The title character turns out to be Princess Serenity, whom everyone had been searching for. In the manga and the English dub, all the other senshi were princesses, too.
There's Princess Kakyuu in Sailor Stars. One gets the impression that the Sailor Soldiers exist to protect their planet's Princess, because when Kakyuu gives up her life to protect the Starlights from Galaxia in the anime, they go on a suicidal bumrush at the Big Bad to avenge her. Ironically, at the end they are the ONLY characters to survive without the help of Sailor Moon's revival powers.
Tower of God: You are facing a giant carnivorous eel in an environment that's thicker than water? Yuri Zahard is here to dynamically enter on your face and give you an ultimate sword. You best friend is dying of blood loss, but the exam won't be stopped because of something as trivial as that? Androssi Zahard is here to kick the examiners ass (a legitimate way of making your team pass the exam)! The team's power houses are about to be humiliated and killed? Enter Yuri Zahard with her Glowing Eyes of Doom. Yes, Zahards Princesses kick ass.
In several Mazinger Z series there is at least one princess:
God Mazinger: Princess Aira, who ruled the kingdom of Mu alongside her father.
New Mazinger: Princess Krishna a Distressed Damsel Major Kabuto met when he was accidentally thrown in another dimension. She was trying to keep her kingdom together after her father got murdered in an ambush.
Fushigiboshi No Futago Hime, starting with the titular twins and encompassing most of the main cast. The marketing was all over this, tiaras and all: the publicity events were even called "Princess Parties" and they gave out kingdom seals.
Revolutionary Girl Utena, while not having any real royalty among its cast, thoroughly explores the stereotype and one of the main plotlines focuses on the titular protagonist trying to decide whether she wants to become "a princess" or "a prince". The series is also famous for postulating that all girls are princesses but there aren't enough princes for everyone.
Dai Mahou Touge is a twisted, savage, yet strangely hilarious subversion of the stereotype.
In an odd twist, the princess was a typical cute, mostly useless Distressed Damsel... and the mascot creature. Hikari from season two, however, filled this role more traditionally, despite being (somewhat) a Queen.
In The Movie of Yes! Pretty Cure 5, the girls and the mascots visit "Princess Land", a theme park where the female patrons all get to wear ballgowns and pretend they're princesses. As you would expect, it seems to be a very popular place.
Thanks to the title, Princess Tutu seems like it'd play this trope straight... particularly since the main character Duck (or Ahiru) turns into the eponymous Magical Girl. But the show subverts this with an Aesop that Duck has to accept the person she truly is, and eventually has to give up the ability to become both Tutu and a girl (she's an actual bird). The Dark Magical Girl Princess Kraehe has a difficult home life as well (... to say the least). When Princess Kraehe shows up, HerrDrosselmeyer comments "Two heroines? That simply won't do."
Subverted in Berserk. Princess Charlotte should normally fit the trope to a T with her Princess Classic characterisation. But there is no such thing as all good in the series' Crapsack World. Hence, the girl is reduced to being nothing but a Meal Ticket for Griffith who plans to use her to access to the throne of Midland legally. Being the consort of a Dark Messiah, she is very unlikely to have a positive impact on the story.
The Six Flowers of the Hibiscus Shield (magic fairies living in Orihime's hair clips) became the Six Princess Shielding Flowers in the English dub of Bleach.
The show largely subverts the stereotype, seeing Britannian princesses (three, thus far) fight and experience all cruelties of war just like their brothers. Euphie seemed to fit, with her naivety and struggle for peace, which only made her subversion the cruelest of all. Though what they did to Nunnally was pretty sick, too. Cornelia, who doesn't even start off well. She's vicious (and a virulent racist) from the get-go. Even if she does have a soft spot for Euphemia.
Kaguya also fits, though not literally being a princess, she is the highest ranking of the surviving Japanese noblewomen, delicate, though spirited, with all the personality of a traditional fictional princess, and the head of the NAC, which governs the Japanese "on behalf" of the Britannain Prince/Princess in charge of Area 11. Though she's not said to suffer as much as the Britannian Princesses, all of her family are dead, and by the end of the series, she is the chairwoman of the UFN — composing of the countries of at least half the world - though at the cost of her self-declared husband.
This probably goes back to the originalseries, whose Sayla Mass (real name: Artesia Som Deikun) is a princess-in-exile of The Kingdom-like Republic of Zeon founded by her father. By the time of MSG, however, the former Republic is taken over by the villainous Zabi family and transformed into a "Principality", so her heritage doesn't do her any favor. Although Sayla doesn't really count considering her father was a democratic leader, and Zeon only became a monarchy after her father died.
There's also Kycillia Zabi, who subverts the trope in a big way, being more coldblooded & ruthless than all but one of her brothers.
Zeta Gundam and Gundam ZZ have Mineva Zabi, the last member of the Zabi family. She also features prominently in the latest Gundam Unicorn novel, and other (non-canon) adaptations. Mineva is just a puppet, though. She's seven years old and ruthlessly manipulated. By the way, how is she considered a princess? She's the last surviving Zabi, she should be queen even if she does need Haman as a regent. She's still a princess because Zeon is principality, not a kingdom. The ruler of a principality has the title of "prince" or "princess", depending on gender.note In many languages, notably German as pre-unification Germany included many principalities as well as kingdoms, different words are used for the prince or princess who's reigning monarch of a principality and a prince or princess who's merely the relative of a king or queen and thus somewhere in the line of succession of a kingdom. In English, though, the distinction can only be determined through context.
Pacifica in Scrapped Princess is a subversion as she is a pure-blood princess but must endure very harsh conditions, starting with the small fact that almost the entire world population believes that her head on a stake is a good idea...
Martian Successor Nadesico spent a whole episode late in the series establishing that Ruri was actually the princess of a cheap imitation (literally The Theme Park Version) of Switzerland. This episode was never referenced again, not even in Ruri's next Previously On narration in which she's too embarrassed to explain it. Also played with in the same episode, when she attempts to research the concept and hits a Magical Girl series with her first search. Her response is to narrow the parameters.
Lord Genome, immortal ruler of Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann's pseudo-Empire, sired little human girls just for the sake of having a princess around. Lord Genome's princesses were born naturally from his relationships with girls hand-picked because of their special genetics. The result we see, Nia, hits this trope pretty damn hard in title, attitude, appearance, and usefulness. Except for the fact that she is hot-blooded like NOBODY's business.
Guess who's a real princess in Mai-Otome? Not Mashiro, who is crowned queen in the third episode. Not even Nina, the real heir to Windbloom's throne (who never claims it). It's actually Mai, whose brother is the prince of Zipang — a fact often overlooked. And Mashiro is a subversion, not just because she's spoiled, but because everyone expects her to be responsible, and when she abuses her power, it never ends well.
Sasami seems to embody this trope the most in the Tenchi Muyo! universes. Aeka also has her moments, but isn't quite as sweet.
Dianeira in Heroic Age somewhat averts the trope. She's portrayed as pure and a borderline Messiah, but has a limited wardrobe, plot-relevant powers, and has had to do diplomacy and give people orders.
There's a few of these in Slayers, with the most prominent being Princess Amelia, a princess of the influential kingdom of Saillune. She's rather klutzy and a bit overzealous and in over her head, but she's an amazing case of Modest Royalty - kind, a willing fighter, and always enjoying traveling with her friends. There's also her opposite, Princess Martina, and her long-lost sister, Princess Gracia, otherwise known as Lina's old traveling companion, Naga the Serpent.
Konoka is technically the princess of Japan, though obviously that doesn't mean very much these days. Still, her heritage combined with the fact that her father (who is from the non-royal line, by the way) is the head of the Kansai Magic Association means that she has a lot of money and influence.
Arika, the princess of the kingdom of Ostia. She later becomes a Queen.
Asuna is also revealed to be a princess.
Flame of Recca has Yanagi, who Recca declares is his princess at the beginning of the series, and this becomes her nickname from then on. Later on in the manga, we learn that she's the reincarnation of a real princess named Sakura, who once knew Recca's father.
Deconstructed in Rose of Versailles, as Marie Antoinette thinks this trope is how she should live, which adds a lot of Irony to the series. How much she did in actual history is a matter of debate, but let's put it this way: Marie Antoinette liked to go to the countryside. She thought it was lovely and idyllic. Problem: No one was particularly interested in disabusing her of this notion. So when she got there, it would be a sanitized version of the real thing; the cows were scrubbed, there wasn't a pat to be seen, chickens got fresh hay every hour on the hour (for pooping on, I mean), and such peasants as might have been lurking around were pretty clean and well-fed too. So when the news came that the peasants were revolting because they had no bread, it's almost a wonder that she didn't actually say a certain famous, if inaccurate, expression of her belief that the peasantry had access to sugary confections. Also note that this is one of the few series where the lead female, Oscar, is minor nobility.
Kimi no Kakera, a manga by the same author as Sai Kano, subverts this trope, stomps on it, drags it through the mud, and shoots it. Icoro, the child princess in the story, has been reduced to little more than a servant to the people of the ruling Politik and Warmonger tribes after a political coup ended the monarchy and her parents disappeared. She bears backbreaking work, little food, and constant cruelty from everyone (including the talking stuffed animal that's supposed to be her companion) so that none of it will be forced on her little brother, the prince, who is also blind. The suffering common people that she meets later don't know about any of this, and on hearing she's princess, scorn her for the privilege they believe she enjoys. It's pretty much to the point that her being the princess is the root of all Icoro's problems.
Guess who Esther Blanchett in Trinity Blood turns out to be in the end. Yes, you got it: the long-lost heiress to the Albion throne, of all places.
Gratuitous princesses are taken to their logical extreme in Macross Frontier, where the writers don't let the fact that Princess Alto is neither nobility nor even female get in the way of making him the series's pretty little Rebellious Princess.
In the first installment of Project A-Ko, C-ko is revealed to be an alien princess.
Yotsuba&!: When Yotsuba first glimpses tomboy Miura's highrise apartment:
Yotsuba: Miura's house is huge! Are you a princess?! Miura: Yes. I've been hiding it, but I'm actually a princess. Listen, don't tell anyone, OK? It's a secret.
The title heroine of Nadia: The Secret of Blue Water is a circus acrobat who performs under the stage name of "Princess Nadia", unaware that her Orphan's Plot Trinket identifies her as a genuine princess from a lost civilization. Subverted in that Nadia doesn't like being called "princess" because the word has bad associations for her.
The manga mostly avoids the trope, but does have one character — Mei Chang — who is a daughter of the Emperor of Xing. She's only rarely identified in-story as a princess, however, and almost never acts like one; she's too busy being Badass Adorable.
In what can only be described as a subversion, there's also Olivier Mira Armstrong, whose mannerisms are about as un-princessy as you can get while still being a regal Lady of War. But in the manga, her men (the Briggs Bears) occasionally refer to her as "the Princess" as a sign of their love and respect.
To Love-Ru has Lala, Momo and Nana Deviluke, all regularly identified by their titles. And Run Else Jewelria, whose status as a princess comes up less often because she's a less important character.
Completely inverted in Digimon Adventure in the one episode when Mimi becomes a "princess" (though she's pretty much self-proclaimed). A bunch of Geckomon need her voice to wake up their lord, she seizes the opportunity to the fullest and milks the poor creatures for all they're worth. She becomes spoiled, betrays her friends and overall acts as a total bitch until a terrible nightmare makes her realize her wrongdoings.
In Stitch!, one of Stitch's cousins, Checkers, could sit like a crown on people's heads and give the wearer the ability to hypnotize those around them into thinking they were a beautiful princess to be obeyed (although in the original American series, it just made those hypnotized see the wearer as royalty).
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 Candy Land. 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 Yu-Gi-Oh! card game has Princess Pikeru and Princess Kuran, a pair of weak magicians that once they go through a "trial", become considerably stronger and their respective card effects double in power.
Princess Diana of Themiscyra, a.k.a. Wonder Woman. The only thing she has in common with most on this list is the tiara (though she has been known to break out the dress for formal occasions).
Princess Projectra (Vauxhall-Wynzorr) of the Legion of Super-Heroes is a fabulously rich illusion caster from the treasure-planet of Orando. (Until her homeworld was blown up.) Though, to be fair, the first incarnation of Princess Projectra did eventually become Queen Projectra.
To drive the point home, when her husband was murdered by his archenemy, Projectra invoked royal right to execute him, and instead of using her powers to do so, she snapped his neck with her bare hands.
The Archie comic of Sonic the Hedgehog has Princess Sally. There's not much princess-y about her, so probably the only reason she got the title in the first place was this trope (though the comics eventually expanded on this backstory). She was princess of the kingdom before it was taken over by Robotnik so it actually makes sense that she's still princess. She won't become queen until they take back the land and she can be crowned.
In the comics, once they did take back the land, her parents were revealed to be alive, the powers that be tried to kill her off but got an Executive Veto, and an older brother popped up out of nowhere. Pretty strong evidence of a conspiracy to keep her a princess. And hilariously, it ended up causing problems down the line when her subjects decided they wanted democracy. It wasn't quite as big a mess as Civil War but it did end up with the leader of the revolution (Tails' father) in a swordfight with the current king (Sally's brother) until Sally came in and told them to act like adults.
Aleta, wife of Prince Valiant, tends to be more of The High Queen 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.
In The White Dove, the dove is really a kidnapped and transformed princess.
In The King Who Would Be Stronger Than Fate, 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.
Several princesses can be found in 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.
In Lost Boys, this trope arguably 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.
Elsa — Frozen (2013): Elsa being the first "Disney Princess" to actually be a queen
Most of these characters either are princesses by birth or become princesses by marriage. Oh, and the REAL reason Disney didn't add Giselle from Enchanted to the lineup was because they'd have to pay the actor royalties. (Although it's also true that Giselle never technically becomes a princess, going from a peasant to a fashion designer.)
The reason the Disney Animated Canon is stuffed with princesses is actually because they draw so much on fairy tales... but as of the 1990s, they centered merchandising on the princess characters, and you know the rest. Actually, only some of the princess characters got in; those that had bit parts, were from unpopular movies, or just weren't as merchandisable were shoved in the back. And they've tried a few times to add non-royals into the line, despite Mulan, Esmeralda, and Alice definitely not being princesses, either to ease concerns that the classic pantheon wasn't dynamic and/or integrated enough (Mulan being the best Action Girl they could use, since they didn't have one) or to fill out various storybooks, music albums, etc. Pocahontas, another honorary member of the group, actually is, but might not have been considered "classic" when the line was introduced. (That, or her clothes aren't considered pretty enough.) Naturally, this was somewhat referenced in Kingdom Hearts, where those who qualified as "Princesses of Heart" just happened to be popular characters on both sides of the Pacific. Alice, a non-princess, was in fact added to the list, with the thin justification that she becomes a queen in the original books (and as foreshadowing that another seemingly normal character is also one). Ariel was in fact REMOVED from the list for Kingdom Hearts, probably because, as a mermaid, she wouldn't be able to leave Atlantica to interact with the larger plot, but she gets to be an Action GirlGuest Star Party Member.
Most people would now count Pocahontas as a princess, and she's usually merchandised as one, but this is very amusing (or annoying) for somebody who actually knows something about Native American culture. Her father being the chief says nothing about her "royalty".
Other commonly forgotten Disney princesses (or queens) include Eilonwy, Tiger Lily, Kidagakash, Maid Marian (mentioned in the film to be King Richard's niece), and Nala (by marriage to Simba). If you stretch, you can also include Jane (queen of the jungle), Alice (who becomes a queen in the chess sense in Through the Looking Glass), and Megara (who originally was a daughter of King Chreon).
Heck, the princesses were featured prominently at Disney Theme Parks even before the big marketing push began.
Ironically, the Powers That Be at Disney have decided to start deliberately averting this trope (to a certain extent) after theorizing that marketing The Princess and the Frog as a Princess movie turned away the male demographic. The major results so far have been:
Changing the title of their Rapunzel adaptation to Tangled, and...
Shelving an adaptation of "The Snow Queen", whose female protagonist is, ironically, neither a princess nor in love with a prince. You'd think they'd remember how well their last adaptation of a Hans Christian Andersen story worked out.
And then there's Atta and Dot from A Bugs Life. Despite both of them being insects, they are actually the only two princesses created specifically for a Pixar film.
Now Mérida, from Brave, is going to be Pixar's first female character in a starring role — and yes, she's a princess.
Eilonwy of The Black Cauldron: There's absolutely no point to having her be a princess. She doesn't do anything princessy. She doesn't wear fancy dresses, give orders, or even sing. We don't even see her kingdom or castle. All she has going for her is the name, so really there's not reason for it.
That was hinted to be a lie; after the Horned King activates the titular Cauldron, he calls her a scullery maid. Eilonwy was presumably just trying to make herself look important by saying she's a princess. That's not true in the books but can be taken as true for the film.
Now Elsa of Frozen is confirmed to be inducted into the cannon princesses making her the first Disney princess who is in fact queen.
It turns out that Wreck-It Ralph has its own princess: At the end of the film it is revealed that not only is Vanellope Von Schweetz a real character in her game, but she's also the real ruler of Sugar Rush. However, she immediately ditches the floofy dress and title of "Princess" and appoints herself as "President" instead.
Spoofed all over the place in the Shrek franchise, especially the third film. (The princesses from that got their own toy line, too, but this seems to be a further parody rather than hypocrisy.)
The Swan Princess - Odette actually is a princess in the original ballet and the film adds the Disney Princess touches to her, giving her a beautiful singing voice, becoming a Friend to All Living Things etc. She manages to become a Queen at the end of the film and remains one in the sequels.
The Flight of Dragons has Princess Melisande, the Happily Adopted foster daughter of the wizard Carolinus. Her being a princess has nothing to do with the story, and probably the only reason she is one at all is so that the hero can win the heart of a princess like in any proper fairy tale.
In Rugrats Go Wild! Angelica decides that she will become the island's princess. This time the babies have learned their lesson and ignore her but she ends up passing herself off as Princess Angelatiki to Debbie Thornberry. One must wonder why Debbie doesn't question that the island princess is white and speaks perfect English.
Anastasia - while the real Anastasia was royalty, she is recognised as "Grand Duchess" rather than princess. But the film frequently refers to her as a princess just to avoid confusion. In a twist, she also gives up the title and chooses to elope with Dimitri.
Let's start with Princess Leia. The plot of the series could have been exactly the same were she not a princess (the princess of a planet that is brutally destroyed in the first movie!), and yet she is. It doesn't hurt that she is proof that Authority Equals Asskicking... when Luke comes with Han and Chewie to break her out of jail, she takes charge of her own rescue and gets them safely out of the prison block.
Padmé from the prequel series was a queen, though, and only that in the first movie. Weirdly, Padmé is specifically an elected queen, even though she's barely in her teens. One wonders what the other candidates must have been like. This seems to be common practice on Naboo; Episode III featured an even younger Queen, and according to the EU most Naboo politicians retire at 20, though both Padmé and Palpatine defied this trend. Well, we do get the impression the planet's supposed to be too idealistic for its own good. The EU also gave Padmé a Princess title in her past; she was Princess of Theed (and governing the place at the age of 12!) before she was elected Queen.
In the Expanded Universe, they explain this as Naboo colonists coming from another world, which had (and continues to have) a hereditary monarchy. While the Naboo gave up the government structure, they kept the traditional titles for head of state and other positions despite their elected nature. Reminiscent of the fact that one of the proposed and rejected titles for the first president of America was "His Elected Majesty".
In the movie Stardust all the princes (save one) are evil, but their sister the princess is as sweet as can be. The book avoided this. She wasn't exactly evil, but growing up surrounded by vindictive princes and later a vindictive witch made her very shrewd and cold-hearted. In both versions, she is the hero's mother. Possibly justified in that the princes were expected to kill each other off until there was only one left to inherit the throne. Since girls couldn't rule the kingdom, there was no reason for the princess to be involved in such scheming.
Bill And Ted have a time machine in which they can bag any historical babe they wanted. No points in guessing who they pick.
The makers of DOA Dead Or Alive probably thought of this trope when they made Kasumi a ninja princess.
Neytiri from Avatar. Did she really need to be The Chief's Daughter? (To be fair, her place as the successor to the tribe's shaman gave her statement that there had been a sign from Eywa considerable weight, but still.)
Subverted in Snow White A Taleof Terror. The protagonist Liliana is not a princess but merely the daughter of a nobleman. Notably when she hides with the miners, they mockingly call her princess because of her attitude. Eventually calling her "little princess" morphs into a term of endearment for all of them.
The Jack Black film Gulliver's Travels certainly has a princess as a prominent character though she's part of the Beta Couple rather than the main protagonist's love interest.
A Little Princess. To clarify, Sara Crewe considers herself to be a princess and looks to various royal women in history as role models. Though her attitude isn't because of her money (she's actually Spoiled Sweet), she considers herself to be a princess because she acts grand and dignified, and would never do something vulgar. In one film adaptation, she makes a big speech about how all girls are princesses.
Averted in Ella Enchanted. She marries a Prince, yet specifically requests not to be a Princess.
Lloyd Alexander's Chronicles of Prydain: The chatty redhead who gets protagonist Taran out of a scrape (and proceeds to irritate him for the rest of the book) in The Book of Three turns out to be "Eilonwy daughter of Angharad daughter of Regat of the Royal House of Llyr." She's the last surviving member of a royal, magic-wielding bloodline. The complications of her ancestry form the plot of the third book in the series. Justified, somewhat, in that Prydain is based on ancient Wales, which did have a number of sub-kingdoms united under the rule of a single High King. So finding a stray princess wandering around Prydain was less contrived than it might be in another fictional country. Taran was pretty startled by the revelation, though. He was still getting used to the idea of royalty not always looking (or acting) how he imagined. (There's also the fact that they'd spent most of the book together, and he didn't find out she was a princess until literally the last page because Eilonwy never thought it was important enough to mention.)
The Princess Diaries seems to embrace this, so say the pretty covers and The Film of the Book. Actually, the books go into a lot of politics and how "I Just Want to Be Normal" is not such an odd complaint if you happen to become a princess. The protagonist's grandmother especially is used to dash the princess dream; besides the ridiculous self-preserving measures she uses on the titular princess, dear old Grandmere also refuses to let her ex-daughter-in-law invite her own friends to her own wedding, feeling embarrassed by them, and instead invites the likes of Martha Stewart and Coco Chanel. Mia's Soapbox Sadie friend is used in contrast to say that the monarchy is outdated and its glamour far too overrated. Nevertheless, the films are advertised as the most blatantly plotless little-girl's-wish-fulfillment thing ever. In the actual movies, though, the job is still shown to be pretty difficult.
In the eleventh book of A Series of Unfortunate Events, spoilt brat Carmelita Spats dresses up as a "tap-dancing ballerina fairy princess veterinarian."
You want a princess? There's, like, hundreds of princesses in War and Peace. There aren't even that many princes. Justified because in Imperial Russia, the title could (and usually did) mean the top rank of non-royal nobility. There were princ(ess)es of Imperial blood, who were actually related to the Tsar, and there were the noble-but-not-royal kind. Royal princesses were usually titled Grand Duchess rather than Princess, the implication of the title being that they ranked higher than a regular princess. Since other princesses were non-royal, this was accurate. Grand Duchesses were the direct relatives of the Emperor. Indirect ones were titled prince(ss)es of imperial blood.note The confusion is due to different conventions of translating the Russian terms into other languages. In imperial Russia there were the dignities of knyaz and knyaginya, which is usually translated as "prince" and "princess", so the higher rank of respectively veliki knyaz and velikaya knyaginya correctly should be translated as "grand prince" and "grand princess", not "grand duke" and "grand duchess". In German for instance, which also differentiates between princes and princesses who are merely non-reigning members of a reigning family (Prinz and Prinzessin) and those who actually rule a principality (e. g. the Fürst and Fürstin of Liechtenstein), the higher Russian ranks are translated as Großfürst and Großfürstin).
Interestingly enough, while The Lord of the Rings features royally-connected ladies like Galadriel, Arwen, and Éowyn, the title "princess" is never actually used, though "prince" is.
Land of Oz series: Oz's Princess Ozma and Princess Dorothy.
Averted in The Wheel of Time. Elayne is the daughter of a queen and presumptive heir to the throne of Andor, but though the word "princess" appears exactly once, referenced as an archaic title that had long ago fallen out of use, "Daughter-heir" is used with the same frequency and arrogance.
In the third Book of Swords, Mark rescues a young woman from a cage in Vilkata's camp. No, he was not sent to rescue her nor did he have any idea who she was. Both are seriously wounded, but thanks to the Power of Love (quite literally by summoning Aphrodite) they both survive. And inexplicably, the woman turns out to be the Princess, though she is the top Royal and is obviously in charge, of the lands Mark was sent to. Though neither of them knew it until her people cheer her.
Averted in the Bahzell series. Although the main character is technically a prince, he's way way down the list to inherit the throne and Word Of God states he won't be king. Further he's the son of a king, but the king was chosen from all the tribal chiefs of their people. It gets further complicated with many different cultures and a rash of history that leaves the king of as least one good size country using the title of baron due to the historical king being long dead and no noble above king surviving the Godamerung. So far most of the women saved in the series tend to be lower class being abused by evil royals. And the badass female warriors all have lower class backgrounds.
Averted in The Council Wars by none of the good guys having true royals. The government is a republic modeled off Rome.
Subverted in the book Summer Knight of The Dresden Files, where the Big Bad turns out to be Aurora, the effectively-princess of the usually-nicer half of the Fair Folk.
Princess Irene, the title princess of George MacDonald's The Princess and the Goblin and The Princess and Curdie.
While the princess stared bewildered, with her head just inside the door, the old lady lifted hers, and said, in a sweet, but old and rather shaky voice, which mingled very pleasantly with the continued hum of her wheel: "Come in, my dear; come in. I am glad to see you." That the princess was a real princess you might see now quite plainly; for she didn't hang on to the handle of the door, and stare without moving, as I have known some do who ought to have been princesses but were only rather vulgar little girls. She did as she was told, stepped inside the door at once, and shut it gently behind her.
Quite literal in The Phantom Tollbooth, with the Princesses of Sweet Rhyme and Pure Reason, of the Kingdom of Wisdom. They are apparently high enough in authority that their brothers King Azaz and the Mathemagician, rulers of their own respective countries, appeal to them when there's a dispute... and once they're banished, Wisdom goes to Hell in a handbasket. It's only after they're rescued in The Quest that the Kingdom becomes sane again... everything is, in fact, better with them in charge.
Averted when the two Pevensie girls, Susan and Lucy, become Queens of Narnia in the first book, bypassing Princess altogether.
We get two quasi-princesses in The Horse And His Boy. Aravis and Lasaraleen are daughters of high ranking officials in Calormen, so they're not technically princesses (their title is "Tarkheena" - female equivalent to "Tarkhan") though Lasaraleen indeed acts like a stereotypical princess. Aravis eventually marries the heir to the throne of Archenland, making her a princess in the classic sense and presumably eventually a Queen.
In Four Kids, Three Cats, Two Cows, One Witch (maybe) when the children are telling their individual stories, both Gerard and Beverley add princesses into theirs. Gerard admits his would work without a princess and says she could just be an heiress or some woman of property. Beverley's story serves to subvert Standard Hero Reward so including a princess was definitely intentional with her.
Definitely The Faerie Path series by Frewin Jones, where seven main characters are princesses.
Another aversion comes from Mary deMorgan's ''The Necklace of Princess Fioremonde" about an evil princess who traps her suitors' spirits in the beads of her necklace.
The first member of the Manticorian Royal Family adopted by a treecat was Princess Adrienne, later Queen Adrienne I of Manticore.
Princess Ruth (the stepdaughter of Queen Elizabeth III's brother Prince Michael) was the first member of the Royal Family to become a spy.
Lieutenant Abigail Hearns of the Grayson Space Navy is, in all practical terms, a princess, although her actual title as the daughter of a Steadholder is the far less assuming Miss Owens.
The book The Shadow of Saganami centers on a ship whose officers included Miss Owens and Midshipman Helen Zilwicki, the stepsister of Queen Berry of Torch (Helen's dad adopted Berry before she was royalty). Their captain observes with a bit of humor that they appear to have a surplus of princesses embarked on this mission.
Averted in the Safehold series by David Weber. The lead female character is beautiful, headstrong, and most importantly, spunky, but she's an actual queen.
There has been a recent trend in religious books geared towards young girls (toddlers to teens) to remind them that they're "God's Special Princess!" Boys are not told they are princes. They are "God's Mighty Warrior!" Make of that what you will.
Cheerfully played with in the novel The Ordinary Princess. The title character is the youngest child of a king and queen whose daughters are all named for jewels; she is Amethyst. When her fairy godmother gives her the gift of being ordinary, she becomes perfectly plain-looking and prefers to go by the name of Amy.
In Cry of the Icemark, Thirrin starts as a princess, interestingly, we first encounter her out hunting. She does go on to be a warrior queen so your mileage may vary.
The warlord Manzai from Chorus Skating evidently believed this in-universe, as he collected princesses abducted from neighboring countries. The party that freed his collectibles found this trope subverted when their five rescued charges prove to be quite a handfull.
Presumably in a parody of the many stories featuring a princess as a Damsel in Distress kidnapped by some sort of monster, the Mediochre Q Seth Series mentions that dragons like to collect beautiful virgin princesses, along with gold and shiny things. Of course, nowadays most monarchies have long-since disbanded, but it appears that no-one has told the dragons this: the dragon Deep Ocean in the first book has a kidnapped French girl with no idea that she's technically the first in line to some non-existent throne somewhere.
In Seanan McGuire's Velveteen Vs series, the Princess derives her superpowers from the collective notion of "princess" as held by the little girls of the world.
Tara Duncanexaggerate this trope with all female proeminent characters being princesses more or less officially; Tara is an heiress of the imperial category (along with her long-lost sister)while her friends Sparrow and Fafnir are respectively non-heiress princess and The Chief's Daughter. The female dragon Charm is later revealed being a princess too.
The Apprentice Rogue: Deconstructed. This story shows what a real life princess could expect; cloistered to preserve her chasity and then married off for political alliance without her input.
Power Rangers Wild Force has Princess Shayla as their mentor. No particular plot-relevant reason for her to be a princess.
Inverted in Tin Man: True, DG is a princess and the best hope of the resistance, but it's also all her fault that there's a need for a resistance in the first place! She also seems to conspicuously lack the floofy dress and tiara. She never wanted to be a princess or even dreamed that she was. She takes after great-grandma Dorothy, who was quite the Action Girl!
Xena is a princess in honourary title only. Revealed in a flashback, Xena's mentor says that Xena will be her "warrior princess" fighting for love, peace, and all that jazz — thus explaining away the show's title.
Gabrielle, her sidekick, is an Amazon princess, sorta. She gets to be an actual Amazon princess by the Queen of the Greek Amazons' younger sister and heir transferring her right of caste (a.k.a. princess-hood) to her before dying; she then gets to be Queen further on.
Kings is good for this. In a court filled with adulterers, corruption, misdirection and all manner of levels of deceit, only Princess Michelle cares about the health care of the people and is willing to sacrifice. Unfortunately for her, Good Is Dumb.
Delenn in Babylon 5 is a Satai and a descendant of Valen, and just acts like a princess.
Played straight in Merlin with Princess Elena, who herself is a Deconstruction of a Tomboy Princess but is nevertheless called a "princess" despite her father only carrying the title of "lord." It's played even straighter with Princess Mithian, though she's a case of Princesses Rule. Otherwise averted throughout the rest of the series. High-born ladies such as Morgana and Vivian are referred to as "ladies", despite them being the daughters of kings though in Morgana's case, her paternity was kept a secret, and Guinevere is a servant girl who jumps straight to the title of Queen when she marries Arthur.
In Diplomatic Immunity, Leighton's love interest Leilani is daughter to the brother of the king which technically makes her a princess. Leighton must have a thing for princesses because before the show's beginning he had a public indiscretion with one. And in another episode Leighton gets persuaded to join the Aru Tiki order upon hearing that tradition says he would get his pick of beautiful island princesses.
The whole premise of Princess Returning Pearl revolve around the adventures of the fake princess Xiao Yan Zi (who even becomes a real princess when she gets married to the Prince Charming) and the real princess Zi Wei.
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"
Aida features one secret princess as the slave of another princess.
Princess Winifred the Woebegone from Once Upon a Mattress (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 one little pea can ruin her evening.
Disney believe 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.
Barbie plays a princess in some of her movies. Plus some of the dolls are named as though she is a princess, like the "Winter Princess" line.
Ever After High 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 Rags to Riches narrative and the 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).
It gets especially bad in The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, in which Zelda is the actual, absolute ruler of Hyrule — when the evil overlord invades, he goes to her to get the surrender! Yet Zelda still holds the title "Princess". This goes double, because the titular Twilight Princess is also apparently the absolute albeit recently deposed ruler of the Twilight Realm.
Of interest is the fact that Midna was apparently elected by the people to serve as the Princess, instead of Zant. A democratic monarchy. That may just be the first time that particular situation has come up in a video game. Note that while "Princess" is not the correct title for the female ruler of a kingdom, it is correct for the female ruler of a principality. Since Hyrule is always called a kingdom, the problem still applies.
Something similar applies to The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks: Zelda is not the queen, because she's just a child yet and therefore actually only second-in-command to her Minister, Cole. It's unclear if she became Queen by the end of the game or if a new Minister was named, due to the original one being killed in the final battle, along with Malladus.
In The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker, she's the only known surviver of the royal line, although her ancient ancestor, the antediluvian King of Hyrule, is still alive. Not that this makes much difference, since when he dies and leaves her the throne, he takes all of Hyrule with him!
An aversion actually occurs with Zelda's The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword (which is currently the very first game in the series on a chronological sense) incarnation, who is not a princess or royalty, but still an important figure in the story. Makes sense, seeing as the Kingdom of Hyrule doesn't exist yet.
Taken to extremes with Princess Shine in Super Robot Wars. She's not only a ruling princess of the nation of Riksent, but the rest of the world is one nation! It's handwaved by saying that Riksent is a special area, but why don't we see any other leaders except for the President of the Federation?
Disgaea gives us demon princess Rozalin in the second game and human princess Sapphire Rhodonite in the third. Of course, Rhodonite has a (notunfounded) reputation as an unflinching berserker while Rozalin has a bloody history as Xenon, the "God of All Overlords".
Final Fantasy IV has King Giott of the Dwarves and his daughter, Princess Luca (and her terrifying doll collection).
Final Fantasy V has three: Lenna, Krile, and Faris, who is Lenna's long lost older sister. By about the halfway point of the game, they constitute three quarters of the playable characters, making Final Fantasy V probably the most princess-heavy installment of the series.
In Final Fantasy VIII, Rinoa leads La Résistance, and the others refer to her as a "princess." She's later revealed to be the daughter of a high-ranking member of the occupying country's government.
Final Fantasy IX has Garnet/Dagger, who has a Heroic BSOD around the same time she's crowned queen. Also add that to the fact that she's revealed she wasn't born into the royal family. She washed up in Alexandria and happened to look a bit like the deceased princess.
There's an in-universe example. The popular play "I Want To Be Your Canary" features only one female character. She is of course a princess.
Final Fantasy XII's Princess Ashe is a Deconstruction. She's the leader of La Résistance, all right, but can hardly be said to have it easy. She's stuck in a surprisingly realistic depiction of the burdens of a real leader, and is the one who has to make all the hard choices.
Final Fantasy Tactics also heavily deconstructs this trope with Princess Ovelia, who, in addition to not actually being the real Ovelia, spends much of the game being kidnapped, narrowly avoiding assassination, and being used as a political tool by pretty much every major power in Ivalice. And things only gets worse in the ending. It's safe to say that Ovelia's life as a princess is a thoroughly miserable one.
Subverted in The Witcher. Princess Adda is evil, power hungry, and spoiled. She tries to kill her father and usurp his throne, murder the hero to cover it up and at the end of the day she gets away with it all because of her social standing. She also started her life as a stillborn infant that was turned into a flesh eating monster and still has some leftover personality traits from that time including a taste for raw meat and an aggressive sexual appetite.
As mentioned before, Kingdom Hearts have the "Princesses of Hearts", Snow White, Cinderella, Aurora, Belle, Jasmine, Alice and Kairi, six young women who have a heart of pure light. Despite the use of the word "princess" being royalty is not a qualification. Later games in the series explain that they're called princesses because their power can be harnessed to "reign over all worlds".
Both averted and played straight in the Fire Emblem series. Put briefly, the series loves its royalty, especially princes and princesses who actually do something.
Fire Emblem 8 has three princesses. One of the main characters, Eirika, is a Lady of War Princess and swordwoman from Renais. Her best friend, the Pegasus Knight Tana, is the princess of Frelia. And another friend of hers, L'Arachel, is the princess of Rausten.
Elincia is only a princess in Fire Emblem 9; in Fire Emblem 10, she's The Woman Wearing the Queenly Mask, and is crowned at the end of the game. She's surprisingly competent at it given her mostly passive role in Path of Radiance. Sanaki, on the other hand, is both the legitimate empress and the false apostle of Begnion.
Fire Emblem 1 features a veritable cavalcade of Princesses working in Marth's army, including his sister Elice, the princesses of Macedonia Minerva and Maria, the princess of the Divine Dragons Tiki, and Caeda, Princess of Talys. The third game subverts this with Princess Nyna, while its side game, Gaiden, gives us Celica, who turns out to be the long-lost princess of Zofia.
Awakening once again gives us a slew of princesses; there's Emmeryn and Lissa, who are Chrom's older and younger sisters, respectively, and there is is his future daughter, Lucina. If he marries Sumia or Sully, their daughters, Cynthia and Kjelle, will also be princesses. Finally, the Big Bad Validar becomes the king of the Theocracy of Plegia during the game, so this would technically mean that the Avatar, if female, would be a princess as well. Finally, we get Say'ri, the sword-wielding princess of Chon'sin.
Ogre Battle takes this trope literally: a Princess is one of the (if not the absolute) best soldiers in the game, mostly for the fact that every soldier in a unit led by a Princess gets an extra attack. The Princess herself has a powerful, hit everyone, white magic attack, which is also subject to getting an extra by the previous ability.
Princess Kumatora in Mother 3. Both straight and subverted - the only reason she's a "princess" is because some people decided that everything's better with them.
The Princess is a class in the Sega RPG 7th Dragon. It appears to be exactly equivalent to the bard-type class in similar games, supporting the other units in the party.
Compiling a list of all the princesses in the Suikoden series would take some time, and comparing them would take fair longer. Consider, though, Lady of WarChrodechild; the young, innocent, and feistyLymselia; and the archer Flare, who stands directly between those extremes in terms of personality (and combat efficacy).
The Touhou series, having an Improbably Female Cast, naturally includes a number of princesses, including Yuyuko (princess of the spirit world), Kaguya (former princess of the moon), and the Watatsuki sisters (current princesses of the moon). A couple of other characters may also qualify: fanon has it that Alice may well be the daughter of the Queen (Well, goddess, but whatever) of the Underworld, for instance. However, only the Watatsuki sisters really behave in anything even remotely resembling a princessly manner; Kaguya, despite being a gracious hostess, is more of a sheltered Ojou, and Yuyuko... well, depending on who you ask, she's either The Ditz or one Magnificent Bastard. From the long-forgottenPC-98 era is Kotohime, but she thinks she's a cop.
There's Princess Olivia Von Roselia in Battle Fantasia, who is very much what you would expect out of a princess, kind-hearted and putting her kingdom above all else! Although she does cross the Rebellious Princess line a few times, as she does leave the castle, without her father's permission in order to solve the mystery of a bad omen, as well as consistently denying to return to the castle after being asked by one of her father's best friends, the Bunny Wizard, Watson. Also, considering it's a fighting game, she doesn't seem to mind solving some disputes with violence, despite her kind personality, and she does it well too.
There's also Estelle from Tales of Vesperia, who meets Yuri and follows him on an adventure in order to warn Flynn about danger. Oh, and also to discover a world outside of the royal palace.
Need an excuse for over-the-top bloody cartoon violence? Rescue the Fat Princess.
Valkyria Chronicles has Princess Cordelia, a figurehead ruler who has passed off responsibility for her nation to the regent Evil Chancellor. Her parents, strangely enough, were an Archduke and Duchess: both positions outrank a princess (and, somehow, the Duchess isn't an Archduchess, so their marriage must've been morganatic). Furthermore, Gallia maintains a Royal Guard, which should only apply in a kingdom, not a principality.
The third Etrian Odyssey game has Princesses as one of the playable classes. While Princes exist, Japanese preview media focuses on the Princess as the "default" of that class, featuring her prominently in most advertisements and throwing in her male counterpart almost as an afterthought.
Hildegard "Hilde" Von Krone of the Soul Series. Her main outfit consists of a full suit of armor rather than anything vaguely Princess like (though her alternate outfit is a dress, but it's Notpink) and duel wields a spear and sword in battle. She's not actually stated to be a princess directly however, rather she's said to be the Daughter of the King of Wolfkrone, who has been driven mad by the Evil Seed, and has since been leading the kingdom in his stead. Her alternate outfit pieces are listed as "Princess ___" however hinting this is her title even if she is acting ruler.
Infinite Space has Princess Glorinda and Katida. Glorinda borders on Lady of War given her capabilities as a fleet admiral, and having her as a crew member will increase the damage done by your fighters. Katida, on the other hand, is a more classic example of this trope, most notably for filling the role of Distressed Damsel and has shades of Royal Brat. She can ultimately subvert this trope if you don't recruit her, which gives FAR worse impact for the storyline.
Princess Yggdra from Yggdra Union is an interesting example. Her parents the king and queen were recently killed in the invasion of her country, and as she's on the run, she doesn't have anyone to coronate her properly. Until midway through the game, where she does become queen. And the accompanying class change makes her much more kickass.
Feena Fam Earthlight from Yoake Mae Yori Ruri Iro Na is a princess, despite the fact that matriarchal monarchy seems to be an unlikely government type for a country that was founded by humans who had colonized the moon. Royal politics do come into play later in the story, however.
Jables's Adventure features what we can only assume is a parody of the standard "rescue the princess" plot. Specifically, the princess isn't even mentioned until the game is almost over. Then, after you defeat the final boss, said princess shows up out of nowhere.
Jables: If we've found a jet pack, then we're probably nearing the end of the game. Squiddy: Oh, I guess you're right. Jables: Yeah. Squiddy: On the bright side, you'll get to meet the princess soon. Jables: I didn't know there was a princess. Squiddy: Neither did I...
There's Catiua in Tactics Ogre. Not only is Princess one of the best classes in the game, she gets three unique classes, more than any other character.
Hyper Princess Pitch stars a princess, who's also a demigod apparently. Rather then concern herself with affairs of state, her only goal in life seems to be bringing an end to christmas and causing gratuitous explosions.
Twin princesses Teri and Tina in Snow Brothers, whose kisses cause the snow to melt from the heroes.
Invoked as part of the game's Fairytale Motif in Rule of Rose, as the ruling rank in the Red Crayon Aristocrats is the Princess of the Red Rose, who is supposed to fulfill all the stereotypical princess-tropes. Since the Aristocrats are a Deadly Decadent Court consisting solely of young girls, she doesn't quite hold up to them, even if she wasn't an inanimate china doll or appeared to be one, in any case. There's also the game's insistence of calling every single female character save for the protagonist a Princess in the narration.
Dark Souls has not one, not two, but three different princesses. Rhea of Thorolund is the princess of The Theocracy. Dusk of Oolacile is the Last of Her Kind after her kingdom was destroyed an untold number of years ago. Princess Gwynevere is the daughter of Gwyn, the Lord of Sunlight and ruler of the world.
Phantasy Star III has a lineage system, where each chapter ends with the option for the hero to marry one of two potential brides, and the next chapter centers on their offspring. The final chapter includes a character named Kara, who is one of the few female characters to join the party without actually being a princess, but because there are two potential versions of her depending on the player's marriage choices, the delicate, more-feminine one with healing techniques is still referred to as "Princess Kara" by the fanbase.
The original Phantasy Star actually has Alis Landale, who spends the game traipsing around the world in a pink dress with her adorable Musk Cat friend, and doesn't find out she's actually the rightful princess of Algol.. and then immediately subverts it, because her father's been dead for ages, rightfully and explicitly making her a queen (if she wants the throne, anyway).
Eternal Sonata has Princess Serenade, who is said to be a princess of Forte, even though the region is ruled by a count.
Princess Satera from Shining Wisdom. Not only does she get kidnapped she also gets turned into a swan!
The title character of Tsukihime (literally "Moon Princess"), Arcueid Brunstud, is the princess of the True Ancestorvampires. 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...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 (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.
"Boy that sounded stupid when I said it out loud!"
In Drowtales, maybe 1/3 of the cast is either the daughter, grandaughter, adopted daughter, etc., of an Ilharess; plus there is Vaelia, advertised as "An Emberi Princess", and "Queen Liriel Blueberry the Third". Partial aversion as well: only a handful (if that) have personalities that fit this trope.
In No Rest for the Wicked, November really is a princess (specifically, the princess from The Princess and the Pea); unfortunately, no-one believes her, because traveling through the woods on her quest has made her look too ragged. (She can tell who really has royal blood and who doesn't, but that doesn't seem to be a common ability.) She subverts this trope at times and also plays it straight.
Feferi Peixes is never referred to explicitly as a princess in the comic, but considering that she's next in line to become empress of the galaxy-spanning Alternian Empire, wears a tiara at all times and lives in a giant undersea palace, she belongs on this list.
In addition to this, every player of SBURB is a prince or a princess of Derse or Prospit, the kingdoms of light and darkness warring in the game. That makes Feferi, accordingly a princess of Derse, a double princess.
The Erlking's Daughter (yes, this is her actual tilte, her name is Aisling) in Roommates is a literal fairy princess, who is quite badass and magical... and uses her powers mostly for the noble cause of shipping the cast.
Justified in Decades of Darkness, since the first part is in the time when royal marriages were real diplomacy.
In the cartoon, there is a rather goofy king, making Zelda's title fitting.
Furthermore, the fairy Sprite wasn't just any fairy, but proved to be the daughter of the fairy king Oberon. Yes, that Oberon.
In the Fosters Home For Imaginary Friends special, Destination Imagination, Frankie is referred to as Princess Frankie throughout a majority of the plot by her new imaginary friend, World, who even treats her as such by giving Frankie her own castle made entirely of chocolate and giving her a ball gown and a collection of tiaras. She even acts as the Distressed Damsel of the story.
Stella is the princess of Solaria. Aisha is the princess of Andros. Galatea is the princess of Melody. Crystal is the princess of Linphea. Amentia is the princess of Downland. Tressa is the princess of the mermaids of Andros.
Bloom is revealed to be the princess of Domino at the end of season 1.
Musa is not a princess, but 4kids called her one, so when her not being a princess became important her dad was stated to be a former prince.
Flora is not a princess, despite her saying she is the princess of Linphea in Magical Adventure.
Tecna is a princess in the comics, but her status as a princess in the show has not been confirmed one way or the other.
Subverted with princess Diaspro of Eraklyon, who is a major Jerkass and occasionally evil.
Subverted with Chimera, who almost became princess of Solaria, but she joined up with Valtor and eventually lost her status.
Roxy is revealed to be Queen Morgana's daughter, and thus is the princess of Earth. When Morgana abdicates the throne, she gives it to Nebula because Roxy is too young.
Elyon in W.I.T.C.H. is revealed as a princess fairly early on. She hung a lampshade on it in during the Nerissa arc when, after mediating an endless series of boundary disputes, she remarked that she was getting the "queen" part of being a princess, but missing out on the "princess" part (the Prince Charming, the moonlight balls, etc.).
Kim Possible may have harbored some subversives within Disney: the mocking way in which Shego would insult Kim by calling her "Princess" might be a dig at the entire phenomenon. Of course, Shego probably would know what being a princess is like... *cough*Nicole Sullivan*cough*
In her first appearance, it was unclear what Princess Cadence was Princess of (considering that she had worked as Twilight Sparkle's babysitter in the past, clearly royal duties were not her first priority). S3E01 indicates she is the ruler of the Crystal Empire (which had been phased out of existance for about a thousand years due to a curse). Her special ability is to induce and rekindle love in ponies.
And the newest princess is none other then Twilight Sparkle, the main protagonist. Given that her ability is Magic, she now possibly doubles as The Archmage of Equestria.
As an additional note, when we say "ran with it", we mean that almost every single person with the official title of "Princess" not only fits the definition of "Queen", but could more accurately be called "Physical Goddesswho prefers to be called Princess".
Subverted consistently: Katara's father Hakoda is a tribal chieftain, but not nobility. Azula is a princess, but evil and very active. Toph is from a noble family, though she dislikes it and is a better fit for the The Big Girl.
Played straight with Princess Yue; she's sweet and pretty and pale-haired, with magical moon princess powers; the only thing keeping her life from being perfect is that she's betrothed to a nobleman she doesn't love and that she dies to sacrifice herself to save the moon spirit.
Princess Candy in Dave the Barbarian is a Deconstruction of the trope Played for Laughs. She doesn't much want to be ruler, she'd much rather just be a normal eighteen-year-old girl. Normal eighteen-year-old girls hang out with their friends and worry if their outfit will impress boys. Princesses who have been left in charge while their parents fight evil have to rule the country, which is far more time-consuming than most people are inclined to believe and involves an obscene amount of paperwork. It actually gets to the point where she gets so fed up with being robbed of the years of her life where her responsibilities are minimal that she actually abdicates to Dave temporarily so she can just go do stuff.
Princess Gwenevere/Starla of Princess Gwenevere and the Jewel Riders (known as Starla and the Jewel Riders outside the US). Gwenevere and her Archenemy/aunt Kale are both princesses. However, Kale is an evil sorceress who wants to rule New Avalon. Gwen and her crew have to stand between Kale and that ambition.
Even Danny Phantom has one in the form of Princess Dorathea, who has the ability to turn into a dragon via a pendent. Her life isn't as glamorous as she looks though: she has an abusive brother whom she's stuck doing various slave labor-inducing tasks for.... That is, until her brother kidnaps Sam, who introduces feminism to the kingdom.
Two of the Dora the Explorer specials invoke this: "Dora's Fairytale Adventure" has her journey to become a princess to wake up her Sidekick Boots from an enchanted sleep, and "Dora Saves the Snow Princess" is not only Exactly What It Says on the Tin, but has her become the new Snow Princess at the end.
Aelita from Code Lyoko is nicknamed "Princess" by her friends since early on in Season 1. She has Reality Warper powers on Lyoko, and the unique ability to deactivate the Towers. At the end of Season 2, we learn that she is actually the daughter of the creator of Lyoko... making her indeed the Princess of this virtual world.
Princess Natasha Student Secret Agent Princess, a flash animation series developed for AOL Kids.
She Ra Princess Of Power: Technically, Adora is a princess (Prince Adam/He-Man's twin sister) but the show doesn't play up that aspect of her character (namely because she's the princess of a kingdom on a different planet than the one the show takes place on). Fortunately, Glimmer's around to take up the princessly slack.
One would think this would fit with Professor Princess of Transformers Animated, a cute child-like supervillain obsessed with destroying violent toys. However, according to supplementary materials she didn't take the title because she wanted to sound cute — Professor Princess is her real name. (Well, part of it. Her first name is Penny.)
The 2009 Strawberry Shortcake revamp reintroduces the Berrykins, who are ruled by Princess Berrykin (not to be mistaken for the Berry Princess, who took care of the Berrykins, from the 1985 special).
Averted with Princess Mandie (the second syllable pronounced "die") in The Fairly OddParents, who is completely Ax-Crazy. Played straight in an early episode with Princess Protazoa, a singular cell princess, though it wasn't clear what she was princess of.
Like the Archie comic, the Princess Sally of Sonic Sat AM hasn't changed her title because her kingdom was taken from her by Robotnik. However, in the pilot episode, Sally states her title is meaningless out in the Great Forest, something mimicked by a robot duplicate in the regular show. This suggests that she can take the title of Queen, but chooses not to since she doesn't see the point.
Angelica of Rugrats frequently desires to be a princess as it is one of her father's pet names for her. One episode has her mistakenly think she actually is one thanks to some bad eavesdropping. She plans to move away to live with her "royal" parents but decides to stay at home instead because she can't imagine life without her actual parents.
In "Visitors From Outer Space" she goes a step further as one alien offers to make her a Queen of a whole planet.
Sofia The First: Not only Sofia herself but also her stepsister and several other princesses who appear in the series.
Cartman: Don't ask why Kenny wanted to be a chick, it's just how he seems to be rolling right now.
Though she is technically a chief or queen, Boudicca is referred to as a Warrior Princess.
Prinsesstĺrta (PRIN-sess-TOHR-tuh), otherwise known as Swedish Princess Cake, was originally called Grön Tĺrta (Green Cake) when it appeared in Prinsessornas Kokboks in 1948. It is said that the three young princesses loved the cake so much it was named after them.