Princesses are defined by their position in a royal family or by their sovereign power over a nation. Strong and capable women, princesses appear across pop culture, from Studio Ghibli to DC Comics to Marvel and more. They span genres, and they’re also real-life historical figures. Princesses play an important role in every story, either as rulers, advisers, adversaries, or anything else; there’s really no limit to their potential.
To celebrate Princess Day, we’re looking at 10 of the most inspiring quotes from princesses across fandoms. So let’s get down to business to defeat — oh, oops, to honor — our favorite loquacious ladies.
“I told him I wished to be a good ruler, a strong ruler, not some puppet.”
—Cirilla Fiona Elen Riannon, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt (2015)
Princess Ciri is the sole princess of Cintra, a fictional kingdom in The Witcher universe. After she is orphaned and escapes her burning city, she is adopted by Geralt of Rivia, who teaches her the ways of the world and of witchers.
She is heiress to several thrones, a tough warrior, a wicked Gwent player, and a skilled swordsman. When she accepts her responsibility to ascend to the throne in the third video game installment, she tells Geralt that she will not be ready for that title until she has gotten to know the people in her land better. This shows that despite her tough exterior, she is compassionate at heart.
“I am not a prize to be won.”
—Princess Jasmine, Aladdin (1992)
Jasmine insists on independence in direct opposition to her father’s wishes. She defies tradition by refusing to enter into an arranged marriage or be awarded to the fanciest, richest suitor. She is intelligent and brave, and one of the only people in the film to see through Jafar’s lies. Both her words and deeds make her a standout amongst classic Disney royalty.
“Westley and I are joined by the bonds of love. And you cannot track that, not with a thousand bloodhounds, and you cannot break it, not with a thousand swords.”
—Princess Buttercup, The Princess Bride (1987)
Buttercup was a peasant turned princess, and a main character in the cult-classic movie The Princess Bride. She is loving, loyal, and brave, standing up to her abuser while always finding the most beautiful ways to tell Westley that she loves him. Even when they are apart for years, she believes in him and has faith that they will have their happily ever after.
“I am sorry to disappoint you, but I am stronger than I look.”
—Starfire, Teen Titans (2003)
Starfire, or Princess Koriand’r, is from the planet Tamaran and is one of the founding members of the Teen Titans. She seems bubbly and unassuming, carefree and cutesy, even. But underestimating her is a huge mistake, because she has immense power plus an extraterrestrial skillset. Starfire is proof that you can be adorable and strong, which is why she makes this list.
“I’m a damsel, I’m in distress, I can handle this.”
—Megara, Hercules (1997)
Not only did Meg’s actual animation/art differ from typical Disney heroines, she also had a firecracker personality and a darker outlook on life. Her introduction into the film subverts the viewers’ (and Hercules’) expectations when she assures the wannabe hero that she’s got herself covered. No rescuing required!
“It’s not about what you deserve; it’s about what you believe. And I believe in love.”
—Diana Prince, Wonder Woman (2017)
Diana, Princess of Themyscira, was fashioned from clay by Zeus and is a member of the warrior race of Amazons. She was trained by her aunt Antiope and mother Hippolyta to fight, protect, and above all, to feel compassion for those in need. When she leaves Themyscira to protect the human world, she is given the name Wonder Woman and eventually joins the Justice League.
In the smash-hit 2017 film directed by Patty Jenkins, this quote became as much of a tagline and theme as the initial theatrical poster’s “Power. Grace. Wisdom. Wonder.” Diana also made movie history with her incredible crossing over No Man’s Land, a scene that would become one of the most empowering super hero scenes of the century.
“Can it be that I’m not meant to play this part?”
—Hua Mulan, Mulan (1998)
Mulan’s story is a classic. The ancient Chinese poem inspired this animated film in which a young girl takes her father’s place in the military. This quote comes from the famous song “Reflection.” In it, Mulan questions her role in her family and in the world. She does not want to marry and remain doting or docile, and she knows that she is meant for more.
Her words are particularly resonant because they demonstrate the self-awareness we all need as well as the questions we must all ask ourselves. Her life seems a show, a scripted stage event that merely happens to her. During “Reflection,” she rewrites her history to become a famous fighter and not just a perfect daughter.
“Just because something works doesn’t mean it can’t be improved.”
—Shuri, Black Panther (2018)
The MCU movie Black Panther is stellar for many reasons, but Shuri has to be one of the best parts of it. This princess is an inventor, engineer, scientist, and pilot. She’s smart and funny, and respects tradition while also seeking to update Wakanda’s technology and lifestyle. This quote represents her main outlook on life and inspires us all to always better ourselves and our surroundings.
“Sometimes the right path is not always the easiest.”
—Pocahontas, Pocahontas (1995)
A pacifist and nature-lover, Disney’s Pocahontas is also loosely based a historical figure. Her animated journey centers on her first meeting and subsequent relationship with Englishman John Smith. She shows him how to respect and cherish the natural world, and they attempt to bridge the gap and stop the war between their people. Pocahontas faces extreme difficulties along the way, but does not falter.
“Somebody has to save our skins.”
—Princess Leia Organa™, Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope™ (1977)
Princess Leia is one of the most beloved princesses of all time. Her introduction in Star Wars™ is filled with intrigue and inspiration — captured and at the mercy of Darth Vader™, she proceeds to insult the Imperials. She refuses to even give up the location of the Rebel base despite her home world’s merciless destruction by the Death Star™.
While being rescued by Han Solo™, Chewbacca™, and Luke Skywalker™, the boys make some major errors, and Leia takes a blaster and gets them all out. She’s quick-witted and stubborn, and she’s the best character in the original trilogy and beyond.
Who is your favorite princess? What’s your favorite princess quote? Let us know in the comments, and don’t forget to Let Your Geek Sideshow!