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Warrior Prince
Edward of Woodstock, the Black Prince

This is where a member of royalty actually takes part in battle himself, especially as commander. This was once quite common, and examples of it can be found from time to time in the present day. It is a favourite of epic and romantic tales. A warrior prince can be a Wise Prince, bravely fighting for his kingdom; he can also be an evil conqueror. While this character always stands a high chance of being a Bad Ass it is even more likely in that second case, as the Big Bad exposing himself requires a certain level of Badassery.

Very, very common in myth and legend, going back to those Older Than Dirt.

A subtrope of Royals Who Actually Do Something. See also Authority Equals Ass Kicking, Lady of War, and the Distaff Counterpart, Badass Princess.

In terms of the ranks of Authority Tropes, the tropes that are equal are The Evil Prince, Prince Charming, Prince Charmless, The Wise Prince, and all Princess Tropes.

The next steps down are The Caligula, The Good Chancellor, Standard Royal Court and Deadly Decadent Court. The next steps up are The Good King, God Save Us from the Queen!, The High Queen, and The Woman Wearing the Queenly Mask.


Examples:

    open/close all folders 

    Anime and Manga 

    Comicbooks 
  • The Shi'ar royal family in X-Men comics. It starts out with the mad emperor D'Ken and his two warrior princess sisters. Then he's overthrown and his sane sister Lilandra takes the throne, leaving his insane sister Deathbird to command the imperial guard (with occasional holidays to Earth where she works as a supervillain).
  • The DC superhero Geo-Force's civilian identity is Prince Brion Markov of Markovia; his half-sister, Terra, is likewise Markovian royalty.
  • Namor was doing this back when he was still only a Prince (and he's still generally referred to as such, despite being the King of Atlantis). This is, almost without exception, the cause of any perceived villainy in his publishing history: it's all either in the name of protecting or avenging Atlantis.
  • Aquaman still takes time to fight for Truth, Justice and the ____ way when he's not busy ruling over Atlantis.
    • Tempest was like this too during the War of the Lights, he became king of Atlantis because he was the only one left. Then he died.
  • Isplourrdacartha Estillo, aka Plourr Illo, was a princess who joined the Rebellion. Not as a diplomat, though. She's a mechanic, a pilot, and a brawler.
  • Iolande of the Green Lantern Corps would like to be this, and was for a while, but the deaths of the rest of her family meant she had to take the throne. Being the ruler of an entire world leaves little time for ring-slinging.
  • Prince Valiant
  • Thor, son of Odin, would fit this trope, as his father rules over Asgard and its people (although later on Thor becomes King after his father's death). Thor functions as the premier warrior, paragon and champion of Asgard and still takes time from godly duties to put in time as Earth's Mightiest Hero and the God of Thunder and Lightning.

    Film 
  • Sharif Ali in Lawrence of Arabia is great for this. He was a perfect Hollywood version of a romanticised Bedouin warrior-prince, being dignified, honourable, and quite badass.
  • Fabious, in Your Highness. His brother, Thadeous? Not so much.
  • Thorin in the beginning of The Hobbit. Fíli and Kíli become this after Thorin becomes King Under the Mountain, as they are his heirs. Also a case of Royals Who Actually Do Something.
  • The hero of Krull.
  • It's very much a part of the plot of Excalibur that Uther Pendragon is a far better warrior than he is a king. Arthur, while certainly a capable warrior, is also good at actually ruling a nation.
  • A Knight's Tale has England's Edward Prince of Wales, the Black Prince, is an acknowledge warrior who comes to respect the would be knight.
  • Prince Hans of Frozen shows impressive fighting skill when he goes up against Elsa's massive Snowlem.

    Folklore 

    Literature 
  • Prince Roger of the March Upcountry series, against the desires of his bodyguards. Very much to their surprise, he's a good one, and towards the end is fighting more to protect them than they him. He is assisted by Rastar Komas Ta'Norton, the alien Prince of lost Therdan, who joins Roger as a mercenary, and Rastar's cousin Honal.
  • Aileron, the elder prince in Guy Gavriel Kay's The Fionavar Tapestry, contrasting with his younger brother Diarmuid who is more of a dandy, albeit a cool one.
    • Well they're both warriors, Diarmuid even fighting the champion of the Big Bad (he loses, but puts up a good fight). The difference is that Aileron is a soldier.
  • Gwydion, Prince of Don in Lloyd Alexander's Chronicles of Prydain novels, who is also The Wise Prince and a Supporting Leader. Justified, as he's "the prince" because he's the High King's war leader. The books also have Fflewddur Fflam, Warrior Poet king.
    • The final book in the series gives us an inversion in the case of Taran. He becomes a great warrior who lead an army of his own, and afterwards was named the next High King of Prydain.
  • Gawain and Galad from The Wheel of Time, though neither ends up fighting for their country in the end.
  • In A Song of Ice and Fire, Robb Stark leads the war against the Lannisters from the front. Rhaegar Targaryen pulled double duty as The Wise Prince, though he did so posthumously.
    • The series is full of them. Daeron I and Maekar I were both skilled warriors, as were Aegon I and Maegor I, who along with Aegon II had dragons, Robert I led men into battle during the Greyjoy Rebellion and was probably the third or forth best warrior in the world at the time, Daemon Blackfyre was a royal claimant and possibly the best warrior of all time, and although not strictly royalty Jaime Lannister is the heir to one of the leading families in the kingdom and the greatest warrior in the world. More literally, Maegor and Maekar established great reputations while they were still princes, Maekar's older brother Baelor was even better but died before becoming king, Aegon II's younger brother Aemond and uncle Daemon were never in line to inherit to inherit and fought heroically in the Dance of Dragons, Stannis Baratheon is a master tactician and possessed of incredible fortitude and willpower, and Llewyn and Oberyn Martell, although only Princes in the sake of being brothers to a non-independent ruler whose title is traditionally that of Prince, are still referred to by the title and are both quite lethal.
  • It's quite normal in Forgotten Realms, but Cormyr has a Warrior Princess — Alusair, who loved to go kicking asses and scoring cool guys adventuring whenever possible, even if her family wasn't too happy about this. Usually taking some elite troops for good company, but why not...
  • Let us not forget Carrot Ironfoundersson, the last remaining descendant of the kings of Ankh in Discworld, who instead of claiming his right to rule (Lord Vetinari already does a very good job at that, and many, including possibly Carrot, have an issue with him having a 'right' to rule in the first place), prefers to remain in his position as Captain of the City Watch.
  • Andalites are a subversion: Their army is full of princes...but their society has no royalty whatsoever. "Prince" and "War-Prince" are purely military ranks.
  • Crown Prince Janaki chan Calirath is fulfilling the tradition of his family by learning what it's like to be a soldier, and ends up organizing a successful defense against enemy attack, even knowing (thanks to precognitive abilities) that doing so means he will die.
  • In The Elder Scrolls Novels, Prince Attrebus is a Deconstruction of this.
  • Middle-Earth is full of these guys of all three major Free Peoples.
    • In The Silmarillion nearly the entire House of Finwë is composed of Elven Warrior Princes. Finrod Felagund fits the type perfectly, being a Reasonable Authority Figure who goes out with a Heroic Sacrifice, killing a Savage Wolf with his bare hands. Fëanor & Sons... are much less reasonable, but no less Warrior Princes. Eärendil, the closest the House of Finwë has to half-elven royalty, is no slouch, having slain the greatest winged dragon single-handedly while piloting his flying ship.
    • The Lord of the Rings is certainly not missing this trope either, with Aragorn the Heir of Isildur, Boromir and Faramir (who are practically royalty), and the royal house of Rohan. Legolas is also a prince, the son of King Thranduil of Mirkwood. Even Pippin and Merry might count: Pippin's the heir to the Took, who's the closest thing the Shire has to a head of state, and Merry's the heir to the Master of Buckland, another prestigious title.
    • Dwarves in all three ages often had warrior-kings and warrior-princes. Examples include Azaghâl in The Silmarillion and Thorin Oakenshield in The Hobbit.
  • His Royal Highness Prince Nigel Cluim Gwydion Rhys Haldane, Prince Regent and Duke of Carthmoor, as depicted in the Deryni works. The "Iron Duke" is a skilled military tactician and a natural-born leader who inspires confidence and respect in his soldiers as well as in the pages and squires he trains at the Haldane Court. He was part of the expedition against the Marluk (a Festillic Pretender to the throne of Gwynedd) as well as the campaign against Wencit of Torenth in High Deryni. Nigel also functions much as an American Vice President, presiding over Gwynedd's court when Kelson is dealing with Mearan rebels, travelling on his quest for Saint Camber's relics, and when he attends Liam-Lajos' enthronement in King Kelson's Bride.
  • Numerous examples in the work of David and Leigh Eddings. The Belgariad features Kings Anheg of Cherek, Korodullin of Arendia, Cho-Hag of Algaria, Taur Urgas of Cthol Murgos, and later King Belgarion of Riva and Zakath, Emperor of Boundless Mallorea.
  • Gilthanas in the Dragonlance Chronicles.
  • Quite normal in the setting of the Barsoom novels, although there are also many (villainous) rulers who are dirty cowards instead. The ultimate example is of course John Carter, the Warlord of Mars, which title means basically "biggest badass on the planet."
  • Paul Atreides in Dune.
    • The prequel novels add even more. Paul's grandfather Paulus personally led troops in battle on Ecaz, along with his friend Dominic Vernius, Earl of Ix. This dates back to Xavier Harkonnen during the Butlerian Jihar who comes from a noble house.
  • King David. True, he's an inversion of this trope as he killed 200 Philistines to obtain his Awesome Moment of Crowning and become King Saul's son-in-law, having been born a common shepherd. Regardless, he continued to serve as a soldier even after becoming a prince.
  • Each and every Princeps of Alera in Codex Alera. The children of the other High Lords also qualify to a degree; notably Crassus and Maximus, who are respectively Lord Antillus's heir and his illegitimate son and both of whom hold critical positions in the military. It helps that all of the High Blood are ludicrously powerful furycrafters. And extra special points to Gaius Octavian, a Crazy Awesome badass with or without any furycrafting abilities at all and the sort of commander who, to quote Fidelias, men would follow into a leviathan's gullet.
    • Octavian even kills the Vord Queen personally at the climax of the battle with the Vord. If that doesn't qualify him for this trope, nothing will.
  • Every Prince of Leah in the Shannara series. Ander Elessedil of the Elves combines this with The Wise Prince in Elfstones.
  • The Belisarius Series had tons of these. This Troper liked Rana Sanga best, but there was also Eon, Rao and Shakuntula, several of the Persians, and so on.
  • Highprinces Dalinar Kholin and Sadeas in The Stormlight Archive, maybe the other Alethi highprinces as well, but those are the only two we see in action. Also Gavilar was an actual warrior king.
  • After Jonathan becomes a knight and Tortall goes to war in "In the Hand of the Goddess."
  • Vlad Tepes in Count and Countess.
  • Emperor Gregor in The Vor Game is this Played for Laughs. He runs away from his duties as The Emperor, and gets involved in a local power struggle. He is for the most part a Sheltered Aristocrat, but because of his experience in Barrayar's Deadly Decadent Court, he actually does perform rather well, he is not cowardly at least and he does manage to outwit a local mercenary's scheme.
    • Aral and Miles are closer in some ways, Aral having the "traditional" warrior prince personality while Miles seems to fit a bit awkwardly even though he is very effective. Both of these however aren't close enough to the throne to exactly be called princes though they have a somewhat close relationnote  and come from the highest non-royal category of the Vor caste.
  • This is largely why Mark becomes Prince Consort of Tasavalta at the end of the Books Of Swords. Originally, he and Princess Kristin were forbidden from marrying by the nobles and the court because Mark was a commoner. Then it was revealed that Mark was a son of the Emperor, so they decided it was okay after all. Except that the Emperor in these books is not actually the ruler of any country, and was widely believed to be nothing more than a wandering clown; the very term "children of the Emperor" usually referred to paupers, fools, and orphans. On top of that, Mark was a bastard son of the Emperor in any case. What really happened was that the Tasavaltan army decided that they wanted a real warrior on the throne.
  • All over the place for the Honor Harrington series, beginning with the crown Prince of Manticore who was a naval officer, to Honor herself, as Steadholders are heads of state. Abigail Hearns, who goes into service in the Royal Manticoran Navy, is the daughter of a Steadholder, and thus technically a princess. Queen Berry Zilwicki's sister Helen is also a naval officer. The Imperial Andermani Navy is commanded by the Emperor's first cousin as well.
  • Everyone in Fiona Patton's Tales of the Branion Realm. Includes women due to unisex titles.
  • Considering that he not only killed a dragon with absolutely no magic and battled several hundred fire-spiders but also later defeated a hoshek before learning how to use his magic, (For reference, the last time someone had become hoshek, they'd basically leveled half the country before finally being taken down), Alaric from The Quest of the Unaligned probably counts.
    • It probably helps that before discovering he was a prince, he had been trained as a member of the First Tonzimmiel Security Force, something in between a policeman and a mercenary.
  • Black Crown: King Valerius Milvian in 'Black Crown' commands troops and fights on the battlefield. The Lords are shown to be able to hold their own in 'Schism' as well.

     Live Action Television 
  • Prince Arthur from Merlin. It's a key element to his character, since he's far more comfortable in this role than he is in any other aspect of ruling, a trait that is often lampshaded by other characters.
  • Prince Conor from Roar.
  • Kahless the Unforgettable and pretty much any Klingon aristocrat after him in Star Trek.
    • Kahless wasn't an aristocrat originally. He became Emperor after deposing the former ruler Molor.
      • In which case he became a Warrior Prince by a method Klingons would approve of.

     Tabletop Games 
  • The Traveller volume Nobles has a character template for a nobleman in the Imperial Navy.
  • Quite common in Warhammer Fantasy. With Authority Equals Asskicking and armed with Ancestral Weapon this means that several of them are capable to take down large monsters and demons.
  • In BattleTech the head of state of the Federated Suns is the "First Prince" (the title is applied to both genders); the position requires the individual to have served at least 5 years in the military. Victor Steiner-Davion is perhaps the most iconic recent example, more comfortable in a 'Mech cockpit than warming a throne and overshadowed by his famous father (who himself embodied this trope in his younger years before the death of his older brother forced him to become the Magnificent Bastard the whole Inner Sphere remembers).
  • In Exalted, Dragon-Blooded members of the Scarlet Dynasty are expected to be this. A Terrestrial Dynast who can't fight well is likely to be a shame upon their House, unless they are an incredibly amazing sorcerer or something.

    Theater 
  • William Shakespeare's history plays Henry IV and Henry V feature Prince Hal (the future King Henry V) and his rival Hotspur, who wasn't technically a prince, but is still a member of the aristocracy and set up as a foil to Hal.
  • Much Ado About Nothing begins with Don Pedro, Prince of Aragon, arriving in Messina after the wars.

    Videogames 
  • Prince Jarvan Lightshield IV, the Exemplar of Demacia of Leagueof Legends.
  • Common in Fire Emblem, but probably most exemplified in Prince Marth of FE1, Prince Seliph of FE4, Prince Ephraim of FE8, and Prince Chrom of FE13. Most of the others are dukes or marquesses rather than outright princes.
  • Prince of Persia.
    • Actually only one of the main characters (from Sands of Time) is a prince by blood, others just happen to have this title as a nickname.
    • Well, the main character of the very first game, in 1989, BECAME a Prince (by marrying a Princess) at the end.
    • Ditto for Destan in The Movie, even though he's an adopted prince. Played completely straight for his older brothers, who all have royal blood. The eldest brother commands the army. The second brother leads the cavalry, while Destan has a special squad perfect for infiltrating fortifications.
  • Prince Tristan in the first, and I believe also the second, Ogre Battle games.
  • Final Fantasy:
  • Though they never call him by the "prince" title, Jak from Jak and Daxter still fits the bill due to his royal heritage.
  • Mortal Kombat has Goro who is prince of the Shokan race, General of Outworld's armies, and 9 time champion of Mortal Kombat.
  • Suikoden V series features a benevolent example in the Prince of Falena, the Silent Protagonist of the game, while Suikoden II features the evil variety in the Prince of Highland, Luca Blight.
  • Cornelius of Odin Sphere becomes one by necessity. Turns out Oswald, being his cousin, also counts as one.
  • Bhanri, the Arcana of Lightning of Arcana Heart. According to her backstory, she was a warrior queen in life whose deeds made her legendary for many generations, ascending her to her current status.
  • Another female example: Princess Zelda is shown in such a capacity in the flashback sequence of The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess.
  • King Mickey, he can save your ass in the hard boss battles, and is basically the Yoda of the Kingdom Hearts series.
  • King Cailan of Dragon Age: Origins fits this trope... at least in his mind. He's particularly eager to battle the Darkspawn at the side of the Grey Wardens, like the kings featured in old stories, and is never seen out of his massive suit of GOLD battle armour. Unfortunately, his first encounter with an Ogre doesn't go well for him.
    • Then there's his half-brother Alistair, your fellow Grey Warden. Since he's a party member, he's considerably better at it and if he takes the throne, he even gives the rallying speech before the Battle of Denerim.
    • If you take the Dwarven Noble Origin, you briefly held the position of Commander of Orzammar's army before events force you to be exiled and join the Wardens.
    • The Human Noble has shades of this, as does their family. Even more so if they marry Queen Anora and become King-Consort, or if a Human Female Noble romances Alistair and put him on the throne, becoming Queen-Consort. In Awakening, they have to cut their honeymoon period short and return to active duty as the new Warden-Commander of Ferelden.
    • In the Awakening expanion, when a new Darkspawn threat emerges in Amarathine, the Warden (newly promoted to Warden-Commander) is made the new Arl of Amaranthine in order to combat the threat of the Darkspawn and rebuild the Arling in the wake of the Blight.
    • Similarly in Awakening, Nathaniel Howe has elements of this, attempting to redeem his family's sullied name.
    • In Dragon Age II, Prince Sebastian Vael of Starkhaven, who's family were murdered and throne was usurped, leaving him in exile. Depending on Hawke's relationship with him, he can be convinced to return to Starkhaven and retake the throne.
    • Over the course of Dragon Age II, Hawke becomes a noble in Kirkwall, the city's Champion and depending on whether or not Hawke supports the Templars, can even become the new Viscount at the end of the game.
    • While the Qunari do not believe in royalty, the Arishok's entire role as defined by the Qun could be considered this. Even their title "Arishok" can be variably translated as "One who struggles" or "Person of War".
  • Prince Ariona Allant, aka Ostrava, from Demon's Souls counts, but it's stretched a bit as he needs rescuing two of the three times you meet him in the Boletarian Palace.
  • Arthas Menethil, Prince of Lordaeron in Warcraft III, until his Face-Heel Turn. Kael'thas Sunstrider, Prince of Quel'thalas (although he uses magic) in Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne. Varian Wrynn, King of Stormwind in World of Warcraft.
    • Prince Liam Greymane is this in the Cataclysm expansion.
    • Jayne Proudmoore for a female example, as she is the daughter of Admiral Daelin Proudmoore, the late ruler of the nation of Kul Tiras, even though she also uses magic.
  • Bart from Xenogears appears to be a pirate, but is really a prince in hiding.
  • In Total War, as your generals are all members of your royal family, this is commonplace.
    • Except for Empire: Total War and Napoleon: Total War (except for Napoleon himself post-crowning).
  • Prince Laharl from Disgaea: Hour of Darkness.
  • Magic Knight Richard from Tales of Graces is the prince of one of the game's major kingdoms.
  • In Golden Sun: Dark Dawn, Prince Amiti of Ayuthay becomes an adventurer and joins your party in hopes that the experience will make him a wiser prince. It works; he goes from painfully naiive to being much more understanding, and kicks some ass along the way.
  • Artos who becomes the 'Warrior King' in the single-player campaign for the computer game Warrior Kings. He starts off as the son of a powerful baron and when his dad is murdered at the command of the Big Bad of the game, Artos leads an uprising and conquers province after province eventually owning the entire empire in the name of vengeance and either scientific enlightenment, the One God or the tribal gods of the pagans. Artos is very much the picture of Authority Equals Ass Kicking, barring the demons, the big bad and his 2nd, there is no unit more powerful than Artos and that's before he gains increased stats and new powers.
  • In the computer game Kohan, the protagonist Darius Javidan is this. He's the leader of the Royalist faction, who are the immortals that still rule their human subjects/descendants in comparison to to other good factions that have a more democratic relationship with humanity.
  • King Graham in King's Quest, justified in the fact that he was a knight before becoming king. Alexander may also count - although he's not really one for physical confrontation or battle, he's still accomplished some pretty badass feats, including quickly mastering many magical spells and riding Death's horse into the land of the dead.
  • The Prince of Midenhall in Dragon Quest II. Also the Prince of Cannock to some extent; his skill is split between fighting and magic.
  • The Prince of Somnia in Dragon Quest VI. He leads the group that destroys all 4 Dread Fiends and the Archfiend, is the only person alive who can equip the legendary artifacts and is able to unlock the 'Hero' class much more easily than any other character, only needing to complete one of the four prerequisite classes.
  • Quite a lot of people in Heroes of Might and Magic, in both 'verses. Archibald and Roland Ironfist are probably worth mentioning for being the first clear ones (canonically Roland more — Archibald fought in the siege of his final stronghold for the final battle while Roland served as an Hero for his top field commander during the final battle, but it would have been the other way around if Archibald had won the war).

    Webcomics 
  • Pella Brightwing from Twice Blessed is a deadly pixie warrior princess.
  • Gilgamesh Wulfenbach from Girl Genius, as well as Zeetha.
    • Prince Tarvek of Sturmhalten, heir to the Storm King, turns out to be less incompetent a fighter than his cousin/bodyguard Violetta had thought.
    • Zeetha's been training Agatha Heterodyne in combat, and now that Agatha's claimed her ancestral home of Mechanicsburg...
      Zeetha: You are in serious need of some princess lessons.
      Agatha: Prin- What?! Now?!
      Zeetha: Yes. Now. It's important. You're the new ruler of Mechanicsburg, you need to act like it. [...] First lesson. Every princess needs a battle axe. Here. Use this one until we find something more impressive.
      Agatha: Ah. That kind of princess.
      Zeetha: Come on. I saw some armor in a burning museum that's to die for.
  • Drow Tales is filled with the female variety, Sil'lice being a prime example. She led her entire household into war.
  • Last Res0rt has Princess Adharia Kuvoe, Executioner.
  • Prince Ansom of Jetstone and his brothers Ossomer and Tramennis all hold officer positions in the Royals' campaign against Stanley.
    • Jillian is a female variant, much to the disappointment of her father who had wanted a son and a philosopher.

    Web Original 
  • The Chaos Timeline has Prince Alasdair, later king Alexander of Scotland, Ireland, Scandinavia, and (shortly) elected king of Poland and Holy Roman Emperor. Later inspires this world's most famous modern fantasy epos.

    Western Animation 
  • Princess Azula, Prince Zuko, Iroh and Ozai in Avatar: The Last Airbender . And before Azula and Zuko got into the action, their cousin Lu Ten (Iroh's son) served in the Fire Nation's army.
    • Possibly also Sokka and Katara too, as their father was the chief of the Southern Water Tribe and they were in charge of the village. They never go by any royal titles, however, and aren't treated like royalty by their tribe.
  • Simba from The Lion King.
  • In The Fairly OddParents, Mark is technically the "warrior prince" of Yugopatamia... but it's pretty much in title only.
  • She-Ra: Princess of Power: Adora and Glimmer, Princesses of Eternia and Brightmoon respectively and high ranking leaders in The Rebellion, and that's not even counting Adora's Super Powered alter ego, the titular She-Ra.
    • He-Man and the Masters of the Universe (1983): Adora's brother Adam doesn't really count. While he is quite active in his He-Man persona, as Prince Adam he's considered lazy and useless by those who don't know his secret. Their father on the other hand was implied to be in the thick of things during the Horde invasion of Eternia.
  • Hiccup from How to Train Your Dragon grows into this.
  • Shining Armor from My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic. He was already captain of the guards before marrying a princess, and is willing to take on the towering mass of darkness that was King Sombra to protect his sister and her friends.

    Real Life 
  • This trope is the reason why foot soldiers are called infantry. In the Spanish army, the heir to the throne (principe) commanded the cavalry while King commanded the whole army. Those princes who were not heirs to the throne (infantes) commanded the footmen. The foot soldiers were thus called infanteria after the non-heir princes, infantes.
  • Edward the Black Prince (see the page pic) fought in several battles during the Hundred Years War.
  • Alexander the Great commanded the Macedonian cavalry in his father's final battle.
  • The British Royal Family. It's a requirement that all male members serve on active duty. Those in the direct line of the throne are considered too valuable to send into actual combat. About the others... :
    • Harry, youngest son of Charles and William's younger brother, actually threatened to resign his commission if he wasn't permitted to accompany the rest of his unit to Afghanistan.
    • Andrew, Duke of York, flew in The Falklands War as, among other roles, an anti-missile decoy. That's right - he flew his helicopter as a decoy to try to draw Exocet anti-ship missiles away from the ships.
      • He retired as a fully served Rear Admiral.
    • Prince Philip served in WWII, and so did Her Majesty Elizabeth;
    • the Queen's uncle, the Duke of Kent, died on a bomber mission.
    • The last King of England to die in combat was Richard III at Bosworth in 1485. The last King of Scotland to do so was James IV at Flodden Field in 1513. The last King (of both) to lead his troops in battle personally was George II at the battle of Dettingen in 1743.
  • William I and his son were among the last European rulers to personally take the field, and did reasonably well too as was appropriate given his country. His opponent the Emperor of France, though less qualified, also led in the field which was appropriate given his grandfather.
  • As recently as 1914, Albert I, King of the Belgians, personally led his army when Germany invaded Belgium at the start of World War I.
  • In World War One, Crown Prince Wilhelm and Prince Ruprecht of Bavaria both commanded army groups on the Western Front.
  • In the Ottoman Empire, much like in the trope in general, the exceptions are more noteworthy. Almost all of their sultans, princes, and top aristocrats were some variety of Warrior Prince, Cultured Badass, or Ambadassador.
  • Jan III Sobieski, King of Poland, was elected monarch precisely because of his accomplishments as a military commander. Those skills also came in handy after his election, too.
  • Military historian John Keegan once speculated that being able to have aversions to this was a sign that a culture was more civilized. The reason was that having a lot of Warrior Princes may conceivably be a sign of their valor. But it could also be a sign that the people had no respect for law and order and any prince that stayed home would probably be assassinated. Going with this logic, he notes that while some Roman, Byzantine, and Chinese Emperors commanded in the field, others managed to stay home. While almost all Western European rulers that weren't obviously excused by incapacity were Warrior Princes.
  • Enforcement of this trope is the reason that in Islamic Law a Caliph has to be in possession of all his senses. A blind man could rule, but he couldn't go to war.
    • Averted in the Christian world. King of Bohemia, Jan Lucembursky (1296-1346), was both blind and went to war. His last words in the Battle of Crecy were With God's help it will never be that a Bohemian king would run from a fight!. He was fifty years old when he was killed in action.
  • Gustavus Adolphus of Sweden. Widely considered to be one of the greatest military commanders of all time, even among some of greats themselves. Without going into his varied military and administrative achievements, he came from a country that was considered a backwater and created a Badass Army that effectively took over half of Germany during the Thirty Years' War. While heavily involved in planning and formulation of tactics and training, he often led his own cavalry charges, which eventually also led to his death.
    • The same trope as in UK - all male members who are not direct heirs to the trone are to serve in the military - applies to Sweden as well. HRH prince Carl Philip is an officer in the Swedish Navy.
    • Sweden has produced dozens of warrior kings: Gustavus I, Erik XIV, Duke Charles, Gustavus II Adolphus, Queen Christina (!), Charles X Gustavus, Charles XI, Charles XII, Gustavus III...
    • Some clarification might be needed. Gustavus I was a Badass Bureaucrat, with focus on Bureaucrat, and true Machiavellian, he did very little fighting. Erik XIV is mostly remembered for going insane. Charles IX is most famous for being curb-stomped by a polish army that he outnumbered 4-1 and beating his (also outnumbered) predecessor and nephew. Queen Christina never fought in battles or led armies. Charles X Gustavus, Charles XI and Charles XII were all "real" Warrior Princes. The best that can be said of Gustavus III is that he tried. Later,this trope was subverted when the Swedish parliament brought in Jean Baptist Bernadotte, one of Napoleons Marshals (on of the worst of 'em, but still) to be king so he could take back Finland from the Russians. He then promptly joined the anti-french alliance, got Norway form the victorious Great Powers as a token of their appreciation and lead Sweden into a soon 200 years period of peace.
  • In Tsarist Russia, the word "prince" had a more broad meaning than "son of the king," and there were several princes who were military leaders. Two of the most famous are Prince Dmitry Pozharsky, who with Kuzma Minin threw off the Polish occupation, and Prince Pyotr Bagration, who fought and died in the Napoleonic Wars, as depicted in War and Peace. This is the reason why the word "принц" ("printz") is now used in Russian specifically for the son of the king (or tsar). "Knyaz" is the word with the broad meaning. In fact, the title of the ruler of the original Russian state (Kievan Rus') was Grand Prince.
  • Thutmose III established the largest empire Ancient Egypt had or has ever seen. He led 17 campaigns over a period of 20 years.
  • Roman society demanded this trope from the higher classes, and until the Marian reforms their army was based on such a militia. Politicians, though not royalty, were expected to be military leaders, and martial prowess was ideally indistinguishable from political prowess. A surefire way to get a respected and high post in the government was to get a triumph, which required winning a war. (Sometimes winning a major battle could be enough if you played your cards right.)
  • The first King of Portugal, D. Afonso Henriques, was quite fond of "taking care" of Arabs.
  • The Danish Royal Family has had its share of badass warriors, going back to the Viking Era when legends like Sveyn Forkbeard and Harald Bluetooth would personally lead their berserkers into battle - most noteably when Sveyn started the invasion of England that would later land his son, Canute the Great, on its throne, with himself in the vanguard. Later on, noteable examples includes Christian IV, who personally led the danish fleet into the Torstenson War where he lost an eye to a cannonball - and immediately got back to his feet to continue commanding the fleet to victory. Even today, Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark is a fully-trained member of Frømandskorpset, the danish equivalent of the Navy SEALS (an area that the danish military is unsurprisingly strong in, considering its nautical history and location). And when he finished THAT training, he went ahead and became a Colonel in the Air Force as well, just for kicks.
  • Heinrich Prinz von und zu Sayn-Wittgenstein and Egmont Prinz zu Lippe-Weissenfeld, dubbed as Princes of the night. Two Luftwaffe fighter aces who had 83 and 51 nocturnal aerial victories.
  • Napoleon's Imperial nobility included princes, and all save two (Talleyrand and Lucien Bonaparte) were generals or Marshals. Four of them actually bore titles reminiscent of their victories: Davout, Prince of Eckmühl; Berthier, Prince of Wagram; Massena, Prince of Essling; and Ney, Prince of the Moskova.
  • The members of the House of Savoy had an habit of fighting in battle, both before and after becoming the royal house of Italy. Among their many warriors, the ones to stand out are the prince Eugene (greatest commander of the Austrian army in the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries. Awesome enough that Austria dedicated him a battleship after the House of Savoy became the enemy), king Victor Emmanuel II (first King of Sardinia and later of Italy, he personally led his troops in battle against the Austrian army during the infamously bloody Battle of Solferino in the Second Italian War of Independence), and Prince Emanuele Filiberto, the Undefeated Duke of Aosta (he fought in World War I, and his army was just that, undefeated. He also trained the guy who took over the supreme command after the Second Army was crushed at Caporetto and ultimately won the war on the Italian front).


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