A subtrope of the Extranormal Institute, but rather than paranormal power the students have Royal Blood.
Conveniently, it mixes every little girl's dream of being a princess with the modern duty of going to school.
For that reason, young girls are usually the target audience and, consequently, it tends to be an all-girl school. After all, princes are a less interesting population, aren't they? Even if a Prince Charming sister school exists, their pupils will only ever be seen when invited for Dances and Balls. Due to the audience's age, it will usually be an elementary school.
Don't expect lessons like maths or literature, rather poise, curtsy, waltz, good manners, arts, horse riding lessons, and sometimes Fencing, as well. In a nutshell, Lessons in Sophistication. If the setting is Medieval European Fantasy (which is common), expect magic lessons.
Don't expect a typical school building, either. Instead, expect something like a huge Bright Castle. More often than not it will be a Boarding School, with a fancy collective dormitory room: pink walls, canopy beds and satin sheets. Expect a banquet room instead of a cafeteria, throne-shaped chairs in the classroom, and a carriage instead of a school bus. The school dance will be a fancy ball in a dedicated ballroom.
The students will wear a Pimped-Out Dress on a daily basis and a tiara at all times, even in bed. High-Class Gloves may or may not be included. An army of maids will usually take care of them, brought by pupils themselves if not provided by the school.
The local Alpha Bitch will be an heiress, from a powerful empire and/or richer family than anybody else. She will usually pick on the "poor" princesses from the smallest kingdoms or with a commoner past.
The main protagonist will usually be of the latter type who never knew she had Royal Blood, or was given a scholarship by an Anonymous Benefactor, making her a perfect Audience Surrogate. Otherwise, she'll be familiar with her royal heritage, but ignorant of the school subjects. Being The Hero, she'll be Spoiled Sweet.
Teachers will be kings, queens, or fairies. There is Fridge Logic in this, such as wondering why the monarchs are teaching rather than ruling their countries, or just how many monarchies there are in the world to support such a large student body?
In Real Life, schools for royal children never existed. Princesses, as well as other nobles, were home schooled before the advent of compulsory school. Modern princes and princesses attend upper class academies amongst commoners since, logically, there aren't enough royal children to justify a school.
Note: In shojos mangas, schools with the exact appearance of royals academies will show up frequently. They're set in a castle, including a ball room, but it's co-educational and students wear ordinary uniforms because they are filthy rich rather than royal. Examples include Mei-chan no Shitsuji school, Ohtori Academy, Ouran Academy, St. Marie Academy, and so on. A case could be made for including Hope's Peak in the list, but that turned out to be very false advertising.
Works set in these exclusive schools will almost certainly have a Cast Full of Rich People.
- Go! Princess Pretty Cure: The aptly named Noble Academy fits many of the requirements. It's described as a ladies and gentlemen's school, the students are obliged to greet each other in a polite way, there is a ballroom and dance lessons for the Dances and Balls that take place here...It's downplayed, however, as the only students who get "princess lessons" (like learning to serve tea, apply make-up or make a ball gown) are the three (later four) protagonists, thanks to Miss Siamour, and in private classes.
- The Jewel palace and the Royal palace in Lady Jewelpet are exactly this, except the female students are called ladies. Still, they train to become the Top Lady, who then is crowned Queen. The male students are called princes, and tasks are essentially around poise and manners (how to properly sit at a table, take a pet for a walk, correspondence art, carrying a princess, etc.)
- The Princess Academy in Petite Princess Yucie, where the daughters of kings attend to learn magic, dance, etiquette and art. More specifically, they train in order to be the "Platinum Princess", who'll be able to wear the Eternal Tiara, which can grant any wish.
- Royal High in Royal 17 seems to be a parody of this. It's in Present Day, and co-educational with uniforms. Still, the cafeteria looks like a three-star restaurant,there are chandeliers for lighting halls, it has its own ice rink, and even sticks for hockey class are Gem-Encrusted.
- L'école Crinoline (Crinoline School), a European Animesque comic book. Like often, it has a princes' school in the neighborhood, and students are celebrities from Fairy Tale universes. Some are Disney Princess inspired, (Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Snow White, Belle, Mulan and Pocahontas). The others are from less-known tales such as Idunn, Savitri, Scheherazade, and Zaina.
- Princess Ugg: Being a Pretty Princess Powerhouse from a barbarian kingdom who Never Learned to Read, the eponymous character has trouble fitting into the princess academy.
- Descendants: Auradon Prep fits many of the requirements; notably some students are royals because their parents were, and princesses are one of the popular group of kids in the spin-off web series School of secrets.
- 1987's movie The Princess Academy by Bruce A. Block. Being about a Swiss boarding school for rich ladies, princesses here are more of the Mafia Princess kind. However, the main character, Cindy, is a typical poor commoner and out of place student who's attending on a scholarship.
- Secret Society of Second-Born Royals: Strathmore High school in Illyria is this during school year, as apparently all students there are of royal blood. However, we won't see much of this, as the institution secretly overlap with Superhero School during summer classes. It influence the school appearance, that is very modern-looking.
- The School for Good and Evil (2022): Like in the book (see the Literature section), the school for Good teaches students into being princes and princesses. The uniforms used in the book are dropped here, and girls wear magnificent varied princesses dresses.
- Similar to the case of My Next Life As a Villainess, in Endo and Kobayashi Live! The Latest on Tsundere Villainess Lieselotte, due to the fact that only nobles are capable of using magic, Royal Academy of Magic's student body are all aristocrats.
- The album Gothic Lolita◊ by Maud Amoretti and Audrey Alwett is, as the title suggests, about the opening of a Elegant Gothic Lolita school. However the expression "modern princesses" is often used to design said gothic lolitas, and even the academy is once called a princesses' school. No wonder: it's set in a manor with a Bizarrchitecture, has weekly Dances and Balls, and turns out to have been built on Princess Cinderella's tomb.
- Played with in My Next Life as a Villainess: All Routes Lead to Doom!. The school that most of the story takes place in is technically not exclusive to nobility and royalty as it's required by law that everyone with magic in the kingdom attend it when they turn 15. It's just that the ability to use magic is so insanely rare among commoners (with Maria being the only one among the current student body, and the first one in the past 10 years) that it ends up leaning in that direction anyways.
- In the French children's novel The Masqued Prince, the titular character investigates a series of sabotages that happened in a royal Two-Teacher School. The culprit turns out to be a little witch infiltrated among the princesses.
- Princess Academy: The particularity here is that the girls are not of Royal Blood, but are still educated as princesses, so the best student can marry the prince and become a princess for real. The “school” aspect of this trope turns out to be even more important than the “royal” part: the academy is the first access to formal education the students have ever had and the key to raising their families out of poverty.
- The Princess Bride: In order to marry Prince Humperdinck, Buttercup has to attend royalty school for three years, and is given the title of Princess of Hammersmith (which was part of the Florinese property but nobody ever paid attention to it) because the Prince couldn't marry a commoner.
- Tall Towers school, in Princess Disgrace, is attended by the clumsy heroine (Dis)Grace and her Alpha Bitch cousin.
- In Princess in Training by Tammi Sauer, it's the boot camp version that Viola Louise Hassenfeffer is sent to, due to her Tomboy Princess behavior.
- Princess School by Jane B. Mason. Said school is attended by Fairy Tale princesses, including the main cast, Cinderella, Briar Rose, Rapunzel and Snow White.
- In Royal Princess Academy: Dragons Dreams, Princess Emma does not fit in the mold of the school, and secretly dreams of becoming a Dragon Rider.
- In The School for Good and Evil, the School for Good teaches every girl how to be a princess, but only a few graduate into this in fairy tales afterwards. Most are children of former heroines, and already have the title. Not to mention the pink uniforms, Bright Castle-like building, or nymphs and fairies to serve everyone.
- The Tiara Club is a children's book series revolving around a princesses' boarding academy. The teachers being kings, queens and fairies, this is set in Medieval European Fantasy times, though the princesses' clothes on the covers are pretty modern. The pupils get or lose "tiara points" depending on their behavior (in the sister Princes' School, it's crown points). The narrator changes in every book; the first of them, Princess Charlotte, notices with shock that she is supposed to sleep in mundane cotton bedsheets instead of silk ones, among other things. The Princess academy is especially designed to teach princesses how life is outside a palace.
- Modern Villainess is set in an Alternate History modern Japan where the peerage system (abolished in real-life in 1947) remains. This means the novel simply carbon-copied the Gakushūin as mentioned in the Real Life section, bland-named to Gakushūkan.
- Prinsessia is a Belgian children's television program about five princesses who are taught at the eponymous school, with their headmistress Miss Flora. The motto of the program reads: "After each new lesson, a little more princess".
- In Cabin Pressure, the crew are hired to fly the prepubescent King of Liechtensteinnote to Britain for a new term at his private school, which apparently has a large number of various other royals amongst its students. Maxi is failing to make friends by pulling rank as the only reigning King, and is apparently bullied by the Sheikh of Qatar.
- Girl Genius: The baron's school onboard Castle Wulfenbach. The baron, who is also dictator of most of Europe, takes the children of the rulers of every province he has conquered to go to school. While the children's parents and the older children are well aware that they are there to guarantee their parents' good behavior, they are given a first-class education (both general education and in statecraft) and encouraged to become Royals Who Actually Do Something (to subvert Decadent Court) and make friends (so they will become more reluctant to go to war with each other when they inherit their respective thrones).
- Barbie: Princess Charm School: Said school revolves around this trope, and yet it subverts it in many ways. The academy is a high school, and the setting is Present Day, although each student has a Fairy Companion. They wear mundane uniforms, ball dresses being for the coronation day. The school isn't princesses-only, a good portion of students are ladies royal in training. Apart from this it's very classical: tiaras are part of the uniform, (and lockers are topped with these too) the cafeteria looks like a normal one until you notice the crystal and silver cutlery, there is a school attended by princes next door, and students travel by carriage. The protagonist, Blair, is a commoner Fish out of Water entered after winning a lady royal scholarship in a lottery. Until it's revealed she was a honest-to-God princess all along.
- Barbie in Rock 'n Royals: The aptly named Royalty Camp is a summer camp version of this; thus the activities are more playful than usual and include magic, unicorns grooming, arts, horse riding and tea parties.
- The series Ever After High follows the concept with children of Fairy Tale characters. Not only about a half of the students are princes and princesses due to the fact their parents were this before them, but they call themselves "Royals", actually.
- The stillborn project of Princess Academy. In that animated short, it was planned to show a Disney school attended by princesses, but also by every single female character ever done by the studios, including animals. The short was canceled after Disney's 2D department closed.
- Regal Academy: It's set in the fairy tale world and the teachers are heroes and heroines of fairy tales, and thus are often royalty. The students are the grandchildren of these former heroes and other heroes and villains and thus also royalty. However, it's downplayed, as not all the students are royals and the classes are mostly about magic.
- Sea Princesses averts most of the usual attributes associated with this trope. While everyone attending the school is royalty, the school is co-ed, and is not devoted to teaching children how to be princes and princesses. Rather it seems to teach a normal curriculum (or, at least, normal for an undersea school).
- Sofia the First: Royal Prep is a rare co-educated version, run by the three fairies from Sleeping Beauty, and with interventions from the Disney Princess team. Sofia is a Naïve Newcomer here, because she recently became princess by adoption. There are a few pupils and they are from all around the world, to justify the number problem evoked above. But you can wonder how they are not late for school every morning.
- Played for Horror in Star vs. the Forces of Evil which has the St. Olga Reform School for Wayward Princesses, where Star fears her parents will send her if she messes up too badly. It also doubles as a Boarding School of Horrors as its training involves brainwashing its students to conformity, with its own Room 101.
- Winx Club: Alfea College is a downplayed version: It's primary a Wizarding School for fairies. However, about three of the six main characters are princesses, and four other students are princesses as well (Galatea from Melody, Krystal from Linphea, and Roxy from Earth.) Plus Alfea is a Bright Castle with a ball room.
- While a school for only royalty would in reality probably be too restrictive to be profitable, certain British boarding schools are exclusive, expensive, and prestigious enough to attract a disproportionate number of children of world leaders all set to Major in Western Hypocrisy.
- "The princess prep" in London. In 2011, during the royal wedding fever, a kind of boot camp was opened for little girls to teach them princesses' manners.
- Similar to the above, the summer camp in "The Enchanted Castle" in Canada called Princess Academy. Could be shared, in that case, with "pirates"(Boys).
- This Atlanta activities center proposed, among others things, a "princess charm academy".
- A rather more humdrum example are the Finishing Schools popular the 19th and early-20th centuries, where teenage girls are sent to learn the manners and behaviours expected of an upper-class lady. They were popular with the upward-mobile middle-class families who want their daughters to marry up (and/or marry into royalty). Although actual royalty tend to shun these schools as sending their children there would imply that they were not classy and royal enough to be able to teach their kids manners at home.
- The closest to this trope in history was the Gakushūin of Japan. In 1877, less than 10 years after the Meiji Restoration and the establishment of Kazoku, the new noble class, Gakushūin was founded as a division of the Ministry of the Imperial Household. While there was no law that required all Kazoku to attend Gakushūin, they had guaranteed admission solely due to their status, which means nearly all descendants of the Kazoku between 1878 to 1947 (when the entire system of the aristocracy was abolished) studied in Gakushūin—an Elevator School—up to high school. The descendants of the same people continue to treat the privatized post-1947 Gakushūin as their default school for the same reason, including the Imperial family—all descendants of the Meiji emperor were, or are, students of Gakushūin.
- Vietnam's first national university, the Quốc tử giám (lit. "School for Children of the Nation") was initially established in 1076 to educate crown princes, princes, and sons of nobles. In 1253, it was changed to Quốc học viện ("Imperial Academy") and opened up to exceptional commoners. 1762 saw it renamed back to Quốc tử giám, but commoners could still test into the Academy. The Nguyễn dynasty (the final feudal dynasty) moved the capital to Huế. Thus, the Imperial Academy went with them, and the complex in Hanoi was re-designated the Temple of Literature. In modern times it's still referred to as Văn Miếu - Quốc tử giám ("Temple of Literature - Imperial Academy") anyway. Unlike the Gakushūin, it's now defunct, replaced by a nationwide higher education system.
- When Hawaii was still the Kingdom of Hawaiʻi, an educational facility was established strictly for the children of the ali'i (members of the royal family). It was a boarding school created by King Kamehameha III with the intent of teaching the children what they would need to know to rule the islands; the only children allowed to attend lessons there were those who had a potential claim to the Hawaiian throne. Its pupils included the future King Kalakaua and his sister Queen Liliuo'kalani, the last two sovereigns of independent Hawaii. It was known throughout the realm first as the Chiefs' Children's School and then as the Royal School; it still operates today as Royal Elementary School, though it's now part of the Hawaiian public school system.