S.]]
** Edo-Cana is even more feminine and soft than Mirajane.
* ''Manga/FullmetalAlchemist'':
** Ed and Al Elric's MissingMom Trisha. In all the flashbacks she is sweet and loving to her kids and willing to wait forever for her husband.
** Hughes's wife Gracia and the Armstrongs's little sister Katharine.
%%* ''Anime/{{Gankutsuou}}'' has Valentine de Vilefort.
* The {{shoujo}} manga ''Manga/{{Lady}}'' by Yoko Hanabusa takes the concept and makes it central to the plot.
** The main character, Lynn Russell (also known as Rin Midorikawa), is a [[ButNotTooForeign half-Japanese and half-English]] girl from TheRoaringTwenties; after her Japanese mother [[YamatoNadeshiko Misuzu]] dies in an accident [[HeroicSacrifice while protecting]] [[MamaBear her]], little Lynn decides to honor her via becoming this.
** Her paternal half-sister, [[CoolBigSis Sarah Russell]], is on her way to become one as well. She got this from ''her'' MissingMom, Frances.
* As the title may indicate, ''Anime/LadyJewelpet'' takes place in an institute that teaches girls how to be this trope. Results vary.
* A few girls in ''Anime/RevolutionaryGirlUtena''. The series plays around with this trope a lot. Utena's not one, but once tries to act like one after Touga defeats her and she temporarily loses Anthy... yet not only it's very forced, but she's only using a part of the whole concept (being passive and ladylike, but not applying the SilkHidingSteel).
* ''Manga/VictorianRomanceEmma'':
** Emma starts as a poor peasant girl, becomes a flower girl, a maid, and ends up becoming a gentleman's sweetheart. While her background technically prevents her from becoming a true lady in the society's eyes, her angel-like disposition, good education, eventual marriage (although with NouveauRiche) and careful grooming should make her one in all but name.
** William's mother Aurelia is a weird case. She has the status and loveable nature of a Proper Lady, but also lacks the social and entertaining skills she would have needed to appeal to the London society. Despite everything, she is content to attend social life with her husband to make him appear the best he could even while she silently hates the whole thing. A wearying life filled with social obligations, combined with the strain of having children, made Aurelia physically ill. She is saved from the standard tragic death, but has to leave London and basically abandon her family in order to save their face.
* ''Anime/{{Windaria}}'' has Alan's HouseWife Marie, a grand example of an honest and wholesome young lady. She also helps him sell their vegetables at market.

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* Obscure 1950s superheroine Tomboy's SecretIdentity was "perfect little lady" Janie Jackson.

[[folder:Fan Works]]
* In ''FanFic/TheFledglingYear'', {{Action Girl}}/{{One Of The Boys}} Aravis invokes this trope when she slips into her persona as a [[BlueBlood Tarkheena]]. This provokes very entertaining reactions from everyone who didn’t expect her to be capable of such suave formality and politesse.
* Moana Dixon in ''FanFic/TheMiraculousAdventureOfTessaAndLunala'' and ''FanFic/TheLiloAdventures'' fits the trope. She is known for her courage and kindness, but she does have a flamboyant side to her.
** Another main character, Brianna, also fits the trope pretty well. Like Moana, she has a kind personality and proper manners. She does get angry on some occasions, and she freaks out several times, first shown when [[spoiler: Ash, Serena, Blake and Jasmine learn her father's identity]].

[[folder:Films -- Animated]]
* Victoria from ''WesternAnimation/CorpseBride'' is a rare clean-cut modern example without parody or deconstruction. With the PerfectlyArrangedMarriage, you just know how devoted a wife she will be for lucky, lucky Victor. She seems nothing but a sweet young girl, determined to help him when he's troubled. Emily the Corpse Bride is her more enthusiastic counterpart.
* Sally from ''WesternAnimation/TheNightmareBeforeChristmas'' fits this trope pretty well. She has the modest, feminine personality and attire, and is domestic and sensible. She's a leaf-filled [[RobotGirl patchwork doll]] with stitches all over her body and puts deadly nightshade in her creator's food and drink to get out of the house, which gives her shades of being more determined and shows she has a great desire to be free.
* Many classic-era Franchise/DisneyPrincess fit this: (later princesses are more likely to be a SpiritedYoungLady).
** ''[[Disney/SnowWhiteAndTheSevenDwarfs Snow White]]'', the first and fairest of them all stands out as her feminine traits like domesticity and sweetness are emphasized, and thus she is the quintessential example in Disney canon.
** ''Disney/{{Cinderella}}'': The title character is gentle, submissive, and even when her step-mother forces her to become a servant in her own house remains stoic and gracious.
** ''Disney/SleepingBeauty'': Aurora is elegant, quiet (with the fewest lines of any Disney Princess), dutiful and obedient, including following her fairy godmother's command that she can't marry the man she loves and must return to her life as a princess.
* A later-Disney example Queen Elinor from ''WesternAnimation/{{Brave}}'' is refined, feminine and stops brawls through quiet dignity and a few careful words rather than with confrontation. A big part of the plot is fueled by her attempts to turn [[RebelliousPrincess her daughter]], [[TomboyPrincess Merida]], into this.
* Duchess of ''Disney/TheAristocats'' is a regal, wealthy cat of refinement and good manners, but takes her adventures well and stays level-headed. Her daughter Marie tries hard to be one also, but with her proud attitude it doesn't always work. Their sophisticated widowed owner, Madame Bonfamille, is very proper as well.
* Elsa from ''Disney/{{Frozen}}'' is shown to be this in her down time, in contrast to the more spirited Anna: she enjoys a quiet tea, keeping things clean and neat, and intellectual pursuits such as geometry, and after learning to control her powers, she's collected and poised enough to eventually be TheHighQueen.
%% * Lady from ''Disney/LadyAndTheTramp''... well, they didn't name her for being a [[TheLadette hardcore tomboy]].
%% * [[Disney/PeterPan Wendy]] and [[Disney/AliceInWonderland Alice]] are both very well-behaved, polite little English Roses, but [[SilkHidingSteel they both have steel thorns.]]
%% If you add context to these to examples, please fix also the example indentation.
* ''WesternAnimation/TheBookOfLife'':
** Maria's father wants her to become this, hence sending her to study abroad at a Spanish convent, so she would stop causing trouble in San Angel. Luckily for San Angel, it didn't work, and she comes back a full-fledged badass.
** La Muerte is poised, elegant, kind, and thoughtful.

[[folder:Films -- Live-Action]]
%% * Evey from ''Film/TheMummyTrilogy'' is a very prim, sensible EnglishRose.
%%% ZCE are mot allowed. Needs more context, but she sounds more like a LadyOfAdventure.
* Deconstructed in ''Film/{{Hysteria}}''. Emily Dalrymple channels this Victorian ideal of a properly feminine woman. She is a rather capable mistress of her widowed father's household, and agrees to marry her father's young assistant so that his successful medical clinic could stay in the family even though she loves him more like a friend or a brother. Later she admits that she behaved like her father had expected her to behave, and she wants to be more true to herself and behave more freely.

* The lady addressed/discussed in Coventry Patmore's 1854 poem ''The Angel in the House''. This work [[TropeNamer named the ideal]] for the Victorian era.
* ''Literature/GoneWithTheWind'':
** Melanie Wilkes. She's gentle, prim, selfless, and when push comes to shove she shows she [[BewareTheNiceOnes has will and guts to protect those near and dear to her]]. Even the feisty Scarlett who originally disliked her comes to love and miss her. Rhett Butler claims to respect Melanie deeply.
** Scarlett's dead mother is an {{invoked}} example. She's a never-attainable ideal for Scarlett who knows her temperament and pride will never allow her to become like her mother. From how the family and especially her husband Gerald function (they don't, really) when she's gone it's quite clear she was the pillar of the household. Even some of the slaves say they miss her dearly.
* Hortense in ''Literature/SmallIsland'' thinks this is how all British women of any class act, but takes it to such an extent that British people think she's weird.
* Esther Summerson, from Creator/CharlesDickens' ''Literature/BleakHouse'', is a Victorian English specimen. She's kind, modest, sensible, and domestically competent, but too down-to-earth to be a PuritySue. Esther is also a deconstruction of the trope, as her extreme humility seems to be in part the result of an upbringing that would be considered emotionally abusive by most modern standards. She could also [[AlternativeCharacterInterpretation be interpreted as]] just [[ExploitedTrope pretending to be one as a cover]] for her own management skills: she takes control over situations or exerts authority over people while presenting herself as modest, unassuming, etc.
* Amy Dorrit, from another Dickens novel, ''Literature/LittleDorrit'', seems to be a reconstruction, since her father is a former gentleman in debtor's prison who insists on his children's "gentility" while mooching and sponging off all and sundry. Despite her father's twisting of the ideal, Amy upholds true nobility of soul, and ends the novel a figure of quiet purity and strength.
* Katy in the ''Literature/WhatKatyDid'' novels by Susan Coolidge is a TomBoy who learns to be a Proper Lady. The one who taught her to be this is her cousin Helen; she mixes this, CoolBigSis... and IllGirl.
%% * Agnes from ''Literature/DavidCopperfield'' is beautiful and good enough to get PuritySue accusations.
* Fanny Price subverts this trope in Creator/JaneAusten's ''Literature/MansfieldPark''. She is extremely gentle, passive and the doormat of almost everybody around her until they try to force her into marrying the man she doesn't love. Her firmness on this point makes her not quite a true lady, as her uncle spells out:
-->'''Sir Thomas''': I had thought you peculiarly free from wilfulness of temper, self-conceit, and every tendency to that independence of spirit which prevails so much in modern days, [[PluckyGirl even in young women]], and which in young women is offensive and disgusting beyond all common offence. But you have now shewn me that you can be wilful and perverse; that you can and will decide for yourself, without any consideration or deference for those who have surely some right to guide you, without even asking their advice. [[HiddenDepths You have shewn yourself very, very different from anything that I had imagined.]]
* In the Austenverse, ''Literature/PrideAndPrejudice'''s Jane Bennet. She stubbornly believes the best of everyone, everyone loves her for her sweetness, and she's the only one with enough patience to put up with her perpetually querulous mother. But, like Fanny, in addition to being beautiful and kind, she's also intelligent, rational, and sensible.
* Jane Austen's ''Literature/{{Emma}}'':
** Emmas's older sister Isabella (Mrs John Knightley) is a sweet, beautiful and elegant woman, an affectionate mother, wife, sister and daughter, and a perfect hostess. She quite fulfills the role of "angel of the house" as she never disagrees with her husband. Her brother-in-law Mr Knightley admits that compared to Emma, Isabella's not that interesting and knows that Emma is far more intelligent.
** Jane Fairfax is of the same age as Emma and comes from the same neighbourhood and a suitable family. Everybody expects that they should be friends, but Jane is almost too proper if you ask Emma. She's beautiful, intelligent, accomplished and gentle, and seems to be admired by everybody. Emma thinks she should be friendlier and livelier, and Mr Knightly owns that Jane doesn't have an open temper.
* ''Literature/LittleWomen'':
** Margaret aka Meg, Beth's eldest sister who plays TeamMom ''and'' Proper Lady to her three little sisters (shy Beth, SpiritedYoungLady Jo, and SpoiledBrat Amy) and her friends (the SpoiledSweet, but borderline [[BrainlessBeauty Brainless Beauties]] Annie and Belle).
** Elizabeth "Beth" March evolves from a FragileFlower into Proper Lady in the second part of the book, [[spoiler: before dying.]] May have taken after her mother, Margaret aka Marmee.
** The girls' mother is a Proper Lady after having been more HotBlooded in her youth. Her wisdom and strong will are emphasized more than humility and kindness.
%%** In ''Little Men'', Meg's daughter Margaret "Daisy" Brooke fits as well.
%% * Subverted with Maud Lilly from ''Literature/{{Fingersmith}}'', who is ''supposed'' to be this but hides a dark secret.
%%* Sophie in the Literature/AubreyMaturin series, contrasted with her SpiritedYoungLady cousin Diana.
%%* Mrs. Ramsay from Virginia Woolf's novel ''To the Lighthouse''.
* ''Literature/ASongOfIceAndFire'':
** Lady Catelyn "Cat" Tully-Stark. She is calm and a source of wisdom and advice to others, while maintaining her role in society. The Tully motto is "Family, Duty, Honor," and those are the words she lives by.
** Catelyn's daughter Sansa is a lord's daughter and very often channels PrincessClassic. She is very good at all things proper for a Westerosi noble girl at her age, and is a sweet girl. This is part of the reason for conflict with her tomboyish [[SiblingYinYang sister Arya]].
* Maria Clara de los Santos, the female lead and LoveInterest in [[UsefulNotes/{{Philippines}} Filipino national hero Jose Rizal]]'s novel ''Literature/NoliMeTangere'', is promoted as such. Being religious, the epitome of virtue, “demure and self-effacing” and endowed with beauty, grace, and charm, she was promoted by Rizal as the “ideal image” of a Filipino woman who deserves to be placed on the “pedestal of male honor” (and she apparently was an {{expy}} or Rizal's real life love, Leonor Rivera). Modern readers and authors, however, have noted the ValuesDissonance since poor Maria Clara also was "chaste, masochistic and easily fainting", calling her the "greatest misfortune that has befallen the Filipina in the last one hundred years".
* ''Literature/InDeath'': Played with. Dr. Mira seems to give this off like pheremones. However, it was revealed early on that she had been raped by her stepfather, and she turns out to have flaws. Clarissa Price is a social worker in the story ''Purity In Death'', who is lady-like and beautiful, which seems odd, considering that she works in a job that usually puts lines on someone's face. However, it turns out that she has failed to dot her i's and cross her t's, as well as being a party to murder, but she certainly suffered a VillainousBreakdown when Eve showed pictures of a teenaged girl who was essentially murdered by the terrorists Price was working for. Avril from ''Origin In Death'' starts off like this. However, she ends up murdering her own husband and helps in murdering people connected to him. Why? Because she is a clone created by her husband and his father, and while she would have lived with that, she found out that her husband had broken his promise to not clone their children (he was treating them as things to be replaced rather than human beings), and so she decided to go MamaBear on him and his little science project.
* ''Literature/{{Hopscotch}}'': Gekrepten, Oliveira's wife/girlfriend/whatever back in Argentina. She immediately accepts him after running away to Paris and never complains the fact that he stays all day at her place, never working. Heck, she even takes care of him after the trap incident. Subverted in that, no matter what she does, Horacio will never respect, care or love her because she isn't as intelligent/interesting as La Maga or Talita.
* Elizabeth Pennykettle from ''[[Literature/{{Dragons}} The Last Dragon Chronicles]]'' is a perfect example of this trope. She's also the resident TeamMom and IncorruptiblePurePureness. Plus, she's a good cook.
%%* Esme Cullen from ''Literature/{{Twilight}}'', also the TeamMom.
* ''Literature/OneHundredYearsOfSolitude'': The matriarch of the family, Úrsula Iguaran, is a subversion. She is very devoted to her family, but also [[AlmightyMom extremely stubborn and more than capable of standing up to her husband/children/descendants]], even if she has to hit them (as she did to Arcadio) or mouth them off roughly (to both José Arcadio Buendia or Colonel Aureliano).
%%** Little Remedios and Santa Sofía de la Piedad from . Little Remedios mixes this and GenkiGirl.
%%* Lady Rowena from ''Literature/{{Ivanhoe}}'' is seen as this by readers. She's more of a WellExcuseMePrincess, actually.
* Comes up in ''Literature/ABrothersPrice'', a RomanceNovel with [[StereotypeFlip inverted]] gender roles. As a noble and a cousin to the royal princesses, Cullen Moorland is expected to be one of these, and he plays the part well, but he finds the expectations for being a proper young man to be boring and stifling, and he desperately envies [[SpiritedYoungLady Jerin]].
* Adele Ratignolle from Kate Chopin's novel ''Literature/TheAwakening''. Her submissiveness and devotion to her family and husband make her a {{foil}} to TheProtagonist Edna. Adele is extremely sweet, feminine, and fragile. However, Adele Ratignolle's open-minded Creole ways help Edna to unleash her inner self and the artist in her.
* Sidonie "Sido" De VilleDuval from ''Literature/TheRedNecklace''. Sido is a shy, compassionate girl who is very loyal to her father even though he ignores and mistreats her constantly. Her sweet nature wins over most anyone.
* ''Creator/SimonaAhrnstedt'' has two examples of this.
** Sofia Löwenström in ''Literature/{{Overenskommelser}}'' is beautiful and demure and flawless, thus basically perfect according to the standards of the 1880s.
** Venus Dag och Natt in "De skandalösa" is a 17th century version of this, and she's beautiful, demure and near-flawless. Subverted, as she turns out to be gay, which would have been a negative trait and move her far from the ideal of femininity in her era.
%% * Jessamine Lovelace from ''Literature/TheInfernalDevices''. Strives to be this. She fails because of her attitude.
* Lissa Dragomir from ''Literature/VampireAcademy'' is gentle, strong-willed, a {{Socialite}}, is loyal to the people she cares about, has proper manners, is kind-hearted and beautiful, and is naturally upper-class.
* ''Literature/TheStormlightArchive'': Women of the Vorin religion are expected to be controlled, quiet, and [[HigherEducationIsForWomen scholarly]]. The vast majority of Vorin scholars are women, with the only men being ardents (who are legally genderless). The traditional Vorin dress is the havah, which is form-fitting like a ChineseDress but without any skin showing. One of the oddities of Vorinism is that women are supposed to keep their left hands hidden at all times in a sleeve. This "safehand" is not supposed to be used for anything, so the more higher-class women become very good at only using their right hands. Peasant women just wear a glove.

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* ''Series/UpstairsDownstairs'':
** Lady Marjorie is adored by her husband and servants, and a Proper Lady through and through. Her saintlikeness is tarnished only by a short affair she was quick to regret. Also gets a tragic death. Of course, after she dies, everything starts to slowly fall to pieces.
** Hazel Bellamy is a steel core lady, very refined and composed, although not of genteel pedigree. A rare example of a Proper Lady who has ever actually done working class work.
%% * ''Series/{{Merlin}}'':
%% ** Queen Guinevere Subverted in the sense that Guinevere was originally a servant girl,, but in terms of her personality, she fits this trope.
%% ** Princess Mithian who has a touch of the TomboyPrincess about her.
* On ''Radio/OurMissBrooks'', Mrs. Conklin fulfills this role. She's the kindly, intelligent and dignified wife of Miss Brooks' Mr. Conklin.
* In the ''Series/{{Supernatural}}'' episode [[Recap/SupernaturalS02E20WhatIsAndWhatShouldNeverBe "What Is And What Should Never Be"]], Mary from 'wishverse' is portrayed as incredibly gentle and devoted, appearing as a Madonna-like character.
%% * ''Series/GameOfThrones'': Catelyn Stark was one while she was a Tully, although she's gone native with the Starks. Still, she retains an air of refinement and mild strictness.
%%%% ZCE, please elaborate

* Music/TomJones' [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oIfxBthfFkg "She's a Lady"]] seems to describe this sort of woman. She's got style, she's got grace, always something nice to say and so on.

[[folder:Mythology and Religion]]
* The [[AncientGreece Ancient Greek]] concept of ''arete'' (virtue/excellence) as applied to women matches all the values of the Proper Lady, making this OlderThanFeudalism.
** Odysseus' wife Penelope from the ancient epic ''Literature/TheOdyssey'' was presented as the UrExample. Domestic and beautiful, she has stayed faithful to Odysseus, waiting for him for twenty years.
** [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hera Goddess Hera/Juno]] is the Greek patron deity of women and marriage; however, considering [[ClingyJealousGirl her]] [[WomanScorned behavior]] whenever Zeus cheats on her (and man, [[ReallyGetsAround does he cheat on her]]), she comes off as a {{Yandere}} instead.
** Hera/Juno's sister [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hestia Hestia/Vesta]], [[VirginPower virgin]] goddess of households and families, seems to be more of the real deal.
** Queen Theatre/{{Alcestis}}, the only one brave and loving enough to offer ''her own life'' in exchange for her husband Admetus'. Luckily for her, Admetus happened to have an old friend named [[WorldsStrongestMan Heracles]], who offered to bring her back from the Underworld... and did so [[DidYouJustPunchOutCthulhu by wrestling]] TheGrimReaper.
* The Virgin Mary is presented as the epitome of this trope, she being the perfect mother figure (indeed, the mother of Jesus Himself and [[TeamMom spiritual mother]] to all His followers) and all. She's presented as [[BeautyEqualsGoodness beautiful and graceful]], humble, chaste, wise, and altruistic. She is held up as the perfect woman, and many Christian girls (especially Catholic ones) as well as Muslim girls, are encouraged to be more like her. Many female Catholic saints also qualify, although many others are subversions. Notably, along with Virgin Mary, they were an important part of forming this ideal.

[[folder:Oral Tradition]]
* Female protagonists tend to follow the ladylike ideals if they are peasant girls. Princesses might need to go through a [[FallenPrincess humbling procedure]] before they can be PrincessClassic.

[[folder:Professional Wrestling]]
* Wrestling/{{Ivory}} claimed to be a lady in contrast to sluts and skanks like Barbara Bush and [[Wresting/TerriPoch Tori]] on [[Wrestling/WWERaw Monday Night Raw]]. And that was tame compared to when she joined Right To Censor.
* This is how "The Lovely" Lacey justifies calling herself the first lady of Wrestling/{{R|ingOfHonor}}OH despite not being the first woman in the company, as she([[TheArtifact initially]]) [[RichBitch had money]]. After her departure Wrestling/MariaKanellis took up the claim
* Kimber Lee, who claims to the first lady of the [[Wrestling/{{CZW}} Combat Zone]], and the reason she persisted in attacking Wrestling/ChristinaVonEerie, who spat on Lee's idea of a proper lady, [[SpitefulSpit literally]]. Kimber Lee's tag team partner Cherry Bomb is a more traditional example, as she does dress and carry herself in the manner of Victorian woman who would rather not bloody her hands in CZW when her husband Pepper Parks can do that. Bomb has no computations about bloodying ''[[TryingToCatchMeFightingDirty objects]]'' in her hands though. (away from CZW, the two have a ''[[LaughablyEvil much]]'' different [[TheGimmick gimmick]])
* Made In Sin imagine themselves to be proper ladies. Coworker opinion might vary but what do they know? "[[CatchPhrase Pinkies up!]]"

* ''Theatre/{{Pygmalion}}'' and the later version ''Theatre/MyFairLady'' are about attempting to groom a poor girl into a lady. It works rather well -- except that the girl also gains enough dignity and self-respect that she walks out. In the play ''Pygmalion'', she never comes back.
%%* Tzeitel from ''Theatre/FiddlerOnTheRoof''.

[[folder:Video Games]]
* Princess Sarah of ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyI'' was the first in a long line of beautiful, noble princesses. She always wears gold dresses and even has HairOfGoldHeartOfGold.
* ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyIX'' gives us Princess Garnet Til Alexandros, AKA Dagger, who's a demure little princess when she's not being a [[RebelliousPrincess rebellious one]].
* Schala in ''VideoGame/ChronoTrigger'', and Riddel in both ''VisualNovel/RadicalDreamers'' and its SpiritualSuccessor ''VideoGame/ChronoCross''.
* Some of the MultipleEndings in the ''VideoGame/PrincessMaker'' franchise, if your daughter's skills fall on the domestic side (high conversation, temperance, cooking and cleaning).
** Specially obvious in the "[[http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/housewife_9300.jpg homemaker]]" ending, but also invoked in the "[[http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/tutor_8353.jpg tutor]]", "[[http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/nursemaid_5061.jpg babysitter]]", "[[http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/millionaire_wife_8094.jpg millionaire's wife"]], "[[http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/merchant_wife_9283.jpg merchant's wife]]", "[[http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/maid_1341.jpg maid]]" and "[[http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/queen_4421.jpg Queen Consort]]" ones.
** The Queen of the land in PM 2 is an older version of the trope. In fact, to meet her you must have ''very'' high temperance, which is obtained only through housework.
%%** Marthia, who crosses it with ShrinkingViolet.
* Subverted with Akatsuki in ''VideoGame/KantaiCollection''. Her insistence in being treated as a proper lady has the opposite effect of making her looking childish instead.

[[folder:Web Comics]]
* In ''Webcomic/NoRestForTheWicked'', Perrault disbelieves November because such [[Webcomic/NoRestForTheWicked a refined young lady could hardly come through]] TheLostWoods untouched.

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* ''WesternAnimation/AroundTheWorldInEightyDays'': [[CanonForeigner Belinda Maze]] is not only a victorian lady, she's also devoted to her beloved Phileas Fogg and certainly nicer than her rotten uncle Lord Maze.
* ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic'': Rarity believes herself to be this, and certainly acts the part in high society. It's the things she does around her friends and threats to them that [[NotSoAboveItAll prevent her from really living up to this ideal]].
* ''WesternAnimation/PhineasAndFerb'': The episode "My Fair Goalie" has Candace demands to her english cousin Eliza to train her in the basics of being a proper lady, to which the Englishwoman reluctantly approves. She reverts back to being her usual self at the end.
* The Pixie Tune in ''WesternAnimation/WinxClub''. She holds the image of a 'perfect lady' in the way she talks and acts proper just like a lady should. Ironically, she is the bonded pixie of Musa, the {{Tomboy}} member of the Winx.

[[folder:Real Life]]
* [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Princess_Elisabeth_of_Hesse_and_by_Rhine_(1864-1918) Princess Elisabeth of Hesse and by Rhine]], the beautiful and pious sister-in-law to Czar Nicholas II. When her husband Sergei was brutally assassinated, she didn't hold a grudge against his killers, and pardoned them publicly before becoming a nun and selling all of her jewelry to use the money for charity.
* An agency in London gave lessons on how to be a Proper Lady called the "Princess Prep" workshop.
* Princess Alice, the third of UsefulNotes/QueenVictoria and Prince Albert's nine children, was beloved by her family for her selfless and considerate nature. When Albert died of typhoid fever, Victoria was thrown into deep mourning from which she never completely recovered, and it was Alice who took over many of the details of the royal household; one of Victoria's courtiers even referred to the princess in writings as "the angel in the house."