'For it is said in old lore: "The hands of the king are the hands of a healer." And so the rightful king could ever be known.'In many works featuring royalty, the king (or queen) has the power to heal the sick, whether as part of their duties to their people or as confirmation of their divine right to rule, based on the supposed ability of French kings to do this in Real Life. A common form of this is Healing Hands. May overlap with Priest King. This can also overlap with Combat Medic when you have a Warrior Prince, Badass Princess, etc. A Sub-Trope of Royals Who Actually Do Something and Royalty Super Power. Compare Benevolent Mage Ruler and Fisher King, which has something of the effect on a grand scale.
— Ioreth, The Lord of the Rings, Book V Chapter 8 "The Houses of Healing"
ExamplesAnime and Manga
- In Kyo Kara Maoh!, Wolfram is able to heal an entire hospital full of sick and injured patients with his Bishie Sparkle.
- The Lord of the Rings. Aragorn is accepted as king of Gondor when he uses his medical knowledge (presumably from both being a Ranger and spending his early years in Rivendell) after the battle of Minas Tirith.
- A Study in Emerald. Queen Victoria is able to ease the narrator's constant pain from a wound he received from an Eldritch Abomination in Afghanistan. Of course, in this verse, Victoria is herself an Eldritch Abomination, one of those who emerged from the sea, triumphed over mankind, and ruled over it for thousands of years.
- Parodied in Guards! Guards!: when a group of royalists start claiming the King will right all wrongs, Vimes demands to know what wrongs the people of Ankh-Morpork are suffering. Someone comes up with "premature baldness", and another instantly replies "Ah, kings can cure that, you know."
- Similarly in Lords and Ladies, Nanny Ogg says kings are a bit magical because they can cure dandruff.
- The Bible: Jesus and some of his disciples have the ability to heal people, taken by others as a sign of either divine authority or demonic influence.
- In Warrior Cats, the leader of the Tribe of Rushing Water is called the Tribe-Healer (or just Healer). They serve as leader, spiritual leader, and medic for the Tribe.
- Played for laughs in Mikhail Uspensky's novel White Horseradish on a Field of Hemp. In this world, all kings choose what disease they will be able to heal: diarrhea or scrofula (derived from the Russian proverb "If it's not diarrhea, it's scrofula", meaning "Something bad just has to happen"). Every king chooses scrofula, because it's less widespread, less messy and stinky.
- Warhammer 40,000. The God Emperor of Mankind's throne is a holy place, and as such pilgrims hoping for healing come to Terra by the millions, most of them dying of what ailed them or just plain old age while still waiting in line.
- In William Shakespeare's Macbeth, King Edward does not appear on stage, but Malcolm, having taken refuge in England, comments on how he's touching for the King's Evil.
- The protagonists of Dragon Quest V and Dragon Quest VI learn several healing spells before they learn of their royal status.
- Chrono Trigger. Marle the Rebellious Princess is the party's first healer, but before long she's outclassed.
- Warcraft III. Arthas Menethil, crown prince of Lordaeron, starts the game as a paladin with a strong healing spell at his disposal. Even after his Face–Heel Turn to Death Knight, he still has a healing spell (though it now heals undead and hurts the living).
- In most of the Ultima games, Lord British will heal the Avatar.
- The Princes/Princesses in Etrian Odyssey III: The Drowned City have skills that can heal as well as increase stats. You can also subclass a Monk (and vice-versa) for them to have more direct healing skills.
- Estelle, the resident White Magician Girl of Tales of Vesperia, is also a princess and one of two main candidates for the imperial throne. And unlike other medics in this setting, she doesn't need Blastia to heal people. Her powers are due to her status as a Child of the Full Moon, which runs faintly in the royal line. Estelle is the only member in recent history with powers strong enough to actually use, and it brings a LOT of trouble her way.
- She-Ra: Princess of Power has healing abilities.
- Double Subverted in the animated adaptation of The Little Drummer Boy. The titular boy's lamb has died, and he brings it to the Three Wise Kings visiting Bethlehem, begging for them to heal it. The kings respond that they're only human and can't do anything to help, but luckily they're visiting THE king who's just been born and has the divine power to resurrect his lamb.
- Ur-Example: The kings of France were said to be able to heal the sick (originally sufferers of scrofula, but sometimes other diseases as well) via Healing Hands followed by the sign of the cross. The practice ceased in the 18th century.
- Kings of England also claimed this. Samuel Johnson was touched for the King's Evil, or scrofula, by Queen Anne. It didn't work.
- Technically, the powers claimed by the King of England are those of the King of France. Kings of England claimed the title of the King of France until The French Revolution, shortly before the French did away with their king.
- Queen Elizabeth I gained a lot of brownie points with her people for doing this. She was particularly praised for "pressing the sores of the sick, boldly and without disgust". Elizabeth wasn't just going through the motions as a public relations stunt either. She would pray for hours before a session to prepare herself spiritually and if she didn't feel inspired she would cancel the session.
- Considering that she was a survivor of smallpox and had the scars to prove it, it's not that surprising.
- King William III also did this, although he was massively skeptical. The procedure in his time involved the King saying "God grant you good health." William amended this to "God grant you good health—and better sense." (William was of course Dutch and a Presbyterian Reformed Protestant, skeptical of this sort of ceremony; a few decades later, George I, a German Lutheran Protestant, banned the practice outright for being "too Catholic.")