[[caption-width-right:300:[-Oh, this little thing? It's for gardening. I wouldn't want to ruin any of my ''good'' dresses. (wink)-] ]]

%% This is how the quote formatting is suppose to look: One indent, then dialog, then two indents, then the source. Don't mess with it.
->'''Mort:''' I'd quite like to see a real king. They wear crowns all the time, my granny said. Even when they go to the lavatory.\\
'''Death:''' [[AC:There is no technical reason why not. In my experience, however, it is generally not the case.]]
-->-- ''Discworld/{{Mort}}''

''[[RoyalBlood Royalty]] and [[BlueBlood nobility]] always wear their RequisiteRoyalRegalia. Always.''

This is not literally true; in RealLife, the fancy dress is reserved for the ceremonies and the portraits. It was a popular belief, however, since ceremonies and portraits used to be the only places commoners got to [[RuleOfPerception see]] royalty. Formal dress is designed to do to the human eye what trumpet {{Fanfare}}s do to the ear.

'''The Ermine Cape Effect does not ''require'' an [[PimpedOutCape ermine cape]], or even [[PrettyInMink the fur of the ermine]].''' The ermine cape is so common, and such a clear sign of royal or noble status, this trope is named for it. What it does require is that if, say, a young countess is wearing something like an ermine cape, ''she is wearing it even while doing activities which would be impractical in that garment'', but [[RuleOfGlamorous it works just fine]].

[[PropagandaMachine This effect]] is [[InvokedTrope deliberate]], which is why [[TheCoconutEffect it is used even by writers who know it doesn't hold in]] RealLife. It just doesn't seem right if the king dresses like a slob while he is being his royal self. How can you put your faith in the divine right to rule when the king walks around in a tattered bathrobe and fuzzy slippers? No, the king [[TheBeautifulElite must create the image of majesty]] whenever possible. TheWomanWearingTheQueenlyMask must do it even more.

So, any time a lot of commoners would [[WhatsUpKingDude get a good look]] at the king or queen, either through a public appearance or [[PhotographyAndIllustration a portrait that would last for ages to come]], the royals and nobles [[CostumePorn put on the works]]. Just browse around Wiki/TheOtherWiki for European nobility and royalty.

This leads some to believe being royalty is ''primarily'' about wearing pretty clothes. It is a major factor in the belief that EverythingsBetterWithPrincesses. This is also why the RebelliousPrincess will get rid of her fancy clothes when she is rebelling -- she is trying to reject her status, and go unrecognized if this is desired (if people think of the princess as her regalia more than her face). Yet these new commoner clothes somehow become more beautiful, espcially if the wearer is PrincessClassic.

Because royalty often hold military ranks (earned or honorary), this can overlap with BlingOfWar.

With royalty becoming less distant these days, this is largely becoming a DiscreditedTrope, save for nations that still have absolute monarchies. Tragically, in most modern European monarchies such as Monaco and Britain, the royalty seems to generally favor the Western suit-and-tie businessman look (although one certainly cannot deny that those suits are very often very [[SharpDressedMan sharp]])[[note]]The British royals are sort of a bad example, since the men are often in their military uniforms--which they all ''earned'', thank you very much--and the women are known for interesting fashion choices (particularly the Duke of York's daughters Eugenie and Beatrice). Nevertheless, the men are frequently found in suits--Prince Charles in particular seems to like the look[[/note]], as does the Japanese Emperor, the King of Jordan, and the King of Morocco (although he'll occasionally don a traditional ''jallaba''). In the [[ArabOilSheikh Gulf Arab monarchies]], the custom is to wear traditional dress (which even when luxurious looks surprisingly plain and simple for a region famous for ConspicuousConsumption), although the ambassador to a Western country might wear a suit. The kings of Bhutan and Cambodia generally wear traditional dress, while the King of Thailand seems to prefer his [[BlingOfWar blinged-out military uniform]].

In fiction, this means that any royalty is as likely as not to wear fancy clothes as everyday wear, no matter how impractical, athough it is rarer these days. Is still commonly seen in {{Deadly Decadent Court}}s.

It should be noted that even when an ermine cape is worn, this trope rarely overlaps with FurAndLoathing.

Wearing one's hair in RegalRinglets style, or its Japanese derivation OjouRinglets, can be a subtler form of this.

When a royal person wears otherwise unassuming clothes but retains a crown or similar garment to mark them as royalty ''for the viewer'' (even when it doesn't make sense in-universe), this is DressCodedForYourConvenience instead. To tell them apart, check if other characters who don't already know the character is royalty notice the regalia.

Now although this trope is strictly about royalty and nobility, it should be noted that anyone who could afford to have his or her portrait painted would put on the works. Even [[http://www.fireoflondon.org.uk/resources/imagebank/set1/Samuel+Pepys+portrait.htm the poorest naval clerk]] and [[http://www.fireoflondon.org.uk/resources/imagebank/set1/Elizabeth+Pepys+portrait.htm his wife]] begged or borrowed the fanciest outfits they could find, because it was Just Not Done to sit for your portrait wearing your day clothes. In medieval times people rich enough would probably wear the most expensive and ostentatious thing they could manage as much as was possible, as you were expected, even required, to maintain your place in society by proving you belonged there through displays of wealth.

{{Sister Trope}}s, all of which this trope makes use of, include:
* BlingOfWar
* ConspicuousConsumption (when it goes beyond cultural requirement to just showing off)
* CoolCrown
* CostumePorn
* ColorCodedPatrician
* CoversAlwaysLie
* GorgeousPeriodDress
* IdleRich
* ImpracticallyFancyOutfit
* PimpedOutCape
* PimpedOutDress
** FairytaleWeddingDress
** HappyHolidaysDress (if their dresses were most elaborate in that season)
* PrettyPrincessPowerhouse (she's not taking off that pretty dress just because a few {{mook}}s are fighting her)
* PrincessesPreferPink
* RequisiteRoyalRegalia
* TheWomanWearingTheQueenlyMask

Compare TwentyFourHourArmor, HollywoodCostuming, KickingAssInAllHerFinery.

Contrast RoyalsWhoActuallyDoSomething, ModestRoyalty, ImpoverishedPatrician, SimpleYetOpulent.

Compare/Contrast SlidingScaleOfShinyVersusGritty.


[[folder:Anime & Manga]]
* ''Manga/RoseOfVersailles'' and ''Anime/LeChevalierDEon'' follow this trope mainly due to LimitedWardrobe. Literally the only sign the royalty was showing off for ceremony was an ermine cape over the clothes they constantly wore anyway (save for an ermine-trimmed dress UsefulNotes/MarieAntoinette wore just before she arrived in France).
* ''Franchise/{{Gundam}}'':
** Averted in ''Anime/MobileFighterGGundam'', where Princess Marie Louise can be seen in normal clothes quite often.
** Relena from ''Anime/MobileSuitGundamWing'' zig-zags this; during the period where she's Princess of her own nation, she swaps between a fancy Victorian outfit, and the same school uniform worn by the students she teaches. When she gets made Queen of the World by Romefeller she's only ever seen in the same dress, but this could be seen as an EnforcedTrope, since she's supposed to be a figurehead.
* ''Manga/TheFiveStarStories'' gets this one right, too. While the androgynous God-King Amaterasu is known for making public appearances wearing unbelievably elaborate costumes, when he's hanging out with his closest associates at his floating palace it's not uncommon for him to be seen in nothing more than jeans & a wifebeater. In fact, most characters who are expected to wear some sort of regalia at formal events are rarely seen in it the rest of the time, & sometimes they even neglect to wear it when they're supposed to. One particularily memorable example is when Sir Voards shows up at a banquet in cargo pants & a black t-shirt.
* In ''Anime/CodeGeass'', the [[TheEmpire Britannian]] royal family (excepting [[LadyOfWar Cornelia]] since she wears something more like [[BlingOfWar military dress]]) are always dressed in this way. Interestingly, [[spoiler:in the final episode's flash forward to the happy future ]], Schneizel is shown wearing what looks pretty much like a normal business suit.
* Averted in ''Anime/HowlsMovingCastle'' - the king shows up wearing a relatively basic military dress uniform.
* Even in her uniform or jumpsuit, Princess Fala (Allura) of ''Anime/GoLion'' (''Anime/{{Voltron}}'') still wears her dainty crown.
* Somewhat averted in ''VisualNovel/TearsToTiara''. [[spoiler:Arthur]] only wears a full red ermine cape and crown during his coronation in the last episode. But the fact that [[spoiler:he wears a [[PrettyInMink fluffy fur collar]] as part of his outfit for the entire series]] hints that this coronation would be coming. Also, his name and any basic knowledge of mythology.
* Subverted in ''Manga/OnePiece''. King Cobra Nefertari invites the Strawhat crew to his bathhouse, where he bows deeply to them and thanks them for all they've done. His aide, Igaram, tries to stop him, as "a king should not bow his head to anyone," but Cobra responds, "Power is worn over clothes; a king is never naked."
* ''Webcomic/AxisPowersHetalia'':
** ''Hetalia'' makes the genderbent version of Liechtenstein wear a crown and cape over his regular clothes.
** Hutt River is shown wearing his purple cape, which makes Sealand proclaim him to be an important person.
* In ''Manga/MiyukiChanInWonderland'', the King and Queen chess pieces on both sides of an erotic chess game (consisting ''entirely'' [[LesYay of women]]) wear ermine capes over their [[{{Fanservice}} otherwise very revealing outfits]].

[[folder: Film -- Animated]]
* ''Disney/{{Frozen}}'':
** This trope is mostly subverted. Princess Anna does have a PimpedOutDress--but it's solely for a ball. Elsewhere her other dresses aren't that more elaborate, which makes sense if she hasn't made any public appearances in forever. According to official comics and books, Elsa is actually pretty casual in her attire. She almost always wears her signature blue ice dress, be it for formal occasions or just walking around town. Even Anna dresses up more than her. Elsa's ice dress is gorgeous but it's not terribly formal. Elsa tends to dress-up more in animation, such as for Anna's birthday in ''Disney/FrozenFever'' (though even then it was just a relatively simple summer dress) and her extravagent Christmas dress in ''Disney/OlafsChristmasAdventure''.
** Although it is played straight by their parents, who are shown to be grandly dressed whenever they're on screen (even if their first scene has them being woken in the middle of the night).
* In ''Disney/SleepingBeauty'', the fairies put Aurora in her fancy ballgown after they tell her she's really the princess - even though they have her walk to the castle through the woods while wearing it. Presumably this trope is the reason she doesn't just wear her peasant dress while walking to the palace, and change once she's there.
* All the Franchise/{{Disney Princess}}es will wear a fancy gown or two in their movies, like [[Disney/BeautyAndTheBeast Belle's]] apparently gold lamé dress (either that or it had a really good dye job, which would also cost a lot of money in those days), but in TheMerch, those gowns are worn all the time, and sometimes they have dresses that are even fancier versions of those. This seems to have something of a justification at Disneyland. Belle can come out in her peasant garb (which she wears for the vast majority of the film) and be completely ignored by guests, then come back out in her gold dress and get mobbed. Many guests seem to be unable to recognize the princesses without their regalia. [[Disney/{{Aladdin}} Jasmine]] gets hit the hardest by this trope. In the movie she wore: her princess quasi-harem outfit; her slave outfit (the same thing only red, with a bigger tiara and tighter pony-tail), her "common" outfit which consists of a hooded robe ''over'' her princess outfit; and the more "formal" outfit when she's flying off with Aladdin at the end, a pinkish affair that has shoulders and finally covers her midriff and has a cape. Her standard blue will be shown fairly often, occasionally the "formal" attire from the end, but in at least ''half'' the books/cards/bags/whatever, she's depicted wearing a very European style dress not found ''anywhere'' in the movies or TV show.
* Parodied on ''WesternAnimation/{{Shrek}} the Third''. Shrek and Fiona are forced to wear ridiculously confining finery for a ceremonial dinner. Shrek has to get some poor servant to scratch his bum for him... and wouldn't you know it, that's when the curtain is raised. To top it off, the buckle on his belt pops, leading to DisasterDominoes.

[[folder:Film -- Live Action]]
* Films in UsefulNotes/TheGoldenAgeOfHollywood were rife with this trope, such as the movie ''Diane''. Diane de Poitiers and Catherine de Medici walk around in dresses far more extravagant than they would have worn normally. It gets to the point that the queen is sitting for a portrait, and Diane shows up from out of town in a dress just as fancy.
* George II in ''Film/PiratesOfTheCaribbeanOnStrangerTides''.
* ''Film/TheOtherBoleynGirl'' is a clear contrast. Anne and Mary's dresses are fancy, but far simpler than those worn for portraits or ceremony. Henry also doesn't really show off his everyday clothes, save for a few fur collars on his gowns (which is what those jackets were called at the time).
* ''Film/TheQueen'' inverts this and instead goes with Elizabeth II's affection for big raincoats and wellies. Although in RealLife that has been Flanderised by the press, she's still made no secret of the fact that she dislikes dressing up in the full regalia. Mostly because it's very heavy; for instance, the royal crown apparently is so heavy that it will give the wearer a headache if it is worn for too long.
* The Queen of Naboo in ''Franchise/StarWars'' always seems to be wearing some ridiculously complex outfit, each item of which is supposed to represent something from Naboo's history. The useful consequence is that she is completely unrecognizable in plain clothes and she uses this to go incognito as one of her handmaidens. This does mean some poor woman might be the target of any assassinations... It's also played with in that Naboo's government isn't a real monarchy, but a democracy that merely gives its elected rulers the trappings of monarchy. So, the Ermine Cape Effect here includes her royal title itself.
* The eponymous heroine of ''Film/ThatLadyInErmine'' wears nothing but an ermine coat, save for one scene.
* Lampshaded in ''Film/ARoyalNightOut''. Margaret is about to go out on the town apparently 'incognito' - only for one of the guards to point out that she probably shouldn't go out wearing her tiara.
* Averted in the ''Film/TheChroniclesOfNarnia'' film adaptations. When the Pevensies change out of their civvies into Narnian clothes, a distinctive difference is shown between those worn in the camp and those at the coronation. The coronation outfits are much more elaborate and fancy.
* ''Film/XMenApocalypse'': In the prologue, En Sabah Nur and his Four Horsemen are decked in elaborate gold headdresses and fancy robes as they head towards the pyramid surrounded by rows of peasants bowing to them.

* This practice was given something of a ShoutOut in the book ''Snake Agent'' by Liz Williams. High ranking demons in hell got to wear beautiful cloaks of human skin, so finely made one could count the capillaries, topped off with blond human hair where humans would wear ermine.
* ''Discworld/LordsAndLadies'' parodies this two ways. Verence gets along with a shirt and trousers with his arse hanging out of the top. His fiancée (later wife), Magrat's, clothes however are depicted as insanely convoluted with all manner of bodices and corsets and whatnot. Now this may be, as the books says, simply the way round things happen. Or it may be that Verence made another mistake by over reliance on the knowledge in books.
** [[LampshadeHanging Lampshaded]] and averted to some extent in other books in the series: Sam Vimes refuses flat-out to wear most of the traditional symbols of Ankh-Morpork nobility, tights especially--though his wife forces him to nonetheless, when he's appearing in his capacity as "The Duke". The rest of the time, he wears his Watch uniform, and she wears boots and tweed, being rich enough not to have to ''look'' rich. His job and her hobbies carrying a near-certainty of daily ClothingDamage may also have something to do with it.
* The autocratic Governor of ''Literature/TheGeneral'' wears about [[UsefulNotes/AmericanCustomaryMeasurements twenty pounds]] of gold embroidery every time he gets out of bed and the dress uniform of the Governor's Guard makes hero Raj Whitehall feel like a revue dancer.
* The {{Literature/Flashman}} book ''Flashman and the Great Game'' references this at the beginning when Flashman is invited to Balmoral by Queen Victoria. He comments how she was one of the first monarchs to be open about not always wearing royal clothing most of the time, but instead dressing like a typical (upper class) housewife (although in this case she is dressed in Scottish clothing). This trend has continued to the present to the point that it is actually difficult (at least for Americans) to think of any occasion on which Queen Elizabeth II wore a crown and jewelry.
* Padishah Emperor Shaddam IV in the ''Series/{{Dune}}'' miniseries wears very elaborate outfits even when he's just working in his study or meeting with his advisors. This is different from the book, where Shaddam preferred to wear an ordinary Sardaukar officer's uniform with no decoration other than a silver helmet even at official state functions. This was stated to not have been the traditional formal dress, however, merely being an affectation of Shaddam, as he felt that his power was based entirely upon the fear of the dreaded Sardaukar.
** In the prologue to the 1984 Film/{{Dune}} movie, José Ferrer flamboyantly shrugs off his cape before meeting with the Navigator. He wears standard military attire in all other scenes.
** Male monarchs usually wore their military uniforms with varying degrees of embellishment (Wilhelm II of Germany and Nicholas II of Russia wore uniforms studded with medals despite never being in combat, whereas Franz Josef and Karl of Austria wore considerably less elaborate ones) from the 18th century until after World War One.
* In Creator/JamesThurber's ''Literature/The13Clocks'', Prince Zorn disguises himself as a minstrel, but the wicked duke has a spy find his clothing, which shows he's a prince, and then insists that the prince wear it.
* In Creator/DanAbnett's TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}} novel ''Literature/BrothersOfTheSnake'', completely inverted. Antoni's official portrait is stowed away because she thought it made her look too glamorous.
* Averted in Mercedes Lackey's ''Literature/HeraldsOfValdemar'' novels. While the monarchs of Valdemar do have formal gowns and a crown for extraordinary court occasions, normally they dress in a more expensive and slightly less practical version of Herald day-uniforms -- the most notable difference being that a queen will wear a divided skirt instead of trousers. And the official Crown of Valdemar stays firmly locked in the treasury until the rare occasions it's needed, with a thin (comfortable!) gold circlet substituting most of the time.
* Rhian uses this a lot in different situations in Karen Miller's ''Literature/GodspeakerTrilogy''. She wears [[PimpedOutDress jewels and brocades]] as well as hunting leathers [[LadyofWar when she needs to kill people]] [[StayInTheKitchen who don't like her]].
* Sansa from ''Literature/ASongOfIceAndFire''. Nearly every description of the clothing of the other courtiers by her is described this way. Justified because she apparently views the world this way. Rarely are clothes "simple".
* Inverted in ''The Kestrel'', the second book of Alexander Lloyd's Literature/{{Westmark}} trilogy. When the prince of the invading army is captured he goes comepltely unrecognised, because he insists on wearing the uniform of a common soldier, having earned nothing more.
* In the second book of ''Literature/{{Mistborn}}'', a Terris Keeper comes to help Elend with just this problem, as no one takes him seriously as king because he's a slob who cares more about governmental theory than dressing nice. The keeper forces him to learn that in order to earn the respect he deserves as king that he must play the part. As he puts her lessons into practice, it works.
* In Creator/CSLewis's ''Literature/TheHorseAndHisBoy'' this is used to contrast the constantly blinged-out Calormene nobility with the simpler-dressed (yet somehow still more regal) Narnians. Finally it is averted with King Lune appearing in everyday clothes.
* In Creator/JohnCWright's ''Literature/CountToATrillion'', the ship crew (who conquered the earth when they brought back antimatter) always wear an imitation spacesuit, in special cloth, and a bracelet of red.
* Theodora in ''Literature/BelisariusSeries'' is never seen without her regalia. Justified in that she was once a street girl and wants to assure herself that she can NeverBeHurtAgain.
* Alys Vorpatril in ''Literature/VorkosiganSaga'' is the expert on this for the Barrayaran court.
* Discussed in ''[[Literature/TheBelgariad The Malloreon]]'' when Emperor Kal Zakath, absolute ruler of half the world, leaves the RequisiteRoyalRegalia behind and spends an afternoon riding through his own capital city without being noticed. He tells his companions that without them, he's "just a man in a linen shirt", even though his face is on all the coins.
* Mentioned and exploited in the Mary Tudor POV novel ''Mary, Bloody Mary''. Mary mentions that she doesn't care for the glittering jewels or finery, and often goes without them at court. At one point she's wearing a rather plain dress with no ornaments and is able to eavesdrop on a group of female courtiers -- who assume that the girl kneeling by the fire is just a servant, rather than the princess.
* Averted in ''Literature/ATaleOf the Wicked Queen''. Unlike in the original ''Disney/SnowWhiteAndTheSevenDwarfs'', it's shown that Snow White and her parents don't usually dress formally. The Queen dresses up the most but that is simply personal preference. To his wedding, the King actually wore his military uniform.

[[folder:Live Action TV]]
* Averted, then played straight in the ''Series/TheBeverlyHillbillies'' episode "His Royal Highness." The deposed king is at first dressed in an ordinary suit. This is much to Jethro's disappointment ("He doesn't look like the kings in my Big Blue Book of Fairy Tales"). Later, on Mr. Drysdale's suggestion, he dresses up in ermine cape and crown to court Elly May. [[spoiler:Elly May rejects him as she doesn't take kindly to him putting on airs.]]
* Averted in ''Series/DowntonAbbey.'' It is noticeable that, while the girls dress up for formal dinners and all of their clothing is fancy, they have simple, practical outfits for daily wear, plus hunting regalia. Although hunting gear and riding tweeds ''were'' a form of this at the time, albeit a more practical form. Only the very wealthy would need them, after all.
* ''Series/TheMysticKnightsOfTirNaNog'' (aka ''PowerRangers'' [[AC:[[RecycledInSPACE IN MYTHOLOGICAL IRELAND]]]]) really fell for this by trying to [[{{Deconstruction}} deconstruct]] this trope, by commenting on how as royalty, they'd spend all their time getting in and out of their clothes. Since that is a comment on the illusion, and not the reality, it's actually a misaimed deconstruction.
* Two subversions in one in ''Series/BabylonFive'', in which Emperor Cartagia abandons the traditionally impractical clothes and hair of royalty in favour of something (relatively, we ''are'' talking about the Centauri) quiet and practical. The second subversion is that this is traditionally a trait of sympathetic RoyalsWhoActuallyDoSomething who are NiceToTheWaiter, whereas Cartagia is [[TheCaligula a megalomaniacal sadistic psychopath]] of [[OmnicidalManiac planet-threatening proportions]].
** Played straight by Delenn though not to the point of impracticality. Not unreasonable as she is an {{Ambadassador}} and a Badass Satai.
* Sort of subverted/modernized on ''Series/{{Kings}}'', where the royal couple, despite being an absolute monarch and his wife, dressed as one would expect a real-life modern U.S. President and First Lady to dress.
** This is played somewhat straight with their son, Jack, who despite wearing a suit on most occasions, always seems to be wearing one made out of some kind of very shiny and very gorgeous-looking fabric.
* Played with on ''TheKingdomOfParamithi'': The king and queen only wear their robes for their royal duties. They will otherwise be shown wearing formal attire.
* An ecclesiastical variation in ''Series/FatherTed'': whenever a bishop is shown they're always "bishoped to the nines" (as described by writer Graham Linehan). In reality, Roman Catholic bishops wear clothing similar to the average priest when not taking part in services.
* On display several times in Uther and Morgana's wardrobe in ''Series/{{Merlin|2008}}'' and Arthur's, to a lesser extent.
** Also played straight with Princess Mithian, who arrives in Camelot wearing what is frankly a ''massive'' [[http://oi45.tinypic.com/10e3dat.jpg white ermine coat and crown-like head-band]]. If ''that'' does not say "princess"...
* Perhaps {{Hand Wave}}d in ''Series/OnceUponATime''. It ''is'' literally a fairy tale world, after all. It seems to be zig-zagged; one episode has King Leopold walking around on the beach in fine silks and furs, with his crown on his head. However in one episode Princess Abigail is wearing something that's more or less appropriate for going out into the woods, and Snow White wears more appropriate clothes for fighting in the war against Regina. Belle by contrast spends a couple of flashbacks in "Skin Deep" wearing the gold dress in Rumpelstiltskin's castle, apparently still doing chores while wearing it. It's not until a bit later that she changes into something a bit more simple.
* Brazilian telenovela ''Caminho das Índias'' got some flak for unrealistically having its indian characters always wearing fancy, colorful, "indian-looking" clothes, that are in real life only used in special events. It would be roughly equivalent to portraying brazilian women as always wearing [[ItsAlwaysMardiGrasInNewOrleans Carnaval]] attire in their daily lives.

* The French play ''Ruy Blas'' by Creator/VictorHugo was criticized for having the Queen in full regalia when she confessed her love to the titular character. Since it was a climax, he got away by invoking the RuleOfCool.
* The 2009 revival of ''Exit The King'' plays around with this a lot-- the three royal characters wear fur capes so ludicrously long that they become physical comedy props.
* Averted in ''Theatre/RosencrantzAndGuildensternAreDead'' -- in the film version the Queen's already pulling off her fancy earrings after the royal audience is over and preparing to put on more serviceable day-wear (for medieval times, anyway).

[[folder:Video Games]]
* ''Franchise/TheLegendOfZelda'': Unless it's an absolute emergency, Zelda always wear royal dresses, [[KickingAssInAllHerFinery even when]] [[VideoGame/SuperSmashBros in hand to hand combat]]. She dresses to the nines even when she's just hanging around town in ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaTheMinishCap'' or in the royal gardens as a child in ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaOcarinaOfTime''. Even when a ghost, Zelda in ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaSpiritTracks'' wears her regalia. There are very few exceptions, such as when she was disguising herself to hide in ''Ocarina Of Time'', or a descendant who doesn't even realize she's a princess in ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaTheWindWaker''. Averted in ''VideoGame/TheLegendofZeldaBreathOfTheWild'', as she wears royal dresses at ceremonies, and pants and boots when traveling around Hyrule.
* Princess Peach and Princess Daisy almost always wear their royal attire in ''Franchise/SuperMarioBros'' If they're not, then they're probably playing golf or soccer or something. Peach does occasionally wear a less puffy dress though, such as her vacation/warm weather dress in ''VideoGame/SuperMarioSunshine''. In the post-game quest of ''VideoGame/SuperMarioOdyssey'', Peach fully averts this, as on her vacation to the various kingdoms, she wears various attire appropriate for the setting, including a casual dress.
* In ''VideoGame/TheElderScrollsIVOblivion'', Emperor Uriel Septim VII wears his ermine-collared, gold-brocaded purple robe and jewel-incrusted amulet ''while wading through a '''''sewer system''''''' to escape assassins. His heir, Martin, does the same at the end of the game in a warzone, though he ''was'' on his way to coronation. Uriel was also wearing a different royal outfit when he was freed from imprisonment in oblivion at the end of Arena. He does however, seem to wear a more practical outfit in Daggerfall. Though that's also when his hair mysteriously vanished.
* Princess Rozalin of ''VideoGame/{{Disgaea 2|CursedMemories}}'' never changes out of her PimpedOutDress (assuming she could), but [[ImpossiblyCoolClothes it seems to hold up well regardless]]. [[spoiler:Although she used to wear the more practical BadassLongcoat back in her days as Overlord Zenon.]]
** Also in those games, Hoggmeiser (an big, humanoid, ax-wielding boar) and other Nether Nobles wear ermine capes and crowns.
* ''VideoGame/SuikodenIV'' gets it right with King Lino En Kuldes, who wears a regal outfit in only one scene in the entire game. The rest of the time, he dresses like any other citizen of his kingdom, to the extent that no one who didn't already know who he was could tell that he was the King of Obel. (The main characters actually initially mistake his butler/chamberlain/advisor-type guy for being the king, since he was the only person in the palace who dressed even remotely formally.)
* Averted in ''Website/GaiaOnline''. Johnny K. Gambino (who, while not actual royalty, certainly acts he is) normally dresses in fairly fancy clothes, even when working in the lab. However, recently he's taken a liking to lounging around his mansion in a blue bathrobe and socks, watching old [[NoCelebritiesWereHarmed Ron Bruise]] movies.
* In several ''VideoGame/{{Ultima}}'' games, Lord British is apparently so fond of his ermine coat and golden crown that he wears it ''in bed''. He does admittedly have only one sprite like everyone else, but it still looks rather funny.
* The Princess/Prince class in ''VideoGame/EtrianOdyssey III: The Drowned City'' naturally fall into this; like all classes, they are represented in-game by their portraits. Unlike the other classes, their outfits are pure examples of RequisiteRoyalRegalia -- both princesses wear {{Pimped Out Dress}}es [[GemEncrusted adorned with gems]], tiaras, earrings, and ornately detailed armor, while the [[{{Bishounen}} older prince]] wears even more ornate armor (and earrings) and a sweeping cape, while the younger prince has a tiny crown and fur-trimmed cape with a huge gem brooch. And they apparently explore the Yggdrasil Labyrinth in all of this...
* ''VideoGame/RadiantHistoria'':
** Queen Protea of Granorg brings up this trope when her daughter, Eruca, argues that the court should cut back for the benefit of the citizenry.
** Eruca is thoroughly guilty of this herself, both in sprites and being the only character to use dress-class armors. [[RealityEnsues Her defense stats are deplorable]], outmatched by the nine-year-old TrapMaster who at least has the decency to wear magic-enhanced cloaks.
* Can be played straight or averted in ''VideoGame/FableIII''. The Hero starts off as a Prince/Princess in [[GoodMorningCrono pajamas]], and the first order of business is to pick an outfit to wear for the day. The choices are either a flamboyantly elegant outfit, or one that's more [[ModestRoyalty practical]]. However, shortly after the introduction the Hero is required to obtain some new clothes to [[KingIncognito blend in with the locals]]. After the coup, the Hero gets a new regal suit, [[RequisiteRoyalRegalia complete with crown]], but there's nothing stopping him/her from swapping it out for one of the [[UnlimitedWardrobe numerous other costumes]] acquired throughout the game.
* In ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyIX'' Queen Brahne is seen only wearing the fancy elaborate finery wherever she is - including in private. Her daughter however averts the trope. She's only seen in her PimpedOutDress three times during the game - and each of those involves a formal occasion and public appearance. Lady Hilda meanwhile was apparently kidnapped by Kuja in the middle of the night and yet wears a very grand dress, despite having been kept prisoner in a GildedCage.
* Averted and played straight in ''VideoGame/{{Dishonored}}''. Empress Jessamine was wearing a practical suit when she was murdered, but she was more of an outlier compared to the rest of Dunwall's DeadlyDecadentCourt who prefer to spend their days wearing extravagant outfits and having balls. [[spoiler:It also acts as a clue as to why she was murdered - she was investigating the Plague of Rats in the city and almost exposed the [[BigBad Lord Regent's]] plan to KillThePoor.]]

[[folder:Web Comics]]
* Averted with ''[[Webcomic/TowerOfGod Zahard's Princesses]]''. Two wear regular clothes such as summer dresses, skirts, stockings or blouses, one is a slob that never leaves her room and whose only confirmed articles of clothing are her t-shirt and her huge blanket.

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* ''WesternAnimation/AvatarTheLastAirbender'':
** Princess Azula and Prince Zuko (during the time periods he wasn't exiled) ''always'' wore their formalwear, except for the BeachEpisode. Although their formalwear was Fire Nation military dress uniform and not ridiculously overdone gowns, and so wasn't very cumbersome for them. Upheld again in that Azula has been seen ''without'' being fully-made-up and her hair elaborately done only when woken up in the middle of the night, and/or in the process of losing her mind. Both times we see Azula being groomed, it was for a special occasion (a war meeting and [[spoiler:her coronation]]), but she was still made up the entire time she spent travelling through the Earth Kingdom (in fact she practically went nuts putting a ''hair'' out of place).
** Their father Ozai, on the other hand, gives [[WesternAnimation/KingOfTheHill Hank Hill]] a run for the title of world's least animated [[WesternAnimation animated]] man. Save for burning his son's face off, walking around during a war meeting and the final fight scene, he was ''only'' [[OrcusOnHisThrone seen sitting immobile on his throne]], done up in his most elaborate robes and regalia. Amusingly, he usually loses [[ShirtlessScene most of his clothing]] along with the regal wear both of the times he ''fought'' (the first because Agni Kai are traditionally fought shirtless, while the second was because the new clothes he had were [[FashionVictimVillain rather ridiculously cumbersome]]).
** Bumi uses it as part of his ObfuscatingStupidity. Like Ozai, he takes off his robe to fight, revealing himself to be ''quite'' healthy for a 112-year-old man.
* ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic'':
** Princess Celestia is constantly dressed in impeccable finery and a tiara every time she appears. Even in bed. And also, her rainbow gravity-defying hair. This is outright dressed down however, compared to the finery she wore in the finale of season 3. With the enormous, poofy dress and jeweled crown easily twice the size of her normal tiara, it's no wonder she doesn't wear it more often.
** Whenever he's not a disembodied cloud of smoke (so pretty rarely), [[EvilOverlord King]] [[EvilSorceror Sombra]] wears an ermine cape and a [[SpikesOfVillainy spiked crown]] along with [[BlingOfWar heavy plate]] [[TinTyrant armor]]. The cape has the side effect of always covering his Cutie Mark, giving birth to some fan theories about what it may be. There is also some speculation that it may conceal [[WingedUnicorn a pair of wings]].
* ''WesternAnimation/WinxClub'' has an interesting variation. The main characters, [[EverythingsBetterWithPrincesses half of whom are princesses]], all dress normally in regular teenage girl clothes, at least within the confines of the show's universe. But their parents, an de in fact all courtly adults they come into contact with, like Countess Cassandra, wear formal, old fashioned royal regalia at all times—crowns, gowns, doublets, and of course, capes.

[[folder:Real Life]]
* Due to the weight of the Imperial State Crown it is common for British Monarchs to wear it for several hours prior to the annual State Opening of Parliament to become used to it. Courtiers have reported witnessing Queen Elizabeth II wearing it while eating breakfast and reading the paper.
** While Queen Elizabeth II is considered by many fashionistas today to be quite dowdy if not outright frumpy, in her youth, she and her sister, Princess Margaret, were major fashion leaders who were very frequently seen wearing the most elegant dresses by leading British and French designers of the Christian Dior-led "New Look" period.
** Diana, Princess of Wales, was very much a fashion leader back in the day as well. She made a particular point of patronizing British fashion designers and wearing their creations.
* This once actually had a ''practical'' purpose. It was a convenient way to store wealth before efficient banking services. This was especially the case for nomad nobility who had no other way to store it. The same is true of the ''Landsknechte'' (mercenaries) of the UsefulNotes/ThirtyYearsWar, whose loud BlingOfWar {{Nonuniform Uniform}}s are the historical basis for the famously-colorful dress uniform of the Papal Swiss Guard.
* Elizabeth I of England is justly famous for her spectacular state wardrobe (though she dressed less ornately in private). James I & VI was an aversion of the trope to the extreme displeasure of his English subjects accustomed to a monarch who knew how to make a show.