This occurs when a character who was previously thought to be relatively ordinary turns out to actually be descended from someone important and powerful , and therefore have access to that status themselves. Although this trope most commonly uses [[RoyalBlood royalty]], it can apply to [[BlueBlood any hereditary position of power in-universe]]. This trope applies when the character's [[SecretLegacy true heritage was previously unknown]] ''to both the audience and the character themselves. ''

[[TheCallKnowsWhereYouLive Often the reveal occurs just in time]], right when the character needs the rank to give orders, claim the throne or [[SuddenlySuitableSuitor marry someone]]. While this usually results in a RightfulKingReturns RagsToRoyalty plot, there are also cases where the character decides that they don't particularly care how powerful their parents or other ancestors were, [[IJustWantToBeNormal they quite like their current lifestyle thank you very much. ]] When this happens, an otherwise-ineligible lower-status LoveInterest is frequently responsible; if they're lucky, the [[RefusalOfTheCall Call]] may even be willing to let them get away with it.

The character's true heritage can be [[TheCallKnowsWhereYouLive exposed]] in various ways:
* having a DistinguishingMark such as a birthmark
* the identification of an OrphansPlotTrinket
* a declaration of LukeIAmYourFather or otherwise identification of a MysteriousParent or LongLostRelative
* a present parent or guardian revealing the truth, generally as a way of delivering the CallToAdventure
* the BigBad [[EvilGloating stopping long enough to tell the character]] [[TheReasonYouSuckSpeech why they are trying to kill them]]
* the use of an item which OnlyTheChosenMayWield
* displaying a RoyaltySuperpower

The character's reason for not knowing their heritage is most often due to some form of ParentalAbandonment; common plots including MosesInTheBullrushes, HiddenBackupPrince and ManInTheIronMask. A variation occurs when an older character suffers from IdentityAmnesia, having temporarily forgotten their rank.

This is a SisterTrope to HeroicLineage. Extreme examples may involve DivineParentage or AngelUnaware. Partially a result of EverythingsBetterWithPrincesses. The inverse is KingIncognito, where it is the character (and often audience) who knows their true identity. Subtrope of TheReveal.

'''Warning: as a reveal trope, contains unmarked spoilers'''

''Note: When writing examples, please include how the reveal occurs.''
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!! Examples

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[[folder: Anime and Manga]]
* Shows up in Alibaba's backstory in Manga/MagiLabyrinthOfMagic. He was raised in the slums by his mother, but one day the king of his country showed up and revealed that Alibaba was his son and that he must come and live in the palace. Later on (in-series), Alibaba decides that the entire system is screwed up and decides to turn his country into a republic instead.
* In ''Anime/MagicalGirlLyricalNanohaStrikerS'', the MysteriousWaif Vivio is revealed to be the [[CloneJesus clone]] of [[GodEmperor the last Sankt Kaiser]], and the reason why the BigBad has been targeting her is because the [[CoolStarship Saint's Cradle]] could only be operated by members of the then extinct Sankt Kaiser royal family. As the last Sankt Kaiser is also the [[CrystalDragonJesus Jesus analogue]] of the setting, she's literally treated like royalty by the [[SaintlyChurch Saint Church]] after this is revealed, though they do respect her wishes to grow up as a normal girl with her [[HasTwoMommies adopted mothers]].
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[[folder:Comic Books]]
* Hulkling of the ''Comicbook/YoungAvengers'' is actually the son of the Skrull Princess Anelle, and grandson of Emperor Dorrek VII and Empress R'Kill. His grandfather wanted him killed at birth, as his father was the Kree [[ComicBook/CaptainMarVell Captain Mar-Vell]], an [[Comicbook/TheKreeSkrullWar enemy of the Skrull Empire]]. His grandmother had one of her servants flee to Earth with him instead, where she raised him as a human child with no knowledge of his ancestry. However, his parents and grandparents are now all dead, and he is the last surviving member of the original Skrull royal line. The [[Characters/FantasticFour Super-Skrull]] tries to put him on the throne as Emperor Dorrek VIII in the hopes of reunifying the fragmented Skrull Empire.
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[[folder: Fan Works]]
* In ''FanFic/TangledInTime'', Fyrus was born to Gerudo and Hylian barkeepers in Castle Town and grew up as a normal child, not realizing that male Gerudos are a big deal. When Ganondorf takes over Castle Town, he and his family flee to the Gerudo Desert, where he ends up being crowned king. He jokes that he should have realized it when his mother called him "[[LiteralMetaphor her little prince]]."
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[[folder: Film Animated ]]
* In ''Film/WreckItRalph'', King Candy usurped the throne of Princess Vanellope von Schweetz by replacing his code with hers. He couldn't out right delete her code, so he turned her into a glitch, leaving her as a prisoner in her own game; locking up the memories of everyone in the game, including Vanellope herself, and developed a FantasticRacism against her in order to keep her from racing and resetting the game. Her true role is revealed when Ralph sees her image on the outside of her game console, showing both that she is supposed to be there and that she is important.
* In ''{{Disney/Tangled}}'', this reveal is a major plot point near the climax, and is a long-running case of irony throughout the whole film. While the audience is told in the beginning that Rapunzel is the princess of Corona, the plot relies on whether or not Mother Gothel can continue hiding it from her, or if she figures it out on her own. Even when she's outright told that the "birthday lights" are from a lantern festival for the ''princess'', she doesn't put it together, possibly because she doesn't know that she shares the princess's birthday. She finally does figure it out when she recognizes that she's been painting Corona's sunburst symbol as a motif in all the murals in her bedroom. This triggers her early memories of her real parents and leads to her realizing that Mother Gothel has been lying to and taking advantage of her all her life, and the plot probably would have ground to a halt if Rapunzel hadn't realized her "mother" was a lying, murderous kidnapper. (Arguably, this whole plot would have been moot if [[NiceJobFixingItVillain Mother Gothel had simply lied to Rapunzel about when her birthday was]].
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[[folder: {{Film}} Live Action]]
* In ''Film/{{Spaceballs}}'', Lone Star was raised in a monastery, with only [[OrphansPlotTrinket an unreadable medallion to tell him of his past]]. Eventually it is revealed that it is a certificate verifying him as a [[RoyalBlood genuine prince]], thereby making him eligible to marry [[LoveInterest Princess Vespa]], and just in time to interrupt her ArrangedMarriage.
* Luke from ''Film/StarWars' discovers that he is the [[LukeIAmYourFather son of Darth Vader]]; and also brother to Princess Leia which turns out to be a useful way of resolving their LoveTriangle with Han...
* In ''Film/ThePrincessDiaries'', out of the blue, OrdinaryHighSchoolStudent Mia is told that her father has died, making her now the heir to the [[MicroMonarchy small European kingdom of Genovia]]. Now she just needs to learn how to be a proper princess...
* Played with in ''Film/AKnightsTale''. When William is in the [[StockPunishment stocks]] for masquerading as a noble-born knight, the Black Prince shows up announcing that he has discovered that William is actually the descendant of a distant branch of the royal family, and therefore off the hook. It is implied that the Prince just made this up in thanks for William being willing to joust against him earlier.
* At the end of ''Film/TheDaVinciCode'' Sophie Sanier and the hero Robert Langdon have finally followed all the clues and reached the end of the quest to find the "Holy Grail", except they only find the "Grail documents", papers and details that follow the descended bloodline of Jesus Christ. Right at the bottom, Robert shows Sophie that she's the last heir.
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[[folder: {{Literature}} ]]
* In ''Literature/TheWheelOfTime'', through a convoluted series of events and prophecies, Rand is actually the son of Andor's previous Daughter-Heir, Tigraine. At first he is worried by a noblewoman referring to his and his LoveInterest, Elaine's, mothers as cousins, but careful questioning reveals that this is only in the sense that all the noble families are related. However, this is less important than the fact that Tigraine became an Aiel [[AmazonBrigade Maiden of the Spear]] and gave birth to him on Dragonmount, thereby making him the [[ChosenOne Dragon Reborn.]]
* ''Literature/InheritanceCycle''. Eragon is the son of a DragonRider. When he and Murtagh start comparing their families they discover that they have the same mother; Murtagh later yelling that [[TheDragon his father's]] CoolSword should have gone to his eldest son not his youngest... It later turns out that they are only half-brothers, Eragon's father actually being [[TheObiWan Brom]], also a past DragonRider.
* Simeon from the ''Literature/MemorySorrowAndThorn'' series was a foundling with a gold ring revealing him to be a direct descendant of the Fisher King (the last ruler of the previous dynasty). By the time he is told at the end of the series, he is left as pretty much the only eligible heir to the throne, and able to marry his girlfriend, daughter of the previous king (and the other current claimant).
* In the ''Literature/OldKingdom'' books, Lirael discovers in a vision that her father was the [[{{Necromancer}} Abhorsen]], meaning that she is now the Abhorsen-In-Waiting. This is [[TheCallPutMeOnHold why her Clayr seer power never developed.]]
* Throughout the first ''Literature/DeltoraQuest'' series, Lief and his friends are trying to gather the gems to the magical Belt of Deltora so the [[RightfulKingReturns hidden heir can oust]] the [[BigBad Shadow Lord]]. In the middle of the final battle life realises that the reason why it didn't [[OnlyTheChosenMayWield shine]] when Jasmine (the person who they thought was the heir) put it on was because the gems were in the wrong order. He fixes this and goes to take it to her, putting it on again to free his hands. It promptly shines for him instead, revealing that his parents are the deposed king and queen, merely disguised as a blacksmith and his wife.
* In ''[[Literature/TheChroniclesOfNarnia The Horse and His Boy]]'' Shasta discovers that the reason he and Prince Corin look so alike is that they are actually twins SeparatedAtBirth. Being slightly older, he ends up being heir, and later king, of Archenland, much to his twin brother's relief.
* Danzi tells [[MadeASlave Ping]] in ''Literature/DragonKeeperTrilogy'' that she must be the descendent of one of the two dragon keeper families, which is why she is able to hear him.
* ''In The Land of Bad Fantasy'' by KJ Taylor, Ana discovers that King Petrolum wasn't lying when he told the lizard army she was his daughter and heir after all...
* ''The Perfect Princess'', one of the ''Literature/QuentarisChronicles'' books has Tab, an orphan working in the Dung Brigade with a fascination for theatre. One day, she meets a mysterious stranger who claims to be searching for her on behalf of her mother, her hero the fabled missing Perfect Princess. Rumours get out, and people [[RightfulKingReturns hail her as the new Princess]] while the Archon, Duelphs and Nibhellines the three most powerful factions in the city try to bribe her to leave and maintain the status quo. At the last minute she decides that it is all too much pressure and publicly rejects the throne, claiming that it was all a ruse and she is just an actor; [[RefusalOfTheCall then going off to meet her parents.]]
* In ''[[Literature/BardicVoices The Lark and the Wren]]'', once he is encouraged to [[IdentityAmnesia remember who he is]], it turns out that Kestrel is actually the prince of Birnam, fled after his uncle deposed his father and running from the assassins chasing him. However, when they go to confront his uncle, it turns out that his father was the tyrant while his uncle is a [[TheGoodKing good and popular king]] who only reluctantly sent the assassins in self defence. Kestrel chooses to renounce his claim to the throne in favour of his uncle and cousin in the process showing off his stammer to the people then completely disqualifies himself by marrying a gipsy and becoming a [[MagicMusic Bard]].
* In ''Literature/TheLumatereChronicles'', Froi thinks that he is the orphaned son of Lumaterians lost when the curse cut off the refugees from Lumatere and the scattered across the continent. He then turns out to have the distinctive features of Serka Charionite, revealing that he is the son of the queen and her lover, the inventor who has just been mentoring him. It comes as a surprise to all three of them and they form a seriously DysfunctionalFamily.
* Kvothe from ''Literature/TheWiseMansFear'' is actually a slightly inverted example. Turns out his mother was a Vintish noblewoman who eloped with a the [[{{Romani}} Edema Ruh]]. Unfortunately, he finds out because his prospective patron is about to marry his aunt, who now has a serious grudge against the Edema Ruh, her nephew included...
* On the Literature/{{Discworld}} it's all but admitted out loud that Carrot Ironfoundersson is the long-lost heir to the long-empty throne of Ankh-Morpork. He was found in the wild and [[RaisedbyNatives raised by dwarfs]] (and still considers himself an unusually tall [[OurDwarvesAreAllTheSame dwarf]]), and he has both a [[DistinguishingMark crown-shaped birthmark]] and a CoolSword (which, while not enchanted, is far from ordinary). Carrot, however, is happy with his position as a captain in the Ankh-Morpork City Watch, has [[RefusalOfTheCall no intention of reclaiming the throne]], and even goes out of his way to obfuscate any more evidence he's the lost king of Ankh.
* Subverted in ''The Star of Kazan'' by Eva Ibotson. The protagonist, Annika, is a foundling brought up by the cook and housekeeper of three {{Absent Minded Professor}}s. She dreams that someday her true mother will come for her, and prove to be someone rich and important. Then Edeltraut von Tannenberg turns up claiming to be her mother. It is later revealed that she is an ImpoverishedPatrician who only wanted to get her hands on the jewels a friend had left Annika, which were supposedly fake but she discovered were actually real. Annika is still willing to go with her, until her friends find the midwife who identified Edeltraut as her mother and prove she was baught off. At this point, Annika happily abandons her 'mother' and goes back to being an apprentice cook with her foster family.
* ''In Oath of Gold'', the third book of ''Literature/TheDeedOfPaksenarrion'' trilogy by ElizabethMoon, Paks takes up the task of locating the rightful king of Lyonya, a man with elven blood and specific birthright powers that make him the only one the [[OurElvesAreDifferent elves]] will accept as ruler. He was stolen by evil forces as a child, and, it turns out, enslaved for some years and forced to endure some terrible things that the book doesn't go into great detail on. A visitor contrived to give him a chance to escape, and he found his way to some distant relatives who didn't realize who he was, but raised him well. He went on to make his own life, and it isn't until Paks figures out who he is that his true purpose and powers are revealed - but it turns out that half a dozen people actually knew where he was, but feared to bring the truth to light, because 1) his time in the hands of the evil ones could have damaged him beyond help (specifically, making him an unstable ruler or making him unable to wield the powers needed to perform his duties as king), and 2) until shortly before the story begins, his sister was alive and showed great promise as a ruler
* King Belgarion of Riva in ''Literature/TheBelgariad'' is the descendant of a MosesInTheBullrushes, a few hundred years down the line. He has a [[DistinguishingMark strange birthmark]], and an [[CoolSword heirloom sword]] which he claims from the throne room where it was stored when he finds out his station.
* In Creator/LFrankBaum's second [[Literature/LandOfOz Oz book]], ''Literature/TheMarvelousLandOfOz'', Tip, the young protagonist, spends almost the whole book searching for the missing Princess Ozma of Oz. It turns out the Wizard gave her to a witch, [[GenderBender who turned her into a boy]], who just happens to be... [[TomatoInTheMirror Tip]]!
* Crown Prince Alaric of Caederan in ''Literature/TheQuestOfTheUnaligned'' was sent away as a young child to be a HiddenBackupPrince. He was supposed to only stay in Tonzimmiel for about ten years before being informed of his. This plan was unwittingly wrecked when Alaric's Tonzimmelian foster parents died and Alaric was spirited off by Tonzimmiel's orphanage system. Then a MysteriousStranger shows up, claiming that Alaric is a prince, and tricks him into going on the titular quest, during which he comes to accept his true heritage.
* In ''The Dragons of Babel'' by Michael Swanwick, the king of Babel has been missing for a few decades. Will, the protagonist, falls in with a con man named Nat, who comes up with a plan to pass off Will as the king's bastard son and therefore the sole heir to the throne. In the end, it turns out that Nat is both the long-lost king and Will's biological father, meaning that Will really is the heir to the throne.
* In the book ''Literature/{{Stardust}}'', Tristan's mother is a kidnapped princess held as a slave. So when she and his father's flirtations turn into a [[GoodPeopleHaveGoodSex wonderful afternoon]], she's horrified at the prospect that her son will be just as much a slave as she, so she leaves him at the father's doorstep. Eventually the witch holding her captive is killed, and she tells Tristan his true parentage. Thanks to a lot of plot, a dying proclamation, [[ThereCanBeOnlyOne and fratricidal tendencies on the part of his uncles]], Tristan is not only revealed as a member of the royal household but the last surviving male heir to complete the challenge set forth by his grandfather in order to become king.

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[[folder: LiveActionTV]]
* ''Series/OnceUponATime''
** Emma Swan discovers that the reason she was abandoned as a baby is because her parents are actually Literature/SnowWhite and PrinceCharming, and they sent her through a magic wardrobe to protect her from the world-destroying curse. She is more concerned by the fact that, thanks to the statis produced by said curse, she is now [[ParadoxParentage the same age as her parents.]]
** Henry actally goes through this [[EveryoneIsRelated several times]] by the end of season 3. From starting as the adopted son of the town mayor, it turns out that his adopted mother is the [[GodSaveUsFromTheQueen Evil Queen]] (and his step-great-grandmother...), his mother is the ChosenOne, and his grandparents are PrinceCharming, Snow White and [[EvilSorcerer The Dark One]]. Go back another generation and there are various additional royals. While he believes his heritage from the start, thanks to his book of fairytales and their too-accurate pictures, it is only confirmed once the curse is broken.
*** [[spoiler:To top it off, it's revealed that one of his great-grandparents is Peter Pan.]]
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Theatre]]
* In ''OedipusRex'' neither Oedipus nor the audience know until near the end that he is the son of the King & Queen of Thebes who had been left to die of exposure as an infant because the Oracle at Delphi predicted that he'd murder his father & [[ParentalIncest marry his mother]]. He was raised by a woodman who kept the secret from him; when Oedipus went to the Oracle he received a similar prediction and, thinking that his adopted mother & father were his real parents, left home so he wouldn't do that. Oedipus gets in a fight with a rich man and kills him, then later comes to Thebes and answers the RiddleOfTheSphinx, thus ridding Thebes of the threat and winning the Queen's hand in marriage. When Thebes is in the midst of a famine Oedipus investigates the reason and is told that he must discover the murderer of the previous king. Oedipus finds out piecemeal all of these various elements, putting two and two together to realize he himself is the reason.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Video Games]]
* Two examples in ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyV'':
** Faris is really the older sister of Princess Lenna, having been lost at sea when she was five. She and Lenna have matching pendants, and Lenna confronts Faris by calling her "sister" during an optional scene at Castle Tycoon. Faris herself, however, tries to stay in denial about it until they both find their DisappearedDad.
** Galuf is King of Bal. He's got amnesia until he reunites with his granddaughter Krile, but neither of them see fit to mention their royal status until the others follow them to their own world and find Galuf sitting on a throne. Since both of them are ModestRoyalty, they'd rather be treated like friends than monarchs.
* In ''VideoGame/KingsQuestIII'', the slave boy Gwydion finds out halfway through the game from an oracle he stumbles upon that he is really the long-lost Prince Alexander of Daventry, kidnapped by his wizard master as a baby. And also that his sister Princess Rosella just happens to need rescuing from a dragon, if he can escape his master and get to Daventry fast enough...
* In ''VideoGame/FireEmblemAwakening'', [[BigBad Validar]] reveals he is the the player character's [[LukeIAmYourFather father]], and by extension the Avatar is now the heir to Plegia's throne.
* Martin from ''VideoGame/TheElderScrollsIVOblivion'' has this reveal delivered by the Player Character; all legitimate heirs to the Imperial throne are dead, so here comes the illegitimate HiddenBackupPrince.
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