The Wise Prince is an example of the non evil {{Aristocrat|sAreEvil}}. He's [[ReasonableAuthorityFigure kind, honorable and well-intentioned]], but with an aura of sadness and melancholy surrounding him. His biggest priority is the protection of his people, and, unlike the pampered ShelteredAristocrat, fully understands the hardship of an unprivileged life. He is usually a [[WarriorPrince good warrior]], but [[MartialPacifist doesn't like fighting]].

He's often short of being an AllLovingHero, but doesn't always live in the right SlidingScaleOfIdealismVersusCynicism for it. If he doesn't, [[KnightInSourArmor his disillusioned gallantry]] can be just as poignant.

You'd think he'd make a [[ReluctantRuler perfect leader for his people]], of course, but fate is particularly skilled at screwing him over in [[DoomedHometown some way]] or another. If he does reign he feels his responsibilities perhaps [[TheChainsOfCommanding too keenly.]]

He might start out being the RebelPrince or ShelteredAristocrat. TheEvilPrince is his opposite (and sometimes [[CainAndAbel his brother]]). See also TheWomanWearingTheQueenlyMask.

Often the son of the FisherKing, who has [[KingInTheMountain gone away]] and left his people in disarray. Unlike other aristocrats, the Wise Prince must typically [[TheHerosJourney journey somewhere]], which will hopefully culminate in the RightfulKingReturns. If successful, expect the Wise Prince to rule long and happily as TheGoodKing.

In terms of the ranks of AuthorityTropes, the tropes that are equal are TheEvilPrince, PrinceCharming, PrinceCharmless, WarriorPrince, and all PrincessTropes. The next steps down are TheCaligula, TheGoodChancellor, StandardRoyalCourt and DeadlyDecadentCourt. The next steps up are TheGoodKing, GodSaveUsFromTheQueen, TheHighQueen, and TheWomanWearingTheQueenlyMask.
----
!!Examples:

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder: Anime and Manga ]]

* Ashitaka in ''PrincessMononoke''. Bonus points for being exiled.
* Shouryuu in ''TheTwelveKingdoms'' during the flashbacks in Japan. He doesn't fit as much as the character type after while.
* Hotohori from ''FushigiYuugi'' is very much this, although he is a king.
* Mytho from ''Anime/PrincessTutu'' is very much this...Or rather, he ''would'' be if [[HeartTrauma his heart wasn't literally shattered into itty bitty pieces]]. [[MetaGuy Drosselmeyer]] lampshades the {{Subversion}}
-->'''Drosselmeyer:''' If you're the prince, you have to use your wisdom and courage to...[[EmptyShell Oh.]] I ''knew'' something was missing.
* Prince Kail from ''[[Main/AnatoliaStory Red River]]'' lives and breathes this trope to almost MartyStu levels [[spoiler:despite being the 3rd in line to the throne he eventually gets to be King]]
* The [[LoveFreak over-enthusiastic]] Prince Phillionel, father of [[ThePollyanna Amelia]] from ''{{Slayers}}'', seems idiotic because [[LeeroyJenkins of his tendency to rush into battle]] [[LargeHam in the hammiest way possible]], but he's [[ObfuscatingStupidity far smarter]] than Lina and co. give him credit for. [[spoiler:Faking his own death to prevent his people from panicking over an assassination attempt, for one,]] along with bravely standing ground and leading the kingdom of Saillune through Zanaffar's assault during the ''Slayers Revolution'' anime. His desire for journeying across the lands to fight presumably influenced Amelia in both being [[SpoiledSweet kind]] and [[ModestRoyalty modest in austere settings.]]
* Prince Sagum of ''SeireiNoMoribito'' but only in the anime, not in the book. He's dutiful, intelligent, gentle and friendly but finds he lacks his brother's ability to capture everyone's heart and [[spoiler: he's obviously dying.]] Prince Chagum starts as a ShelteredAristocrat, but developes to this over time.
* ''RevolutionaryGirlUtena'' deconstructed the hell out of this trope in [[spoiler:Dios, who was once TheWisePrince but ends up as Akio, TheChessmaster and BigBad]]
* Kuchiki Byakuya from ''Manga/{{Bleach}}'' is a slightly colder variation to this trope.
* ''All'' princes in ''CodeGeass'' try their best to ''look'' like this but arguably only Ulysses really means it. Ironic, seeing how he is the heir apparent [[spoiler:and never ascends to the throne]]. The rest of the princes fall somewhere between TheEvilPrince and The AntiHero Prince.
** Except that Ulysses isn't "wise" he's more of a naive idiot, this guy thought Lelouch talking about killing the Emperor was a joke when he clearly meant it.
* Female example: Princess Zelda fits most aspects of the trope in some installments of the ''Manga/TheLegendOfZelda'' manga, most particularly ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaFourSwords Plus''.
* Post-HeelFaceTurn, [[WoobieDestroyerOfWorlds Gaara]] from ''{{Naruto}}'' has grown into this disposition [[WiseBeyondTheirYears after years]] of being Sunagakure's Fifth Kazekage, to the point that he's far more rational and composed than his fellow and older Kages.
* KimbaTheWhiteLion has most of these character traits.
* Shi Ryuuki from ''SaiunkokuMonogatari'' matures to this over time, as he faces his responsibilities as TheEmperor.
* Joshua Grant, heir to the throne of Loreto, in ''MarginalPrince'' - he's modest, gentle and his school's StudentCouncilPresident to boot. It gets somewhat deconstructed, however, as he is in conflict with Loreto's royal family and spends most of the time being torn between following his personal wishes and dreams, and fulfilling his role as the currently last member of the royal bloodline. [[spoiler: At the end, he declines the crown.]]
* Despite being [[RebelliousPrincess somewhat unconventional]], Veronica of ''Manga/BokuraNoKiseki'' qualifies as a female version of this. While she didn't seem to have a lot of political power - her having elder brothers that are ahead of her in line for the throne are vaguely alluded to, her marriage is decided for her - she's shown to be responsible and intelligent, with a firm conviction to protect the people living under her care. [[spoiler: Her regret over [[MyGreatestFailure her failure to do so]] seems to have carried over to her {{Reincarnation}}, Harusumi. Zeze theorizes that's why he's so obsessed with protecting their school.]]

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Fanfiction ]]

* The dwarven noble protagonist in ''Fanfic/DragonAgeTheCrownOfThorns'', being a GuileHero, {{Determinator}} ''and'' AFatherToHisMen (however briefly he got the chance to lead his troops) definitely qualifies. Nevertheless, the really surprising fact here is that [[spoiler:Trian Aeducan turns into this as well, eventually.]]
* Similarly to the above example, Elissa Cousland in ''Fanfic/ShadowAndRose'' has many of the trope's attributes as described by narrator Alistair.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Film ]]

* Ahkmenrah from ''NightAtTheMuseum'', and probably the reason why his parents would rather give Egypt to him rather than his brother Kahmunrah.
* Film/{{Thor}} [[CharacterDevelopment develops]] into one of these.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Literature ]]

* Gwydion from LloydAlexander's ''PrydainChronicles'', though he doesn't fit some of the later bits.
** Also Adaon in ''The Black Cauldron'' .
* Lir from Creator/PeterSBeagle's ''Literature/TheLastUnicorn'', after he's changed by having been in love with Amalthea.
* Prince Tryffin in TeresaEdgerton's second ''{{Celydonn}}'' trilogy, since he learned something from the events of the first trilogy.
* Andovan in Celia Friedman's ''[[Literature/MagisterTrilogy Feast of Souls]]''.
* Fitzchivalry's father Chivalry in RobinHobb's ''Literature/{{Farseer}}'' trilogy apparently was one.
** Verity also qualifies, and possibly Prince Rurisk, who appears briefly in the first book, but Regal is definitely TheEvilPrince.
** Verity's son Dutiful in the Tawny Man trilogy takes after his father.
* Kings Caspian and Tirian in ''{{The Chronicles of Narnia}}''. [[spoiler: Also, King Rilian once he's rescued and succeeds Caspian]]
* Targaryen rulers in ''Literature/ASongOfIceAndFire'' tends to be either TheWisePrince or TheCaligula. Several examples of the former are:
** Prince Rhaegar Targaryen is remembered like this by many.
** In the prequel Dunk and Egg stories, we see this with Baelor "Breakspear" Targaryen.
** In ''A Dance With Dragons'', we find that [[spoiler: Varys planned to deliberately engineer the long-lost Aegon into one of these]].
* Cuneglas in TheWarlordChronicles. The most level headed character in the main cast, the nicest by a long way. With the fairly pessimistic nature of the series, the one time he loses his head, he dies in a duel.
* Cei in ''Here Lies Arthur'' by Philip Reeve.
* ''Literature/TheLittlePrince'' is an interesting case of this, since the only person under his command is a flower, and while he knows a lot about life in the sky, he's rather inexperienced outside of his kingdom. He does hit the melancholy, kind, honourable, and well-intentioned markers face first, and his inexperience is minimal compared to the various adults.
* ''LordPeterWimsey'' may qualify. He's just a noble, not royal, but he's responsible, intelligent, and has shell-shock from World War I and general doubts of self-worth to give him the air of melancholy.
* Faramir in ''{{Lord of the Rings}}''. Not so much in the movie adaptation.
* Prince Edward the Black Prince of England is portrayed this way in the ''DragonKnight'' series.
* Prince Josua Lackhand from ''Literature/MemorySorrowAndThorn''. He [[spoiler:turns out to not be the king's son after all. He's also presumed dead and thrilled to get off the hook of kingship. Simon presumably takes after Josua in this respect too.]]
* Highprince Dalinar Kholin in ''Literature/TheStormlightArchive'' is a fairly cynical one, whose time is spent doubting and wondering through most of the first book until he decides to [[RoyalsWhoActuallyDoSomething start doing something]] near the end.
* Felin from ''The Dreams of Jonathan Jabbok''.
* Terem Rathai from ''{{The Assassins of Tamurin}}''.
* Prince/King Helmos from the ''Literature/TheSovereignStone'' trilogy.
* Prince/King Gar from ''Literature/KingmakerKingbreaker''.
* Prince Arutha of Krondor from ''TheRiftwarCycle''.
** During a brief period of unclear succession when it's unclear whether Arutha or his elder brother will become king, another character notes that men would gladly die for Lyam but Arutha would manage to save them. Lyam becomes king, but as Prince Arutha still effectively rules half the kingdom and fits the name of the trope literally.
** Gorath, though only appearing in a single book, and belonging to the more or less AlwaysChaoticEvil race of moredhel (dark elves), fits the trope perfectly, complete with having a driving motivation to have his people become "more than savages", as he puts it, and being exiled, branded a traitor and being abandoned or targeted for death even by family and kin, when he tries to act for the good of his people.
* Pietro Della Rocca from Alain Damasio's ''La Horde du Contrevent''.
* Almost every single good noble in TamoraPierce's {{Tortall}} series is like this. It's to the point where expressing any disdain for peasants is a clear sign that someone's a villain.
** Aren't you forgetting Merric?
** Seen best in The Woman Who Rides Like a Man when Prince Jonathan of Conté becomes the Voice Of The People.
* [[spoiler: Gwerbret Rhodry Maelwadd]] in the ''Literature/{{Deverry}}'' series has this at the beginning and the end of his reign (the time he's actually reigning was enjoyable, but it's completely passed by in the books). King Glyn the First also had these sentiments.
* Rand al'Thor in ''Literature/TheWheelOfTime'' is often accused of arrogance, but considering how many powers he has gathered to himself personally and to his title as the Dragon Reborn, much of this is really a wise confidence. [[spoiler: This wisdom derails itself more than a little when he begins to go insane from the taint on the source of magic]] in the books. He gets better, though, later on and becomes this trope full-bore along with a healthy does of AllLovingHero.
* [[spoiler: Tavi,]] from the ''Literature/CodexAlera'' series.
** Also, Gaius Septimus, by all reports.
* Prince Raschid in the furry novel ''The Fangs of Kaath''. He's a kindhearted BadassBookworm in an Arabian court.
* King Randale in the ''Literature/HeraldsOfValdemar'' novels... a case of massive in-universe CharacterDevelopment which also turned an uncertain, hesitant young man who didn't even want the throne into a [[TheDeterminator Determinator]].
** Prince Daren is a mild example. He even marries TheHighQueen.
* Prince Eneas of Syan from ''Literature/{{Shadowmarch}}'' series definitely qualifies.
* Marie Antoinette in ''TheBadQueen'' tries to invoke wisdom in her daughter [[ShelteredAristocrat Marie-Therese]] and help her gain a more realistic and compassionate view of the world by making the orphaned daughter of a servant the princess's companion who gets to share in all privileges the royal child does.
* Jack's (dead) twinner in ''Literature/TheTalisman.'' [[spoiler:Since they're basically the same person, this also applies to Jack himself once the Territories has had its effect on him.]]
* Prince Maxon in ''Literature/TheSelection'', crossed with a ShelteredAristocrat.
* Hector is the {{Ur Example}} in ''{{The Iliad}}.''

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Live Action Television ]]

* A female version occurs in ''{{Series/Farscape}}''. Princess Katralla, thanks to her brother poisoning her DNA, can never marry the Sebacean man she loves. Since Crichton is the only man who can produce healthy heirs with her (and marriage to a compatible man is a prerequisite of becoming Empress), she chooses to marry him and give up the chance for happiness with her true love. Things work out eventually, though.
* The 2012 BBC version of ''HenryV'' turns Henry into something like this. He starts out rather fresh-faced and dashing, but becomes increasingly worn down by the weight of his decisions. He's depicted as a brave but sometimes unsure leader who is very earnestly trying to do the right thing by his people. Then he dies.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Video Games ]]

* Most main Characters ''FireEmblem'' fit this trope quite well. Examples include: Marth, Sigurd, Celice, Leaf, Roy, Eliwood, Ephraim, Eirika (Female Example)...
** Sigurd from the fourth game... he's an example of [[TragicHero what can happen to these kinds of characters]] [[TheHeroDies on the wrong end of the]] SlidingScaleOfIdealismVersusCynicism.
** Female example: Elincia from FE 9/10 (It's also notable, that the main character of those games, Ike, is not a noble in the least and hates the idea of being nobility).
** Funnily enough, Pelleas in FE 10 fits the given description of a Wise Prince to a tee: kind, honorable, well-intentioned, and all the rest... but he is also foolish and naive. And, [[TragicHero like Sigurd...]]
* Prince Yumil from ''OgreBattle 64'' is one of these, complete with EvilPrince brother [[spoiler:until he gets possessed by Danika and goes crazy, at least]]
* Prince [[CanonName Freyjadour "Frey"/Faroush/Ardil]] Falenas, the main character in ''SuikodenV'', fights to protect (ahem) "the crown [he] will never wear," as Falena is a Queendom. That means his little sister will be the lady in charge one day, despite the fact that everyone around the Prince says he'd be an insightful and beneficent leader. The player first catches up with the Prince after his mother sent him on an errand just so he could ''see'' real suffering; Konami might well have written the character with this Trope in mind.
* Prince (later King) Garr/Woodrow Kelvin of ''VideoGame/{{Tales of Destiny}}''.
* Ky Kiske from ''GuiltyGear'' fits this trope to a tea. He just skipped the prince part on his way to a king.
* Prince Rurik of Ascalon in ''GuildWars: Prophecies''.
* The only reason Princess Zelda from ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaOcarinaOfTime'' doesn't fit this trope is because she's ''Princess'' Zelda. Kind, honorable, melancholy, and warrior. The same applies to her presumed descendant, another Princess Zelda, in ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaTwilightPrincess''.
** Actually, this trope pretty much describes the whole personality of every Princess Zelda, except of the two Zeldas who happen to be {{Tsundere}} instead.
*** And even those two have their moments.
* Price Roland from ''HeroesOfMightAndMagic II: The Succession Wars'', who had his throne stolen by TheEvilPrince Archibald, so he set up a government-in-exile on the other side of the country and retook his kingdom one city at a time, showed equal parts weariness and incorruptibility in his orders to the player.
** [[DeadpanSnarker Zehir]] from ''HeroesOfMightAndMagic V'' is the Archmage's son (equaling him to a prince) and a very able wizard himself.
* Though not a prince, Admiral Carth Onasi in ''StarWars'': ''{{Knights of the Old Republic}}'' II strongly resembles this trope.
** If you follow a light-side female path with Mical, [[spoiler: it's implied that he becomes this for the rebuilt Jedi Order]].
* Kael'thas Sunstrider, last Prince of [[OurElvesAreBetter Quel'Thalas]], fit this trope to a tee in ''[[WarCraft Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne]]''. Not [[FaceHeelTurn so]] [[TheCaligula much]] in ''{{World of Warcraft}}''.
** In more recent times, starting with the tie-in novel "The Shattering", Prince Anduin Wrynn of Stormwind has become this.
** Someone at Blizzard must ''really'' like this trope, since [[TheEmperor Arcturus Mengsk]]'s son Valerian, originally a novel character who [[CanonImmigrant went on to play a big role in]] ''VideoGame/{{Starcraft II}}'', has many of the same traits. He learned statecraft and strength from [[MagnificentBastard his father and the Dominion]], but compassion and honor from his mother in [[HiddenElfVillage the Umojan Protectorate]]. Over the course of ''Wings of Liberty'', he quasi-officially joins up with James Raynor's rebellion, expressing dismay and outrage at Arcturus's brutality and lust for power, and winds up cutting ties with his father. ''Heart of the Swarm'' begins with him openly collaborating with Raynor, Kerrigan, and the Umojans [[spoiler: and he is in line to take power when Arcturus is killed by Kerrigan at the end of the campaign]].
* [[HeroicMime Depending on how you play them]] in ''VideoGame/DragonAgeOrigins'', a Human Noble and Dwarf Noble warden can fit this role.
** In ''VideoGame/DragonAgeII'', Hawke can be played as one. While the rest of the nobles in Kirkwall seem to only care about petty political posturing, Hawke is the only one who actively does anything to make the city a better place and protect it from danger. Given how Hawke arrived in Kirkwall as a refugee, before reclaiming their family fortune, they understand what it's like to be on the lowest rung on the ladder.
* [[VideoGame/KingsQuest Alexander of Daventry]] does his best to play this role [[BeneaththeMask even though he still thinks of himself as Gwydion of Llewdor]], the former slave of Manannan.
* In ''GoldenSunDarkDawn'', Prince Amiti of Ayuthay joins your party as a WarriorPrince in hopes that [[InvokedTrope the adventure and experience will make him]] [[LampshadeHanging a wiser prince]]. It works; he goes from being [[TheIngenue painfully naiive]] to being [[CharacterDevelopment much more understanding]]... [[IncrediblyLamePun Insightful]], even.
* ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyXII'' gives us Larsa Solidor, younger brother to [[TheEvilPrince Vayne Solidor]] and second in line to the Archadian throne. Throughout the game, he displays wisdom beyond his years, and in the end [[spoiler:he takes the throne and uses his power to broker peace throughout Ivalice]].
* Prince Suleiman, AKA Suleiman the Magnificent, as portrayed in ''VideoGame/AssassinsCreedRevelations''.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Web Original ]]

* Prince Harald of Denmark from the ''Literature/ChaosTimeline'', who (re-)discovers America.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Western Animation ]]

* Prince Aikka of ''WesternAnimation/ObanStarRacers''.
* Proteus from ''{{Sinbad Legend of the Seven Seas}}''.
* Former Crown Prince [[CoolOldGuy Iroh]] of ''WesternAnimation/AvatarTheLastAirbender''. And he spends the series trying to mold [[HeelFaceRevolvingDoor Prince Zuko]] into this, as well.
* Lion-O from ''[[WesternAnimation/{{Thundercats 2011}} [=ThunderCats (2011)=]]]'' with a twist. Most of the traits that make him TheWisePrince, namely curiosity about the world outside Thundera, an interest in the LostTechnology, and standing up for the mistreated LizardFolk make his people think of him as in InadequateInheritor. By the time he finally does get a chance to shine and have these qualities appreciated, his father dies and he becomes the new King of Thundera and the Lord of Thundercats.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Real Life ]]

* King George VI was one of the best examples. He was quiet, shy, respectable, and would have preferred being a clerk to being a King. A general all round ActionSurvivor. He thought he was ill-suited to his job and was something of an IronWoobie. But he provided still-renowned leadership during WorldWarII and is, to this day, one of Britain's best-loved monarchs, perhaps because of those qualities rather than despite them; for it is easier to suffer blood, toil, tears, and sweat if one knows that the King is trying to as well. In a way he was TheCaretaker to the entire British Empire.
** Now the subject of ''TheKingsSpeech'', a film about how he unexpectedly succeeded his unpopular (and German sympathist) brother and learned to overcome stuttering in order to preserve the monarchy DuringTheWar.
** It helps that he had beside him his own personal TheWomanWearingTheQueenlyMask: it was his wife, Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon - known today as the Queen Mum - who was ''his'' anchor and support throughout the abdication crisis and WorldWarII. In fact, the 2002 film ''BertieAndElizabeth'' is entirely centered around this.
* Lord Louis Mountbatten. He was one of the last RealLife {{Warrior Prince}}s to actually command in battle (Harry, good luck to him, was only a subaltern). He was a cousin of royalty but he did reasonably well leading British forces in battle during World War II(a war which had many curiously old-fashioned elements including a few aristocratic leaders). He had the personality of a [[TheWisePrince Wise Prince]].
** In {{Canada|Eh}}, he's actually thought of as TheNeidermeyer because of his association with the absolutely disastrous Allied assault on Dieppe.
** He didn't lead well in battle and the Dieppe raid that he planned was disastrous, he only got by thanks to connections not competence.
* AbrahamLincoln, anyone? (At least the way he's usually remembered.)
* Marcus Aurelius, last of the "Five Good Emperors" of Rome.
* Llewelyn ap Gruffydd, the last native Prince of Wales to be recognized as such by the English crown, was said to have been like this for most of his life. After the death of his adored wife in childbirth, however, he was something of a broken man; his brother persuaded him in that state to fight the English, with whom he had previously been on peaceful terms, and he was killed in the process.
* King Abdullah II of Jordan aspires to this, and many of his people see him that way. He was pro-democratic reform before the Arab Spring, and when that came he didn't balk at transferring more power from the monarchy to representative government, only intervening in parliamentary politics when protests indicated that they weren't acting in their constituent's interests.
----