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[[quoteright:350:[[Franchise/DisneyPrincess http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/disney_princess_redesign_26.png]]]]
[[caption-width-right:350:They've been making the Franchise/DisneyAnimatedCanon better since 1938.]]

->''"For a princess is an elegant thing,\\
Delicate and dainty as a dragonfly's wing.\\
You can recognize a lady by her elegant air,\\
But a genuine princess is exceedingly rare!"''
-->-- ''Theatre/OnceUponAMattress'', "Many Moons Ago"

You've turned on the latest kids' TV program, and look, there's a girl in a [[PrincessesPreferPink pink]], [[PimpedOutDress floofy dress]] with a wand -- and she's got [[CoolCrown a tiara]] and sometimes a [[PimpedOutCape pretty cape]] trimmed with [[PrettyInMink ermine]]. Whether she's TheCutie, an ActionGirl, a MagicalGirl, TheLeader of LaResistance, or whatever you can think of, there's one very strong possibility: she's {{royal|Blood}}ty; specifically, a princess.

After years of exposure to the [[PrincessClassic classical princess]] we have this interpretation that princesses have it easy. They don't have to work (that's their [[RoyalsWhoActuallyDoSomething parents' job]]!), they get everything they want (money and power go a long way) and, in girls' series, they have [[MerchandiseDriven very marketable wardrobes]] (blame the ErmineCapeEffect). Being a "princess" may not even affect the plot in any meaningful way, and the audience may get the sense that princessdom is just a quick way to give a female character a sense of specialness, with no pesky obligations to a family or kingdom that might get in the way of having adventures.

Usually, if she's got powers, she's TheChosenOne, and it's all [[RoyalBlood because of her lineage]]. [[ShelteredAristocrat Her sheltered life has left her ill-prepared to cope with real adversity]]. This is usually true even if she grew up in a [[ChangelingFantasy commoner family]] to [[RagsToRoyalty hide from her enemies]] -- perhaps frailty is in the blood.

She'll likely be the WhiteMagicianGirl to showcase her gentleness and purity, while also keeping her away from the front lines and [[BeautyIsNeverTarnished unsightly bruises]]. On the other hand, if she's [[PrettyPrincessPowerhouse surprisingly good in a fight]] despite her sheltered upbringing, it might be because AuthorityEqualsAsskicking. Her weapon of choice will likely be a RegalRapier.

Any kingdom worth the name has a princess. If that's the case, expect a violent conflict with her AloofBigBrother, TheEvilPrince, and/or the EvilChancellor. She will likely have [[LadyAndKnight a personal knight]] to assist her in such conflicts, be her LoveInterest, etc.

By the way, do not expect princes to be given anything like the same sympathy as their sisters (more so in modern works). They are very often either outright [[TheEvilPrince bad]] or [[DumbIsGood well meaning but stupid]]. The exception is TheWisePrince, who is likely to have more royal duties because of [[HeirClubForMen certain historical perspectives]]. If this princess has sisters, odds are good to see TheGloriousWarOfSisterlyRivalry.

Note that you rarely see any minor [[BlueBlood nobles]] as lead female characters, nor any young [[TheHighQueen queens]]. If she's a royal, she's the princess. Her [[RoyallyScrewedUp sketchy genetic makeup]] will be avoided altogether, and you won't see a single Habsburg chin around. Though in real life, princesses can be any age, princesses in fiction are usually children or teenagers, and are almost never older than 25, let alone middle-aged or elderly. The perfect age for an ArrangedMarriage plot to kick in!

Oftentimes, [[PrincessesRule she is the 100%]] ''[[PrincessesRule ruler]]'' [[PrincessesRule of a region]]. This is sometimes {{justified|Trope}} by the region in question being a principality rather than a kingdom.

It is something of a DeadHorseTrope due to literally ''centuries'' of overuse, and having become firmly recognised as a {{Common Mary Sue Trait|s}}. Despite this, due to the GrandfatherClause, [[MostFanficWritersAreGirls teenage girls]], and [[StockParody how easy it is to parody]], plenty of princesses will appear in the pages yet to come.

This is also why many tropes have "princess" in the name, even though a princess isn't required (just a common example).

A SuperTrope to PrincessClassic, PrincessesRule, PrettyPrincessPowerhouse, PrincessPhase, PoliticallyActivePrincess, TomboyPrincess, RebelliousPrincess. If your princess doesn't hail from a well-organized kingdom but from a faraway village, she's TheChiefsDaughter.
* EverythingsBetterWithPrincesses/AnimeAndManga
* EverythingsBetterWithPrincesses/ComicBooks
* EverythingsBetterWithPrincesses/AnimatedFilms
* EverythingsBetterWithPrincesses/LiveActionFilms
* EverythingsBetterWithPrincesses/{{Literature}}
* EverythingsBetterWithPrincesses/LiveActionTV
* EverythingsBetterWithPrincesses/VideoGames
* EverythingsBetterWithPrincesses/WebComics
* EverythingsBetterWithPrincesses/WesternAnimation


[[folder:Board Games]]
* Shogi, commonly known as Japanese chess, is notably lacking in the queen piece that western chess features. However, one variant of the game features a piece called "the princess", which basically acts like a queen. This variant is called ''Okisaki'' -- which means ''princess''.
* Princess Lolly from TabletopGame/CandyLand. Due to this trope, her mother Queen Frostina was demoted to princess, even though she is a wife, mother, and presumably Regent of Candy Land in the absence of King Candy.
* The game "Pretty Pretty Princess" was all about this trope, as players had to collect the RequisiteRoyalRegalia that would allow them to be crowned princess before their opponents.

[[folder:Card Games]]
* The ''TabletopGame/YuGiOh'' card game has Princess [[MagicalGirl Pikeru]] and Princess [[DarkMagicalGirl Curran]], a pair of weak magicians that once they go through a "trial", become considerably stronger and their respective card effects double in power.
* The ''TabletopGame/SmashUp'' expansion, Pretty, Pretty Smash Up, has princesses as one of the factions.

[[folder:Comic Strips]]
* Princess Camille, who is ComicStrip/LittleNemo's dream playmate.
* Aleta, wife of ComicStrip/PrinceValiant, tends to be more of TheHighQueen type, despite being married to a prince. However, their daughters Karen and Valeta count as princesses, as would their daughter-in-law Maeve and granddaughter Ingrid.
* Princess Gwen from ''ComicStrip/TheWizardOfId'', who is often courted by Sir Rodney.

[[folder:Fairy Tales]]
* A staple of many fairy tales, especially those by the Brothers Grimm, Charles Perrault, and Madame d'Aulnoy.
* In ''Literature/TheWhiteDove'', the dove is really a kidnapped and transformed princess.
* In ''Literature/TheKingWhoWouldBeStrongerThanFate'', the beautiful daughter of the king is fated to marry the young man, a slave's son. She is so taken with him that when she realizes that he carries an order for his own execution, she changes it to one for their marriage.
* In ''Literature/BootsWhoMadeThePrincessSayThatsAStory'', the princess continually lies, and never declares that anyone else's story is a lie.
* In ''Literature/SoriaMoriaCastle'', Halvor rescue three princesses, all beautiful.
* In ''Literature/TheFireBirdTheHorseOfPowerAndThePrincessVasilissa'', the Tsar will marry only the princess, though he's never met her.
* Averted in ''[[http://www.mythfolklore.net/andrewlang/369.htm The Little Soldier]]'', where the princess, Ludovine, is the main antagonist. She takes advantage of the protagonist, John, by breaking promises, using sleep-inducing gifts, and stealing money from him. John eventually rejects her and settles for an honest commoner.
* In ''Literature/SleepingBeauty'', part of the premise is that the king and queen had fertility issues, so they are very grateful to have any princess at all to take up the throne after them.

[[folder:Fan Works]]
* Averted with Princess Jody, the BigBad of ''[[http://fav.me/d4a27sp Super Milestone Wars]]''.
* Princess [[FanFic/MarissaPicard Marissa Amber Flores Picard Gordon]], heir to the Throne of Essex.
* Several princesses can be found in ''[[http://dorksidefiker.livejournal.com/148547.html That Damn Mpreg]]'', ranging from Rebecca Altman-Kaplan, who eventually abdicates her position in favor of her younger brother to Princess Surdani of the Inhuman Royal Family, who eventually becomes Queen due to one brother being insane and the other brother refusing to be exposed to the Terrigen Mists.
* Marina and Magalie, princesses of the Aequori [[OurMermaidsAreDifferent mermaids]] and [[spoiler:Sierra]], the Princess of Nadir in ''Fanfic/KeepersOfTheElements''. Why must they be princesses? Because one doesn't find many constitutional republics in {{high fantasy}}.
* Averted in ''[[http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Fanfic/Legionnaire Legionnaire]]'', where the Khans have a literally religious hatred for Equestrian princess.
* In [[http://www.fanfiction.net/s/8608709/1/Lost-Boys Lost Boys]], this trope pulls double duty. Kairi is not only a Princess of Heart, like in canon, but adopted princess of Disney Castle. Since the Destiny Islands were destroyed before Radiant Garden fell, the charm Aqua gave her ended up taking her to King Mickey and Queen Minnie, and things went from there.
* In [[FanFic/EquestriaAHistoryRevealed Equestria: A History Revealed]], Celestia supposedly argues with Chrysalis on the virtues of being called a princess rather than a queen. Chrysalis quickly disagrees with this on a logical standpoint which leads to an argument.
** As a My Little Pony fic, covering the history of Equestria, many princesses also appear in the fic as well.
* ''Fanfic/TheVow'' (a ''WesternAnimation/KungFuPanda'' fanfic) includes as one of the main characters Lady Lianne, a gentle [[SwansASwimming swan]] noble, who's [[{{Expy}} based on]] the below mentioned [[WesternAnimation/TheSwanPrincess Odette]]. She becomes Gongmen City's ruler for twenty years, and she's called "The Swan Princess" by the admiring people.
* ''The Bug Princess,'' the sequel to ''Fanfic/{{Cinderjuice}}'', continues the vague fairy tale theme of the first story, although it's not until close to the end that the reader finds out who is being referenced in the title.

[[folder:Films -- Live-Action]]




[[folder:Live-Action TV]]


* The Coup "Wear Clean Draws", the rapper Boots Riley gives advice to his daughter:
-->"Tell your teacher princesses ''are'' evil/how they got all the money is they kill people"
* Inverted in "[[Music/{{Vocaloid}} The Story of Evil]]", in which the "Daughter of Evil" Riliane, though technically a ruling queen, [[PrincessesRule prefers to retain the title of Princess]]. She is a spoiled RoyalBrat, a tyrant and a GreenEyedMonster. [[spoiler: Of course, she gets better after she loses her brother and kingdom, but since she's no longer a princess, she never gets a chance to be the trope.]]

[[folder: Professional Wrestling]]
* Wrestling/ChristinaVonEerie, seen working with Wrestling/{{AAA}}, Wrestling/{{SHIMMER}}, Wrestling/{{WSU}} and other promotions, uses the {{Red Baron}}ess, "The Punk Princess."
* In the ''{{Wrestling/Wrestlicious}}'' promotion, there were two characters - Maui the Hawaiian Island Princess and [[AnIcePerson Autumn Frost]] the Ice Princess - presumably because their characters wouldn't be complete without the title.
* Misaki Ohata, seen in Wrestling/ProWrestlingZero1, Wrestling/MichinokuProWrestling and SHIMMER, among many others, is the Princess of Submissions.
* Jessie Kay is one of pro wrestling's purest examples. Despite claiming to hate [[RealWomenDontWearDresses all things girly]] she's [[NapoleonDelusion convinced]] she's the princess of [[{{Joisey}} Vorhees Township]] and should therefore be waited on accordingly.

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* In ''TabletopGame/RocketAge'' Martian city states are usually principalities and the setting is full of deposed royalty seeking to retake the thrown and courtly rulers holding onto power against the invading hordes of Nazis and their own families, all while looking fabulous as they do it. About half of them are female.

* ''Theatre/{{Aida}}'' features one secret princess as the slave of another princess.
* Princess Winifred the Woebegone from ''Theatre/OnceUponAMattress'' (see the page quote) can swim the moat, scale the castle walls, lift weights, arm wrestle, drink you under the table, sing like a sousaphone, and dance everyone in the palace to exhaustion ... but just [[Literature/ThePrincessAndThePea one little pea]] can ruin her evening.
* In the Broadway adaptation of ''Disney/TheLittleMermaid'', Eric decides to hold a singing contest in an attempt to find the woman whose voice he fell in love with, which is doomed to failure because [[LateArrivalSpoiler that woman is Ariel, who sold her voice]]. The contestants are, according to Grimsby, "Every princess in the kingdom" - which begs the question of, if they're princesses, why Eric isn't related to them or at least already familiar with who they are.

[[folder:Theme Parks]]
* Ride/{{Disney|ThemeParks}} believes firmly in the truth of this trope, to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars a year. They even have the "Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique", in which little girls who are visiting the theme parks can get a "princess makeover" that includes tasteful makeup, getting their hair done, and dressing up in a gown themed after their favorite Disney Princess.\\\
Little boys who want to dress up as the heroic princes (who, if one remembers, were ''also'' a part of the action that made the Disney princesses famous) were, to coin a phrase, "shit out of luck" for many years. The stylists didn't offer any treatment for them, because (as one ten-year-old boy was overheard saying, outside of the Magic Kingdom's "Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique", "Disney doesn't care about little boys. They only like little girls.") The Boutique eventually did start trying to attract both genders by offering a knight-themed makeover for boys.

* {{Franchise/Barbie}} plays a princess in some of her movies. Plus some of the dolls are named as though she is a princess, like the [[WinterRoyalLady "Winter Princess"]] line.
* ''Franchise/EverAfterHigh'' has a number of princesses running around, with two official princesses in the initial lineup (Apple, successor to Snow White, and Briar, successor to Sleeping Beauty). Raven and Ashlynn should technically be princesses, but are not treated as such, because of Ashlynn's RagsToRiches narrative and the [[GodSaveUsFromTheQueen nature]] of Raven's deposed mother. Even in-universe, the school believes that "everything's better with princesses"; only princesses (and possibly princes) can be on the Legacy Day planning committee, they staff the student council exclusively until Maddie decides she'll run for president, and they get first pick of the classes. Raven mentions that it's rare that she's allowed to take music, her favourite class, since it usually only goes to princesses (unless, presumably, your fairy tale requires you to take it).
* All the Generation 3 Franchise/{{My Little Pon|y}}ies are princesses. ''[[http://www.somethingpositive.net/sp05282008.shtml Something Positive]]'' isn't entirely sure how that works. The DirectToVideo special ''[[http://www.hubworld.com/watch/610729116001 The Princess Promenade]]'' reveals that making everyone a princess was just a way for Wysteria to get out of being the (rather [[RagsToRoyalty arbitrarily chosen]]) princess herself.

[[folder:Visual Novels]]
* The title character of ''VisualNovel/{{Tsukihime}}'' (literally, "Moon Princess"), Arcueid Brunstud, is the princess of the [[NatureSpirit True Ancestor]] [[OurVampiresAreDifferent vampires]]. Though she follows hardly any of the usual tropes, her title actually makes an odd amount of sense, since she was created by the nobility and had extremely limited freedom and a particular defined purpose in life (well...[[EmpathicWeapon to hunt down and kill fallen True Ancestors]], that is). Of course, Princess is still her formal title, despite being possibly the last (and certainly the last royal) True Ancestor still alive ([[spoiler:having killed the other ones herself]]). Her title of Princess (and more importantly, Brunstud) comes from the fact that she's the closest thing the True Ancestors were able to make to a clone of their progenitor, Crimson Moon Brunstead, the Type spirit of the Moon, and that her ability to summon Castle Brunstud is proof that one day Type Moon will revive in her body. Unless her pseudo little sister Altrouge Brunstud, who can also summon Castle Brunstud, does it first.

[[folder:Web Original]]
* Justified in ''Literature/DecadesOfDarkness'', since the first part is in the time when royal marriages were real diplomacy.
* Emerald of the ''WebOriginal/DeviantartExtendedUniverse'' certainly fits the trope with her elegance and poise. It is even possible the setting is a principality specifically because of this trope. But Emerald is actually a PoliticallyActivePrincess and has a lot of responsibility as the leader of a small country. She acknowledges in "The Wanderer" that the traditional ideas of accessories and finery are only a small part of her job.

[[folder: Real Life]]
* Though she is technically a chief or queen, Boudicca is referred to as a WarriorPrincess.
* Prinsesstårta (prin-SESS-TOHR-tuh), otherwise known as Swedish Princess Cake, was originally called Grön tårta (Green Cake) when it appeared in ''Prinsessornas Kokbok'' in 1948. It is said that the three young princesses loved the cake so much [[http://semiswede.com/2011/09/21/princess-cake-demystified-prinsesstarta/ it was named after them]].
%% note: while "semiswede" writes the pronounciation differently, this is how a Swedish language speaker would pronounce it.
* {{UsefulNotes/Pocahontas}} was presented to the English as a princess - despite the Native American chieftain system not working that way. John Rolfe's parents were even alarmed at this, worrying that he had married too far above his station.
* As the RealLife section of PrincessesRule notes, "prince(ss)" was the ubiquitous term for sovereign rulers in general, regardless of whether they were a sovereign prince(ss), a duke/duchess, or the literal "child/relative of a king" as in the modern sense. People also often forget that countries weren't necessarily united under a single ruler, as one "country" (depending on the size) might be split into several or even dozens of petty-kingdoms, all with their own princesses and high-nobles--and when you bring in ''tribal'' rulers like chiefs and clan-leaders, that would mean even ''more'' "princesses" running around.