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Aside from the Farm Boy or Ordinary High-School Student, few characters are more likely to be the hero or heroine of a story than a beautiful princess. Fairy Tales, Fantasy stories, and stories aimed at children are all highly likely to feature a princess in a leading role. Likely due to the fact that little girls love princesses.

The singular role of princesses as main characters has endured despite the decline of the aristocracy and changing gender roles. Older iterations of the character were commonly the demure and pure Princess Classic, but later versions moved to Spirited Young Lady and Rebellious Princess interpretations that made princesses more active players. Often, works combine the princess role with more modern female archetypes by making her a Tomboy Princess, Politically-Active Princess, or an Action Girl Pretty Princess Powerhouse.

Common plotlines involve a princess trying to regain her rightful throne, find her One True Love (often Prince Charming), struggle against an evil queen, or defy an unwanted Arranged Marriage. More modern or fantasy versions may put her as a Damsel out of Distress or a Benevolent Mage Ruler fighting to protect her kingdom from the Evil Overlord.

Because Princesses Prefer Pink, the Princess Protagonist is often also a Pink Heroine.

Works featuring The Chief's Daughter as a heroine also count for this. May overlap with Ruler Protagonist if Princesses Rule.

Contrast Save the Princess, an Excuse Plot where the princess is a Hostage MacGuffin whose personality or even status as a princess is rarely important. May overlap with Gratuitous Princess, where the character's princess-ness isn't relevant to the story or setting.

See also Princess Stories, which often feature this trope.


Examples:

    open/close all folders 

    Anime & Manga 
  • Code Geass spinoff manga Code Geass: Nightmare of Nunnally is a What If? scenario centering around Lelouch's sister and princess-in-exile Nunnally, who gains the power of Geass instead of the possibly dead Lelouch.
  • Cross Ange: Ange starts off as a Princess Classic in a perfect magical kingdom, before being outed as an Un-Sorcerer and publicly cast out to the very bottom of society. Her royal lineage and upbringing become plot points on multiple occasions later, but she never once lets them define what she is and how she acts.
  • Daimos has a deutragonist variant with Princess Erika, who's the complete opposite of her brother Richter. Though, she's amnesiac at the start of the series and doesn't remember that her planet is currently at war with the Earth.
  • La Seine No Hoshi: It's revealed Simone was a Princess all along, as her true parentage stems from Francis of Lotringen and an opera singer. When she's told this, she can't believe it at first because she despises the bourgeoisie.
  • Magical Princess Minky Momo is a Magical Girl story focusing on Momo, a princess from a fairy tale kingdom who is sent to earth to use her magical powers to revive the hopes and dreams of mankind which sustain her kingdom.
  • Magical Witch Punie-chan is a subversion. Princess Punie Tanaka looks like the typical heroic Magical Girl princess, yet she's a maniacal Big Bad Villain Protagonist.
  • Mahou no Mako-chan is a Magical Girl story loosely adapted from The Little Mermaid focusing on the adventures of Mako, a mermaid princess who is turned into a human but retains some magical powers in the human world.
  • Mermaid Melody Pichi Pichi Pitch, also loosely based on The Little Mermaid, focuses on Lucia Nanami, the Princess of the North Pacific Ocean, who teams up with fellow mermaid princesses Rina and Hanon to fight sea demons and save Lucia's boyfriend using their magical pearl powers.
  • Murder Princess: The real princess of the kingdom of Forland is a gentle Ojou but soon switches bodies with the most badass Action Girl in history, who proceeds to kick much ass and become the titular character and protagonist.
  • The title heroine of Nadia: The Secret of Blue Water is a circus acrobat who performs under the stage name of "Princess Nadia", unaware that her Orphan's Plot Trinket identifies her as a genuine princess from a lost civilization.
  • Pretty Cure
  • Princess Comet is a Magical Girl anime about Comet, the 12-year-old princess of Harmonica Star, who is sent to Earth in order to find the prince of Tambourine Star. Comet quickly becomes fond of life on Earth and the people who live there, but her life is made more complicated by Princess Meteor, a rival princess who is also searching for the prince and wants to claim him for her own.
  • Princess Diana is a biopic on Diana Spencer before she married Prince Charles.
  • Princess Knight: Princess Sapphire, the heroine, is a "two-hearted child" who was raised as a boy but has both male and female characteristics, who must save her kingdom from various enemies.
  • Princess Tutu: The series focuses on Duck, who helps the fairy tale prince Mytho regain his heart as the titular Princess Tutu.
  • Played With in Revolutionary Girl Utena. The story features a fairy tale, which allegorically tells the life story of the protagonist Utena, about an orphaned princess who meets a handsome prince and decides to become a prince instead. A major plotline is Utena, the pink-themed protagonist living in a world of castles and seeming Princes Charming, trying to decide whether to become a princess or a prince. The series is also famous for postulating that all girls are princesses but there aren't enough princes for everyone. Alternatively, interpretation is that both princes and princesses are childish and false ideals and that the way to grow up is to move past them.
  • Sailor Moon: Played with. The title character turns out to be the reincarnation of Princess Serenity, for whom everyone had been searching. In the manga and The '90s English dub of the anime, all the other senshi were reincarnated princesses, too. There's an odd aspect to this in the 90s anime, in which, whenever Usagi needs to unlock new powers or tap into the full potential of the Silver Crystal, she always transformed into Princess Serenity, despite the fact that she rarely needed to do so in the manga, and after the second arc always transformed into Neo-Queen Serenity when she did need to do so.
  • Scrapped Princess centers around a 15-year old girl named Pacifica Casull, a cheerful, perky (and somewhat naive) princess who is destined to cause The End of the World as We Know It.
  • 'Tis Time for "Torture," Princess: The eponymous Princess is a knight and a captain of the Third Imperial Legion, trained in the art of war from a very young age. Taken as a prisoner of war by the Hellhorde, she's subjected to some highly unorthodox and decidedly non-evil tortures such as being offered gourmet food and a chance to make and hang out with friends.
  • Lum in Urusei Yatsura, although her status as Oni royalty is rarely brought up.
  • Yona of the Dawn centers around the titular Yona, a once spoiled and sheltered Princess of the Kouka Kingdom who is forced to hide her identity and live as a commoner after her father is assassinated by her cousin, who proceeded to usurp the throne. She is also the reincarnation of her nation's founder king, and commands the loyalty of the world's best warriors, even though she's lost her official title.
  • Yume no Crayon Oukoku: Princess Silver is the main character and princess of the Crayon Kingdom, who goes on a quest to find the boy Grim Reaper.
  • Voltes V: Halfway through the series, it's revealed that Kentaro's real identity is Prince Gohl and he is from Boazania - meaning Kenichi, Daijiro and Hiyoshi are Alien Prines. Not only that, Heinel is their half-brother, as he is the child of Gohl and his first wife, Lozaria.

    Arts 
  • Marie de' Medici Cycle: During the first four paintings, Marie is a French princess; then, in the fifth, she marries and becomes Queen of France. The complete series narrates her life very epically, with the constant intervention of gods.
  • Las Meninas: In this busy and spatially ambiguous artwork, it is the Infanta who has pride of place. The lighting and her white dress make her the most prominent character in the scene, and many of the questions surrounding the painting involve why she's looking out at the audience.

    Comic Books 

    Fairy Tales 
  • In Donkeyskin, after promising to marry a woman as beautiful as his dead queen, the king tries to marry his own daughter, the princess. She delays her father's insane request by asking for three wonderful dresses and the hide of the kingdom's gold-producing donkey, then becomes the titular Donkeyskin when she flees to another kingdom.
  • Graciosa of Graciosa And Percinet is a princess (and Percinet is her prince true love).
  • The Little Mermaid has a protagonist who is the youngest of six princesses. She gives up her status for legs.
  • "Maid Maleen" is about the titular princess breaking out of the tower where she was locked away, and struggling to survive after fleeing from her destroyed kingdom.
  • The Necklace Of Princess Fiorimonde tells the story of the eponymous Princess as she uses her cursed necklace to forcibly transform her suitors into beads so that she doesn't have to marry, and will be able to continue practicing her black magic. As you can see, the Princess doubles as a Villainous Princess and Villain Protagonist.
  • The Princess and the Pea is about a rain-drenched girl who enters the kingdom claiming to be a princess, but no one believes her due to her appearance. The prince's mother puts a pea under 20 mattresses for her to sleep on, because to them only a real princess would be sensitive enough to feel the pea under all those mattresses.
  • In Princess Belle-Etoile, a nameless impoverished queen has three daughters, Roussette, Brunette and Blondine. The latter eventually marries a king and gives birth to two princes and a princess (the titular Belle Étoile). It is she who rescues her elder brothers, her cousin, obtains three miraculous treasures and reunites her family after a forced separation.
  • The sister in the Brothers Grimm's The Six Swans is the daughter of a king and his first wife, but becomes a Fallen Princess after her new stepmother turns all her brothers into birds. She later wins the eye of a king and becomes a queen.
  • Sleeping Beauty is about the sole daughter of the king and queen, who is cursed to prick her finger on a spindle and die, but instead falls into a deep sleep, and is eventually revived by a prince who marries her.
  • The titular Snow White is the princess of her tale, who is forced to flee from her wicked stepmother.
  • Sun, Moon, and Talia is an older version of Sleeping Beauty. The first half of the tale is much the same, focusing on Princess Talia, who falls into a death-like state after an encounter with a spinning wheel. In this story, she is raped by a king and bears him twins while still asleep, before eventually waking up and marrying the king after a series of shenanigans occur.

    Films — Animation 
  • Anastasia: The film focuses on Anastasia, a princess in exile discovering her secret royal past. While the real Anastasia was royalty, she is recognised as "Grand Duchess" rather than princess.note  But the film frequently refers to her as a princess just to avoid confusion. In a twist, she also gives up the title and chooses to elope with Dimitri. Often confused with Disney's princesses (notably because Don Bluth was an ex-Disney animator and it shows), which became ironic when Disney came to own it after they purchased 20th Century Fox.
  • Barbie : Barbie is a Princess Protagonist in about half of her movies, though often she doesn't discover this until near the end of the film (i.e. Barbie in the Nutcracker, Barbie: Princess Charm School).
    • In Barbie in the Nutcracker, it's revealed that Clara was the Sugarplum Princess all along.
    • In Barbie as Rapunzel, it's revealed that Rapunzel is the long-lost daughter of a king, who was kidnapped as an infant by a sorceress to incite war between Rapunzel's father and another king (who is the father of her love interest Prince Daniel).
    • In Barbie as the Princess and the Pauper, one of the main protagonists is Princess Anneliese, who is reluctantly going through with an arranged betrothal to a wealthy king to save her kingdom from poverty. When she's kidnapped, peasant girl Erika - who is inexplicably nearly identical to her - pretends to be her to buy time to rescue her (though she also hatches her own plan to escape); matters are complicated when the king Anneliese is meant to be marrying starts falling in love with Erika. Erika herself becomes a queen in the end when she marries the king.
    • In Barbie and the Magic of Pegasus, the main protagonist Princess Annika sets out on a quest to save her parents and people from an evil sorcerer. It also turns out that secondary protagonist Brietta is a princess and Annika's long-lost older sister, who left after being transformed into a pegasus by a curse.
    • In Barbie in the 12 Dancing Princesses, Princess Genevieve is one of twelve royal sisters, who have to save their kingdom from the evil Duchess Rowena.
    • In Barbie as the Island Princess, it's revealed that the titual island princess Ro - in addition to marrying a prince - is the daughter of a queen from a neighboring kingdom, who was lost at sea years ago.
    • The big reveal in Barbie: Princess Charm School is that Blair is the long-lost heir to the throne of Gardenia and thus was a real princess all along.
  • The Disney Animated Canon codified the trope for animation with a number of princesses as protagonists, so much so that they got their own umbrella franchise:
    • Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937): Princess Snow White was threatened by her Wicked Stepmother, but is saved by some dwarfs and a handsome prince.
    • Cinderella (1950): Retelling of the classic fairy tale, focusing on Cinderella's struggles with her evil stepsisters. Cinderella wasn't actually born a princess, but becomes one after marrying the handsome prince. Cinderella II: Dreams Come True focuses on her life as a princess.
    • Sleeping Beauty (1959): Princess Aurora is cursed by an evil fairy, and then rescued by a handsome prince. The film largely focuses on her and her good fairy godmothers.
    • The Little Mermaid (1989): A mermaid princess who wishes she could become human and explore the surface world falls in love with a human prince.
    • Pocahontas (1995): The real-life historical figure Princess Pocahontas is based on was not a princess, but this film gives her a princess upgrade. Pocahontas faces a political Arranged Marriage to a man she doesn't love but falls in love with outsider John Smith. She must then save her man as well as her people from a conflict between the English and her father.
    • The Princess and the Frog (2009): In the original fairy tale, the main female character is a princess, but in this film, the heroine Tiana is a commoner who dreams of owning a restaurant. She does become a princess eventually through marrying the prince, and the film is commonly considered a princess film nevertheless.
    • Tangled (2010). The story focuses on Princess Rapunzel. Due to living in a tower in the forest, she didn't know about her royal ancestry... until she gave a burglar a Tap on the Head with a frying pan, and her life changed forever. Everyone cheers when she returns to her birth parents.
    • Brave (2012): Princess Merida was the first Pixar character to be a "Disney Princess". She is something of a Rebellious Princess, refusing to marry a man just because he won a contest, which one has to admit is not a good method to find a suitable husband for your daughter. She makes everything better for the princes of the neighbouring countries, who weren't very keen on marrying a stranger because of "tradition", either.
    • Wreck-It Ralph (2012), Played With when it's revealed Vanellope is actually the ruler of the world in "Sugar Rush" after everyone in the game gets their memories back. However, after going through the whole ordeal in the movie, she decides to abdicate the throne and turn the kingdom into a democracy. This does get a cute lampshade in the second movie when she meets the rest of the Disney princesses while milling around on a Disney website.
    • Frozen (2013) and Frozen II (2019). The two main characters are both princesses, though Elsa is crowned a queen very early in the first movie. The first film's story focuses on Princess Anna, who had a sheltered childhood and identifies strongly with Princess Classic archetypes, who goes on a quest to save her kingdom from her sister's magical powers as well as various hostile outsiders.
    • Moana is an unusual example in that she's technically not a princess, as she points out. Her community doesn't have a monarchy, but she is the daughter of the village chief and is expected to take on leadership roles. She also fits some Princess Classic tropes, especially Disney Princess ones, as Maui points out.
      Moana: Okay, first, I’m not a princess, I’m the daughter of the chief.
      Maui: If you wear a dress and have an animal sidekick, you're a princess.
    • Then there’s Kiara in The Lion King II: Simba's Pride though she isn’t in the Princess line due to not being human. She’s the main focus of the film and helps to end the feud between the halves of the pride.
  • The Emoji Movie: Jailbreak is revealed to be a former princess emoji (princess of what exactly is never revealed) but took on a disguise as she didn't want to be associated with the expected nature of the title. Her adventure with Gene convinces her she can still be herself without having to conform to people's expectations and she eventually ditches the disguise.
  • Ruby Gillman, Teenage Kraken: The second trailer reveals that the main character is a kraken princess.
  • Very common in Studio Ghibli productions:
    • Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind focuses on Nausicaa, the daughter of the head of her village. She loves adventuring in the wilderness and leads the charge to save her village from hostile, environmentally-unfriendly outsiders.
    • The Tale of the Princess Kaguya, adapted from a Japanese folktale, tells the story of a girl who is born from a bamboo stalk. While raised by a pair of simple woodcutters, the bamboo stalk gives the family wealth, causing her adopted parents to send her away to be raised as a princess, which makes her deeply unhappy. In the end, she is revealed to be a celestial immortal.
  • Strange Magic has Tomboy Princess Marianne, the eldest daughter of the fairy king, as the protagonist.
  • The Swan Princess tells the story of Odette, a princess who is kept from her One True Love and turned into a swan by an evil sorcerer who wants to marry her.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Elizabeth tells the story of the early life of Elizabeth I. In real life, she was disinherited at a young age and would not have been called a princess (she was formally styled "the Lady Elizabeth, the King's daughter"); but she was the daughter of the king and she is addressed as a princess in the film.
  • The heroine of Enchanted, Giselle, is an idealistic Princess Classic from a fairy-tale kingdom who is thrown into the real world of New York by an Evil Queen. (Although, interestingly, she never technically became a princess since she never married Prince Edward, but she fits the bill in every other way.)
  • The Princess (2022): The protagonist is an unnamed Warrior Princess who must take back her kingdom when it's seized along with her parents by an evil foreign prince.
  • The Princess Diaries focuses on Mia Thermopolis, an ordinary high school girl who finds out she's the princess of the small kingdom of Genovia and must learn the ways of royalty.
  • Princess Protection Program tells the story of Rosalinda, a princess of a small kingdom who is sent to live in rural Louisiana to protect her from political strife, and must adjust to the real world.
  • Roman Holiday centers on Princess Ann, who falls in love with an American news reporter in Rome.

    Literature 
  • The Chronicles of Dorsa: One of the two lead character is Tasia, who starts out as a princess (later becoming Empress).
  • In The Empress Game, the titular Empress Game is a gladiatorial combat between princesses. The protagonist, Kayla, impersonates one (and secretly, is one from a different place). That said, "princess" is defined fairly broadly — daughters of non-monarchical authority figures (religious leaders, for example) seem to qualify as well as royalty.
  • Kris Longknife: Kris ends up being dubbed a princess after convincing her great-grandfather to accept the position of King of the United Society. However, she's the only one with such a title, as her father and brother (the Prime Minister and a Member of Parliament, respectively) won't put up with being called princes.
  • Land of Oz:
    • Dorothy Gale, who is the protagonist of most of the books, is made a princess at some point due to her services to and friendship with Princess Ozma. This includes saving the kingdom from the Nome King several times and various other adventures.
    • Ozma herself is usually a supporting character, and the only book where she is the main character comes before the reveal of her identity and royal status. She's crowned queen in that book but is a princess in every other title.
  • The Little Princess books and the cartoon they're based on both focus on a four-year-old princess.
  • In Miya Black, Pirate Princess, the titular main character is the daughter of a pirate and a princess and claims to be both.
  • Of Fire and Stars: The protagonists Dennaleia and Mare are both princesses of different countries, with contrasting styles.
  • The Ordinary Princess: The titular princess is the protagonist.
  • Robert Munsch's book The Paper Bag Princess stars the title princess on a quest to save her prince.
  • The Princess Diaries centers on Mia, a girl who learns that she is the princess of a small European kingdom and struggles with balancing her new role with her desires to be a normal teenager and live her old life.
  • The Princess and the Goblin: The book focuses on the adventures of the brave and beautiful Princess Irene, who joins forces with resourceful peasant boy Curdie to rescue the noble king and all his people from the invading goblin menace.
  • The Princess Series is a Darker and Edgier fairy-tale Twice-Told Tale starring three princesses: Snow (Snow White), Danielle (Cinderella), and Tala (Sleeping Beauty).
  • Princesses of the Pizza Parlor: The story is about a group of girls who play a fantasy role-playing game together. Every girl that plays in the game has a princess for a character. These include:
    • Princess Gwen, daughter of King Artundus of the Fifth Court.
    • Princess Selvi, played by Shelby, is the "youngest daughter of the Great Khan of the high plains of Dungivadim."
  • The novel Psyche is a Mythpunk retelling of the Greek Myth about the princess that becomes a goddess.
  • The Queen of Ieflaria: Esofi and Adale, the book's two protagonists, are both princesses of their respective countries. The plot is started by the arranged marriage they have for allying the two.
  • The protagonist of each installment of the Royal Diaries series is the daughter of various royal houses throughout the world and in different time periods. These include princesses from England, Scotland, France, Denmark, Hawaii, Russia, India, Egypt, and several other countries.
  • Tamir Triad stars Tobin, a boy who turns out to be the princess Tamir Raised as the Opposite Gender.
  • The titular protagonist of Tara Duncan is a princess and magical "spellbinder" as well.
  • The Two Princesses of Bamarre follows introverted Princess Adelina as she ventures outside of the palace walls in order to find a cure for the supposedly incurable deadly disease that is ravaging her kingdom, before her more bold and lively sister Meryl succumbs to the illness.
  • Warbreaker, by Brandon Sanderson, is about the struggles of two sister princesses, Vivienna and Siri. Siri is a happy-go-lucky free spirit who gets forced into a marriage with someone everyone thinks is an evil tyrant. The truth is rather more complex. Her older sister Vivenna is highly intelligent and poised, but has her illusions about the moral superiority of herself and her nation pretty much torn up during the course of the book.
  • The Virgin Widow: The protagonist, Anne Neville, is forced to become Princess of Wales when her father switches sides during the War of the Roses. She'd much prefer to be a duchess, but she does her best to fulfill her duties as a princess. Until her father and husband are killed after their defeat by the Yorkists and Anne becomes the virgin widow of the title.
  • Wonder Woman: Warbringer: The main character is, as per her usual, not only a great defender of human rights, feminist, and Amazon super-powered warrior but also a princess.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Goong and the manhwa it's based on are about an ordinary teenager, in an alternative universe Korea that has a monarchy, who ends up in an Arranged Marriage to the crown prince, and must struggle to adjust to life in the palace.
  • Rhaenyra Targaryen, the first daughter of King Viserys I and his only surviving child from his first wife, is the main protagonist of House of the Dragon.
  • Galadriel is a Noldorin Princess as the daughter of King Finarfin, and the driving force of the plot in The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power.
  • The Mandalorian: In season 3, Bo-katan Kryze, meber of clan Kryze and officially helding the title of princess, is heavily featured, while the Mandalorian takes a sit back as the Supporting Protagonist helping her to find her own Mandalorian way.
  • In Once Upon a Time, Emma Swan learns that she's a fairy tale princess and her people need her to break a curse. In addition, her mother was Princess Snow White, who is the center of many of the supporting flashback plotlines.
  • The whole premise of Princess Returning Pearl revolves around the adventures of the fake princess Xiao Yan Zi (who even becomes a real princess when she gets married to the Prince Charming) and the real princess Zi Wei.
  • Wonder Woman: Princess Diana is the heir to the throne of Paradise Island and wins the right to become Wonder Woman.
  • Xena of Xena: Warrior Princess is not so much a princess due to descent from royalty, but because she was given the title as an independent female warrior.

    Mythology 
  • In the Graeco-Roman myth of Cupid and Psyche, the main couple is a god of love and his beloved, the third daughter of an unnamed king and queen from the mortal realm.

    Theatre 
  • Antigone: Antigone is the daughter of Oedipus, the previous king of Thebes.
  • Camelot: Guinevere is a princess from another kingdom sent to marry King Arthur.
  • Electra: Electra is the daughter of Agamemnon, the king of Mycenae.
  • The Light Princess: Based on a Scottish fairytale, Althea is the titular princess and the youngest daughter of the king of Lagobel, who begins to float after her mother's tragic death. The story concerns her dealing with her growing relationship with Digby, the prince of a rival kingdom that threatens war, and her father's attempts to bring her down to Earth.
  • Once Upon a Mattress: A The Princess and the Pea parody, Princess Winifred the Wobegone from the swamps, aka "Fred", endeavors to pass Queen Aggravain's princess tests so she may marry her son, Prince Dauntless, and free the rest of the kingdom to marry.

    Toys 
  • Barbie plays a princess in some of her movies, which have toy lines associated with them. Plus some of the dolls are named as though she is a princess, like the "Winter Princess" line.

    Video Games 
  • Princess Solange is the protagonist of Code of Princess.
  • The Cute Knight series of Cute Knight and Cute Knight Kingdom each have one of these, although it's only revealed in certain story paths. The Golden Ending of the first game reveals that the player is the long-lost daughter of the king and queen. The "Star Princess" ending of the second game reveals that the player is the long-lost princess of another planet.
  • Dragon Age has a couple of these, depending on player choices:
    • In Dragon Age: Origins, one of the possible origin stories (Dwarf Noble) is as the second child of the dwarven king; a female PC can thus be a dwarven princess.
      • Another option is the Human Noble origin, in which the female PC is the daughter of the oldest and highest-ranked noble house in the country (second only to the royal family in precedence); her home region, Highever, is actually a principality, which means that she is technically a princess even though the family doesn't use princely titles. The female Human Noble is also the only player character who can potentially end the game by becoming queen.
    • A female Hawke can become this in Dragon Age II. Hawke is not royal, but does come from a noble family in Kirkwall. If she pursues a friendship romance with Sebastian (in the DLC The Exiled Prince), Sebastian will eventually propose a chaste marriage, which makes Hawke the Princess of Starkhaven for the last leg of the game.
  • Princess Ashelia B'nargin Dalmasca in Final Fantasy XII. Although Vaan is the POV character, the story clearly focuses on Ashe, and her actions drive most of the game's plot.
  • Fire Emblem:
  • Hyper Princess Pitch stars a princess, who's also a demigod apparently. Rather than concern herself with affairs of state, her only goal in life seems to be bringing an end to Christmas and causing gratuitous explosions.
  • King's Quest:
  • The Legend of Zelda:
  • My World, My Way is the story of Princess Elise travelling the world and adventuring to gain the affections of some handsome adventurer.
  • Phantasy Star I has its player character Alis Landale, who spends the game traipsing around the world in a pink dress with her adorable Musk Cat friend, and doesn't find out she's actually the rightful princess of Algol til the end.
  • Princess Peach of Super Mario Bros. fame, while usually a Damsel in Distress, takes on this role in Super Princess Peach. In this game, it's Mario and Luigi who get captured by Bowser and his Koopa army, and it's up to Peach (with the help of a sentient parasol named Perry) to rescue them.
  • Blaze the Cat, the Princess of her world, is one of the main playable characters of Sonic Rush and Sonic the Hedgehog (2006).
  • The Tenth Line: The plot follows a spoiled princess who is abducted from her homeland by a mysterious cult and finds herself stranded in an unfamiliar land, trying to enlist the local people to help her return home.
  • Tsioque is about a princess who rescues herself from the evil Wizard who took over her mother's castle.
  • Delia, one of the PCs in Vindictus, is a former princess who was banished from her kingdom because she found combat training to be more interesting than learning how to take care of her kingdom. She specializes in using a Bastard Sword that's just as long as she is to smash her enemies.
  • The first Wild ARMs has the Rebellious Princess Cecilia Lynne Adelhyde as one of the three main characters.
  • Dragon Quest:
    • In Dragon Quest II, the Princess of Moonbrooke is one of the three playbale characters.
    • Dragon Quest IV has the Tsarevna Alena. Her title is the Russian equivalent of a princess and she's one of the primary party members.
    • Dragon Quest V: Madchen, princess of Gotha and one of the Chosen Children fated to defeat Nimzo, the Demon Lord.
    • Dragon Quest XI: Jade, Crown Princess of Heliodor, became a wandering martial artist when her foster brother - the Chosen One went missing. She is one of your main party members.
  • The Princess Remedy series, playing as said princess, being a Medical Monarch and healing people:

    Visual Novels 
  • Long Live the Queen: Deconstructed Trope. Elodie may get to live in the lap of luxury, wear pretty clothes, and select from a large pool of willing bachelors, but her royal status also makes her life incredibly difficult. She has to make many hard political decisions, navigate through the Decadent Court, avoid frequent attempts on her life, and at times sacrifice her own happiness for the greater good. And that's if she doesn't decide to abuse her power.

    Web Animation 
  • Charlotte "Charlie" Magne from Hazbin Hotel tics so many Disney Princess boxes you'd think she was going through a checklist - a Plucky Girl with a sunny disposition, believes in redemption, prone to musical numbers... really, the only odd thing is that she prefers suits to dresses. This is played up for the contrast between her sweet nature and that of her kingdom... which happens to be Hell. Despite her being Lucifer's daughter, no one in Hell actually respects her, or her goal.
  • Princess Natasha: The main character is a princess from a fictional Ruritania who goes undercover as a spy in the United States to stop a threat to her kingdom.

    Webcomics 
  • Subverted in 8-Bit Theater with the princess taking over the Big Bad duties due to the absurd levels of incompetence shown by the rest of the villains.
  • Bound Adventures: The kingdom of Boundaria is currently ruled by Princess Irina, the main recurring character.
  • The Fuzzy Princess is about a cat princess.
  • Princess Princess is about two princesses, Amira and Sadie, who defeat Sadie's evil sister and fall in love.
  • Samurai Princess is about the adventures of Princess Raeka, a princess on a quest to retrieve her crown from a thief.
  • Suihira is about Rebellious Princess Wahida of Iona's adventures after she runs away to find the lost city of Suihira, home of the water goddess.

    Web Videos 

    Western Animation 
  • Disenchantment: The show follows the misadventures of Bean, a rebellious young princess from the medieval kingdom of Dreamland, who runs away from home and gets into a series of drunken, violent adventures.
  • Elena of Avalor centers around Princess Elena, who will be queen of Avalor once she becomes of age. In the meantime, she goes under the title of "Crown Princess" and uses her magical powers (usually her magic scepter, the Scepter of Light) to fight against the dark forces that try to take over Avalor, including Shuriki.
  • The Little Mermaid (1992) series is about Ariel's adventures in Atlantica, the undersea kingdom that she is the princess of, before the events of the first movie.
  • Lolirock centers around Iris, Talia, and Auriana, a group of Magical Girl warriors who are the princesses of their respective planets: Ephedia, Xeris, and Volta. The main character, Iris, was sent to Earth when she was just a baby due to her family and kingdom being in danger.
  • My Little Pony:
    • All the ponies are eventually revealed to be princesses in My Little Pony (G3) after Wysteria declares it in The Princess Promenade.
    • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic: Starting from the fourth season onward, main character Twilight earns the right to become an alicorn and is dubbed the "Princess of Friendship", effectively becoming this trope.
  • Princess Gwenevere and the Jewel Riders stars the titular Princess Gwenevere (or Starla), the teenage daughter of Queen Anya of Avalon, and her friends Tamara and Fallon, as they quest to retrieve the Crown Jewels that keep the magic of the kingdom in check.
  • She-Ra: Princess of Power: The titular character was born as Adora, the sister of a prince, but then became She-Ra in order to save the world from the tyrannical Hordak.
  • Sofia the First is about Princess Sofia, who becomes a Princess Classic after her mother marries her stepfather. She's given a magical amulet as a gift, which allows her to summon Disney Princesses as well as use its powers to eventually defend Enchancia or the world from various villains.
  • One of the protagonists of Sonic the Hedgehog (SatAM) is one Sally Acorn, the princess of the former Acorn Kingdom which Robotnik took over. She leads the Freedom Fighters, which Sonic is a part of, in the hope of taking it back.
  • Star vs. the Forces of Evil is about Star Butterfly, the Princess of Mewni, a kingdom from an alternate dimension of magic and your typical medieval kingdoms. At the start of the show, after she is given her wand, her parents send her to Earth to mellow her out, where she ends up befriending Marco and goes to school with him. It kind of works, but not without multiple backfires, including revealing that the Royal Family has unknowingly had a false claim to the throne for several generations.
  • Tangled: The Series once again centers around Rapunzel as it expands on the events and lore of the film, including showing her struggle to adjust to royal life as a princess.
  • Winx Club: Most of the Winx Club members, on top of being magical fairies, are princesses of worlds across the magical dimensions. Bloom finds out at the end of Season 1 that she too is a princess, though her home world was destroyed when she was a baby.
  • The main character of Xcalibur is a princess. However, considering she wears slightly impractical body armor for the entire show, you'd probably never think about this.

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