Royals Who Actually Do Something
"'God Save the King'? Nah, he got this."
He's a pretty good old boy. First prince I ever seen that tries to do what a prince is supposed to do. Croaker:
Rarer than frog hair, then. I'm sure.
Due to the Ermine Cape Effect
, Everything's Better with Princesses
, and other such tropes, there is a belief that being royalty means doing almost nothing else but, well, being royalty. Aside from all the pomp, ceremony, galas, balls
, and the occasional dealing with actual government of the country, royalty just doesn't do anything else with their time.
This has some Truth in Television
, such as the court at Versailles or the Forbidden City in China, but not uniformly so. Just as often as not, royalty would actually do something worthwhile with their time. For centuries from prehistoric Mesopotamia through to the Middle Ages, kings were expected to be strong warriors to defend their holdings and inspire the men around them; in fact, "strong man who can lead the other men of the village in fighting off enemies" was probably the original meaning of kingship. Three examples are Alexander The Great, Charlemagne, and Genghis Khan, kings who gained and kept their power through their skills as generals and warriors and, in the case of the latter two, administrators. note
This convention also led to the establishment of the feudal system. It was actually a deal between the king, nobles, and serfs (though for the serfs it was usually an offer they couldn't refuse
). The serfs would work on the land owned by their lords, and the lords would train to be warriors (aka, knights), who would defend the kingdom against invaders, like the Vikings
Either way, being royalty does not necessarily mean a life of leisure or boredom
(depending on how you view it). And fiction occasionally nods to this
Note that this trope means that the person is still acting as royalty, just doing other things. So a Rebellious Princess
does not count, since she is getting away from that kind of life. King Incognito may
count, if the king is attempting to learn things to influence how he reigns; to do it for fun, even if it proves educational, does not count.
It should also be noted that much of the "activities" done by royalty (charity events, sport, arts, etc.) are enabled by their being part of the idle rich, instead of having to work for a living. Also, especially in the case of charity events and good causes, this is often a calculated public relations maneuver, which is not to say that it makes the activities any less of a good impact, there are simply multiple reasons for said activities.
The French have a phrase for this
: Noblesse Oblige
. It means that the nobility should fulfill the responsibilities of their position.
See also In Its Hour of Need
Compare Warrior Prince
, Politically-Active Princess
, Modest Royalty
, Authority Equals Asskicking
, Non-Idle Rich
, President Action
. Especially prone to What's Up, King Dude?
Contrast Idle Rich
, The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything
, Authority in Name Only
, Orcus on His Throne
, Adipose Rex
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Anime & Manga
- In Code Geass:
- The Emperor strongly encourages his children to take up positions of influence (and fly around in a Humongous Mecha). The Social Darwinist philosophy and all that. However, the Emperor himself rarely takes an active role in running Brittania, considering war and diplomacy to be "mundane affairs" unworthy of his attention. He's a little too busy trying to kill God to worry about that sorta stuff.
- Euphemia's position as sub-viceroy of Area 11 was supposed to merely be a figurehead to attend to public functions while her sister ran the country (or rather, try to destroy the resistance movements), but she spent most of her time trying to improve things for the oppressed people of Japan, to the point of exceeding the technical limits of her power.
- Emperor Lelouch more than exceeds this, he flies head-on into a nuke!
- Crest of the Stars: noble Abh in general are required to serve in the military, and members of the royal families are expected to be extra awesome. The one who gets to be Commander-in-Chief of the Star Forces becomes the Crown Prince and next Emperor
- Akira Takizawa in Eden of the East spends the last of his money as a Seleção to make himself the King of Japan, in order to try and "fix" the country and finish his work as a Savior. He ends up undoing this at the end of the movies, realizing that it's up to the people as a whole to fix their country, not any one man. He instead uses the last of his influence to give them a push in the right direction.
- Mystogan, in Fairy Tail is apparently a prince. While that one came out of nowhere he's done a heck of a lot more than he usually gets credit for.
- Also Princess Hisui E. Fiore, who is the true mastermind behind the Eclipse Project which aims to save Fiore from a dragon apocalypse. Unfortunately, she's an Unwitting Pawn as the Eclipse Project is actually what causes said apocalypse.
- Her father, King Toma J. Fiore, is this to a much lesser extent. He's the Pumpkin referee of the Grand Magic games, but he does help out with the Eclipse project by talking to the crowds once he knows about it.
- Raoh, the "Fist King" in Fist of the North Star not only rides with his men into battle but is the best fighter around. By contrast, the Big Bad Thouzer/Souther/Thouza rarely fights unless he is forced to do so, instead leaving things to his army of mooks.
- Ling Yao and May Chang from Fullmetal Alchemist, the 12th Prince and 17th Princess of Xing respectively. Due to the Succession Crisis occurring in their country, their roles in the story are triggered by their active search for a means to gain favor in inheriting the throne. Both are highly skilled in martial arts, and May is also capable of using the alternate form of Alchemy called Alkahestry. Also, throughout the story Ling would frequently tout his belief that kings exist to serve their people. Which he intends to uphold, considering that once he secures his place as successor the first thing he promises to do as Emperor is quell the warring between the clans of his country.
- In Fushigi Yuugi, the emperor Hotohori accompanies Miaka on her quest to find the other Suzaku warriors, and is handy in combat against zombies, bandits, and the occasional possessed comrade. He is also the person who convinces Miaka she is the priestess who will save his kingdom.
- Something of a trend in Gundam. If royalty/nobility shows up in the story (and they often do), you can generally be sure they are not idle.
- Mobile Suit Gundam: While Sovereign Degwin Zabi doesn't do much beyond sit on his throne and look depressed, his children are very involved in the running of the One Year War. "Well Done, Son!" Guy Garma leads a large chunk of the Earth Invasion Force (and in fact dies in battle fullfilling his duties), Genius Bruiser Dozle and Evil Genius Kycillia are both highly respected fleet commanders (and again, Dozle dies in battle, in his case covering the retreat of his forces), and Non-Action Guy Gihren organises the war effort, plots overall strategy, and keeps up troop morale via Rousing Speech. Even Mineva Zabi, Dozle's daughter and heiress of Zeon, is quite active throughout Gundam Unicorn, though technically by this point her family had lost most of the power it once had, so her title was mostly empty.
- Shakti Kareen, Princess of Zanscare, of Victory Gundam, who spends the story aiding the resistance and generally trying to overthrow the corrupt and malevolent government of Zanscare.
- Turn A Gundam: Dianna Soriel, Queen of the Moon. She personally leads the Moonrace returning to Earth, and is shown to be very involved in her society's administration. She's extremely active throughout the story, often present on the front lines of battle, even helping out at a war hospital at one point (she was incognito at the time). In fact, one of the main reasons the other noble houses of the Moon agreed with her going to Earth was to get her out of the way so they could rule more directly.
- There is also Relena Peacecraft, princess of the Sanc Kingdom in Mobile Suit Gundam Wing (later Queen of the World) who is a very active diplomat on the global stage.
- Mobile Suit Gundam SEED and its sequel have Cagalli Yula Athha, a princess of ORB who is far more at home on the battlefield than in government. Yuna Roma Seiran is quasi-royalty from the same nation, and commands a battle fleet from the front lines... though he's actually pretty terrible at strategy, so this isn't a good thing...
- Even Marina Ismail of Mobile Suit Gundam 00. She is shown doing everything in her power to improve her people's lot in life. Unfortunately, since she is a figurehead, that power doesn't amount to very much, but she is at least trying. After Azadistan is dissolved and subsequently rebuilt at the end of season 2, she seems to have garnered some measure of actual political power, and is shown aiding her countrymen in The Movie.
- Gundam Build Fighters gives us Reiji, who claims to be the prince of a fantasy kingdom named Arian. While the protagonist Sei dismisses this as nonsense, it seems to be completely true. Though he doesn't work in the sense of other Gundam royals, he's still very active, participating in the Gunpla Battle World Tournament and being more than willing to beat up thugs who harass innocents, especially women.
- Azalyn, the Empress of the Raaglon Empire in Irresponsible Captain Tylor, rules from the throne room of the Melva, the biggest, baddest ship in the Raaglon fleet. She's even involved in some of the strategic decision-making, and the Melva (though normally kept behind the lines) sees some main battle action.
- A good portion of Kimba's family from Kimba the White Lion fills this role.
- In Kyo Kara Maoh, Yuuri goes out and meets with people and does things, much to Wolfram's chagrin.
- [deep breath] Technically this country has no royalty other than the reigning monarch, since it's a divinely appointed rather than hereditary position, but the Twelve Families are pretty much royalty. This causes Gwendal, as ruling lord of the Voltaire line and the Only Sane Man in Yuuri's administration, to spend all his time up to his eyebrows in work and Wolfram (not in the direct line of descent, but raised as the son of the ruler) to train as a soldier and operate as a Royal Brat. Conrad is not particularly noble by this reckoning, despite his mother's status, and thus exempted.
- There are a lot of rulers in this show, actually. Flurin, ruler of Caloria, appears to actually do things. More things after she stops pretending to be her own dead husband. Antoine of Francia never did anything before kicking Dai Shimaron out of his country; insufficient data on Cabalcade's shiny-headed rulers. The king of Sho Shimaron is conspicuously absent for the first two seasons and active in a social, schemey way in the third after pleading helplessness to excuse all the trouble his subjects gave the main character previously. Running Dai Shimaron appears to consist of presiding on a throne and running schemes to conquer the world.
- Which makes you wonder what Conrad would have done with himself if circumstances actually had required that he press his claim to the Shimaron throne.
- Sankt Kaiser Olivie of Ancient Belka in Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha, who, as an Ancient Belkan queen, not only qualifies as a Warrior Prince(ss), but was also the one to unify the remnants of Ancient Belka after they destroyed themselves, and was instrumental in the forming of the Time-Space Administration Bureau.
- By technicality, Vivio, as the clone of Olivie, also qualifies, as she serves as a librarian and is receiving training to be a magical girl. She'd rather forget the royalty part and wants to follow in her adopted mother's footsteps.
- In Magi – Labyrinth of Magic, virtually anyone who's both royalty and has the capacity to own a metal vessel Does Stuff. Everything is justified by the in-series system of determining who's worthy of becoming King: being Badass enough to go into a dungeon and survive.
- The Ren family probably exemplify this the best, as not only three of the crown princes are heavily involved in the politics of the Kou empire but they along with their two sisters are also generals of the Imperial army.
- Mahou Sensei Negima! has several princesses who are actually useful:
- Theodora supported Negi's father Nagi during the war, and helped in Negi's training and match with Jack Rakan.
- Then we have Asuna, another, much older princess, who has been fighting next to Negi for quite a while. She doesn't know that she's a princess...
- And lastly, Negi himself, who is a prince by virtue of being Arika's son. Like Asuna, he wasn't initially aware of his royal lineage.
- Hanon in Mermaid Melody Pichi Pichi Pitch fights evil with everyone else, but constantly worries about her country and does whatever she can to help her people. Later, everyone in the cast takes charge of rebuilding their kingdoms as well as sending aid to that of the Rebellious Princess, whose running away would be seen as irresponsible even if it hadn't led to all it did.
- Every single Kage in every country in the world of Naruto. Prime examples are the fourth Hokage of the main character's village, who died protecting his village, and the fifth Hokage in the same village, who almost killed herself healing injured villagers on a large scale during a massive assault. The factors of being a village leader is Wisdom, Experience, a desire to protect, complimented with the ability to kick ass.
- Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind, the main character, as well as most Periphery clan leaders. Torumekian and Dorok royalty also lead from the front, especially Princess Kushana and both Emperors.
- Vivi in One Piece, the princess of the desert kingdom of Alabasta. She successfully infiltrated the evil organization that was attempting to overthrow her government, as well as take an active role in helping the Straw Hats stop Sir Crocodile from completing his plan.
- And her father, Cobra. An unknown, shadow organization is manipulating the people into a rebellion against him? He refuses to send the royal army against his own people without knowing what's happening. When Vivi sends him info on Crocodile, he immediately mobilizes the entire army to leave the capital (where the rebels are planning to meet the army in battle) and send them against Crocodile. Crocodile kidnaps him? He'd rather die, collapse the ancient burial grounds, and try to take Crocodile with him, than lead him to Pluton.
- Boa Hancock also counts, as the empress of Amazon Lily. Her Red Baron also happens to be "Snake Princess".
- And we now have the royalty of the Ryuugu kingdom. King Nepture isn't afraid to protect his subjects when the need arises, including doing an underwater version of Kamehame Hadoken to utterly defeat the New Fishmen Pirates. His deceased wife Queen Otohime stopped a thief by slapping him several times and was very active in trying to promote peace between mermen and humans while making time to be a caring mother of four, a school teacher, and a rescue worker. The three princes are all Warrior Princes and are said to be the strongest of the Nepture army, which they also lead.
- There's also Donquixote Doflamingo. He may not look like it, but he is the king of Dressrosa. Later on, this becomes extremely notable when it's revealed that he's a World Noble, who are often noted to be anything but this.
- Then subverted a bit when you find out how he gained the kingdom. It was all mostly a front to hide his operations. Played straight with the former rulers, The Riku Family, who indeed had the people's best interest at heart.
- The eponymous heroine of Princess Mononoke doesn't count, as her title is merely a nickname, but Prince Ashitaka certainly does.
- Princess Tutu: Mytho is the prince from a Story Within A Story, and he'll go out of his way to help anyone (although this only tends to cause more work for his friends). Princess Tutu and Princess Kraehe do quite a bit as well, but they don't actually have kingdoms, so their titles are purely symbolic or honorary.
- Kashue the Mercenary King in Record of Lodoss War is a very competent ruler who actually fights well.
- Although she doesn't know at the time, Usagi is a princess who fights evil.
- And she later becomes a Queen who fights evil.
- Endymion/Mamoru/Tuxedo Mask also counts, as in his first life he was prince of the Earth's most powerful kingdom and later becomes Usagi's husband and King. The other Sailor Soldiers of the solar system count too, as they were royalty of their own planets in their previous lives.
- In Saiunkoku Monogatari, Emperor Shi Ryuuki turns out to be this kind of ruler; aside from taking a keen personal interest in making sure his kingdom is not only prosperous but progressive, he's also left the palace in secret on more than one occasion to help Shuurei and other characters. He's also a skilled swordsman and has personally fought off assassins and fought alongside Seiran, Shuuei, and Ensei.
- The Secret of Twilight Gemini: Lara is the rebel leader of the Geltic gurrellas, who're fighting to reclaim their homeland from the Igo Tribe. Though she doesn't find out about her royal lineage until the night before they depart for their ancestral home, which is when The Elder finally tells her and Lupin.
- The Saillune royal family in Slayers, natch. Princess Amelia is a White Mage/Shamanistic Mage who is very willing to take on the Walking the Earth lifestyle in order to help others, which she does several times, namely sending out for medical aid for the impoverished kingdom of Taforashia in the anime. It's also been shown that she is a decent diplomat (or at least tries to be). Prince Phillionel also believes in going out in order to fight crime, and is a prime example of the Charles Atlas Superpower trope. It's implied that Amelia's Missing Mom was also a sorceress.
- Subverted with Princess Gracia, otherwise known as Naga the Serpent and Amelia's missing older sister. She takes on traveling in austere settings and will help others, but is a sub-par fighter, a Hard-Drinking Party Girl, haughty, and expects fame and dotes on herself without doing much work (just watch the movies; Lina's the one who gets all the recognition for a reason).
- Pokota/Prince Posel of Taforashia, an anime-exclusive character, is also this: a powerful practitioner of Black Magic and all too willing to save his disease-stricken kingdom.
- In Tenchi Muyo!, the Juraian Royal Family are the baddest mofos around, and additionally are paired off with sentient spaceships capable of generating super weapon fields of invulnerability. They actually have an Imperial Guard whose job is mainly to evacuate the civilians if somebody attacks the royals and they have to fight back.
- The Kings of The Twelve Kingdoms work their fingers to the bone. Lazy royalty are an offence against the heavens.
- Hakuoro, once he takes over the country by force. After that, he's a very responsible leader, but not afraid to kick ass when necessary. On the other hand, the other emperors also tend to take a very hands-on approach to war and politics.
- Princess Allura/Fala became a pilot for Voltron / Go Lion after Sven/Takashi was injured.
- Windaria: Both Warrior Prince Roland and Badass Princess Veronica personally lead their armies.
- In Yakitate Japan, the royal family of Monaco intentionally send their children out to learn careers as commoners so that they may rule better. The current king learned to bake bread.
- To be fair, if he'd had the talent for it, breadmaking could have resulted in him being able to make disposable time machines.
- In Yu-Gi-Oh!, the spirit of the Puzzle is a pharaoh, and not only is he one of the lead characters (and therefore takes part in everything), but in the Memory World arc he fights on the front lines with the rest of his court and the army. He also takes on Bakura single-handedly on multiple occasions, and uses Slifer to shield the city from his attacks at one point. Zig-zagged in that this is a shonen action manga, so most of the administration part is implied (one scene in the manga shows him with a scroll), no mention is made of the relationships with other countries, and if you take the anime timeline to be right, then Bakura's attack began the same day as Atem's coronation (the manga is more ambiguous).
- Dragon Ball Z gives us King Vegeta. He was the commanding hero of the Saiyan Army and led his people to victory in the Saiyan-Tuffle war. Naturally his son, Prince Vegeta, follows suits taking the role of Warrior Prince to ludicrous levels.
- Princess Sally Acorn in Archie Comics' Sonic the Hedgehog comic led La Résistance against Dr. Robotnik. Blaze and Monkey Khan also count. Sally's suddenly-revealed brother Elias, who later became king (gotta keep Sally a princess) has also been seen Dual Wielding scimitars. Don't mess with the Acorn clan.
- Several main characters of Bone are either Royalty or of Royal Descent:
- Thorn is a princess although she was not raised as one.
- Gran'ma Ben was also one.
- Which meant that her sister Briar (AKA the hooded one) is also a princess.
- Diabolik offers us Altea, the Duchess of Vallenberg: a member of the royal family of Benglait by marriage, was one of two royals with a modicum of common sense, serving as a nurse during the first terrorist crisis of the Grey Ravens, and giving useful but ultimately ignored advice to the king and his son (and thus being the only member of the royal family still able to go around in Benglait after the revolution). Even after the revolution, she's still active in charities, helping her fiancee Ginko to try and arrest Diabolik, and, occasionally, doing some secret investigations for her country (one of which ended with her holding a gun on the leader of the Grey Ravens. Then Diabolik, having a vendetta against the guy, killed him).
- Also, her late husband Federico: cousin of the king, he was leading the fight against the Grey Ravens as a police officer and preaching for less wasting of the kingdom's money into parties and accepting the fact they were in a civil war before he went swimming and got killed by a shark. Then Subverted when it was found out he was the leader of the Grey Ravens trying to take over the country, who faked his own death when his own officers proved too competent and were on the verge of unmasking him. Altea is implied to be the indirect reason the Grey Ravens failed to take over during the revolution and shown to have accidentally done the same during a later crisis (she was left comatose in a bombing. Ginko left no survivors among the responsible, even allying to Diabolik for the occasion), and was the one to unmask Federico when he returned trying to pass himself off as a hero (with Diabolik stalking her because he had also found out and wanted revenge).
- The Green Lantern Corps includes Princess Iolande of Betrassus, now ruler of her planet since everyone else in the royal family is dead. Iolande, however, much prefers being in the corps.
- During his brief reign as king of the planet Sakaar, The Hulk did a lot of things, from actively achieving peace with a group of Starfish Aliens to personally helping in the reconstruction of his damaged kingdom. After the three days of peace and prosperity ended in a massive explosion, he personally led an army to Earth to do a lot of other things, which amounted to punching a lot of people who deserved it in the face repeatedly.
- Princess Zelda and her father, in the Nintendo Comics System adaptation of The Legend of Zelda, are both very involved with the people of their kingdom. Zelda in particular is shown going on goodwill visits to distant cities and putting herself in harm's way to protect her people.
- Under his title as King of Dreams, Morpheus of Neil Gaiman's The Sandman seems to fit here — one later issue runs through a week of the royal itinerary of diplomacy, judicial duties, and dreamcrafting as a counterpoint to the frequent stories of Morpheus going out and doing things. Also, the first volume is all about him actively going out and recovering his three talismans of power, which are needed to restore the Dreaming; in his absence, it decayed badly. He also re-captures renegade dreams/nightmares, and stops a vortex that would have destroyed his realm and the mortal world. It's really only in the later books that he starts going on more personal quests.
- Lilandra, Empress/Magistrix of the Shi'ar Empire and Charles Xavier's on-again off-again love interest is found at the helm of the Shi'ar fleet's flagship or directly on the battlefield at least as often as she's seen on the throne, and even then she's pulling more strings than a puppet-master, trying to assure as peaceful and prosperous an existence for her empire as possible within the chaotic Marvel Universe.
- Common in superhero universes. Among others:
- Black Bolt, Medusa, and the rest of the Royal Family of The Inhumans.
- Both Aquaman and Namor are kings of their respective versions of Atlantis (though the latter not always a hero).
- Black Panther is primarily a king and does superheroics as a sideline, as did his ancestors.
- Doctor Doom is a villainous example. He is the monarch of Latveria (most of the time) and there can be little doubt that he's spent most of his reign being a thorn in the side of the Fantastic Four (and pretty much every other hero in the Marvel Universe).
- Black Adam was ruling his country until his massive non-Heroic BSOD.
- Queen Hippolyta of Themyscira isn't above getting her hands dirty (and, in one bit of comics continuity, was Wonder Woman during World War II). Her daughters, Diana and Donna, are more than happy to follow in their mother's footsteps, Diana as the current Wonder Woman and Donna as the first Wonder Girl (now Troia). Donna's close friend (and fellow Titan) Starfire is also a princess, though whether or not she counts as "acting" monarchy is debatable since she's in willing exile.
- Maxima was Queen of Almerac and had a period as a superhero before pulling a Heroic Sacrifice by blocking a planet destroying blast.
- Arctic Rim features Queen and Princess Elsa and Anna Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg of Norway piloting the Jaeger Frozen Heart in order to defend Europe from Kaiju incursions through the Arctic Circle, largely because they are extremely drift-compatible. They are frequently compared to historical examples of this trope, which Elsa finds embarrassing, claiming they are simply fulfilling a duty to their country. Additionally, Prince Hans of Denmark is a former air force pilot and monitors the Vladivostok Shatterdome on behalf of the UN.
- Played with in Bend Around the Wind. While Tony and Loki are a force to be reckoned with and as much of a threat as you would expect, Juyu is dumbfounded at the fact that neither of them have the slightest idea at how to use a mop.
- A Brief History of Equestria presents us with Princess Platinum, who managed a vast underground network of spies and agents that guided the unification of Equestria. Of course, being reduced to a Puppet King tends to free up a lot of spare time.
- In Emperor, Henry I of the Northern Sun formerly known as Harry James Potter takes to the field in the wars his country is involved in, using his magical powers, while Queen Elicia is one of the nation's foremost scientists.
- Royalty in Honor for the Enemy is this as a rule among the Fimbulvetrians, especially considering that they're pretty much 'vikings'.
- Princesses Celestia and Luna use their magic to protect the entire Canterlot Castle in Ace Combat: The Equestrian War.
- In The Cadanceverse, Princess Cadance both runs Equestria and teaches music to her students.
- Additionally, Prince Blueblood of Monacolt is a skilled and active ruler. He's also been described as a skilled boxer and harpist.
- Loki in Child Of The Storm, which is set roughly two years after the Avengers, is a Reformed, but Not Tamed and spymaster and is explicitly directed by Odin to make use of his talents in the defence of Asgard as The Man Behind the Man. This is largely because the qualities that make Thor a future great King make him a terrible statesman. While Loki would not be a great King, he is a brilliant statesman.
- The God Empress Of Ponykind: Celestia (who is also The Emperor) and Luna lead their armies from the front.
- In "Insatiable", Starscream is one of these, due to becoming one of Megatron's soldiers.
- In Keepers of the Elements, Queen Tiana is the most prominent example of this. She is fluent in a few languages, has been Queen since the age of fifteen and is currently studying Mechanical Engineering at the same time. She also happens to be quite proficient with machines in general and loves riding her flying motorcycle as seen in the scene in which she is introduced.
- In The Masks We Wear, Zuko commands the defense of the Fire Nation Capital against the invasion during the eclipse, making the invaders pay a heavy toll in blood prior to the eclipse, and all but stopping their advance during the eclipse; when Azula launches a counterattack after the eclipse with the Fire Nation Air Fleet, she is IMPRESSED by Zuko's achievements.
- Mighty Morphin Mecha Rangers features Van Fanelle, king of Fanellia, member of the Mecha Rangers, and all around proactive warrior. There's also Nia, who is technically a princess and has fought using an EVANGELION!. Lastly, as the series features characters from Code Geass, many of them are royalty and do all kinds of stuff, from politics to diplomacy to conquest.
- Invoked and averted with the Grand Ruler from My Little Unicorn. While he takes constant care of the ecosystem of Unicornicopia, he does not go into battle when Titan shows up the first time, despite being the only one able to stop him. The author later tried to excuse this by explaining that the Grand Ruler had faith in his prized student, Lightning. Problem is, Lightning can't do magic and the only reason he did not die is that he conveniently discovered he can summon the Uniforce.
- In the Jackie Chan Adventures fic Queen Of All Oni, Jade, while her royal title is self-proclaimed, is not shy about dishing it out on the battlefield along with her minions.
- The entire gamut of royals in My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic fanfic Rites Of Ascension play this straight. Princess Celestia is busy running the country, Princess Luna is busy trying to get her political power back, Prince Shining Armor leads the Royal Guard and later the Night Guard, Princess Cadence represents and fights for the underrepresented and underprivileged, and even Blueblood appears to be an important pawn for Celestia.
- Baron Beltorey in The Tainted Grimoire. For example, when an underground sport was causing harm to civilians, he took measures to minimize the harm and in the process, also turned it into a legitimate sporting event.
- In Things We Dont Tell Humans, Optimus Prime, Elita-One, Megatron, and Nightbird become very popular among the people for this. They're involved with charities and resources for addicts and the poor, and support the arts and sciences.
Film - Animated
- Both Tara and Mandrake in Epic, although the latter is a villainous example.
- Stoick in How to Train Your Dragon takes his role as chief of Berk seriously and is often the one to lead the charge.
- King Boron and Queen Baran in Legend Of The Guardians The Owls Of Ga Hoole. They rule over the tree of Ga'Hoole, but regularly teach classes to the trainee Guardians, and lead their fellows into battle.
- The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything: A VeggieTales Movie features a whole family of this. The King and his wicked brother Robert are both Gadgeteer Geniuses, creating a Time Machine and Powered Armor, respectively. The King's children are Prince Alexander, who fights alongside his crew when their ship's attacked, and Princess Eloise, who will stop at nothing to find Alexander after Robert kidnaps him.
- In Thumbelina, Prince Cornelius covers a surprising distance (considering his size), nearly dies in a frozen lake, and fights a large irate frog to save Thumbelina.
- Disney examples:
- The Little Mermaid: Prince Eric is a competent sailor. Ariel fights Ursula when the sea witch turns her dad into a sea plant and, prior to that, risks drowning to swim to a ship and prevent Ursula from marrying an enchanted Eric. Their daughter Melody takes on Ursula's sister in the sequel.
- From Atlantis The Lost Empire, Kida is quite the warrior.
- Sleeping Beauty: Prince Philip kills a sorceress-turned-dragon to save the kingdom and his beloved.
- The prince of Cinderella. In the third film, he dives out a window, races at top speed on his horse, jumps onto the sail of a moving ship, slides down on his sword, and blocks a magic spell with that same sword, all for the sake of Cinderella. She herself jumps from a runaway carriage onto a horse and rides back to the palace just so her stepmother won't steal her happiness and deceive the prince.
- Original plans for Snow White's prince included him escaping from a water-filled dungeon after refusing to marry the Queen. Although none of this ever actually made it into the film, it is implied that he spends the entire movie searching for her while the plot is going on.
- Beauty and the Beast: The Beast qualifies, as he does rather effectively govern a large household and lands. He also fights wolves in the snow and (eventually) helps to fend off an invasion of his castle. Oh, yeah, and he's actually a prince.
- Pocahontas, with pretty much only John Smith's help, defuses the Native American/European tension.
- The Princess and the Frog: For a prince, Naveen sure does adapt quickly to life as a frog. Then, at the end of the movie, both Tiana and Naveen play this straight, with Tiana running the restaurant of her dreams and Naveen alternating between waiting tables and performing live music.
- Frozen shows this trope off very well:
- Anna personally goes hunting for her missing sister Elsa, rather than commission soldiers to take on the task; Prince Hans, meanwhile, runs the kingdom for her in her absence. Of course, Hans is a villainous example of the trope, but Anna doesn't know that when she leaves him in charge, and from what we're shown he appears to be quite good at the job.
- Elsa herself qualifies, as the Duke of Weselton's concerns with securing his trade interests in her kingdom make this one of the only Disney Princess movies (the other being Brave) where political diplomacy and international affairs are an explicit concern. (Honestly, it's only the Duke who's concerned with it at all, but Anna and Elsa have more personal problems to deal with.) At the end of the movie, Elsa severs the trade agreement between Arendelle and Weselton after the Duke tries to have her killed.
- The royal family of DunBroch in Brave qualifies as a whole: Merida is a Badass Princess. Elinor is shown in the opening meal scene receiving letters of many sorts, thus implying she is the one handling matters of state. Fergus was explicitly chosen as their king after he led the other clans to victory against invading Vikings, and whether it's evil monster bears or invading armies, he takes care of it. Even the toddler triplets are crafty tricksters capable of distracting an entire castle. The other clan leaders and their heirs are also shown as being pretty battle-happy, especially against each other.
- Not to mention, Elinor seems to be tougher than even Fergus, as she completely keeps him in line (even when he tries to express male dominance), and can stop a massive brawl of tons of badass warriors simply by her intimidating presence alone. That's before she turns into a bear and whoops ass. And oh, yeah, she kills Mordu at the end, something Fergus had been trying to do for years.
- Princess Uni-Kitty from The Lego Movie is a Master Builder who has quite the temper if her friends get hurt.
Film - Live Action
- The Queens of A Brother's Price don't do much, being largely retired, but their daughters are highly active in the running of the kingdom. Much of what they do is political, sitting in judgement at the royal courthouse, but two of them start off the book trying to help part of the armed forces track down some stolen experimental cannons.
- Animorphs: In Andalite society, "Prince" is a military rank... so it stands to reason that princes would actually do some fighting.
- Crown Prince Phillip in the Antares novels has to serve in the military just like every other Sandarian. The only special treatment he gets is that he is addressed as "Your Highness" at all times. Even when being given orders.
- He even leads a boarding party in Antares Passage.
- In Artemis Fowl, Lili Frond, descendant of the first king of the People, works in the LEP.
- A Song of Ice and Fire: Most of the important nobles fit this trope. They wouldn't last long if they didn't.
- The King's Hand (basically a Prime Minister) does most of the work running the Seven Kingdoms. King Robert Baratheon, for example, did almost nothing during his reign besides eating, drinking, and chasing women.
- It depends on the king. In the series, it's said that a weak king, like Robert, needs a strong hand to rule while they hunt and whore [Robert] or fast themselves to death (Baelor the blessed, also known as Baelor the Befuddled); while a strong king just needs someone who can follow orders to make sure those orders are implemented. But most kings mentioned in the series have been weak (or minors), and as such their Hands generally did the work
- In 2021 of the timeline of the Axis of Time trilogy by John Birmingham, Prince Harry is quite a badass SAS colonel. After the multinational anti-terror task force he is assigned to is sent back to World War II, he becomes quite the celebrity in the contemporary UK.
- Princess Elizabeth thinks being called 'granny' by a man old enough to be her father is a giggle, but Prince Philip is more than a little intimidated by his badass grandson.
- Garion in The Belgariad is actually a decent king who spends more of his time as an administrator than anything in pomp and ceremony. Most other kings and royalty, and even many aristocrats, in that universe are in a similar position.
- Also occurs — albeit to varying extents — in Eddings' Elenium and Tamuli trilogies. Queen Ehlana of Elenia, though she spends the first two-thirds of the Elenium trilogy in a magical coma, comes out of it hell-bent on running her kingdom efficiently; she's an exceptional ruler, and later her prince-consort Sparhawk takes on as many of her burdens as he can to help. The Emperor of Tamul pretends to be a dimwitted, inbred fop (mostly to prevent his scheming courtiers from assassinating him), but it's all Obfuscating Stupidity to hide his genius at being the real power "behind" his throne.
- In the Belisarius Series, Shakuntala plans to be a future patron of philosophers besides being a martial arts expert personally, Eon is a soldier and his proudest title is "man of the regiment", Khusrau is a noted administrator and is revamping Persia's tax system and government structure, while Justinian is planning to codify Roman law. Most Malwa rulers don't do anything competently except please their overlarge and perverted appetites. Link, however, has a devious plan to Take Over the World.
- Black Crown has examples of both battlefield and administrative 'doing': In 'Black Crown', two Kings are seen fighting in battle. In 'Schism', the King and his Lords are seen discussing how to run the Kingdom's affairs.
- The rulers of C. S. Lewis's Narnia and Archenland are expected to be "first in every charge and last in every retreat," and also to have lean tables during famines. One gets the impression that descent is an unimportant part of being royalty: Aslan appoints a random cab driver from London the first King of Narnia. When the cabbie objects, Aslan asks him if he would remember that the Talking Animals of Narnia are free subjects, avoid holding favourites, bring up his children to do the same, et cetera. His answers are between "yes" and "A chap can't know that, but I hope I'd try," and Aslan tells him, "You will have done all that a King should do."
- The Calormen royalty as well; whatever other faults you can lay at their door, are also directly involved in politics and battles. When the Jerk Ass prince (unable to leave his city because of a curse) becomes Tisroc (king), he makes peace with his neighbors, because he knows better than to let his lords win glory in battle while he's stuck in the palace - "for that is the way Tisrocs get overthrown".
- Royalty in Lloyd Alexander's Chronicles of Prydain seem to be actual leaders of the country, as well as, for the most part, badasses. A notable example is Prince Rhun, who gives every indication of being a complete doofus, but is actually an enthusiastic and kindly ruler. One of the few aversions is Fflewddur Fflam, the truant bard king with the bright yellow hair; he's a lovable fellow and not a complete doofus, but not exactly a responsible ruler. By his own admission, he's a better bard than he is a king — and he's not much of a bard. On the other hand, as a warrior he's no phony.
- In Alexander's The Remarkable Journey of Prince Jen, the title character starts out as an over-pampered member of a completely useless royal family, but a series of adventures outside the palace walls, a few weeks of life as a crippled outcast, and an attempted coup make him a proper ruler.
- And in The Iron Ring, the lead is a minor king from Fantasy India who abandons his country over a matter of honor; he did a perfectly good job until then and left it in good hands, but he comes back with a mega agenda at the end and reforms the country like crazy. A whole lot of other kings appear over the course of the story, as both negative and positive examples. Usurpers, jerkasses, the incredibly honorable warrior kings both human and snake, some kind of divinity, and even the king of the monkeys, who was formerly human and becomes an early party member. (Clearly influenced by Sun Wukong.)
- The titular lead of The First Two Lives of Lukas Kasha is a professional layabout who's magically sent to a vaguely Persian country where he first nearly drowns and is then proclaimed king. Spends a while enjoying the easy life, then gets bit by a sense of responsibility, complains about how exhausting it is, annoys the hell out of his whole court by attempting to actually rule, and gets himself nearly assassinated. Then the plot starts.
- And in the Westmark trilogy, the country starts out in a (ahem) royal mess because the King has been slacking off, while in subsequent books ruling is depicted as involving tons of paperwork and tough decisions. Alexander is pretty good at this trope generally. By which we mean it's one of his top five.
- Codex Alera:
- The First Lord of Alera personally goes behind enemy lines in a civil war to prematurely detonate a volcano that Kalare rigged to blow when he dies. Later he keeps the Vord Horde at bay by setting off another volcano at the capital, buying the people time to retreat.
- Princep Septimus personally led his legion in many battles, including trouncing a rebellion that was starting up.
- Tavi, originally named Octavian, Septimus' son, leads many into battle and engages in making peace treaties with once enemies of Alera.
- In fact, every high-ranking member of Aleran society is pretty damn powerful, and can generally be found on the front lines of any fight. And in the Vord War, Tavi proclaimed any citizen who didn't step up to fight or bowed to the Vord, would be guilty of treason to the crown and country.
- Conan the Barbarian, eventually king of Aquilonia, is as much a badass after ascending to the throne as he was before.
- Baron Edmond Talbot, from John Ringo's Council Wars series. He's very reluctantly nobility, but nobility nonetheless, and will frequently be found in battle.
- Dwarven king Bruenor Battlehammer, friend to Drizzt Do'Urden, actively fights on the front lines and leads his people into battle against gray dwarves, dark elves, and orcs. A later variation has him leaving his duties in Mithril Hall to go out and hunt the monsters who threaten the nearby settlements, which leads to an argument with the captain of his royal guard about the king putting himself in danger and reminding him of his duties in Mithril Hall.
- On of Drizzt and Bruenor's greatest enemies and later, reluctant allies, King Obould Many-Arrows, also takes a very hands on approach, often leading armies into battle and facing enemies in singles combat.
- King Lief of Del spent the first few years of his reign traveling around his country in order to drive out the Shadow Lord's forces and free his people, and went on to rule "long and wisely".
- Taylor Anderson's Destroyermen series has several positive and negative examples among the Lemurians. For actual royalty, we have Safir Maraan, the Orphan Queen of B'mbaado, who is a fierce warrior (in a culture where women don't fight) and personally leads her 600 (her elite guard) in a charge against the Grik at the Battle of Aryaal. Muln-Rolak, the Lord Protector of Aryaal, is not technically royalty (his position is more like a general) definitely fits, despite his advanced age. He accompanies Queen Maraan on her charge despite his king's objections and the fact that he has to stop several times to catch his breath. Keje-Fris-Ar, the High Chief of Salissa, also participates in battles (especially since he's not only the ruler but also the captain of his home-ship). Averted with Fet-Alcas, King of Aryaal, and his son Rasik-Alcas. Fet-Alcas is too old and fat to fight, despite the proud warrior tradition of the Aryaalans, while Rasik-Alcas, while not bad with a sword (although Lord Rolak disarms him with ease), prefers to let the others do all the fighting.
- In the eyes of the Lemurians, Captain Matthew Reddy may also fit the bill, as they see him equal to any High Chief. Not only does Reddy command the USS Walker in naval engagements but he also personally commands the land battle at Aryaal (despite having no experience fighting on land).
- The Discworld's King of Lancre is an example of this trope, getting involved in everything from crop rotation to the invention of the Lancrastrian Army Knife.
- Although his subjects would rather prefer he didn't, and stick to kinging. Similarly, Magrat initially finds the duties of the queen dreadfully boring (it's mostly embroidering). It's a good thing the elves showed up so she could let off some steam.
- Also, the Low King of the dwarves is, up till his election, a working dwarf.
- The same could probably also be said of Diamond (the troll king), since he runs a 'Thud' (a dwarven/trollish board-game) Club.
- After his marriage to Sybil elevates him to dukedom, Vimes himself qualifies; he continues to work as the head of the Ankh-Morpork City Watch in spite of being so independently wealthy that his great-great grandchildren could go their entire lives without doing a day of work. In Monstrous Regiment he's actually mistaken for a sergeant because of his philosophy that armor ought to look like it's been doing its job and his habit of avoiding committees.
- Susan, despite being Duchess of Sto Helit, works first as a governess and then a schoolteacher. Her parents had spent most of their time working as diplomats outside their duchy, helping establish and maintain the peace between city-states that currently prevails on the Sto Plains.
- Doctor Dolittle: Stubbins, Dr. Dolittle's assistant, is quite surprised to learn there is more to being a king than sitting on a throne and being bowed to several times a day.
- The royalty in Dune basically do nothing but scheming against one another and actually ruling their domains. Court functions and leisure occasions seem to only serve the purpose of furthering their schemes for power.
- Though the Duke personally visited the mining of the Spice with a local guide to get a hands-on glimpse at the techniques.
- It's actually a plot point that the Atreides family is the exception to the rule in this regard, which inspires fanatical devotion in their servants and retainers. Paul's grandfather Paulus, for example, was gored to death by a bull while trying to entertain the people of Caladan with bullfighting.
- Both of the Harkonnen nephews can be pretty active. Glossu Rabban is utterly ruthless and prefers to personally execute... well, anyone who displeases him. In the prequel novels, he also leads the Harkonnen forces in an attack and flies the first no-ship. Feyd-Rautha, while not as active, does participate in gladiatorial combat (although, it's usually rigged in his favor). At the end of the first novel, he even challenges Paul Atreides to a duel that will decide the fate of the galaxy. In fact, the prequel novels are full of aristocrats actually doing things, including Paulus Atreides and Dominic Vernius.
- And in general, most nobles - including the Harkonnens - are shown to have a hands-on approach to government, spending as much time with statecraft as they do with leisure. One of the first scenes of Dune: House Atreides has the Baron Harkonnen himself doing the same sort of inspection of a spice mining operation that Duke Leto did in Dune, both to ensure that everything is being done smoothly, and to better understand how he's making his money.
- Legacy of Dune also has some nobles taking a pretty active role in governing and military command. The most notable is Xavier Harkonnen. His first appearance has him defending Salusa Secundus from a Cymek attack in a Space Fighter. His grandson Abulurd was also a capable commander.* Princess Josetta of Welce personally runs her own homeless shelter in Elemental Blessings.
- In the Enchanted Forest Chronicles, Cimorene moseys from Rebellious Princess at the beginning of the series to this trope in the second half of the series, maintaining the same (high) level of practicality all along. King Mendanbar can and does perform pretty much every significant task in his territory himself. His "court" is a handful of palace staff that takes care of daily operations. The new King of the Dragons, crowned at the end of the first book, also operates firmly under this trope.
- Mendanbar was actually taking this trope to unhealthy extremes when he was first introduced, as Cimorene and Morwen both pointed out. One guy and his castle staff can't run an entire kingdom and the attempt was running Mendanbar himself ragged. As Cimorene had helped the Dragons set up a system of delegated authority it is presumed she did the same for the Enchanted Forest as well.
- Most of the royals (and other rulers) in the Emberverse fit this trope. Norman Arminger (the Lord Protector), Mike Havel (Lord Bear), and Astrid Larsson (the Hiril Dunedain) are war leaders; Juniper Mackenzie (the Mackenzie of Clan Mackenzie) is a combatant, a High Priestess, a musician and an expert weaver; Mathilda Arminger and Rudi Mackenzie (their parents' heirs) undertake a quest and fight in combat in the later trilogies.
- All of the Thanes in The Godless World Trilogy are this. It ranges from leading in battle to being an efficient administrator. This re-enforced by the fact that oaths are taken very seriously. This does not preclude advisors or wealthy merchants mucking up the works.
- In Harry Potter, the Pottermore'' website says that goblins select their kings by smithing skills: "in goblin culture, the ruler does not work less than the others, but more skillfully."
- In the Hell's Gate series, this describes the Calirath dynasty of Ternathia, whose male heirs are required to learn how to be soldiers. Nor are the princesses expected to simply sit around and look princessy.
- Every ruler of Valdemar fits this, as the rulers are required to also be Heralds, and the Heralds of Valdemar do whatever the kingdom requires of them, from fighting and spying to policing and judging.
- Although the royal family of Valdemar unhesitatingly serve as warrior kings (or queens, or princes/princesses, etc.) when necessary, they are still the only Heralds who are under the injunction to stay out of danger whenever possible. Elspeth had to resolve the conflict between her conflicting imperatives as heir ('avoid any avoidable danger') and Herald-Mage ('you are an incredibly rare strategic resource, the very tip of the spear') by abdicating her position in the line of succession to concentrate on her battle-mage duties.
- Aerin, heroine of The Hero and the Crown is a sword-wielding princess who saves her kingdom.
- All of the male nobility of The Reynard Cycle are expected to be warriors, as well as serve as the judicial authority of their domains. When the men are off to war, or when a woman inherits a title due to not having any brothers, women are expected to serve in the second capacity, and act as military strategists if not participants.
- The Empress of Taysar in the Spaceforce novels genuinely governs an extensive galactic empire, ruling as absolute monarch. At least one of her sons, Prince Ragoth, regularly engages in diplomatic missions with other galactic powers.
- The Hollow Kingdom Trilogy's elf and goblin Kings fit the trope very well. They cast and maintain the spells that protect their kingdoms and make choices for the good of their people, even at their own expense.
- Kate does well in the first book, too. Her crowning glory is breaking out of the kingdom to go on a manhunt for the sorcerer who's been stealing goblin souls in the second half, though she's also mentioned to work as an English tutor for the goblins.
- Due to Manticoran royalty in Honor Harrington being very much based on the British one, it's not all that surprising that they Actually Do Something, and they do it a lot. Especially since a Manticoran monarch has significantly more weight in the daily running of the shop, being a kind of a hereditary President in a semi-presidential republic. This also goes down the line, with Michael Winton, the younger brother of the current Queen Elizabeth III, and Michelle Henke, her first cousin, being serving officers in the Navy and all that. Elizabeth's own son and heir apparent is also going to the navy soon — it's a family tradition actually, much like their originals.
- Not just this series; the emperor's kids in Weber's Empire from the Ashes trilogy also go into the Navy, complete with a speech about power being a responsibility.
- Part of the backstory of the origin of the Manticoran government was that the system was set up so that the heir to the throne was constitutionally prohibited from marrying someone coming from the nobility/aristocracy: this meant that heirs always were the daughters or sons of people whose families actually had to work for a living, and hopefully picked up that habit.
- The nobility also get in on the act. Plenty of them choose frontline military service, including Michael Oversteegen, Michelle Henke, Gervais Archer, and Admiral White Haven himself.
- Being elevated to the rank of Princess of Oz when she moves there permanently doesn't slow Dorothy Gale too much.
- Ozma may count, while in most books she basically just sits on her throne while Dorothy and the others go on quests, but in Ozma Of Oz, not only does she personally lead a group of adventurers to rescue Dorothy from Princess Langwidere, but also to the Nome King's kingdom to rescue a group of missing nobles. Even further if you count Tip, her male alter ego who is very adventurous before regaining his true form and having the responsibility of ruling a kingdom
- In Tin Man her granddaughter (and Ambrose) were holding off a coup from Azkedellia. They may have lost the coup, but Possessed!Az was a pretty efficient tyrant. Then the second Dorothy, DG, shows up...
- Prince Garric and his sister Princess Sharina from David Drake's The Lord of the Isles series are an absolute nightmare for their bodyguard regiment because of their insistence on being in the thick of things - which is often pitched battle. The guards have the dubious compensation of knowing they're now shielding royalty who're worth protecting.
- A Mage's Power: Princess Kasile of Ataidar is well known for her social activism. She also has an eye out for threats to her family and crown. In fact, one of the titles for the monarch of her country is "The Highest Public Servant".
- In the Malazan Book of the Fallen verse by Steven Erikson and Ian Cameron Esslemont, Malazan Emperor Kellanved was a powerful sorcerer who researched and travelled in his quest to become a god. He succeeded. Before launching his extraordinary plan and forging his empire (magnificently so - for around 90 years or so), he apparently used to run a bar for a while.
- Empress Laseen, who succeeded him, was the former head of the Imperial assassins.
- Tehol Beddict also fits this trope although not in the usual way.
- Prince Roger (Etc) MacClintock of David Weber and John Ringo's March series was a very lazy royal (one of the reasons everyone hated him). He quickly changed. At one point he planned to spend his life lifting the Death World Marduk out of the dark ages; now he is planning to do this to the entire Empire, which has been taken over in a coup in which one of the first steps was to strand him on Marduk, where he Took a Level in Badass just to survive.
- In Robert Asprin's Hit or Myth, the King of Possiltum grows tired of his daily regimen of arbitrating his subjects' legal hassles, and attempts to permanently foist off the job on his court magician Skeeve. (Also, he was being unwillingly herded into a diplomatically advantageous marriage, which is another reason not to envy working kings...)
- Magic in Garth Nix's Old Kingdom trilogy is very much In the Blood. Therefore, in addition to Queen Sabriel's duties as Abhorsen, keeping the Dead dead, King Touchstone I has the responsibility of ruling, restoring order and peace, and fixing the broken Charter Stones, which keep the Kingdom safe to begin with. The latter activity alone takes years off his life.
- Patriot Games makes a big thing out of Prince Charles's time in the Royal Navy, and has him being a competent seaman, running around shooting bad guys, and generally being Badass. The Duke of Edinburgh is portrayed in the same sort of way, although on a much smaller scale as he plays a much more minor role in the story and doesn't get to shoot anyone.
- Princess Mia in The Princess Diaries puts out in the open a document that had been hidden away that declared that Genovia is supposed to be a Democracy, jeopardizing her entire family's claim to the throne of Genovia and forcing her father to run for election when he had already been ruler. But Mia does it anyway because she genuinely wants what is best for the people of Genovia.
- Queen Tamra, and later King Bruno, in Wil Mc Carthy's Queendom Of Sol series. Tamra takes an active part in handling threats to the system, and Bruno is a super-genius physicist who CANT stop working. The irony is that they are SUPPOSED to be Authority in Name Only, but it doesn't work that way, due partly to the genetic quirk impelling Homo Sapiens to bend at the knees (which was the reason for reviving monarchy in the first place) and partly to the forceful personalities of the incumbents. Their "royal decrees" have no authority, but almost everyone obeys them anyway.
- In the Rainbow Magic series, Queen Titania acts as a mentor to the girls, and her magic makes whatever Jack Frost stole appear close to Rachel and Kirsty.
- King Oberon once used his crown to teleport Jack Frost to his throne room and prevent him from causing further mischief.
- In The Red Vixen Adventures most foxen nobles spend their time administering their holdings and dealing with the concerns of Commoners in their domain. With a strong sense of noblesse oblige. Though there are exceptions such as Countess Highglider who sabotages the holdings of her vassal House Darktail over a petty grudge.
- Nearly all nobles in The Riftwar Cycle, no matter their planet of origin, are like this. The primary setting, the Kingdom of the Isles on Midkemia, is particularly notable because it works under a feudal system called "The Great Freedom" which gives nobles a responsibility to go out and defend their people in exchange for their allegiance.
- Prince Arutha is an exceptional example—he is depicted as far more interested in being hands-on than delegating the dirty work to his subordinates. At one point, he even fakes his own death so he can get away from his princely duties so he can sally forth and kick a whole lot of ass.
- The nobles of pan-Asian Kelewan can vary. Some are more or less useless, others very hands on. Some are warriors, some accountants, some spoiled dandies. The fortune of their estate rises and falls with their various abilities (and those of their advisors) so this is mildly deconstructed.
- The heads of the eponymous three kingdoms from Romance of the Three Kingdoms also count. Liu Bei, in particular, wove straw mats and sold shoes before he entered politics and military service. In fact, once any noble stops being one of these and starts simply reigning, an ambitious adviser will usually pick up the slack and eventually supplant him.
- In John Woo's movie adaptation, Sun Quan the King of Wu fights on the frontlines during the Battle of Red Cliff. This certainly never happened in real-life; it didn't even happen in the historical novel!
- Not that battle, no, but Sun Quan is actually rebuked by his subordinates for spending too much time near the front lines in other battles.
- Most royals in David Weber's Safehold books are competent leaders who watch over their lands to the best of their ability. However the most notable are the Ahrmahk dynasty of Charis. In the first book, both King Haarahld and Crown Prince Cayleb lead their forces into the ultimate naval Curb-Stomp Battle. In the third book, Cayleb also personally leads the forces that attack Corisande.
- The Royal Family in Kiera Cass' The Selection. The family is consistently shown to actively rule and Prince Maxon takes his role as the future King very seriously. It also becomes increasingly clear throughout the story that if she were to become Queen, America would be this type of ruler.
- Seraphina has the Goreddi royal family: Queen Lavonda put her life on the line in her youth to negotiate a peace with Ardmagar Comonot, trekking up a dangerous mountain pass with only two young guides, and she continues to put a lot of energy into keeping peace with the dragons for the next forty years; Glisselda learns everything she can about how to run her future kingdom and declares war on the Tanamoot when they've already broken the peace; and Kiggs is a military captain with a reputation for investigative talent.
- Princess Raisa actively invokes this trope throughout The Seven Realms Series. In book one she founds the Briar Rose Ministry, a charity she and her father run that earns money for the people. The Briar Rose ministry not only helps some of her people avoid starvation, but gets some younger people the money they need to go to school and earns her a very loyal following. (This becomes a very important plot point later on.) By book three, she stops caring about making enemies within the government and goes around rectifying serious issues with the way things are done in order to help the people. A good portion of book three is spent on showing her doing this.
- The rarity and value of Shardplate and Shardblades in The Stormlight Archive means that Alethi Highprinces are no slouches on the battlefield.
- Though it's mentioned that at least one Highprince leads from the rear, with his Shards being bestowed on the Highprince's Champion.
- Pretty much everyone, both male and female, no matter their age, in Tales of the Branion Realm. The rare exception is a sovereign who prefers to go into common taverns and drink, but everyone else does something, usually but not always killing things - his five-year-old heir presides over heresy trials.
- The former king in The Talisman, the twinner of Jack's father, was a man of the people who traveled around to address those people. The current queen would be as well if she weren't really busy at the moment with the whole dying thing.
- The kings of Tortall in Tamora Pierce's series are required to become knights and undergo the Ordeal of Knighthood (more or less a Mind Rape that makes you face your worst fears) and a few characters comment that King Jonathan and his queen Thayet very much pull their weight in several areas.
- Jonathan and Thayet, in particular, have been responsible for such an insane amount of social progress in a few decades that at times it tests the bounds of Willing Suspension of Disbelief. It also seems that Thayet has expanded the role of the queen in government — she's officially Jonathan's co-ruler, and it's implied that this was not the case with previous queens. Among other things, she's started up the Queen's Riders, an unglamorous, coed branch of the military that goes around cleaning up Tortall in cases where the (all-male) King's Own would make a hash of it by being so big and bright and shiny. She's its official commander and is actively involved in what it doesnote .
- Tamora Pierce seems to like this one. In her Emelan books, we see His Grace Duke Vedris IV of Emelan taking a hand in public welfare and offering his castle as protection for a family whose members are being systematically murdered, Empress Berenene dor Ocmore of Namorn building up her country, making it powerful, wealthy, successful as well as fighting wars to keep it that way, not to mention shrewdly manipulating her nobles so as to keep them from making too much trouble (even if she is a magnificent bitch. And then there's Lady Sandrilene fa Toren, who while not royalty is close kin to the two mentioned above (and there is reason to believe that the Duke may well make her his heir) and is ready to face down armies armed only with her noble blood and springs to battle the moment she sees anyone being mistreated, leading to many a Crowning Moment of Awesome in the series.
- She even does it with her evil royals. Duke Roger of Conte is noted for his magical research and knowledge, and he was also a famed amateur jeweler. The King of Tusaine does nothing, but his two brothers are his lead general/guy who mostly runs the kingdom and a top spy respectively. Both of these are in the Song of the Lioness quartet. And in the Immortals Quartet, Emperor Mage Ozorne has that title because he's so well known for his work in magic.
- A lot of the royals in the Trickster books do either 'nothing' or 'nothing except plot to murder one another,' but our heroine is working to depose them. The original rebellion-queen-candidate is beautiful, brave, charismatic, and fairly clever, but not a practical individual; after she runs away with a boy they use her sister, who is presented by the story as a far superior choice as she is brilliant, pragmatic, and tough as nails.
- Emperor Ozorne of Carthak was a shrewdly manipulative individual and powerful mage who put most of his effort into creating as large an empire as possible. His heir Kaddar (though Kaddar doubted he'd survive long enough to actually inherit the title) was a hard-working student who hoped to find a way to end the droughts his country was suffering. When he does take up the title he seems to do a lot for getting the country back in order.
- Luxa from The Underland Chronicles. More so as the books go on, especially when almost the entire Council is killed in the war.
- In Vorkosigan Saga, the chief job of Vor, like most aristocracies is war. However in modern times the Barrayaran forces have plenty of commoners in the officer class. Other duties seem to include judging disputes and investigating crimes and maintaining a paternalistic rule over their respective districts. The Vorkosigans themselves are close enough relations to the Imperial dynasty for Aral to be one time suspected of Imperial ambitions. They conduct social reforms, engage in parliamentary politics, take part in espionage and covert warfare, and improve their own local desmene.
- Emperor Gregor is not known for just sitting around, either. This was a problem at one point....
- Subversion: Emperor Varnazd in Yulia Latynina's Wei Empire cycle desperately wants to be this, but almost everything he ever does to that end (and he tries a lot of things) backfires badly, to the point of directly causing an all-out civil war.
- Annoying though Elayne Trakand can be, she spends a fair amount of her time as princess chasing evil sorceresses around the known world and kicking butt. Then she ascends to the throne and immediately has to fight a civil war.
- Rand has plenty of things he needs to do as the Dragon Reborn and being crowned king of Illian and more or less being in charge of several countries he has taken does not change that. The books do show him less and less though as time goes on so while he is probably pretty busy king and ruler, it can seem like he isn't doing much to the reader.
- The series as a whole varies greatly with respect to this trope. Before the main characters come into their own the nobility of some nations are shown as effete, vain parasites devoted to jockeying for position in court - Cairhein especially, where a previous king caused a disastrous war with a Proud Warrior Race just because he wanted to use some really, really rare wood for his new throne - but for many others, royalty is hard work. For all the northern rulers, keeping the Blight back is a full-time job. The Seanchan take very seriously their obligation to provide peace and justice in their territory - they'd be the good guys, if not for treating channelers like animals, and it helps them that their invasion happened to start with nations with very weak rule of law until they showed up.
- In the historical novel Wings of Dawn: Well, nobility who actually do something. Though once Lord Hawkwood manages to get Queen Isabella involved...
- Xanth has several goblin chiefs, every miscellaneous species of royalty, and almost all named human royalty; also, as of Yon Ill Wind, the Demon X(A/N)th qualifies.
- Most notable is Princess Ivy, who at the age of three forces the most powerful dragon to become her best friend, raises the good magician's son to competence and beyond, and prevents a wiggle swarm from destroying all Xanth with only said friends This would also count as Badass Adorable.
- The King of Damara in The Year of Rogue Dragons is a badass paladin who leads his army into battle.
- The kings and queens of Wellakh in Young Wizards appear to be a very long and unbroken line of wizards, who by definition do rather a lot.
- Just as in Real Life, in 1632 there's Gustav II Adolphus, king of the Swedes. Either on the front lines or commanding the army in multiple battles, and once even making a reckless charge to save his uptime allies, in the first book.. Seems to be what he likes as he sent Axel back to Stockholm to manage affairs of the kingdom in 1634: The Baltic War.
- Many of Bernard Cornwell's novels set in earlier time periods, such as the Grail Quest or Warlord Chronicles trilogies, involve monarchs heavily involved in government, and, particularly, warfare, as is appropriate for the time. A somewhat unusual example is Alfred the Great as he appears in the Saxon Stories, often described by the Unreliable Narrator as engaging in useless clerical or religious work rather than acting as a military leader, evidently unaware that such work will have as great an impact on English history as any of his battles.
- Many monarchs in Tolkien's Middle-Earth are also active both on and off the battlefield:
- From The Lord of the Rings there's Elendil, Gil-Galad, Aragorn, Legolas, and the whole royal house of Rohan.
- In The Silmarillion, all the Noldorin princes are warriors who go to battle against the Dark Lord, and most of them die that way.
- The best example is undoubtedly King Finrod Felagund of Nargothrond (say it ten times fast), who even abandons his kingdom to his brother and leaves with a few volunteers after his people refuse to help him rescue the human whose father saved his life, because he swore an oath that he would repay their family.
- Fëanor was also a king who actually did some things. Pretty insane, horrible, evil things, mind, but things nonetheless. And he certainly wasn't staying at the rear in battles — in fact, that's what killed him.
- Fingon, who rescued Maedhros from Thangorodrim; Beren and Lúthien, who pinched a Silmaril from under Morgoth's nose; and all the characters who are the descendants of Húrin and Huor.
- Fingon's father, High King Fingolfin, not only led his people in battle but challenged Morgoth himself to single combat. He lost, and he died, but he also permanently crippled Satan's foot and humiliated him in front of his troops.
- If the similarity in names wasn't a clue, pretty much all the above are quite closely related. Fingolfin is Fëanor's half-brother, and Finrod is the son of Finarfin, who is Fingolfin's brother. Speaking of Finrod, we may as well mention his sister ...
- Galadriel, who is the oldest of the Noldor royalty still standing, has undertaken quite a few actions against Sauron (although they are generally 'off camera'). Actually, even when at home, she is in constant battle with Sauron through sheer willpower. She was also pretty scary during her youth; she was one of the leaders of the rebellion of the Noldor (although she wasn't directly involved in the Kinslaying) and was subsequently banished from Valinor. One of her older names was Nerwen, meaning "man-maid", a reference to both her height and her general badassery.
- This is especially true in the Lord of the Rings movie. Watch through the Battle of Pelennor Fields for a Mûmak death count — of those onscreen, one of them is taken out by the Dead Men, and only one is taken out by a member of the Fellowship (that would be Legolas, who takes a good minute and a half to do so). Then Théoden kills one (well, leads the killing of one), Gamling kills one (close enough), Éowyn kills one, and Éomer kills two. With one thrown spear.
- In The Hobbit, there's Thranduil (the Elvenking), Thorin Oakenshield (King Under the Mountain), Fíli and Kíli (Princes of Erebor), Dain Ironfoot (their next-closest cousin and heir) and (future human King) Bard I. During The Return of the King, Bard's grandson Brand and Dain died fighting in the attack on Erebor and Dale. Their sons, Bard II and Thorin III run off the enemy army after the fall of Sauron.
- Bard was pretty much made King of Dale because of him actually Doing Something in The Hobbit. His off-to-the-side actions during the War of the Ring are the trope played straight, though.
- Elrond was impressive, too. Sure, by the time Sauron was off kicking everyone's shit around, he wanted to abandon Middle-Earth, but look at what he did the first time it happened. Hell, it isn't an example of the king being badass, but even being willing to take his people and abandon their slice of Paradise the second time around is an example of a royal willing to make hard, painful decisions. You don't always have to be a fearless warrior guy to be an active leader of your people.
- Elrond had proven his badassery in the Second Age: he was Gil-Galad's officer on the spot to deal with Sauron once Ost-in-Edhil fell (Rivendell was founded as a refugee colony, and promptly beseiged). He was later involved in the War of the Last Alliance, and ended up commanding the Noldorin contingent after Gil-Galad's death.
- Thrór, Thráin, Thorin, and Frerin might also count: they all worked as smiths, since they're in exile because of a large red dragon.
- Thorin's cousin, Dáin II Ironfoot, who leads the dwarves of the Iron Hills into the Battle of Five Armies when Erebor Calls For Aid. Dáin later dies defending the gate of Erebor when Sauron sends armies through the north.
- And does so standing over the body of King Brand, who'd already gone down swinging.
- There was a short story where one royal family would have the next heir to the throne go on a trip down "the Prophet's Road" on their twentieth birthday. What happened to them would influence their rule; the protagonist's grandmother nearly starved to death, so she had granaries made and stocked. His father was attacked by bandits, so he built up the guard to insure his people were safe. Said father even says that what separates a person who simply holds the title until the next and someone who goes down in history is what they do.
Live Action Television
- Abarenbo Shogun's titular character is the epitome of this trope, much to his advisor's chagrin.
- Babylon 5: While Centauri Emperor Turhan doesn't do very much, something he laments, his wife, Lady Morella, in addition to acting as a prophetess, also personally tends to Vir when he's hurt in a riot.
- Doctor Who has accumulated a few over the years.
- King Yrcanos who, aside from being a classic Warrior King, was played by BRIAN BLESSED. And ended up marrying one of the Doctor's companions.
- The very awesome Liz 10 (Sophie Okonedo) from the new series, a two-gun wielding hands-on Action Girl who endlessly investigates the mystery of her kingdom, and then chooses to forget.
- Even Elizabeth the 1st, Queen Victoria, and Queen Nefertiti had their badass moments.
- The whole idea behind the cancelled show Kings. Even though king Silas' rule is marred by corporate politics and the whim of the general crowd, he still has almost-absolute power.
- The BBC series Merlin shows Prince Arthur to be not only the Camelot's heir apparent, but also the day-to-day commander of the kingdom's armed forces. He not only leads them in battle, but also recruits the knights and oversees their training. He also seems to be the closest thing that the kingdom has to a sheriff or chief of police. If any "crime" occurs, it's usually Arthur that's sent to investigate.
- It's heavily implied that his father King Uther was this as well in his youth. He does prove himself quite handy with a sword.
- The first episode that showcases Guinevere as Queen makes a point of demonstrating how active she is: she gives advice at a council meeting, she rules the kingdom in her husband's absence, and she ferrets out a traitor that was leaking information to her enemies.
- In Ocean Girl two of the characters are princesses. One is a government figurehead, the other a kind of ambassador. Their father, royal by marriage only, led a fact-finding mission, and their mother personally walks into a battle to disarm the other side's major weapon.
- Once Upon a Time is full of these. Prince Charming, his now-dead twin brother whom he replaced, Snow White, Emma (since she's technically royalty as Snow White and Prince Charming's daughter), her son Henry by the same token, and even the Evil Queen - albeit an evil version.
- In Power Rangers Zeo, King Mondo was a villainous example, having fought the Rangers personally on more than one occasion. His eldest son Prince Gasket was even more capable, apparently.
- In Star Trek: The Next Generation, Riva, crown prince of Ramatis, is a successful diplomat, bringing peace to warring factions no matter how long it takes, even when the telepathic "chorus" who allow him to communicate despite his deafness are killed by one of the factions.
- On The Tudors we have Henry VIII, Katherine of Aragon, Anne Boleyn, and Catherine Parr excelling in different fields and tasks. All the king's legitimate children are wonders of learning as well.
- In Vikings, Ragnar Lothbrok becomes this once he assumes the position of Earl, continuing to lead his warriors on raids.
- Older Than Dirt: Gilgamesh did lots of things after the gods answered his subjects' prayers to get him the heck out of their city and away from their wives.
- The discoverer of tea is often credited as being a Chinese emperor who had practised medicine, and tested many of his experiments on himself. Tea must have been his best discovery.
- Nearly any king or prince mentioned in myth will have long careers, primarily as warriors and/or monster-slayers. Hercules, Achilles, Theseus, Odysseus, King Arthur, Beowulf, Solomon, all of them were royals.
Play By Post Games
- Many of the monarchs and khans in the BattleTech universe actively serve in combat, and much of their prestige as leaders is dependent on the skills they show in Mech warfare.
- In Clan society, there are no nobles that do nothing. Everyone has their own tasks, and rank is only attained via Trials of Position, and while the Khans are the highest rank of the Clans, they're still chosen from those with Bloodnames, which must be earned in a series of combat trials.
- In a telling case study, the one time a Khan is called out for attempting to make a political attempt to rise to an ultimate rank without proving that he has the warrior credentials to match, he is brutally beaten by Khan Vlad Ward, who defies the first Khan's claim in full view of the other Clan leaders. Khan Elias Crichell is executed on the spot after his failure to prove that he can kick the requisite amount of ass when Ward crushes Crichell's throat and snaps his neck the heel of his boot. None of the other Khans intervene.
- You can't even become the First Prince of the Federated Suns without serving at least 5 years in the military and traditionally this includes front line combat. The Coordinators (and their heirs) of the Draconis Combine have also served in direct combat. In the case of both nations rulers and heirs have been killed in action.
- A long line of Steiner tradition dictates that the Archon of the Lyran Commonwealth have graduated from a military academy and at least be a passable warrior. Even the soft-spoken and pacifistic Melissa Steiner was qualified as a Mechwarrior on the Hunchback she inherited from her mother, the previous Archon. Notably, Katherine Steiner Davion, ruler of the breakaway portion of the Federated Commonwealth which boasted Lyran history, was not a qualified warrior until after the events of the Fedcom Civil War where she is taken into Clan Wolf and forced to adapt to their warrior's ways.
- The king and queen in Chess. While the king may hide behind his bodyguards in the opening and middlegame, he frequently becomes a key fighting piece in the endgame. And the queen is the most powerful piece on the board and is in the thick of things throughout the game.
- Most Dungeons & Dragons settings have Authority Equals Asskicking and/or Asskicking Equals Authority as a matter of fact. But even if the land is not under constant attacks or a hereditary magocracy, expect high-ups to keep their hands (or other appendages) very busy with large-scale juggling. Which applies to ruling monarchs and other Blue Blood alike.
- Forgotten Realms has a lot of it. For an example when it's not a plain necessity, Tethyrian lesser royals are accorded duties in whatever branch of power their talents and inclinations allow. Heirs were traditionally well taught to rule, and expected to pick up some of these when coming of age, including specifically the post of Crown Ecclesiastic; which means having to command as an united force religious knightly orders that theoretically are loyal to the crown and belong to the allied churches, but practically have at best different priorities and at worst cross-purposes — from 15 years old and until the heir claims the crown. House Tethyr had absolute power for over 350 years, was deposed after one greedy and complacent king and some infighting, and still got their triumphant restoration later.
- The Aristocrat NPC class, which typically represents kings and nobility, seems designed for this. They're automatically given decent weapon and armor proficiencies, an average BAB, a good list of skills and skill points, and the highest starting gold in the game. They're not supremely dangerous, but a first-level aristocrat can definitely hold his own (though, being an NPC class, he quickly falls off afterward).
- The Scarlet Empress of Exalted is the only person who can control the superweapon that ended the Fair Folk invasion, and has built the Realm's government so that it can't work without her. She's far from the only example- most notably, any number of PCs, as "Become God-King of [Insert City Here]" is a pretty standard Motivation for a Solar.
- There's also any number of gods (the Syndics of Whitewall come to mind, as do the trio of gods ruling Great Forks) and the Solar Exalted themselves as the Princes of the Earth. Hell, even the Infernals count, being the Green Sun Princes.
- The entire point of the Pathfinder Kingmaker campaign is to become this. The player characters wind up taming a wild land, establishing settlements, and then ruling it. The whole time, they must continue to defend their kingdoms from threats both external and internal, deal with any consequences of their policies, and deal with other nations. Basically, it's Dungeons & Dragons when you act personally, but similar to a 4x game when things happen to your nation.
- Imperial Nobles in Traveller. While there are a number of Nobles who do nothing they are looked down on as the regrettable detritus of their class. Many Imperial Nobles have high business and government positions and there is a tradition of "troubleshooters" who roam about solving crisis (indeed having a pool of such people on hand is one of the stated purposes of the nobility). It is also the custom when promoting a commoner to an important position to give them a noble title to match to ensure that they have the right amount of precedence when they have to go to a Fancy Dinner.
- Given the Crapsack World they live in, along with a healthy dose of Authority Equals Asskicking the royals of the various factions and races in Warhammer are often the most lethal warriors available to their race.
- The God-Emperor of mankind from the Warhammer 40,000 universe. Although ones 'Milage may Vary' as he went out and smote for only a short time and has spent the past ten millennia static on life support, on the verge of death.
- And pretty much every leader of every faction. Ork Warbosses become that way because they really are the biggest, meanest, and usually the smartest Ork in the bunch. Imperial Guard Lord Generals, unlike some of their lesser leaders, are ONLY chosen from the cream of the officer corps, the best of the best. While some governors are incompetent, these usually don't survive long. Governors are usually Machiavellian in political skill, because there's always someone ready to replace them if they aren't.
- The Silver Fang tribe from Werewolf: The Apocalypse is considered to be nobility amongst the Garou; as such, they are expected to lead the tribes in battle, in judgment, and in the fight for Gaia. Key word being "supposed," as the tribe's star has fallen in recent centuries due to an ancient curse of madness from Luna herself. Some Silver Fangs, like High King Jonas Albrecht, are the shining lights of the Garou Nation; others are so deluded or egotistical that some of the other tribes are considering a coup.
- In Yu-Gi-Oh!, there are the Monarchs (Emperors in Japan), an archetype of Monsters based on Attributes; all the base Monarchs (except Zaborg) are Level 6, they all have an ATK of 2,400, there is one for each Attribute (except Light, which has two), and most gain their effects from being Tribute Summoned. Mobius the Mega Monarch is an evolved Level 7 form of one of them, released in the latest set, suggesting more Mega Monarchs are to follow.
- The main plotline of George Bernard Shaw's "The Apple Cart", where King Magnus thinks rings around his quarreling cabinet. When the Prime Minister tries to stop Magnus from appealing to the people over their heads, the King makes him back down by threatening to abdicate and run for office.
- The protagonist of A Dance with Rogues is the princess of Betancuria forced into hiding after a successful invasion by the kingdom of Dhorn. If she didn't fit this trope it would be a pretty boring game; despite being a princess she has rescued every one of her party members at least once and broken out on her own in all but one scenario in which she was captured, among other things.
- Arcanum: Of Steamworks & Magick Obscura: Once it's made clear that you're trying to save the world, both the elven princess Raven and King Loghaire Thunder Stone of the dwarves (assuming you talked him out of his self-imposed exile) will take up bow and axe and aid you as party members, if you wish. Loghaire explicitly says he cannot sit idly by when Arcanum is threatened.
- Cloche Leythal Pastalia and Luca Trulyworth from Ar Tonelico 2.
- In the Awakening series, Badass Princess Sophia manages to defeat the evil Dreadmyre using just her brains and her wits. Her parents had sealed themselves in a time bubble with him in order to stave off further damage of his attack on the human kingdom until Sophia arrived.
- King Ladekahn, Duke Calbren, Queen Corellia, and Xelha, from the first Baten Kaitos.
- One of the unlockable playable characters in Cars 2: The Video Game is the Queen of England!
- The king from Castle Crashers is a GIANT example of this trope - a bearded, midgety giant example. For one thing, though he starts out utterly terrified of the Big Bad, he gets his groove back real fast — and helps you by doing everything from dispensing useful advice to leading an attack boat filled with knights and cannons at a giant boss catfish. He even saves you from a giant frog by filling its stupid face with cannon fire!
- Taken to a much further extreme with the King Pack DLC, which allows you to actually play as the King. Weirdly, he still appears on the boat with the knights and the cannon and whatnot to fight alongside himself. Oh, and he's also the only character with healing magic, which is insanely useful.
- Marle, AKA, Princess Nadia of the kingdom of Guardia, the first person to join Crono's party, who actually proposed the idea of taking down Lavos. And that's only the start.
- Ayla is Marle's ancestor, and it makes sense considering she's the leader of her tribe. Which sort of makes Ayla fall in this trope.
- And then there's the Fiendlord Magus, a.k.a. Janus, the prince of Zeal...
- Princess Monica Raybrandt in Dark Chronicle is skilled with her sword and magic and traveled back to the past to battle Emperor Griffon. Of course, since she holds the Blue Atamillia, she's pretty much the only one who can. Plus, she needs to avenge her father's death.
- The obscure SNES game Deae Tonosama Appare Ichiban has a bumbling Japanese feudal lord and a foppish French prince as protagonists. They're both stupid. But save Earth in the end.
- Disgaea and other similar titles from Nippon Ichi have them in spades. Disgaea stars the overlord-to-be (and eventually Overlord proper) Laharl. Many of his opposers also are Overlords from other Netherworlds.
- The second installment has Princess Rozalin as co-protagonist. She's badass enough to hide a minigun under her gown. Then it turns out that she's the real Overlord Zenon.
- Princess Sapphire Rhodonite from Disgaea 3 serves as the army for her nation... No, we do not mean she serves in the army. She doesn't lead it either. She is the army.
- King K. Rool from Donkey Kong Country, who serves as the Final Boss of the first four games (including Donkey Kong 64) and is a real pain in the ass to defeat.
- King Cailan in Dragon Age: Origins is determined to be one of these, insisting that he fight on the front lines against the darkspawn army. It backfires spectacularly as he is killed in the ensuing battle.
- Also the player if they are a Dwarf Noble, being the second child of the dwarven king and proving an epic-grade badass who, after defeating the Archdemon, is declared a Paragon — one of the quasi-gods of the dwarves.
- The nobles of Ferelden in general qualify, since they have to be able to protect their vassals, who otherwise won't swear fealty to a lord who can't ride to their aid in time. Loghain, who spends the middle chunk of the game as regent of the kingdom, certainly qualifies.
- The family of the Human Noble, the Couslands of Highever, particularly qualify. When word arrived that the King was to do battle with the Darkspawn, without a moment's hesitation, Teyrn Cousland and his heir immediately prepared to ride out with their forces to join the King's Army. Unfortunately, Arl Howe took that moment to strike, murdering the Teyrn, leaving the Human Noble as the sole survivor. Almost. Their brother, Fergus Cousland, is revealed to also have survived, having ridden to Ostagar with some of the Highever forces before Howe's coup took place. The Human Noble is also the only player character who can possibly end the game having been named Queen or Prince-Consort of Ferelden, in which case they completely fit the trope.
- Both candidates for the throne qualify. While Alistair doesn't have political savvy, he leads the army against the darkspawn in the end if you choose him and, hardened, he shows a willingness to learn how to rule. Anora, while lacking any martial training, took care of the politics in her late husband's place, making her a savvy and cunning ruler. One of the options for ending the Landsmeet is to arrange a marriage between the two, which provides a bright future for the country.
- In Awakening, if you are a human noble and married Alistair or Anora in Origins, you qualify. The fact that you are the co-ruler of all of Ferelden is almost completely ignored, but still. Even if you didn't marry Alistair or Anora, your character is still the Arl/essa of Amaranthine as well as Commander of the Grey Wardens in Ferelden. Part of the gameplay is you dealing with the problems assaulting your realm, including how best to defend it.
- Also played straight with King Maric and his mother, the Rebel Queen Moira, who were leaders of La Résistance during the Orlesian Occupation. Later, Maric accompanies a group of Grey Wardens into the Deep Roads to fight Darkspawn despite Loghain's objections. One of the reasons Cailan wants to fight on the front lines is because he has heard stories of his father doing the same.
- In Dragon Age II, we have Prince Sebastian Vael of Starkhaven. After his entire family is massacred, he leaves the Chantry to become a Reluctant Ruler. He's also got the skills of a rogue and is deadly with a bow. He also actively participates in the Templar-Mage conflict.
- Given Hawke's noble background, they can also be considered this. It's mentioned in Mark of the Assassin that after Hawke was recognised as the legitimate heir of the Amell family, they turned down the title of "Lord/Lady Amell", because they wanted to earn the right to use a title and be recognised as "Lord/Lady Hawke".
- Supporting the Templars during the end-game shows that they elect Hawke as the new Viscount of Kirkwall.
- In Dragon Age: Inquisition there are further examples - companion Cassandra Pentaghast is in line to the throne of Nevarra (78th in line, but still) yet is a Seeker and one of the founders of the Inquisition. As a human character, the player is also from a noble family, the Trevelyans.
- Varric Tethras is from an exiled noble dwarven family, which essentially makes a noble dwarf on the surface, due to their hierarchy. In fact, he might be the single wealthiest member of the entire Inquisition, due to his powerful connections in the Merchants Guild, wealth that he made with Hawke in II, and being a highly successful novelist, and yet is still in the thick of things with everyone else.
- In Dragon Quest II, the entire party consists of royal cousins of a common ancestor, with two princes and a princess.
- Dragon Quest V takes this a step farther in that almost every important human party member is in some way connected to a royal family. This includes two kings (Pankraz and the Hero), a prince (Harry), your wife turned queen (Bianca, Nera, and Deborah), and a prince and princess (your son and daughter).
- V also points out the problems this can cause. While Harry is adventuring with the Hero, his country suffers greatly, and while Pankraz's brother proved himself a decent ruler in his absence, he was miserable in the role and eager to hand it over. Soon afterward, the Hero gets called out when he risks his life on another adventure — one that leads to him and his wife being Taken for Granite for several years.
- Drakengard has Caim, a prince whose kingdom was taken away from him due to a black dragon killing his parents. He proceeds to make a pact with a red dragon, Angelus, and take down The Empire.
- Prince Poo in EarthBound joins Ness' party to save the world. He is encouraged by his master to go on the journey.
- King Helseth from The Elder Scrolls: Tribunal is the Imperial "puppet" king of Morrowind. His predecessor, King Llethan, was a mere figurehead who did little and had almost no real authority. Helseth, however, is far more ambitious, ruthless, and crafty. He's also an accomplished alchemist (with poison being his specialty). In fact, it is heavily implied that he poisoned King Llethan in order to ascend to the throne. The main quest of the Tribunal expansion pack centers around a power struggle between Helseth and the Tribunal Temple (among other things).
- In Oblivion, Martin leads a bunch of people to the safety of Kvatch's chapel; helps you fight off the people attacking Weynon Priory; calls on all his knowledge of Daedra worship to get the Amulet of Kings back; leads the defence of Bruma; and even sacrifices himself in order to stop Mehrunes Dagon. Most of this he even does while trying not to believe that he's actually an important person of any sort, much less the son of the Emperor.
- Well, technically, he hadn't been crowned yet. But certainly he would have become the living embodiment of this trope had he not sacrificed himself to save Tamriel.
- Skyrim's in-game lore reveals many personalities of royalty in Tamriel's history being warriors and monster slayers, with the ultimate example being Tiber Septim (aka Talos), the founder of the Tamriel Empire and the Septim Dynasty, who was also one of the most legendary of the Dragonborn. Titus Mede II, the current Emperor, is stated to have been a very skilled general who managed to successfully fight off the Thalmor during the Great War.
- In Europa Universalis III, a nation's leader (often a king, although bishops, emperors, elected leaders, and popes are also possible) can be converted into a field commander and used to lead armies. Some kings can make quite effective generals, depending on their attributes and the social slider settings of the nation. However, one of the main reasons to do this is in the hopes of getting an incompetent ruler killed so that another (hopefully more capable) leader will replace him before 30+ years of rule by an weak/rude/unsavvy monarch bankrupts the nation.
- In Fable III, the player eventually becomes the ruler of Albion after overthrowing their tyrannical brother Logan. This, of course, doesn't interrupt their ability to go around the world farting at villagers and doing sidequests.
- Several servants from Fate/stay night, seeing how they used to be the above-mentioned mythical heroes when they were alive.
- Saber deserves a special mention. Due to being King Arthur.
- Extremely common in Final Fantasy games;
- Final Fantasy II has Princess Hilda. While she isn't as hands-on as many of the examples here, she is still the leader and the brains of the Wild Rose Rebellion. Notably, she goes camping with her troops before the assault to retake Fynn, instead of staying in Altair where it was safe.
- Final Fantasy III presents Princess Sara, who takes it upon herself to venture into the Sealed Cave to defeat the Djinn and save her people from a nasty curse. Although the party ends up helping her instead, she can cast support spells from the background.
- Final Fantasy IV has this in spades. During the original game party members Edward and Edge are princes, and in the sequel The After Years they're joined by Cecil and Yang (kings), Rosa (queen), Ceodore (prince), and Luca and Ursula (princesses). The strongest summons in the game are royalty too — Leviathan and Asura are king and queen of the Feymarch, Odin is the spirit of the former King of Baron, and Bahamut is the king of monsters.
- Final Fantasy V has Galuf, the reigning king of Bal; his granddaughter Krile; and Lenna and Faris, both princesses of Tycoon. Bartz too would be royalty, if his father had gone back to his home dimension where he was a king.
- Final Fantasy VI gives us Edgar, the king of Figaro (and a skilled engineer), as well as his twin brother Sabin, as playable characters.
- Final Fantasy VII tries its best to avert this trope by having most of the world under the thumb of a Mega Corp., but there is still Princess Yuffie, who comes from one of the few free nations left in the world.
- Final Fantasy VIII comes close with Rinoa, whose father is Minister of Defense for the Galbadian Republic. (As the highest-ranking government official left by the end of the game, this might make him president; the game doesn't address the question, though.) In any event, her officers in the Forest Owls refer to her as "princess".
- Final Fantasy IX has Princess Garnet/Dagger, who in a twist on the usual application turns out to not be royalty after all, but rather an adopted Last Of Her Kind.
- There's also Prince Puck of Burmecia, who doesn't do a lot other than sneak about and cause trouble: there's Queen Brahne, Garnet's mother, who both accompanies her arial troops into battle and, having drained Garnet's Eidolons, is the one to use them in combat. She is not ineffective. There's also Regent Cid, who is the city's chief engineer, and, without participating in any actual battles, accompanies the party for a segment of their journey.
- Considering that her dad took out an Eldritch Abomination, Yuna probably could have gone her entire life in comfort. You know, comparatively. But instead, she decided to go and save the world herself.
- Final Fantasy XII has Princess Ashe, who fights to restore her kingdom and become queen.
- Larsa is another example (deciding to personally investigate incidents and even guest-joining the party); his brother is a more villainous example.
- There's also Magnificent Bastard Al-Cid Margrace, who, despite not doing a lot onscreen, apparently works very hard in a political sense to postpone war.
- The closest character that Final Fantasy XIII has to royalty is Hope, who is the son of a high-ranking Sanctum employee. Like many tropes in the game, this one is deconstructed in that Hope doesn't want to do anything, but is forced into action due to his overzealous mother and her "protector", Snow.
- Final Fantasy XIII-2 plays this straight when Hope ends up becoming effective King of Earth, and he happily spends most of the game beating up monsters and creating war machines and tech for Serah and Noel to use. In an early treatment of the game's plot, Hope was supposed to be the third party member.
- Prince Noctis, the hero of Final Fantasy XV, is protector of Lucis (which happens to be in the middle of a Mob War), presumably due to his father the king getting old and having diplomatic matters to handle.
- The royal family from Find Mii (aka Streetpass Quest) prefers to manage their kingdom from the ground level rather than atop their thrones. Not that they get a chance to demonstrate this before they all get kidnapped, but it has clearly helped their popularity enough to get hundreds of passerby to take up swords and fight to free them.
- Also a common character type in the Fire Emblem series, with "common" as in "the point of every game except the two involving Ike." Royalty tends to max out stats faster, are the most likely to have a pre-battle conversation with the villain of the chapter, and are obviously very important to the plot. Being a mercenary, Ike is a far cry from royalty, but even then he becomes leader of the best mercenary guild after his father gets offed.
- Convolutedly played with in Micaiah and Pelleas' case. The latter discovers he's the prince as a young adult, proceeds to take his throne back from the invaders, and then realises he was just another commoner after all, prompting him to abdicate in Micaiah's favour. Then the epilogue reveals she's actually the thought-to-be-dead older sister of another country's Empress, Sanaki, who offers her the throne. Micaiah refuses, choosing to lead the country she's fought for.
- The actual heir to the throne of Daein is Soren, who has also been "doing something" — he's been fighting alongside you the whole time. Subverted in that he doesn't know his lineage.
- Even though Ike has no royal blood, he still becomes a noble during the course of his first game. Not to mention that his father was one of Daein's Four Riders. Not quite a royal, but close.
- The Laguz Kings, who get to become kings because they are their tribes' most efficient warriors. The most obvious case is Tibarn, though Naesala, while he prefers not to fight himself, is also pretty damn powerful and all he does is more or less for the sake of Kilvas.
- Even minor characters may turn out to be royalty, or at least, nobles. Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones really goes after this, featuring three princes and three princesses in its cast. Two of them didn't reveal until much later that they are royalty.
- Tellius also brings us Elincia. She was for most of Path of Radiance inactive... however, near the end, she comes to Ike wearing armor next to her great-grandmother's pegasus saying she was tired of sitting around. This continues into Radiant Dawn, where she is shown ruling her kingdom and is an active unit. In fact, she's a popular end-game choice.
- The villains count too; generally the Big Bad is royalty, as are many chapter bosses. Even in the rare cases where they aren't good at combat, they'll generally be at least be out on the battlefield with their troops.
- Freelancer has two noblemen (Lord Hakkera of Kusari and Diedrich Von Claussen of Rheinland) who are both Order agents and pretty good pilots. In fact, Von Claussen is known throughout Rheinland as an ace who has never lost a wingman.
- The second set of player characters in Golden Sun: Dark Dawn are all royalty.
- Anyone who played Lost Age knows that the people of Champa resort to piracy to feed their mouths, because they have only their smithy otherwise. Eoleo ascends to captainhood as a result of his father Briggs' death, but still swings a mean blade regardless of his rank. A captain who cannot fight alongside his crew doesn't remain captain for very long.
- Amiti lived a relatively sheltered life off his mother's fame until Matthew and his friends came along. He may have volunteered to escort them through the Barai Ruins, but he takes on a more active role once the Insight Glass chooses him. Given the injuries sustained by King Paithos during the eclipse, Amiti ascended to the throne in its wake.
- Himi, like Amiti, lived relative comfort as a Shrine Maiden alongside her parents, Susa and Kushinada. She falls into a coma after foretelling Isaac's descent into disaster, sending her older brother off to his aid, but winds up going with Matthew once the Third Eye awakens her from said coma.
- The beastmen of Morgal take the brunt of Fantastic Racism on many sides, meaning even the Czamaral clan must remain primed for combat when it comes. While she runs your operations in Morgal, especially Belinsk, from behind the scenes, Sveta is no less capable as a fighter. Of course, the racism may not have ended soon enough, given the Grave Eclipse's activation, so when she ascends to queenhood in the wake of her brother's death, she's going to have to train a new army and capitalize on the light Adepts that emerged as a result of the eclipse's end.
- Prince (later King) Roan in Grandia II.
- The second player ship in the Gradius side story Salamander is piloted by the prince of the planet you're defending. Later incarnations name this ship after him: Lord British.
- In Guild Wars: Nightfall, one of the first heroes to join your party and set your characters' plans in motion is Tahlkora, who is revealed to be a princess of Vabbi.
- The Gryphonhearts in the Heroes of Might and Magic series, starting with Rion Gryphonheart, who led the Erathian army against Tarnum's barbarian hordes and defeated Tarnum in Combat by Champion. Rion's daughter (and Tarnum's niece) is also this, after Tarnum trains her.
- Heroes of Might and Magic V has Isabel (arguably), Godric and Freyda, as well as Zehir.
- The Ironfist brother that wins the Succession War (canonically Roland) goes on the field personally for the final battle of the war (the other brother is also on the field, but that is less impressive considering the battle is about besieging the last stronghold of the losing brother). Roland also went on a campaign against the Kreegan in the period between Heroes II and Might & Magic VI, though with less impressive results (it led to him being kidnapped by the Kreegan and held prisoner for some six to seven years). Archibald, while it was not readily apparent in-game about the Succession War, turned out to be a remarkably knowledgeable mage in contexts that made it clear that it must have applied before the War's end.
- All the royals in Jade Empire have at some point been pretty active.
- Pretty much every aristocrat in the Jak and Daxter series, be they good, bad, or neutral, does something: Baron Praxis actively fights against Jak and the Metal Heads; his daughter Ashelin is a member of the Krimzon Guard (later the Freedom League); Count Veger does things himself rather than relying on Mooks.
- And after The Reveal, we now know that Jak himself is one of these.
- The Prince of All Cosmos from Katamari Damacy has saved and/or rebuilt the cosmos numerous times. Sadly, his father gets all the credit, even though he's usually the one who endangers the cosmos to begin with.
- Kingdom Hearts has Mickey Mouse. He's the king of Disney Castle, a Badass and powerful Keyblade Master, and one of the main characters in the series, acting as a Big Good (though he defers to Bigger Good Yen Sid).
- Minnie Mouse qualifies when needed. She's got Holy on her side.
- Kairi is starting to become one of these as of Kingdom Hearts II, despite her status as a princess being only through the fact that she lacks darkness in her heart. Though it is mentioned at one point that her adoptive parent is a mayor...
- King of Dragon Pass has all your tribes duties overseen by nobles. From trading and diplomacy to dangerous expeditions and warfare, they work their ass off until old age or death. They definitely earn their keep.
- King's Quest sounds like it says it right there in the title, although the name probably refers to the King giving Sir Graham his quest in the first game. Following his promotion at the end of the first game, all but one of the other games involve royalty in a main role, either King Graham or his family members, personally saving their kingdom. While they are involved with exploits of purely the personal variety, you have an entire Badass Family whose exploits involve a lot more than afternoon tea.
- King Dedede of the Kirby series goes back and forth on this. While he is a fearsome fighter, both when he opposes Kirby and when he occasionally helps him, he isn't much of a ruler, as it's explicitly stated that he performs absolutely no administrative duties whatsoever, to the point that the citizens of Dream Land more or less ignore his presence.
- Knights in the Nightmare has Willimgard who, despite being dead, comes back as the Wisp in order to prevent the villains from accomplishing their goal.
- The same series brings us Yggdra and Gulcasa. Milanor, Luciana and Aegina probably count too. And in the same game, there's Arlier... and although Nordische doesn't get too far, he tries.
- And three years ago, Soltier, Ordene, Aegina...
- Knights of the Old Republic II has Queen Talia of Onderon. She's a staunch supporter of the Republic and sends them material assistance (despite its controversy among her people) while dealing with a Succession Crisis. She's also a Lady of War who duels her cousin Vaklu with swords, and he's no match for her.
- The Last Remnant has numerous examples of this (both good and evil). The most notable is David, the Marquis of Athium, who is a very competent and active leader both in the throne room and on the front lines.
- League of Legends has Jarvan IV, son of the King of Demacia, taking a commanding role in the military and subsequently, the League of Legends. More than merely competent, he is one of the greatest troops at his city-state's disposal.
- The Legendary Starfy has both the title character and his far more enthused sister Starly — while he's out helping his amnesiac space-bunny friend, she's at home in Pufftop beating the pants off of the invading army. Before boss fights, Moe even asks if you want to summon Starly for help.
- The Legend of Dragoon has King Albert of Basil, who essentially picked up where a previous player character, Lavitz (a knight from Basil), had left off.
- The Legend of Zelda
- Princess Zelda has fought alongside Link in several of the games in the series, particularly Wind Waker and Twilight Princess. As well as Ocarina of Time, when Zelda becomes Sheik. She also stars in Zelda: The Wand of Gamelon, one of the non-canonical Philips CD-i games.
- From the same game, we have King Harkinian. Once he hears that his brother, Duke Onkled, is in danger, he runs off to Gamelon (after dinner, of course). He even comes prepared with the Triforce of Courage. Granted, nothing comes of it, but he tried, after all.
- King Daphnes Nohansen Hyrule from The Wind Waker. For the majority of the game he's Link's boat, serving as his only transport form island to island and giving him vital information for his quest, and just before the final battle he cheats Ganondorf out of his wish on the Triforce by making his own wish: to have Hyrule, and Ganondorf with it, washed away forever. Of course, being Ganondorf, he'll be back again in a couple of centuries or so, with Hyrule being washed away being part of his plan. Although it hasn't happened so far.
- In the beginning of Spirit Tracks, Zelda has her soul separated from her body by the Big Bad. She then joins Link as his Exposition Fairy, giving her the largest role she's ever had in canon. And within the tower she has the power to possess a suit of animate armor, becoming a sword-wielding badass made of metal and ghost that far outranks Link himself in strength.
- Hell, Ganondorf himself may count. He did start out as King of the Gerudo, after all.
- Minor character example: When you defeat the undead swordsmen in Ikana Castle (Majora's Mask), the king himself jumps up from his throne without a word, pulls out a sword and shield, and proceeds to continue where his generals left off.
- One word: Midna. True, she was dethroned in Twilight Princess, but she still helped Link more than any other character in the entire series. She was more like his partner than his sidekick, which is more than can be said of the various fairies.
- [[The Legend of Zelda Oracle games Ralph, heir to the throne of Labrynna.]] Not the most endearing sidekick ever, but he does have his moment.
- Queen Gohma, King Dodongo, Stallord, and tons of other bosses qualify.
- Lost Odyssey's Ming Numara at first seems like a useless figurehead, but soon proves herself to be an extremely powerful sorceress and a strong, competent, and proactive leader who was only in the position of a figurehead because she had been forced to seal away her own memories in order to save the lives of her subjects.
- In Magna Carta 2, Princess Rzephillda should be sitting in a tower somewhere hiding from her country's Civil War. Instead, she leads a front-line elite unit in an effort to retake her power.
- In Mechwarrior 4: Vengeance, the protagonist Ian Dresari is from a royal family, seeking to restore legal rule to his planet (and the final battle is with his cousin). After one of his missions, a lancemate actually says "I guess you're not one of those royals who let the rest of us do the heavy lifting."
- In the original Mechwarrior, the protagonist Gideon Braver Vandenberg is the heir of a Duke who was overthrown by a political conspiracy with Gideon as the patsy. Instead of taking this lying down or getting others to fight on his behalf, Gideon goes on to form his own mercenary unit to prove his innocence and exact bloody revenge.
- Might and Magic VII includes this; the starting island of the game centres around a contest in which the prize is for the winning group to jointly become 'Lords of Harmondale'. After winning and arriving at Welnin, the main settlement of Harmondale, the adventurers quickly find out that, amongst other things, the inhabitants all think they won't last long, no-one of the nobles and royals of the continent regard them as actual nobles, and the Castle that is supposed to be their home as Lords is partially in ruins, as well as goblin-infested. The middle portion of the game is about fixing all that. Also, it is possible for Harmondale to become an independent Kingdom, making the Lords more properly Royal.
- Mother 3 has Princess Kumatora, who fights alongside Lucas.
- Of course, there were never any real monarchs on the Nowhere Islands; she was just planted there and entitled as one when everyone's memories, save for Leder's, were wiped and rebuilt when they moved there.
- Each of the five kingdoms in Mount & Blade is ruled by a king who leads his own combat party and has a high renown value (this being a game statistic usually increased by winning battles). Though they sometimes hang out in their respective castles, they are known to lead campaigns into enemy territory. Good thing the Never Say "Die" rule applies to all named characters in this game, because they're always part of the first group to deploy, and they often get knocked out and captured in the course of a battle. Still, unless you've got some serious skills/leveling/equipment, do not engage the king alone. He'll cut you down in seconds.
- NieR has The Masked King of Facade, who leads his soldiers into every battle, including their last stand, which he knows he won't survive, but still manages to win.
- The cast of Odin Sphere is made up mostly of these. Four of the five main characters are princes, princesses, and queens. Even Oswald turns out to be a long-lost prince of Titania, and Cornelius' cousin. The supporting cast gets in on this as well. The only royal who doesn't really do anything is King Edmund, who's just too old and feeble at this point (but still has killing his father after he transformed into the Darkova and ran amok as part of his backstory.)
- There's quite a few in Ōkami, but foremost is Queen Himiko. At first it looks like she's the one responsible for Sei-An city being covered in toxic fog, or at least apathetic to her citizens plight, being shut in the imperial palace; however, she died in a Heroic Sacrifice. Using her murder by Ninetails to fuse her soul with her clan's Crystal Ball to locate Oni Island and give Amaterasu the chance to slay Ninetails and destroy a major source of monsters. And thanks to her powers of prophecy, she knew she was going to die. Needless to say, the Player Punch reaction when Ninetails taunts you with not being able to protect her (and in fact giving her the tool she needed to kill her!) is a powerful one. Even in death (and a sidequest), her tears give Nuregami a power boost and will net you a new and powerful water attack.
- PoPoLoCrois for the PS1 and PSP has Pietro, who is the prince of the country of the same name. Another party member who joins you in the PS1 version is Jilva, who is the princess of another country as well. (And actually a pretty strong physical attacker.)
- Narcia may also count, as it's revealed she may potentially be the daughter of Titania, queen of the faeries.
- Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time. To date, the Prince has let loose an ancient curse, battled basically Fate itself, and WON, and then fought the Vizier who caused the first problem by manipulation, who by then absorbed a lot of the Sands of Time, turning him into pretty much a really shiny being who was supposedly immortal. If there's one man who embodies Royals Who Actually Do Something, it's the Prince of Persia.
- To a lesser extent, Farah as well, being the daughter of the Maharaja.
- Every princess in Princess Waltz is some form of Bad Ass. The Princess Waltz tournament of the titular Visual Novel allows the strongest princess in the land to marry the Emperor, giving them good reason to not just sit around. Most notable are Princesses Liliana and Angela, who both fight in their Kingdom's navy and army respectively. Princess Liesel, on the other hand, is a noted inventor and smith.
- Princess Eruca or Granorg is very active, first doing her best to use her political sway to try and limit the damage her lazy, vain, and stupid, stupid stepmother is doing, and when that doesn't work, she spearheads a rebellion. She'd like to be even more active, but is constantly told to stay off the front lines. She is usually swayed to agree, since while a martyr would be good for the rebellion, the world as a whole is boned without her and the nature of Stocke's time travel means he's better off avoiding the circumstances of her possible death entirely, rather than altering the specific moment.
- In the backstory, her older brother, Prince Ernst, who made himself beloved by the populace for basically trying to fix everything. It didn't turn out so well, since King Victor started getting a little nervous that his son's popularity might be a threat to his reign and had him executed on false charges of treason to get him out of the way.
- Most nobles in Ravenmark: Scourge of Estellion have, at one point or another, served in the Imperial Mark. In fact, due to the meritocratic nature of The Empire of Estellion, any commoner who wishes to achieve Ravenhood (temporary nobility) has to serve in the military for 22 years (there is an alternative of 36 years of administrative service, but most choose the military path). Ravenhood is passed on to the soldier's children but not grandchildren. Any family that manages to retain Ravenhood for 10 unbroken generations (i.e. constant service) becomes a permanent noble House with the 11th generation firstborn becoming a Rook (a title equivalent to a Real Life Lord but also signifies a general-type rank). Specific examples include Rook Vidius Harper and Rook Delvinius Cato. However, the late Emperor Sergius Corvius ascended to the throne after leading a successful military campaign in the northeast region of the Empire. The four Queens (more like department heads), one of whom is Sergius's daughter, are also capable military commanders, even the manipulative Phoebe Corvius. Exceptions include Sergius's son Gratian, who is more of a schemer, and Gratian's son Ovidius. The Court of Shadows (formerly House Cordance) are a borderline example, being a secret order made up of Heroic Bastards of House Corvius, trained in espionage and Blood Magic, and sworn to protect their legitimate brothers and sisters from any threat within the Empire and without. The "borderline" part comes from the fact that it's not clear if bastards are considered to be nobility.
- In Robopon, Princess Darcy and Prince Tail commentate on Robopon matches, and Tail is an expert battler. In the second game, the Kings of Wonder and Delica battle, too.
- In Rune Factory 4, the player is named acting prince/princess of the town of Selphia and is responsible for pretty much the entire plot. The actual prince, Arthur, is perfectly willing to let them take over for him, but he earns his keep by maintaining a busy trading practice.
- Prince Enrique from Skies of Arcadia.
- Hildegard "Hilde" Von Krone of the Soul Series. She's the princess (and acting ruler, due to her father's insanity) of a small kingdom, who is very much a Lady of War and leads her country's army into battle.
- Prince Valerian Mengsk of Starcraft is shown to be a Badass Bookworm trained in Martial Arts and swordsmanship as well as classical knowledge in the books. He's an Adventurer Archaeologist, to boot. He's also definitely taken notes from his father in Magnificent Bastardry and by the end of Starcraft II manages to disinfect Sarah Kerrigan with the help of Jim Raynor.
- Games belonging to the Suikoden series are obviously filled with these. Special mention goes to King Lino en Kuldes, one of the fourth game's best fighters and his daughter Flare, two popular characters in, arguably, the series' most unpopular game.
- Super Mario Bros.
- In Super Robot Wars Original Generation, when Princess Shine's kingdom is overrun by the Divine Crusaders, she has to be rescued by your team. When the Neo DC attack again in Original Generation 2, she instead joins your team with a pair of custom-made Elegant Gothic Lolita-styled Humongous Mecha for herself and her friend to help protect her kingdom.
- The spinoff Endless Frontier has more princesses than it has worlds, and each one that you meet joins the party to protect/redeem/avenge their kingdom. There's Kaguya Nanbu, master of the Nanbu Reijutsu sword arts; Suzuka, who controls a multiple gatling-wielding robot by dancing; and Neige Hausen/Howzen, who fights with a bayonet-equipped laser rifle (as well as a miniature Expy of the aforementioned Shine Hausen's Humongous Mecha). Then there's King Rubor Cullen, who would be better for his kingdom if he didn't pick fights with everyone he thought was a threat, Shuten, who regularly fights the party for his people's honor, and Stahl Dieb, who personally led an expedition into the Einst dimension.
- Natalia from Tales of the Abyss. On top of being the main party's archer, she's also politically active, using her position to help the economy and foreign relations and the like. As a result, when it's revealed that she's actually a maid's child that was swapped for the real princess Natalia when the real one was stillborn, and the king goes to exile her, the people rise up to help her out.
- Luke becomes one, after his Important Haircut, and he's around fourth in line for the Kimlascan throne, as well as the heir to the most powerful non-royal aristocrat in the kingdom.
- Peony may not be a playable character, but he does a great job running his country and is often highly involved with helping Luke and the party save the world.
- Estelle from Tales of Vesperia is one, too. She's the White Mage Stone Wall healer who more or less forcibly drags the party around, fixing up problems in cities. She also has an insatiable need to heal people who are hurt.
- Prince (and later King) Richard from Tales of Graces. When his father is murdered, he leads the uprising and insists upon fighting alongside his men. Also, as revealed in the epilogue, he dedicates his time to killing the monsters Lambda created.
- Toki from Time and Eternity repeatedly travels back in time to prevent the murder of her fiancee at her own wedding. She ends up saving the entire timeline while she's at it.
- The royal families in the Total War series. They can act as generals, accompanied onto the battlefield by generals, and can also act as a provincial governors, their personal attributes influencing the efficiency with which the province is managed (for better or worse).
- Less son in the games set later, such as Empire and Napoleon. However, historically, many of the generals in Napoleon were aristocrats. Examples include Napoleon himself and Mikhail Kutuzov, although neither had actually been born into nobility. Napoleon made himself Emperor, and Kutuzov was granted the title of Knyaz (Prince or Duke) after his victory over the Turks.
- Arcueid Brunestud is one. Actually, by this point 'doing stuff' is pretty much all she does anymore when not sleeping. She used to be treated like a princess by a castle full of vampires, but then she killed them all. But she's still doing the job that went with being a princess, and other characters still refer to her as one.
- The Ultima series: The only reason Lord British isn't joining your party (without cheating) is to maintain some pretense at game balance. Nonetheless he aids you constantly, offering equipment, aid, room and board, and free heals and resurrections for both you, your party and the occasional collateral-damage NPC. Shamino, who can and usually does join you in practically every game, is also a king, although he's been stranded in Britannia since the breaking of Sosaria during the time of Exodus. And they're both Richard Garriott.
- Lord British gets off his throne twice of note- in the backstory to Ultima V he leads the expedition into the underworld; and in Ultima IX he realizes he has been relying on you too much, and personally goes off to kick Blackthorn's ass and stop the moons in their courses.
- Prince Maximillian from Valkyria Chronicles who takes an active hand in The Empire's invasion of Gallia.
- Princess Alicia in Valkyrie Profile 2 Silmeria, along with a good chunk of the Einherjar she can call up who happen to be royals of one sort or another.
- Warcraft, especially Warcraft III, has several royal heroes fighting on the frontlines, including Arthas, Muradin Bronzebeard (and his brothers in World of Warcraft, to an extent), Kael'thas and Anub'arak (ancient king-turned-traitor of Azjol-Nerub).
- Brann Bronzebeard is so active as an Adventurer Archaeologist in the more recent expansions that his status as royalty seems mostly superfluous to his character.
- Warcraft II rather inverts the trope, with legendary and/or royal heroes who when they appear on the field need to be kept away from the front lines at all cost, being weaker than regular units.
- Then there is Varian Wrynn, King of Stormwind, in the comics. When he was introduced in World of Warcraft, he was quite a bit too eager to fight to actually make wise decisions, but he seems to have mellowed down in Icecrown Citadel.
- Varian's father Llane Wrynn was one of the most beloved kings of Stormwind. It was his courage and determination that kept the orcs from razing the city for the 4 years of the First War. Then he turns his back on a former ally and gets his heart cut out for his trouble. Without Llane, Stormwind falls quickly. Lord Anduin Lothar (descended from the Arathi royal line) is a skilled commander and fighter. Unfortunately, his duel with Orgrim Doomhammer ends with his skull crushed by Doomhammer's warhammer of the same name.
- Sylvanas Windrunner, the Banshee Queen, also fits.
- She's technically not royalty as much as just calls herself that.
- You also have Genn Greymane, king of Gilneas, even before becoming a worgen. During the Second War, he personally leads the Gilneas forces to cut off orc reinforcements after the ruler of the neighboring kingdom of Alterac makes a deal with Orgrim Doomhammer. He's the first to leap into battle. In the novel Wolfheart, Genn and Varian go on a hunt and bond over a fight with an angry bear. This is despite the fact that Genn is by this point over 70 years old. Genn's son was also this until taking a poisoned arrow for his father.
- In Ys Seven we have Aisha, she originally joins up with Adol and Dogi as a Princess Incognito to investigate the Bizarre phenomenons happening all over Altago. After a bit she ends up getting found out when she returns back and the King Introduces Adol and Dogi to her(Unaware that she was with them the entire time). However after the The Last Seal is gathered by the group and Adol and Company become fugitives after being framed for the murder of the king, she is temporarily removed from the party and is forced to stay in the castle.
- Victoria from Agarest Senki 2. She's of the opinion that one should lead from the front-lines rather than behind and is a general via Asskicking Equals Authority. Mostly gets it from her father Wolfgang, who himself is a Reasonable Authority Figure who admits the only reason he isn't fighting is because of old age.
- The Taiidan Emperor from Homeworld provides a Deconstruction: being a paranoid tyrant and having no idea of what he's doing, he made an enemy of most of the galaxy, brought the Taiidan population on the verge of rebellion, and then triggered it by ordering the destruction of Kharak in his paranoia. He also personally commands the Imperial Guard in the final battle, but proves an inept commander and, once the initial ambush is survived, the player can take him down with relative ease.
- Eternal Sonata has Prince Crescendo and Princess Serenade. Prince Crescendo is the prince of Baroque, who is taking care of the kingdom in place of his ailing father. When the kingdom is threatened by Forte, he decides to turn himself over to the game's Big Bad, Count Waltz. The Updated Re-release PlayStation 3 version gives him more to do by having him join your party and making him part of a Bonus Dungeon. Serenade is his fiancee and a spy for Forte, but she realizes that what Forte is doing is wrong and flips sides. She also joins the party in the updated rerelease.
- Nobles in A Magical Roommate study magic and perform experiments. The general impression is that if a war really did break out, they'd be ready for it, but since war is so unlikely, they're ready for governing and magic.
- King Arthur in Arthur, King of Time and Space. In the Space Arc he's a bold explorer, in the Fairy Tale Arc, he's a brave knight, and in both (and the Contemporary Arc, where he's CEO of Excalicorp) he's dedicated to helping ordinary people.
- In The Challenges of Zona two of the three main characters, Zona and Tula are princesses.
- King David Johann from Dominic Deegan. He had apparently been manipulating the events of the world for at least twenty years without being discovered. Did we mention he enchanted the other four archmagi to convince them to make him one?
- The Dreamland Chronicles. You even have to prepare for it
- Drive: La Familia are the only ones able to maintain the Ring Drive technology which enables FTL travel. However, this is because they inflict Disproportionate Retribution on anyone who tries to steal the secrets of how it works.
- This means that every Ring Drive ship has a chief engineer on it who is related (fairly closely) to the Emperor of all mankind. It also means that if you're in the family ... well, hope you like engineering; the limiting factor how many ships the Empire has appears to be the number of family members there are to run them. You'll also be drafted young; the protagonists' ship has a 15-year-old Chief Engineer ... he's not some kind of wunderkind technological genius, he's just what was available.
- The clan nobles in Drow Tales are universally taught some degree of fighting skills and specialize in either weapon or mana-based combat.
- In Erfworld, Royals level up faster, have higher stats, and grant significant leadership bonuses to any units they command. Exactly how this works has yet to be revealed. Even the ones who aren't in combat make cities work better, simply by inspecting the relevant facilities. Possibly the most mixed example of this trope up here.
- It may be because royalty are theoretically supposed to be the healthiest and most competent in their fields. They would get the best (and most) food, be trained by the best instructors, and there's nothing like your king/queen/prince(ss) leading you themselves for a confidence boost.
- Alternatively, as is often the point of Erfworld, that's how it works because that's how it works. Where actual physical and mental differences are imbued by virtue of how many schmuckers are spent to pop you, it could lead to some pretty one-sided situations; consider Charlie's premium package in regards to his Archons.
- Hero of Evon: Heir to a duchy in The Pridelands and a world famous heroic adventurer.
- Girl Genius, given that half of rulers are Mad Scientists, and another half have to deal with them. Titles are shuffled, though, for the same reason.
- Baron Wulfenbach is often shown resolving disputes and coming up with schemes. He's also one of the best combatants in the series, leading some of his armies' assaults personally and out-swordfighting Zeetha. Is literally covered in scars. His disproportionate title comes up several times — he could have declared himself Emperor Klaus I as well, and the fact that he didn't is one of the indications he's not a straight Evil Overlord character. Royalty has rules the Wulfenbachs see no reason to follow, and the royals resent Klaus' rule partly because he comes from a minor house, which is an important factor in the willingness of the Fifty Families to recognize a new Storm King.
- The scars aren't because of all the action he gets into, though. It was just the once.
- Gil, who fenced with monsters he had enhanced just for training, and was subject of constant drills as Klaus tried to make him the proper heir. After being asked what kind of Empire's heir didn't even built a Death Ray, he invents a Lightning Gun and proceeds to personally test it on an intruding mechanized army. In a recent chapter he managed to throw a Mini-Mecha with his bare hands after getting shot. He's not quite up to the Baron's level in the scheming department, but is under pressure to learn fast.
- Played with somewhat in the Sturmvoraus clan, who at first appearance seem like an entire family of Chessmasters in a vast conspiracy to overthrow the Baron's government. Two are killed off, and the remaining family member, Tarvek, is left as the Unwitting Pawn at the end of a Gambit Pileup. He did, while pretending to not pay attention, pick up enough skills to fight Gil to a standstill. Tarvek also manipulates everybody else's plots throughout the Sturmhalten arc, especially his "sister's," though since Agatha was unexpected he has to do a lot of Xanatos Speed Chess and does wind up being shot by Lucrezia at the end of the arc.
- More than once, rulers were told off by their supporters for allowing the enthusiasm to pull them from strategical heights and trying to do personally more than necessary during a crisis.
- In the novelization Agatha H. and the Airship City, it's mentioned that the Baron encourages this among his vassals, insisting they take part in planting, harvesting, and so on. A lot of Gil and Tarvek's peers have embraced this, because it's fun and pisses off their parents.
- There is also Krosp I "Emperor" of all cats, Agatha's Liege lord, and one of the few people in the entire comic working solely towards her health, welfare, and safety. As any good king should for his subjects. Well, the one's intelligent enough to bother with, anyways.
- Homestuck: Feferi Peixes sits at the very top of the blood-caste hemospectrum and is slated to become Empress of Alternia except the planet was destroyed. Given how troll society seems to actually encourage sociopathic jerkass behavior, you'd think she'd be the worst... nope. She's likely the nicest and friendliest of the whole group, and the time she's not spending feeding her lusus so it won't annihilate the troll race, she's caring for animals and preparing a social reform pertaining to actually caring for and helping the weak and infirm (as opposed to killing them off for being weak and infirm). When she takes the throne, Alternia may be in for a very positive change. Except that won't happen now, due to there being no Alternia anymore.
- The various Black and White Kings are also very active, to the point where there's an entire planet designed just for them to lead battles on.
- The current Troll Empress, Her Imperious Condescension serves as the emissary of her race with a flagship that rides at the tip of her space armada powered by an incredibly powerful psyker, flying to new races first and making a good impression. That is, before she leaves and lets the rest of her fleet conquer said race.
- And, strictly speaking, every player of Sburb is either a Prince or Princess of Derse or Prospitnote , to say nothing of the players whose titles are "Prince of (Aspect)", namely (Dirk Strider and the late Eridan Ampora.)
- Last Res0rt has Princess Adharia Kuvoe, one of the four Executioners on the Deadly Game Reality Show. She tends to oscillate between Crazy Awesome and Lady of War most of the time, but in her defense, she's fighting to regain control of her kingdom, by demonstrating what a good warrior the reality show has turned her into!
- Since taking lordship from his uncle, The Order of the Stick's Hinjo has been a decidedly hands-on monarch, even personally battling hobgoblins on the walls of the city and charging their clerical leader, Redcloak.
- Also said uncle, who took advantage of being old and not being a Paladin to be able to fool everyone in thinking he was easy to manipulate and that he was being manipulated by someone else when he did something they didn't like, thus being able to govern properly. He then took advantage of it by bringing the Order to do a job he wasn't legally allowed to do, for the good of his nation. Making a Kangaroo Court with a fake holy warrior as a judge. Keep in mind, he did this to fool not only people who wouldn't hesitate to kill him for their own desires, but a full army of paladins. And the only other person he could count on was a ghost that he couldn't allow to get out of his room, so no help from him. That Magnificent Bastard had serious balls, no wonder Belkar of all people respected him.
- Samurai Princess: The king and princess of the fictional kingdom of Samprini are seen in the field way more than they are in their castle.
- Vampire Cheerleaders: In a surpise twist, Stephanie Kane begins the series as a cryptid hunter and eventually becomes one herself, when she's abducted by the mothmen and chosen to become their new Queen. As such, her primary responsibilities were to help defend them against the Reptilians and to repopulate their species.
- Chaos Fighters has its own share of royal protagonists: Clair and Shefan, a princess and a prince in different countries in Route of Land along with Selia, a queen and Clair's mother in a side story Robbery Assault. They are all as capable of fighting as other characters.
- Played with in The Fate Of Paul Twister. Princess Ashley Rebekah de Morgan is known as a member of the Royal knights and an agent of her father's, and when she shows up she's able to get Paul bailed out of prison... except that the woman who showed up was actually an impostor, not the real Princess!
- In The Insane Quest of Unfathomable Randomness, Mortal, the Prince of the Blob planet, and Luna, Princess of Haruvia, both are no slouches when it comes to helping the group. Luna's mother defended her home planet from incoming attackers, but was killed by the original Smoosh.
- A villainous example is the Queen of the Crown from Adventures of the Galaxy Rangers. She is attempting to hold together a large and crumbling Evil Empire, and is doing well enough at it to pose serious threats to most of the galaxy. Several episodes, including "Mindnet", show that she is a capable and lethal sorceress and her favorite bit of Magitek, the Psychocrypt, is used for stripping the souls out of compatible beings, mashing them down for Life Energy, and using them to create constructs through which she can see and hear - administering her empire personally.
- In Adventures of the Gummi Bears, King Gregor is a man of action and Princess Calla takes after him well as a Badass Princess.
- In The Adventures of Teddy Ruxpin, Prince Arin personally goes out to find his sister, Aruzia, after she's kidnapped. Later in the series, both take an active part in helping their subjects during a drought, as do their parents the King and Queen.
- Princess Bubblegum from Adventure Time works actively to help her kingdom and occasionally get Finn and Jake out of trouble. Finn also tried to do this after being Offered the Crown of the goblin kingdom, but they really didn't want an active monarch.
- The Earl of Lemongrab is a negative example of this trope. His short but disastrous reign of the Candy Kingdom shows just how dangerous it is to have somebody inexperienced (or just plain ignorant) in power. All he wanted was an orderly, quiet, clean kingdom, but he went about it in a way that was completely BEYOND wrong. (He imprisoned everybody for one million years!)
- The Ice King, if you sort of stretch it. He doesn't really have any subjects other than penguins, but in the pitch documents it's said that he was the one who shaped all of the mountains, and built his own ice castle. He spends a lot of time making fantastical ice creatures and changing the weather. How does that really benefit anyone, if he doesn't rule over anyone? It doesn't- but it's still awesome. The Ice Kingdom seems to be doing well for what it is.
- In Avatar: The Last Airbender, Royalty tends to be this more often than not, especially since the war with the Fire Nation made being an idle royal a bad idea. Even the demure Princess Yue joins with the Moon spirit to save it. About the only royal who truly didn't fit this was the Earth Kingdom king, who was kept in the dark due to an Evil Chancellor.
- The Legend of Korra: General Iroh, Zuko's grandson and the current Fire Lord's (Zuko's daughter) son. Also, he doesn't serve in the Fire Nation's army, but in the United Forces army with members from all the nations.
- Zuko himself is traveling the world during this time as an ambassador for peace. He's in his eighties and it's not slowing him down at all.
- Korra, in addition to being the Avatar, also happens to be the niece of the Northern Water Tribe's chief and as of the end of season 2, technically a princess.
- In one episode of the animated adaptation of Babar, Babar and Rataxes switch roles and rule each other's kingdoms for a day. When he arrives at Babar's palace, Rataxes is aghast to find that Babar spends most of his time actually governing Celesteville.
- Birdman episode "The Empress of Evil". The prince of the Maja Raja saves the day when he gives Birdman a diamond from his turban that he says came from the sun god, Ra.
- On Dave the Barbarian, the King and Queen of Udrogoth are currently off trying to defeat all evil in the entire world. (It's taking a while.) They've left their older daughter Candy in charge of running the kingdom and their oldest son Dave in charge of defending it, both with the help of their younger daughter Fang and Uncle Odwidge.
- In DC Showcase: Green Arrow (a short that appeared on the Superman / Shazam DVD), when Green Arrow took an arrow in the leg from Merlyn while rescuing 10-year-old Princess Perdita of Vlatava from an assassination plot, the young princess, who had kept her head throughout the ordeal, applied a field bandage to Green Arrow's wound. She also encouraged Black Canary to accept Green Arrow's marriage proposal.
- Princess Kneesaa and, to a lesser extent, Chief Chirpa in Ewoks.
- From Futurama: I AM LRRR! Ruler of Omicron Persei 8! I have no problem leading an invasion on Earth, or eating a smelly hippie!
- The Galaxy Trio. Gravity Girl is the princess of her home planet, but chooses to explore the galaxy as a superhero and leave the ruling to the rest of her family.
- And then there are all the Royals Who Actually Do Something in Gargoyles. You have Princess Katherine, who actively protected the Gargoyle eggs from destruction, and shot Demona for attacking her clan. Then there is Macbeth, who has spent over nine hundred years becoming one of the greatest warriors alive, and then there was the fact that he was actively involved in battles to protect his wife and son. And then there is King Arthur, who once he is woken up by Elisa, hands Macbeth's ass to him on a platter and searches the world for his friend and mentor, Merlin.
Princess Katherine: Nobody hurts my eggs!
Fox: That still doesn't change what you tried to do.
Titania: What makes you think this wasn't exactly what I had planned from the beginning?
- He-Man and the Masters of the Universe (1983): Prince Adam is not an example of this trope. He-Man is a completely different person. Stop making stuff up.
- And She-Ra is supposed to be Adam's sister? Don't talk nonsense.
- Adora and Glimmer would both like their services in the name of the Rebellion noted.
- Luckily for Eternia, the 2002 version of King Randor successfully redeems his family. In addition to his diplomatic prowess, he is a highly capable swordfighter and former captain of the royal guard.
- Randor and Marlena were pretty badass in the original series, only they didn't get to show it off as much. Randor once went to town on a room full of Killer Robots to aid in his own rescue from Snake Mountain; He-Man was impressed and assured him that "Adam" would have been, too. Marlena was an astronaut and Ace Pilot in her backstory and once saved her family and friends by owning Skeletor and his forces in an aerial battle.
- Prince Rupert of Mulravia is also a soccer player. His father was one as well.
- Given the kind of power and influence the Garkos Family has over the Island of Garkos, Stavros Garkos, his brother Spiro Garkos and his sister Melinda Garkos are also examples of this trope. Stavros' niece, who expected to obtain a vice-presidency in Garkos Enterprises in exchange for helping him with one of his plots, might also qualify.
- Speaking of My Little Pony, Rosedust, the queen of the Flutter Ponies from the movie and the original cartoon, was the one to lead the charge when the Flutter Ponies took action. And she is not someone you'd want to mess with. The six princesses of Ponyland also went on a "save the world" quest. In the UK Comics, Majesty (the Queen of Ponyland, who never showed up in the cartoon) was very proactive on the "kicking evil's behind" thing. And her abilities could give Twilight Sparkle a run for her money.
- In My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic Princess Celestia is, among other things, responsible for raising the sun and moon. Her younger sister Princess Luna resumes responsibility for the moon once she is freed from being Nightmare Moon.
- Another milder example in Celestia's case is that she notably took up tutoring and technically raising the show's asocial bookworm hero, Twilight Sparkle, for the remainder of her childhood, as well as Spike.
- It is also worth note that she is consistently portrayed at having very little to no free time, as her official responsibilities often drag her away from things she'd rather be doing.
- Then there's villainous Queen Chrysalis of the changelings, whose duties involve actively searching and providing food sources for her subjects. She also infiltrates Canterlot and leads the invasion on Equestria.
- It happened in the backstory, but Princess Mi Amore Cadenza babysitting a young Twilight Sparkle probably wasn't a royal duty.
- Her duties as the ruler of the Crystal Empire includes raising a massive barrier to protect it should some terrible evil threaten it, and keep that barrier going until said evil is vanquished, no matter how long it takes. Sleep? This princess sleeps when the job is done, not before.
- During the royal wedding preparations, Luna spends the nights keeping watch over Canterlot. As in, patrolling the grounds and surveilling key points with a large telescope.
- Princess Luna is also the protector of dreams. Meaning that she sneaks around inside ponies' dreams and vanquishes anything that could cause distress or fright.
- In Inspiration Manifestation, the Princesses seem to be at Equestria's beck and call to solve big magical problems: Twilight gets called to rescue two ponies from the crystallized gazebo, and Princesses Cadence and Luna assist her in fixing Rarity's messes in Ponyville later on.
- In Equestria Games, when the cloud falls, Celestia and Luna are seen entering the fray like all the pegasi. This picture◊ proves it. Twilight (attending the games in a royal capacity, complete with crown) is also about to lend assistance, but Spike makes his move before she can act.
- Deconstructed in Twilights Kingdom Part 1. Twilight spends most of the episode lamenting how she hasn't been given much to do as a princess other than "smile an wave" and unfurl a banner for some visiting dignitaries, and is especially distraught when Celestia tasks Discord over her with tracking down the escapee from Tartarus. Twilight is finally given a role at the end of the episode when the other princesses inform her that they must rid themselves of their magic to protect it from Tirek.
- In Twilights Kingdom Part 2, after the Mane Six harness the Rainbow Power version of the Elements of Harmony, Twilight earns the title of "Princess of Friendship", with the role of spreading the Magic of Friendship across Equestria.
- Twilight Sparkle almost counts as an inversion. Her elevation to the rank of Princess comes about as a direct result of her capabilities and achievements.
- Another villainous example: Princess Ingrid from Pierre et Isa, a series about the Winter Olympic Games. Sure, she is a bad loser and an inveterate cheater, but that doesn't change the fact that she is an actual princess who is also an Olympic games level athlete!
- Samurai Jack:
- Jack himself is a prince, technically, but has lived in exile most of his life, due to Aku having destroyed his father's kingdom; he's devoted his life to defeating Aku and undoing the hellish future he's turned the world into.
- His father was no slouch either; as seen in "Birth of Evil", he kicked Aku's ass good, and this guy was Emperor of Japan.
- And there's Aku, the Shape-Shifting Master of Darkness who rules his future with an iron fist, and is seen demanding tribute from newly conquered peoples, usually in the form of regular commissions of new Aku-shaped structures, to remind all who runs things around here. Most metropolitan regions in the series feature Aku horns in the skyline.
- Minor example in the episode "Jack and the Spartans", the Spartan King is not only their king, but leads their army against the invading robot horde.
- In the Villain Episode "The Princess and the Bounty Hunters", there was Princess Mira, not just a princess but a Dark Action Girl and bounty hunter. (And without a doubt, the most Genre Savvy of the group who had gathered to ambush Jack.)
- Except for the time she deposed her villainous sister from the throne, Starfire of the Teen Titans doesn't actually do much for her own planet, which she is a princess of. She even gave away the crown to her Parental Substitute almost as soon as she got it. Not because she's lazy (probably), but because she's much too busy doing something on planet Earth. In the comics, it was because she was sold into slavery as part of the peace agreement and could never return to Tamaran, otherwise the deal would be off and her people would wind up destroyed. Not like it didn't happen anyway...
- The title ThunderCats were members of the nobility who were expected to be competent warriors who could protect the people. Commoners who demonstrated exceptional bravery and skill in this regard could even be promoted to this rank, such as with the New ThunderCats, and it was implied that Cheetara came from a similar background. (One of the not-so-Darker and Edgier Wildstorm comics expanded on this.) Then there was the Lord of the ThunderCats, who not only wielded the Sword of Omens, but had to prove his mettle by besting each of the ThunderCats in their area of expertise and defeat his most evil foe in combat without the help of said sword. He wasn't allowed to use the Sword. He won by smashing Mumm-Ra's sarcophagus, turning him to dust. At the end of the episode, the casket pulled itself back together, and Mumm-Ra's voice gave this chilling line...
Mumm-Ra: As long as evil exists, Mumm-Ra lives. Mumm-Ra lives. Mumm-Ra lives!!!!
- The revived series plays the Cats' Proud Warrior Race angle for all that it's worth and then some; it's implied that the only reason that the generals are the ones to lead Thunderan expedition armies is because the King, being the strongest swordsman and best strategist, stays behind to safeguard his kingdom, personally leading counter-charges when appropriate. Lion-O was seen as a disappointment because he was interested in rediscovering the mythical technology and seeking peace (or at least minimized hostility) with the other races, rather than keeping them in line with an iron fist.
- In Winx Club we have Stella, the princess of Solaria, and Layla, the princess of Andros, both are powerful fairies in their own right. Bloom as well once realizing she's the lost princess of Domino. Roxy in season 4 once finding out that Queen Morgana is her long lost mother. Sky is the prince of Eraklyon, but is also a fighter. Shown prominently when he's armed with the Sword of Domino.
- In W.I.T.C.H., Queen Elyon thought life after her coronation would be all rest and relaxation, but after finding out she actually had to run the kingdom's affairs and deal with its problems, she began longing for the "princess" part of being queen. This all on top of her role as the Heart of Meridian, giving her powers equal to those of the main heroines combined.
- Young Justice: The first thing Queen Perdita of Vlatava does after life-threatening heart surgery is tell her supervillain uncle she's revoking his title and diplomatic immunity. That is one tough kid.
- Her uncle is a villainous example, actively working as the leader of the Injustice League and agent of the Light prior to his arrest. And speaking of which, two members of the Light are royal: Queen Bee and Ocean-Master/Prince Orm.
- Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood has Prince Wednesday and King Friday.