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Sheltered Aristocrat

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"But when you live in a castle, everything's done for you. All the time—they dress you, they feed you, drive you, brush your teeth. I admit it was a charmed life, until the day my parents cut me off, and I realized… I don't know how to do anything."

The Sheltered Aristocrat is a character who has lived a life surrounded by luxury and pomp and shielded from the everyday trivialities and mundane issues which the lower classes have to contend with. They see themselves as pure and untainted by the hardships of the outside world, but their Ivory Tower worldview is based on books and tutoring, so they are in for a rude awakening when they leave the castle.

This results in a certain naivety and ignorance, despite the numerous tutors and advisors they had all their life, teaching them history, philosophy, literature, and for males, the arts of war and diplomacy. When they are finally exposed to the outside world, it becomes apparent that the character is out of their depth. They don't realize how difficult and dangerous life outside their palace really is, and as a result, they are a Horrible Judge of Character, easily duped by conmen and lured into traps by thieves. Often they think that they can talk their way out of confrontations, or throw money at any problem, and generally don't recognize, at least initially, that bad things could actually happen to them out in the real world.

They will often be puzzled and even intrigued by the mundane goings-on of everyday life, resulting in Mundane Object Amazement. Sometimes the irony will be taken further as the Sheltered Aristocrat proclaims themself to be an expert, having studied the lower class from textbooks, only to be proved very wrong. Often he has no idea how to do common, everyday activities and is thus rather helpless if they find themself on their own. They may also be unaware of any suffering their people are really going through in their kingdom until they come face to face with it.

These characters tend to fall into three main types: a plucky-type with child-like innocence and kindness, a silly and cowardly-type who is treated like a joke, and a snobby and superior type that can be cruel. Most of the types have a good chance to mature into the honorable and melancholic Wise Prince or the practical and down-to-Earth Princely Young Man during their adventures, though the cowardly and snobbish types have just as much of a chance to turn their back on the real world and shut themselves back in their palace, if they can.

This trope can include any character who is sheltered in this way. See also Gilded Cage, Upper-Class Twit, Spoiled Brat, and Spoiled Sweet. Compare Sacrificed Basic Skill for Awesome Training.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Ashita no Nadja: Nadja's love interest Francis Harcourt poses as your typical White Prince with a philanthropic edge, but deep down has severe self-esteem issues that become obvious once his idealism clashes with reality.
  • The F4 in all incarnations of Boys over Flowers. Domyoji is of the arrogant meanie variety (at least initially) and Rui is the reserved type. Sojiroh and Akira are certainly both very charming, but seem much more aware of the lower classes, at least intellectually, than the other two.
  • Case Closed:
    • Ninzaburo Shiratori is this and a rather competent policeman. While not a bad person, he can be kind of an Upper-Class Twit when at his very worse, switching to a borderline Princely Young Man when at his best.
    • Also his former classmate Fumimaro Ayanokouji, who actually is from Royal Blood according to Satou.
    • Sonoko's soon-to-be brother-in-law, Yuzo Tomizawa, is of the naive kind. So were his brothers Tatsuji and Taichi. Until one of them killed their father
    • And predictably, both Ojous and Sheltered Aristocrats are among either the victims or the culprits rather frequently.
  • In Naoko Takeuchi's work The Cherry Project, Tsuzuki fits this well. He's been trained as a professional figure skater since he was young, and was born to rich parents who really spoiled him. He had recently cut himself off because he felt that he wasn't really living life normally.
  • In Endride, Prince Emilio has no idea what life is like for people outside the palace and doesn't even carry money because growing up, if he needed something, someone would provide it. It's implied many of the nobility who aren't actively malicious are like this, and before Lucio's death, Demetrio had shades of this as well.
  • Expecting to Fall into Ruin, I Aim to Become a Blacksmith:
    • Eliza is a Tsundere pampered Duke's daughter who is constantly challenged by both a Friendly Rivalry with Iris and a Love Interest Kururi who are much more worldly than her. Eliza undergoes a Break the Haughty arc along with her introduction, and she eventually develops into a Yamato Nadeshiko type, after learning from the two.
    • The Crown Prince Arc Kudan constantly pesters Kururi to mentor him on how the world works, in particular in relation to courting the poor Iris, since he knows his shelteredness keeps them apart doing things like giving expensive gifts she can't repay. Kururi vents his frustration at this via Passive-Aggressive Kombat.
    • The Hot-Blooded Fregen Dartanel heats up a Feuding Families relationship with Kururi due to the latter daring to stop him from going Droit du Seigneur on Iris, while being a useless prince otherwise. Eventually, Kururi starts the process of reforming him by consigning him to farm work.
  • Yuki of Fruits Basket has shades of the composed type, and is nicknamed "Prince Yuki" by the girls at his school. He's a very different person behind the facade he puts up for most of his classmates.
  • Albert from Gankutsuou. His cluelessness and idealism make him an excellent target for the Count's manipulation.
  • Shion from GJ-bu acts like this, but there was a further justification — all her older brothers were all geniuses in one field or the other so that she in fact doesn't need anything that comes outside of her household — those would be inferior to what is in her house anyway. When you have a blue-cordon class Supreme Chef — or maybe a Supreme Barista as well — preparing your lunch box every day, do you expect you to know what Ramen as Dehydrated Noodles or Canned Coffee is? She doesn't (and didn't even know how to use a vending machine on her high school graduation day!), but she finds this depressing as well, and wants Kyoro (who is the only person of a lower status in the cast) to actually teach her those common sense.
  • Touga in Gravion fits the composed variety, and forms an Odd Friendship with the largely mannerless Eiji often driven by his quiet curiosity about the "real world" (he's not a literal prince, but he did grow up in a castle…).
  • I'm the Evil Lord of an Intergalactic Empire!: Minor antagonists tend to be like this; generally, the Royal Family of The Empire have a toxic Decadent Court that spawns many of these. Peter Petak is lazy gambler and flamboyant playboy who gets his gambling debts taken advantage of, while at the same time getting his penis exploded from an STD. Dolph Lawrence looks down on and underestimates those below him in status, cheating to prove his superiority, and being willing to slaughter countless civilians over petty grievances. Issac Banfield is an Entitled Bastard who thinks he can just walk in and take everything his brother Liam has built, and treat people like trash without being talked back to, only to be surprised when they resist.
  • Guillaume and Pierre from Innocents Shounen Juujigun are both examples of this, being semi-nobility (as much so as peasants can be), and extremely naive when it comes to how much respect they deserve and staying safe in the world. The both of them are so set on keeping their power and status that they turn to the Knight Hugo, which turns out to be a TERRIBLE idea.
  • Yuna Roma Seiran from Mobile Suit Gundam SEED Destiny proves why letting one of these gain power can be a really, really, bad idea. Luckily eventually they Dropped a GOUF on Him.
  • Quatre Raberba Winner from Mobile Suit Gundam Wing was raised to be the heir to his father's company and was cloistered away from a lot of the suffering and conflict around him. His idealistic streak lasts through a large part of the beginning of the series. When things go south for his family though and he witnesses his father getting killed, it goes downhill quite fast. Notable in that he actively wants to get away from the trope and willingly joins in the show's conflict.
  • Prince Chagum from Moribito: Guardian of the Spirit is of the young and dignified sort. He gets used to life as a commoner and enjoys it since the series very much avoids The Dung Ages and thinks Rousseau Was Right. Later he seems to develop into The Wise Prince.
  • Negima! Magister Negi Magi:
    • Ojou and Class Representative Ayaka Yukihiro is a minor example. While not a princess, she is from the upper class so she sometimes fails to understand what more commonplace things are. One particular example that springs to mind is during class 3-A's preparation for their school festival, she supplies the entire class with maid outfits for a Maid Cafe, despite not knowing at all what a Maid Cafe actually is.
    • Princess Arika. Although she wasn't completely ignorant about the hardships of the world, her sheltered upbringing made her more naive than she let on and didn't know what ice cream or a date are.
  • Princess Shirahoshi from One Piece had to stay sheltered in her room for most of her life (ten years, to be exact; and considering she's only sixteen…), to protect her from her Yandere of a Stalker with a Crush. As a result, she is very curious about pretty much everything in the world. For instance, she initially thinks that a forest is comprised of only a few trees. Garp has to tell her that an actual forest is vastly larger.
  • Most of the Ouran High School Host Club but especially Tamaki, the president of the club. He is the clownish charmer type (especially the "buffoon" part; his heart is usually in the right place, but his brain is another story), who is actually so fascinated by the middle-class customs of Haruhi that he plans activities and "excursions" to educate themselves about the lifestyles of the "commoners" to make Haruhi feel more comfortable—she doesn't.
    • Mori would be the composed type, mostly because of his protectiveness of Hani and keeping his mouth shut.
    • Kyouya. He's involved in his family business, so he understands how the world works. He doesn't consider ordinary people to be quaint or insignificant, but he does regard them as less important than successful people.
  • Hime, the Monster's princess at Princess Resurrection (her real name is Lilliane) never helps with any work that doesn't involve killing something. She also didn't know how to use a modern cell phone—Hime stated that her robotic servant Flandre had to use it for her. This also explains why she is always reading when everyone else is playing video games.
  • Romeo Candorebanto Montague from Romeo × Juliet, in addition to being the Mad Dictator's Handsome Son. His best friend Benvolio di Frescobaldi also shows some Sheltered Aristocrat traits, but once his family is stripped of its noble status, he adapts to peasant life very quickly and happily.
  • The Prince in Rune Soldier Louie—though befitting the fantasy setting he was only naive and shocked when he came across mercenary behaviour and darker aspects of humanity. In other aspects, he was quite educated and willing to give anything a try.
  • In The Secret Agreement, Yuuichi regards Iori to be this because of his lack of worldliness, and while he doesn't like that Iori is getting married he outright states that the marriage will be a good thing for Iori since he doubts Iori could live a poor life with him.
  • Shimoneta: Anna is the only daughter of the Nishikinomiya Family, a prestigious political household. Her parents passed the Public Morals Decency Act to ensure she grows up in a society free of immoral influences, such as pornography and profanity. They've even seen to it that she's kept from contact with male students without supervision. Which has left her sexually repressed and with no understanding of what is, or isn't, sexually acceptable behavior.
  • Shomin Sample is The Series of this Trope. The whole plot of the series is a normal high school guy is essentially kidnapped to an All-Girls School of extremely rich Spoiled Sweet sheltered girls. He is there to teach them about things in a commoner's world. The school decided to do this because the girls have rarely had any interaction with the opposite gender, and the Culture Shock many of the previous students have suffered after going to the commoner's world has caused them to become Hikikomoris.
  • Tearmoon Empire: Played for Laughs. The comedy story is about a noble girl Mia who travels back in time in a Peggy Sue plot and trying to Set Right What Once Went Wrong after ending up beheaded at the guillotine, but Mia’s sheltered tendencies constantly pop up in amusing ways, interfering with her efforts.
  • Trapped in a Dating Sim: The World of Otome Games is Tough for Mobs: Present all over the place with its mostly noble cast, in the form of many un-named and insignificant characters as well as major ones being Rich in Dollars, Poor in Sense. Combined with Lady Land in Holfort Kingdom in particular.
    • Leon’s older sister Jenna is always expecting him or the servant/lover Leon buys for her to do everything for her, with a rude and haughty attitude, that on reflection, Leon himself is partly responsible for fostering. She has an I Broke a Nail scene being forced to help her family farm as lenient punishment for nearly blowing up her brother.
    • Angelica is presented as a Spoiled Sweet one who is unfamiliar with things like food stands, and has to tell her Maid Corps to let her dirty herself helping Leon with his farmwork, for example.
    • Dating sim capture targets are all different flavors of this, where it’s Played for Laughs with how their idiotic antics being unaccustomed to being cut off from their families’ fortunes must be cleaned up by The Chew Toy Marie.
    • The Roseblade Sisters are so unaccustomed to being told no, that they develop crushes on men in the Bartfort Household due to being scolded by them.
  • Trapped in a Dating Sim: The World of That Otome Game is Tough for Us: In addition to the various characters from the original series, it’s explored how Holfort Kingdom nobles have a Martyrdom Culture and general viciousness (for instance Demanding Their Head), making them insensitive to hardships caused by conflict. This with the introduction of the impetuous Glory Seeker Beudon brothers who get themselves killed as a Leeroy Jenkins due to naiveté about battle.
  • Villager A Wants To Save The Villainess No Matter What: Crown Prince Karl has no idea about the hardships of common people, and makes a rose tinted School Festival presentation about how comfortably the commoners live.
  • Prince Canute of Vinland Saga starts out as the innocent sheltered type, with a few minor subversion in that he is surprisingly well educated in peasant activities, then upgrades to the cool as sin, composed badass version. That's because the real-life Norse nobility differed from commoners mostly in that they usually ate better and called the shots at war. Otherwise they weren't that much different.
  • Yukari in Yuyushiki is a downplayed example, in that she ended that phase relatively early, in elementary school. Still, Yui, the Childhood Friend who taught Yukari those kinds of lowly stuff (plus the concept of money), initially finds Yukari's presence in her house incredibly embarrassing because of this trope.

    Comic Books 
  • Khrissalla of White Sand seems to have had this kind of upbringing. When she first sees the aftermath of Kerztian slaughter of Sand Masters, she appears blissfully unaware of what she's just looked at.

    Films — Animation 

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Prince Akeem from Coming to America had never so much as gone to the bathroom by himself before the events of the film. He chafes at this and delights in doing manual labor and taking care of himself when he visits Queens. His father, King Jaffe, is also so sheltered that he considers confining Semmi to a luxury suite at the Waldorf Astoria and being tended to by just one servant to be a harsh punishment.
  • Prince Henry from Ever After is bored by the idea of peasants until he meets Danielle, who actually is a peasant. He takes his servants for granted because they're servants, it's what they do.
  • The Exception: Wilhelm has spent the last 20 years living in exile in Holland. The arrival of the German Army gives him hope. His wife says, given his very wealthy background as the former emperor of Germany, he knows little of money and doesn't realize just how reliant they are on the German government, which gives them a pension (that could be taken away at any time).
  • Commodus in Gladiator is proof against the idea of letting one sheltered aristocrat become the ruler of a country. He combines being completely unaware of what's up with the people with not understanding politics at all and is extremely self-centered.
  • The Park family in Parasite live in a large, isolated house in the middle of densely packed Seoul to symbolize how sheltered they are from the real world. They casually spend large amounts of money with no real thought, as exemplified by how they ask for "ram-don" — which combines two full servings of instant noodles — topped with expensive sirloin steak for a snack. They serve as Foils to the poor Kims, who are of such modest means that they have to fold pizza boxes to try and make ends meet.

  • A Brother's Price: Cullen Moorland is a very sheltered not to say smothered aristocrat which has made him bored and rebellious. Seemingly Real Life in the outside world does not disappoint him.
  • The Chronicles of Prydain: The Castle of Llyr introduces us to Prince Rhun, who is the "clownish buffoon" type, easy on the "charming." He irks Taran, especially for being engaged to Princess Eilonwy. Rhun gets better, and he dies a hero's death.
  • City of Bones: Elen is one when she first meets Khat: afraid to drop her veil, shocked at the crowding and uncleanliness in non-citizen living quarters, scandalized by Khat's unorthodox treatment for a venomous animal bite. After spending a while running around the lower tiers hunting for relics, she grows out of it.
  • A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court: After King Arthur learns that Hank has been going out incognito, he decides it sounds like great fun and insists they both try it. Hank has to take several days trying to get him out of the royal mindset (e.g. not getting out of a knight's way, addressing fellow commoners as "varlets", denouncing peasants fleeing a cruel lord's injustice, etc.), and while it does give the king his one shining moment of heroism, his ignorance and opening his mouth at the wrong time gets the both of them nearly killed and eventually enslaved.
  • Dark Heart: Raine Destin is a pampered young nobleman from a wealthy family who thinks the real world will be a grand adventure. As there are real assassins out to kill him sent by a rival house, he eventually learns differently.
  • Don Quixote, U.S.A.: The narrator came from a New England family of old money and nearly-impeccable breeding and falls into the "plucky" category. After being sent to the island of San Marcos as a Peace Corps volunteer, he rather quickly earned the semi-affectionate nickname "El Estupido."
  • Gotrek & Felix: Two for the price of one in Elfslayer with Claire and Aethenir. The former is something of a wizard prodigy but has spent most of her years cloistered in a Wizarding School and wants to experience life before she's too old... which, to her, means sleeping with Felix whether he wants to or not (and not warning him of a skaven attack she'd foreseen out of spite when he refuses). The latter is an elven scholar entirely unused to the rigors of travel outside of an elf ship, and his painful naiveté makes him incapable of recognizing a Wounded Gazelle Gambit, nearly causing the end of the world and ends up costing him his life. Their respective minders Max Schreiber and Captain Rion have some choice words for them on finding out what they did. Only the fact that their magic saves the day on several occasions prevents them from being The Millstone.
  • Heralds of Valdemar: Prince Daren starts off this way. He becomes more of The Wise Prince later in the series.
  • Interesting Times: A very disturbing take on this trope is shown; The Emperor of the Agatean Empire is a Psychopathic Manchild, described by Twoflower as having been the sort of child who liked to pull the legs off insects. However, because he was never contradicted, he's never caught on to the fact that having people killed in the most terrible fashion is not cool.
  • Jeeves and Wooster: Bertie survives thanks to the efforts of Jeeves, who serves as valet, Parental Substitute, and Living Emotional Crutch. When they get separated, cue the Rich in Dollars, Poor in Sense plot.
  • The Last Unicorn: Prince Lir. As he attempts to earn the attention of Lady Amalthea (the unicorn in the form of a young woman) he shakes off his sheltered uselessness and becomes far more interesting.
  • The Legend of Nightfall: Prince Edward, a.k.a. Ned. He truly believes in the ideals of chivalry and noblesse oblige, he despises slavery, and he'll risk his neck to save others' lives. His idealism is only matched by his naivety… which is why his father the King takes the extreme step of secretly blackmailing (and spell-binding) a ruthless thief/assassin to be his squire (i.e., protect him) when the young royal is sent out to get some real-world experience for a change. (The ultimate Fantasy Adventure Odd Couple Buddy Story Wunza Plot—and it works.)
  • Leviathan: Alek (His Serene Highness Aleksandar, Prince of Hohenberg) was raised in a palace by tutors and servants. He has excellent combat and leadership skills but struggles to do ordinary everyday things like buying a newspaper or talking to girls.
  • A Little Hatred: Savine thinks of herself as a very worldly aristocrat, having been raised in only a middle-ranked noble household even if her father is the de facto ruler of the kingdom. She is fantastically wealthy from her own ruthless business tactics, practices fencing regularly, and wears a sword with her ballgowns. However, when she visits a manufactory she owns, she gets caught up in labor riots and must live incognito among the proles. This opens her eyes to just how sheltered her life has been.
  • One Unicorn: In this children's book by Gale Cooper, the king imposes this trope on his daughter, Princess Alicia. A senior fairy reprimands him for this and warns that although Alicia will be a wise ruler after him, her painful exposure to the darkness of the world will always remain with her.
  • The Prince and the Pauper: Prince Edward Tudor (later King Edward VI).
  • The Quest of the Unaligned: The King and Queen of Caederan are a variant on this trope, in that they don't really understand that attuning themselves almost entirely to wind magic is wrecking their country. This is partially due simply to living at court, which at this point is inhabited almost exclusively by ruahks and unaligned, and partially because wind magic has a tendency to make its users "airheads".
  • The Remarkable Journey of Prince Jen. Upon embarking on a pilgrimage to a mystical kingdom, Prince Jen sniffs the air and asks his servant what that wonderful, invigorating smell is. His significantly more worldly-wise servant hazards a guess that the odors of rotten food, body odor, the occasional goat, and the distinct lack of cash comprise "The Essence of Misery."
  • The Seven Citadels: Prince Kerish starts out this way, even putting the lives of his men in jeopardy due to his over-confidence. He grows out of it, though.
  • Shadows on the Moon: The Moon Prince.
  • A Song of Ice and Fire:
    • All the Stark siblings to an extent, but most especially oldest daughter Sansa, whose Good Parents have raised her to believe that life is like a fairytale. Needless to say, certain events change that.
    • Daenerys Targaryen is another one. If a rather non-standard version. Because she and her brother were effectively exiled, made relatively poor, forced to be on the run for her entire childhood and dependent on the strings-attached charity of others because of their bloodline, she had been kept both fairly socially isolated for safety's sake and entirely in the dark about an awful lot for various reasons. This has led to massive gaps in her education as a result, despite her intelligence. With few of the perks more normally closeted princesses get.
    • Joffrey's been pampered by his mother Queen Cersei and ignored by his father King Robert, and generally raised in affluence. Their example combined with zero real-world experience or political understanding (and possibly mental instability due to his less-than-healthy genetic background) have led Joff to believe he can do whatever he wants without consequence. Including beheading anyone who says otherwise or shooting starving people just because he feels like it. Spoiled doesn't equal Spoiled Sweet.
    • Young Griff was raised to be the perfect prince but seems ignorant of the world outside his group of protectors and inexperienced when it comes to politics. Lampshaded by Tyrion.
    • Quentyn Martell views the world like heroic fantasy and he sees himself as a hero destined to be successful. He was sent to court Daenerys but is rebuffed as he doesn't have the machismo to really win her over. He tries again by taming her dragons himself but gets burnt to a crisp for all his troubles.
    • Even the cunning and cynical Tyrion Lannister finds this applies when he goes on the run and discovers that he has much to learn about being a dwarf among commoners — like learning to keep your mouth shut around "the big people" who can beat you senseless if you give them too much lip. Even before this his sellsword Bronn was trying to point out that Tyrion's position in society is actually pretty good despite being The Un-Favourite.
  • The Summer Queen: Partially subverted with King Louis VII of France. Given to the church while young, he was never expected to actually become king. When he does take the crown, his excessive piety warps his views, making governing effectively and even thinking rationally a challenge.
    • Upon hearing that his wife - the now-legendary Eleanor of Aquitaine - has given birth to a daughter, Louis is distraught both at the lack of a male heir and his belief that a woman can never be ritually pure again after giving birth.
      • Ironically, Louis himself has multiple siblings, his own mother never displayed such concerns, and even called her son out for being overly dramatic.
    • Years later, when Louis and Eleanor divorce and she remarries Henry of Anjou (a major political rival), Louis is flabbergasted to hear that she and Henry have had a son. He’s unable to comprehend that God would deny someone with his great piety his heart’s desire, yet give it to a man that Louis views as spiritually and politically inferior.
  • The Wheel of Time: Galad Damodred borders between the "arrogant" and "reserved" varieties, with a very naïve view of the world, but is anything but a buffoon. Later shows signs of turning away from the path of the Knight Templar and shifting towards The Wise Prince.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Downton Abbey: Lady Sybil, the Earl's youngest daughter despite being curious about the lives of ordinary people, starts out as very naive about the world. Her early attempts to explore outside Downton aren't always successful such as getting injured at a violent political rally. However, she sticks at it, befriends the chauffeur and a housemaid (helping the latter become a secretary), and during World War I trains and works as a nurse. In fact, she adjusts so well to normal life that she marries the chauffeur and moves to Ireland to live as a commoner nurse.
  • Rachel from Friends is a modern-day example of the trope. Her whole childhood was spent growing up in a family that was very well off and had parents who were willing to get her anything she wanted. On the day of her wedding, which was likely arranged, Rachel ran out on her own reception after realizing she didn't love Barry and she then decides to live on her own without the financial help from her parents. The first season has Rachel comically trying to adjust to everyday life where even simple things like doing the laundry or taking out the trash is a huge obstacle for her. Rachel slowly evolves in character as the series progressed and she manages to have a successful career and a daughter by the finale.
  • Game of Thrones:
    • Viserys Targaryen isn't so much naive about the horrors of the world — but rather, he's arrogant and naively expects everyone to march to his orders even while he's in exile. Eventually he gets drunk and gravely offends Khal Drogo, paying for it with his life. Considering he hasn't been much of a prince since he was 8, he really should know better.
    • Joffrey Baratheon gives this impression, but since we haven't seen him outside the sheltered life of a prince we can't be entirely sure (yet). Still, he's an excellent demonstration of the bad things that can happen when the White Prince is crowned King; even his mother can't control him now.
    • Sansa grew up thinking life was a fairytale and is enchanted by the decadence of the royal court, leaving her totally unprepared for its deadly side.
    • Brienne accuses Jaime of being this to snap him out of his depression after losing his sword hand.
    • Tommen is extremely naive and has obviously spent his life obeying protective authority figures.
  • General Hospital's wealthy Jason Quartermaine got a rude awakening upon taking his African-American girlfriend to the local country club and receiving the cold shoulder from staff and fellow members.
  • Green Wing plays this to great comedic effect when Guy attempts to convince Mac he is a man of the people and invents a friendship with a janitor who happens to be very good friends with Mac.
  • Mr. and Mrs. Johnson, the wealthy, old-money next-door neighbors in Hazel.
  • Ice Fantasy: Ka Suo has never left the Ice Kingdom before the start of the story and has very few ideas about how things in the mortal world work.
  • Kamen Rider:
    • Mitsuru Sanofrom Kamen Rider Ryuki was thrown out and forced to get a day job. His rich father hoped it would build Mitsuru some character. It didn't.
    • Tsurugi Kamishiro from Kamen Rider Kabuto. If you're wondering which kind of Sheltered Aristocrathe is, consider that his personal motto is, "I am the man who will replace God and slash with a sword". He eventually discovers that his family coffers are more empty than he had ever imagined (as in, completely) and resolves to restore his family wealth whilst learning about the joys of "the common people", becoming much more quirky and likeable in the process.
    • Sieg from Kamen Rider Den-O is an arrogant Imagin who claims that "the world revolves for [his] sake" and initially sees the DenLiner crew as his servants. Hana punches some sense into him, though, and he warms up to the others a lot quicker. Bonus points for his predominantly white color scheme.
  • A Key & Peele parody sketch plays Jaden Smith as a modern-day version of this. Jaden sees himself as a "down to earth, normal kid", but requires his agent to explain all the confusing "everyday mundanity" aspects of the script being pitched to him in terms his pampered movie-star upbringing can (barely) understand. He ultimately rejects the role because his character would have to make a Friend-or-Idol Decision and he considers the very idea of needing to choose between two things, instead of just having both, to be too "science fiction" for him.
  • Arthur from Merlin is an interesting example. While he is established as the commander of the army and very proactive in his responsibilities, it's evident that outside of Camelot he is very naive. He's an Innocent Bigot in regards to magic users, who he was taught from birth to consider evil, and Gwen occasionally has to call him out on his Innocently Insensitive treatment of the poor. He eventually grows out of it with some help from Merlin and Gwen.
  • King Louis and Queen Anne from The Musketeers are both examples of this, having grown up amongst the most powerful royal families at the time.
    • Queen Anne attempts to cook for the first time in one episode and doesn't realize she's burnt the fish. She also seems to think people respond to logic and reason in all matters not realizing the effects personal bias and experience might have. She does at least realize that most people in France live much harder and poorer lives than she herself and that she is sheltered from many of the harsh realities of life and wants to help those that do.
    • King Louis however thinks that his people do nothing but drink and gamble and live lives of freedom and leisure. He's shocked by the fact that there are slavers kidnapping his subjects, balks at having to walk for miles, and can't even do up his own tunic. Unlike the queen he doesn't bother trying to understand the differences and any experience of the normal world is met with confusion at best and paranoia and distrust at worst.
  • Wes in Power Rangers Time Force is a Rebel Prince version. At first, the other Rangers only needed him to unlock their morphers, as his DNA was the closest possible match to the year 3000's Red Ranger's. He persuades them to give him a chance anyway, as it's the first time in his life he's ever fought for something.
  • David Rose from Schitt's Creek begins the series as one of these, not understanding that credit cards produce a bill that needs to be paid or what a tax write-off actually is. He also thinks that the minimum wage is $45 an hour. He later learns that his entire professional career as a gallerist was subsidized by his parents, who gave money to his patrons to buy the art. He eventually learns enough to start his own successful business, but he still occasionally displays a rather skewed view of the world, such as thinking teen actors and models lounging around in bras and thongs was what happened at everyone's high school parties.
  • Succession: This is a major point of conflict between Self-Made Man Logan Roy and his spoiled, sheltered children who have been raised in a billionaire's household. In the second season, he forces them to play a cruel game exposing their ignorance and grills them on how much a gallon of milk costs. No one knows.


    Myths & Religion 
  • Siddhartha Gautama a.k.a. Buddha makes this Older Than Feudalism. He grew up in the palace sheltered from everything low and evil. When he first went into Real Life (which was after he had married and fathered a son), and saw the existence of poverty, disease, and death, he was so shocked that he left palace, wife, and son in the night to become an ascetic monk. For the exciting conclusion, see Buddhism. This was apparently deliberate, as his father was given a prophecy that if he didn't experience suffering he would become a great king, while if he did he would become a (very poor) holy man. So his father tried to shelter him as much as he possibly could.

  • In the 2013 Broadway revival version of Cinderella (Rodgers and Hammerstein), Ella educates Prince Topher of the many struggles his kingdom faces that he is not privy to due to his privileged position.
  • Shakespeare's capricious, self-absorbed, melodramatic Richard II. Crowned king as a child and fully believing he's ordained by God to rule, Richard has no idea of how his poor decisions affect his family and supporters until they turn on him and kill him.
  • In Thoroughly Modern Millie, Miss Dorothy enters a boardinghouse to observe "How the Other Half Lives".

    Video Games 
  • While Gio (Ludwig Giovanni Arland) of the Arland Trilogy of the Atelier Series, one-time King Gio of the kingdom of Arland, and later a leader of the Arland Republic, is definitely a royal who actually does something, he still has shades of this. In one of the more comic scenes in Atelier Meruru: The Apprentice of Arland, he finds the leader character, Princess Meruru, minding a dry goods shop for a friend. One of the things Meruru is selling is carrots, which he doesn't recognize because he's only ever had them cooked and buttered. He offers 100 cole for it, but Meruru says it's way too much and sells it to him for 10 cole… which is still 3 more cole than it's normally sold for to the player at the shop!
  • Milliarde in Baten Kaitos Origins.
  • Disgaea 5: Alliance of Vengeance has Seraphina, who grew up in the lap of luxury and has made her Prinnies do much of the labor for her (this gets her in hot water at the game's onset, where her Prinnies get completely destroyed by the Lost before Killia shows up). She grows out of this a bit, but only because Killia will not suffer her company otherwise.
  • Dragon Age:
    • In the short time the PC is around him, King Cailan from Dragon Age: Origins comes off as this, more clearly depending on dialogue. As a good example, if the City Elf tells Cailan he is from "One of your alienages, of course", Cailan actually grows excited nearly begging the PC to tell him what it's like there, stating his guards never let him near them, which seems to indicate quite a lack of knowledge and interest in 'commoner' ways. Which can lead to a real awkward moment for the king where you proceed to bluntly state that your cousin was raped by a bigot noble, who you then killed. Cailan is actually quite disturbed by something like that happening in the Alienage and it being kept from him, and vows to look into it when they return to Denerim… but we all know how that ended. Return to Ostagar reveals he is not nearly as naive as he pretends, but acted confident to keep up morale.
    • Sebastian Vael of Dragon Age II, to some extent. On the one hand, he has the highest social standing in your party and occasionally slips up (he's surprised that Aveline, daughter of an exiled noble, prefers being a city guard). On the other, he comes from a court that assassinated his entire family. There's no arguing he can handle himself in a fight, at least.
  • In The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind, Balmora Mages Guild Stewardess Ranis Athrys is said to be one of these by her associates. She came from an upper-class family and thus doesn’t relate well to Dunmer who grew up outside a wealthy imperialist town like Balmora.
  • Garnet in Final Fantasy IX is the princess of Alexandria who was sheltered for most of her life and grew up reading books on plays and getting an education by the kingdom's teachers. She's not quite naïve and she knows someone is manipulating her mother, but she has no understanding of how the outside world works and it shows when she escapes from the kingdom. Zidane tries to teach her how to speak more casual, which she eventually gets the hang of. Garnet's first interaction with a bug has her holding it curiously instead of being grossed out by it, but she quickly remembers to act like a typical girl and pretends to freak out over it. She eventually is able to get the nuances of how nonroyalty live and act and is able to fend for herself.
  • Fire Emblem:
  • In Golden Sun: Dark Dawn, this is Amiti's defining trait. Subverted because he also realizes this is a bad thing, and he decides to travel with Matthew in order to overcome it.
  • A Downplayed example with Percival of Granblue Fantasy, but the Slice of Summer event shows him to be somewhat bewildered by rather commonplace things, such as an onion making him cry, or Lunalu getting flustered around him.
  • Zagreus of Hades was raised in a Gilded Cage in the deepest depths of the Underworld by an overbearing father intent on hiding his existence from his Olympian relatives. As a result, he can be fairly naive and has some embarrassing gaps in basic knowledge such as the concept of winter or that onions should not be eaten whole and raw.
  • One of the main characters in Iris is Alexander von Schoenmann, who's from a family so important that it causes an Oh, Crap! reaction from Helen when she realizes exactly who he is. However, he's also so naive that he tries to pull rank in a pub, has never even heard of mana, and needs to be rescued by Helen from a bunch of slimes.
  • Prince Peasley of Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga comes off a bit like this at first glance-his arrogant mannerisms, cocky grin, and tendency to flick out his hair (which is so radiant it causes the entire screen to flash white) suggest a pampered jerkoff without the time of day for a couple lowly plumbers… but he's genuinely concerned about his people, competent at what he does and aware of his limitations, and in general a pretty nice, if businesslike, guy.
  • Pokémon Black and White. N, King of Team Plasma, was raised not only to be sheltered from the world, but also isolated, psychologically and socially abused and stunted, and unable to identify with humanity, so that his father Ghetsis could use him as a pure-hearted innocent to gain the trust of the legendary dragons of Unova, ban Pokemon husbandry, and conquer Unova.
  • Shin Megami Tensei IV has Navarre, an upper-tier Luxuror who tried out as a Samurai only seeing the prestige it would bring him and his family. Reality proceeds to beat him around the ears several times. First, it turns out the Samurai's primary job is keeping the demon population under Naraku in check (admittedly, nobody BUT Samurai know this), no amount of connections will get him out of that. Second, he's expected to treat Casualries as equals and there's every chance they'll outdo him. Lastly, Evil Is Not a Toy and trying to lure his rivals into deadly traps underground has every chance of blowing up in his face. He starts to crack before the first Wham Episode as he realized he voluntarily gave up a life of idle leisure for this and only gets worse from there. His final appearance is in a sidequest where you have to escort Navarre, now a pitiable madman, away from the conflict zone and to a safe haven.
  • Prince Enrique of Skies of Arcadia, while living a sheltered life, is the highly intelligent, reserved type of prince and completely subverts the "naive, pompous idiot" part of the trope. He ultimately leaves his homeland with the pirates in hopes of trying to prove his mother's plans of conquest wrong. He later tries to return to Valua to personally convince Empress Teodora to protect her people, which appears naive on the surface, but when she refuses, he actually attempts to threaten her life when she won't see reason. He apparently was more than prepared for her to refuse him. Despite not being a naive idiot, the other air pirates tend to give him some light-hearted ribbing about his pampered life when he first joins up.
  • Tales Series:
    • Tales of the Abyss:
      • Luke, the main character, starts out like this.
      • Emperor Peony hovers between this trope and The Wise Prince depending on whether the current situation at hand needs him to be mature or not—he's a wise, competent, devoted ruler when he needs to be, and a whimsical, self-centered, shamelessly flirtatious borderline manchild at all other times.
    • Tales of Vesperia: Prior to her adventure with Yuri and the others, all Estelle knew was what she'd read in her books. But over the course of their journey, she finds much of her information was either outdated, or factually incorrect. So Rita makes her fill in the pages of the group's Collectipedia to educate her. She's so naive she can't properly respond to a high five. Hilariously, when she learns how to do one, it becomes a recurring victory pose she brings up with every other member of the team.
  • Yes, Your Grace: Queen Aurelea has a few moments of this throughout the game:
    • Among the three wedding dress options for Lorsulia, she'll have her mind set on the most expensive one, that requires a loan to buy. She encourages Eryk to go with it by talking about the cost being spread, not quite realizing that the treasury is so limited that paying off the loan's installments over a handful of weeks will be just as crippling on it as buying the dress outright would have been.
    • When Eryk consults her about support the trade of the setting's Fantastic Drug, she's shown to generally under-estimate the risks that come with doing so.
    • When encouraging Eryk to go along with the ritual that could take care of the most inconvenient aspect of a spell cast on her, the possibility that the witch suggesting it may be downplaying the risk-to-benefit ratio doesn't seem to cross Aurelea's mind.

    Visual Novels 
  • Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair has Sonia Nevermind, the Ultimate Princess, who struggles to turn the shower on and gave up figuring out how to turn it off.
  • Lainie from Daughter for Dessert was the epitome of this trope.
  • Hatoful Boyfriend: Sakuya Shirogane Le Bel, of the "insufferable jerk" type. He considers being transferred to one of the top bird schools in the world to be a step down, and utterly abhors his new classmates due to Fantastic Racism (most of whom aren't fond of him, either). He also knows very little about the country he's in and most of it's misinformation. It's up to the heroine to defrost him—or the Omega Ending to devastate him.
  • Enju Ueno, the protagonist of Nightshade, is more or less the princess of her village; her parents married in order to end a clan war, and she has been considered a symbol of that peace all of her life. As a result, she has never been allowed to go on a shinobi mission and most of the village is insistent that she remain safe no matter what. When the game's plot kicks off and she's finally allowed to go on a mission, she is overwhelmed by the big city and is more than a little naive about life outside her village, although it thankfully doesn't end up hindering her too much.
  • In Reflections on the River, Zheng (the protagonist) tends to assume that the prince and princess are like this and that they'll have trouble coping with the simple surroundings of their captivity. It's partly true — they're both "like small children" when allowed to go with Zheng to the market, for example, and Prince Shun doesn't understand the worth of money (thinking that a few gold coins are mere pocket change when they're actually so rare Zheng has never even seen one). However, neither is at all hesitant to work and do chores — Prince Shun because it's an opportunity to try things he's usually not allowed to do for himself (like cooking) and Princess Yanyu because she's actually a servant pretending to be Yanyu, and although not allowed to wander freely, is quite used to doing real work.
  • Umineko: When They Cry: The Beatrice who lived in Kuwadorian in 1967 (who was actually Kinzo's illegitimate daughter with his Italian mistress Beatrice Castiglioni, who died in childbirth). She was raised in a hidden mansion by a few servants and Kinzo, who would come down every few days or so, but was forbidden from leaving the Kuwadorian and so knows absolutely nothing about life outside of it. Just before she died from falling off a cliff, Rosa actually speculated that part of the reason she didn't seem to be afraid of climbing down the cliff was that she didn't understand that if she fell from it, she would die.

    Web Comics 
  • Cursed Princess Club: The princesses of the Pastel Kingdom almost never get to leave their palace by order of their overprotective father, and as a result are ignorant about many social nuances (despite being educated by a private tutor on the basics of being a Proper Lady) and have no personal experience with romance (with what little they do know being informed by stories they've read). Most significantly for the main story, they also don't see youngest sister Gwendolyn (who has a freaky-looking goblin-like appearance) as anything other than another beautiful princess — Gwen herself doesn't have the slightest bit of Appearance Angst until she starts meeting people outside of her actively limited social circle. Their brother Jamie, in contrast, gets to travel often due to being a famous food critic and is resultingly more world-wise than his sisters (though he still comes across as a Genius Ditz).
  • Princess Flufwiena of Ebin and May, up until her new husband conquers her homeland and kills her family.
  • I Love Yoo gives us Kousuke. Shin-Ae discovers that he's never had rice-cake, even though it's available from practically every street corner. He has, however, eaten a burger before, and is a little offended Shin-Ae thinks he's that out of touch.
  • Latchkey Kingdom:
    • When prince Zander stays at his responsible Minor Living Alone friend Willa's house, he doesn't do any chores, keeps her up late, and doesn't let her go into the dangerous dungeons.
    • Princess Rosaline Lanistark is a Spoiled Brat in exile who has no concept of how to act like a commoner when she's disguised as one.
  • Sarilho: very much implied to be the case of Daria.
  • Reynir from Stand Still, Stay Silent is a sheepherder, but a sheepherder from inland Iceland, which is one of the safest places in which a human can be living in this world. His parents have chosen to get him to stay on the farm over teaching him about how things actually work outside it, which has led to a somewhat distorted perception of the world to the point that he thought he was forbidden from travelling internationally until one of his brothers set him straight. And even when he starts travelling, it doesn't occur to him that the reason merchant ships accept non-immune people may be that some of them aren't allowed to let people off in other countries anyway. In contrast, the actual members of the crew are all military and grew up in places that have gotten hit by The End of the World as We Know It much harder than Iceland did. This results in him being the most childish member of the crew, despite being the same age as the three younger actual members.

    Web Original 
  • PRIVATE DIARY: Cherry was homeschooled her whole life and was sheltered. When she heard the maids talking about how she has no friends and will never survive the real world, she decided to go to school to make friends.
  • Phase, Ayla Goodkind of the Whateley Universe. Born into the richest family on earth, and used to having his own way all the time. When he turns into a mutant and gets kicked out of the family, he finds out he doesn't know how to do anything, including using a can opener or a microwave. He has a coronary seeing what a real grocery store is like.

    Western Animation 
  • Adventure Time: The Earl of Lemongrab. He was the first one of Princess Bubblegum's experiments gone wrong, and had severe mental health issues… and was very, VERY annoying. The princess sent him away to live in a castle far away from the kingdom, to be taken care of by servants. Lemongrab ended up an Upper-Class Twit with a Friendless Background and No Social Skills. "Also… I don't know where food comes from!"
  • Arcane: Caitlyn to her own displeasure. She wants to truly see the world for what it is and becomes an Enforcer to do so, but her parents don't approve and consistently hinder her efforts by pulling strings with the force to keep her from any hint of danger. While she does have her strengths as an investigator and sharpshooter, she's completely out of her element during her adventure with Vi and shocked by every grisly element of the Zaunites' quality of life.
  • Arthur: Muffy Crosswire lives in a mansion with a butler, though has knowledge of the common folk thanks to attending school with Arthur and his friends. Nevertheless, it is clear there are certain things she has been sheltered from. A good example is in "The Great MacGrady," when she joins Mrs. MacGrady's support team and tries to help with her chores because of her tiredness due to her cancer. She decides to wash her dishes, but her idea of doing so involves squirting dishwashing liquid onto dishes piled into the sink and leaving them to sit. She ends up phoning her butler, whining that the dishwashing liquid doesn't work and asking what to do. When Arthur and his little sister D.W. show up with more gifts for Mrs. MacGrady, Muffy points out that she's running out of room and suggests that there might be something else they can do to help her. When they ask what this is, they end up being the ones washing and drying the dishes.
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender:
    • Until his encounter with Team Avatar, the Earth King had never been outside his palace, had limited contact with his subjects, and wasn't even told about the century-long war his kingdom was still fighting in. Much of his sheltered lifestyle was manufactured by his Grand Secretariat Long Feng so that he would be a Puppet King and Long Feng could hold the real power over Ba Sing Se.
    • Princess Azula, of all people, displays shades of this. Her sheltered royal life has resulted very limited contact with ordinary people, and things as simple as a volleyball game and a house party for teenagers become ways for her to display her brutal intimidation tactics, without fully realizing that's what she's doing.
    • Though Long Feng has been long gone by the time the Sequel Series The Legend of Korra takes place, the introduction of Prince Wu - the heir to the Earth Kingdom throne - in Book Four shows that the monarchy still values opulence and ritual over practical leadership. Before his Character Development, Wu is mostly excited to be coronated for the pomp and ceremony, and has precious little knowledge about politics, foreign affairs, or what the citizens in his kingdom really need.
  • Family Guy: While obviously not a prince, Mr. Pewterschmidt fits this perfectly in one episode when he loses all of his money and is forced to live with Peter. He becomes utterly useless, to the point that he can't figure out how to wipe his own ass. Slight variation in that he's not necessarily confused by how the lower class lives as much as he just wants nothing to do with it.
  • The Legend of Zelda (1989): Lampshaded in the episode "The White Knight", which features a blond heroic prince in pristine white garments who charms Zelda and her father and makes Link look like a buffoon by comparison. When Zelda is stolen by one of Ganon's minions, the so-called hero won't go to her aid because he doesn't want to get his clothes dirty.
  • Regular Show: Pops is made of this and has a childlike fascination with even the most mundane aspects of park-keeping. He is allowed to remain this way by Benson, as he is the son of the park owner and not subject to the responsibilities of the rest of the team.
  • The Simpsons: Mr. Burns occasionally plays into this trope. While not "sheltered" per se, his enormous wealth and advanced age means that he can be wholly ignorant about everything from current trends to the actual life experiences of most people.
    • Bart the Cool Kid: As the son of an international superstar, Orion Hughes admits that he doesn’t get to socialize much with regular kids, but his sheltering arguably goes far deeper. Until he started hanging out with Bart, he had never heard of the concept of falling down, and was afraid that he wouldn’t be instantly amazing when trying something new. Also, his identity is so tied up in his reputation as a hip, young influencer that, when middle-aged men started wearing his clothing line, he went into an existential crisis about being perceived as "uncool".
  • Steven Universe: Pink Diamond had no idea how much the Gems damage their colonized planets and any existing life on them until she saw the beginning stages with what was supposed to be her first colony, Earth. She also didn't seem to realize the struggles lower-class Gems faced until she starts recruiting and befriending them under the alias of Crystal Gem Leader "Rose Quartz".
    Real Life 
  • The "last emperor" of China, Puyi, was reportedly so used to having his needs catered to by a legion of servants that he never entirely learned how to function on his own, even years after he ceased to be royalty following the Second World War. Among other things, he would forget to close doors behind him, wouldn't flush the toilet, and would leave the taps on after washing his hands. Initially he couldn't even brush his teeth or tie his shoes.
  • A lot of aristocrats, nobles, and wealthy people in the past and present like to think they have working-class interests when, in fact, their money means they get a largely sanitized experience. For instance, Marie Antoinette enjoyed going on a "farm" set up by courtiers and pretending to be a peasant — collecting eggs secreted around the area for her to find, petting some animals, and tossing some feed before leaving. She genuinely believed that it was how people really lived and worked on farms because no one wanted to show her how things really were.
  • Inverted in the case of Boris Yeltsin, who in 1989, then a member of the Supreme Soviet of the Soviet Union, visited an ordinary American supermarket. Suspicious of being set up with a "show" grocery store (specially stocked to demonstrate American prosperity), he insisted on selecting a random venue on the spot himself. He was shocked at what he saw, declaring that the quantity, quality, and variety of goods was beyond anything available to even senior members of the Communist Party back in the Soviet Union. It was later said that this particular incident wiped any remaining sympathy for Communism from his mind.


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): White Prince, The White Prince


Unable to cook

Anthony and Daphne would like to heat up some milk to drink, but neither of them knows how to light a fire having never done it

How well does it match the trope?

5 (4 votes)

Example of:

Main / ShelteredAristocrat

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