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Everythings Better With Princesses / Live-Action Films

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A modern romance story just needs a princess to be a modern fairy tale.

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  • Star Wars
    • Let's start with Princess Leia. The plot of the series could have been exactly the same were she not a princess (the princess of a planet that is brutally destroyed in the first movie!), and yet she is. It doesn't hurt that she is proof that Authority Equals Asskicking... when Luke comes with Han and Chewie to break her out of jail, she takes charge of her own rescue and gets them safely out of the prison block.
    • Padmé from the prequel series was a queen, though, and only that in the first movie. Weirdly, Padmé is specifically an elected queen, even though she's barely in her teens. One wonders what the other candidates must have been like. This seems to be common practice on Naboo; Episode III featured an even younger Queen, and according to the EU most Naboo politicians retire at 20, though both Padmé and Palpatine defied this trend. Well, we do get the impression the planet's supposed to be too idealistic for its own good. The EU also gave Padmé a Princess title in her past; she was Princess of Theed (and governing the place at the age of 12!) before she was elected Queen.

      In the Expanded Universe, they explain this as Naboo colonists coming from another world, which had (and continues to have) a hereditary monarchy. While the Naboo gave up the government structure, they kept the traditional titles for head of state and other positions despite their elected nature. This is reminiscent of the fact that one of the proposed and rejected titles for the first president of America was "His Elected Majesty".
  • In the Star Wars Expanded Universe, there's:
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    • Jedi Princess Kendalina
    • Warrior Princess Plourr, X-Wing Pilot
    • One-armed Jedi Princess (later Queen) Tenel Ka
  • In Stardust all the princes (save one) are evil, but their sister the princess is as sweet as can be. The book avoided this. She wasn't exactly evil, but growing up surrounded by vindictive princes and later a vindictive witch made her very shrewd and cold-hearted. In both versions, she is the hero's mother. Possibly justified in that the princes were expected to kill each other off until there was only one left to inherit the throne. Since girls couldn't rule the kingdom, there was no reason for the princess to be involved in such scheming. Yvaine also bypasses princess and goes straight to Queen when she marries Tristan.
  • Bill & Ted have a time machine in which they can bag any historical babe they wanted. No points in guessing who they pick.
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  • The makers of DOA: Dead or Alive probably thought of this trope when they made Kasumi a ninja princess.
  • A Kid in King Arthur's Court took out Guinevere and gave the widowed King Arthur two daughters, Princess Katey and Princess Sarah.
  • The Disney Channel movie Princess Protection Program gives princesses... well, their own protection program should they find themselves in danger. Presumably this trope is the reason why princes are not mentioned as getting the same privileges.
  • Neytiri from Avatar. Did she really need to be The Chief's Daughter? (To be fair, her place as the successor to the tribe's shaman gave her statement that there had been a sign from Eywa considerable weight, but still.)
  • The Thief of Bagdad (1940): The Princess. — she's just "the Princess".
  • Princess Tamina in Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time, who is apparently the princess of a city: one comment by her suggests that for some reason, each woman who guards the time-reversing dagger is called a princess. The movie seems to imply that her city is an independent principality. As such the title of the city’s monarch would be princess, especially if only women ascend to the throne.
  • Altogether subverted by MirrorMask: The Dark Princess is the Evil Counterpart of the main character, who is an ordinary circus girl.
  • In the So Bad, It's Good children's adventure film Quest of the Delta Knights, it's revealed that serving wench/implied prostitute Thena is actually the long-lost Princess Athena of a neighboring kingdom.
  • Subverted in Snow White: A Tale of Terror. The protagonist Liliana is not a princess but merely the daughter of a nobleman. Notably when she hides with the miners, they mockingly call her princess because of her attitude. Eventually calling her "little princess" morphs into a term of endearment for all of them.
  • The Jack Black film Gulliver's Travels certainly has a princess as a prominent character though she's part of the Beta Couple rather than the main protagonist's love interest.
  • In Van Helsing Anna's father is referred to as "King of the Gypsies," which would make her a princess. The blurb on the back of the DVD case even calls her a 'Gypsy Princess,' although the only time she's explicitly called that in the film is by Aleera in a rather mocking tone.
  • Although not to the extent of the books (mentioned below), The Princess Diaries combats this trope a little. Mia discovers she is a princess at age 15 and hates the idea. Her friend Lily also lists reasons why she shouldn't choose to become one. A big plot of the movie is how frequently a princess is in the public eye - and Mia has one of her worst moments being caught by the paparazzi. Ultimately, though, she chooses to accept the job and her situation has improved by the sequel.
  • Elizabeth Elizabeth is addressed as 'Princess Elizabeth' before being thrown in the tower. In reality she had been disinherited at age 3 and was only titled "Lady Elizabeth;" although Henry VIII later restored her to the succession, he did not restore her princess title.
  • Averted in Cinderella (2015). The movie emphasizes the prince choosing Cinderella over other possible princesses. Moreover, Cinderella becomes a queen, not a princess, upon marriage, since Kit had been made king due to his father's death.
  • A Royal Night Out - Two young ladies going on a drunken night out is funny. But how much better is it if they're two princesses? Very Loosely Based on a True Story involving Princesses Elizabeth and Margaret going out to celebrate with the crowds on VE Night.
  • Kingsman: In the first movie, there is a Swedish princess held captive by Valentine, but she gets rescued by Eggsy and promises to... "reward him properly". In the second movie, she becomes his Love Interest and play a bigger role in the story.

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