|Scope/Focus:||Fanfic about real present-day royalty|
|See also:||RPF, Royalty AU, Historical AU|
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Royalty RPF is RPF about the world's real royal families, most notably the British, Dutch, and other European royalty. It is often combined with other forms of RPF, with Royalty AUs, and with Historical AUs. It generally presents a romanticized version of royalty. Stories are often based on secondary or tertiary sources (such as biopics, docudramas, conspiracy theories etc.) with dubious accuracy.
This genre is as old as fiction, though often the characters of more critical stories were disguised to avoid offending real monarchs. By the end of the 19th century it was common to invoke royalty in thrillers and other fiction; for example, George Griffith's The Angel of the Revolution (1893) describes an anarchist conquest of the world led by Russian dissidents victimised by the Tsar, and ends with Alexander III exiled to Siberia. The 1930s version of The Saint was once pardoned by the King (unnamed, presumably George V) after preventing the assassination of a visiting prince. In modern fiction satire is fairly common; a good example is the series Heir to Sorrows by "Silvie Krin", lampooning Prince Charles, which often appears in the British satirical magazine Private Eye. On TV the comedy series Spitting Image (1988-91) used puppet replicas of the British royal family and other notables to satirize current events.
Royal families generally have large fan bases, as evidenced by the hundreds of books published about e.g. the late Princess Diana and conspiracy theories about her death, and by the James Bond parachuting "Queen" stunt which opened the 2012 Olympics. Surprisingly, a lot of the fan base is in countries that have no royalty, such as the USA. RPF is a natural consequence. Usually it focuses on royal romances, weddings, and other high-profile events, with the day-to-day duties of the monarchy given less attention. However, some stories (usually in other fandoms) do include appearances by royalty in other roles where it suits the needs of the plot; for example, as the ultimate authority Jack Harkness reports to in Torchwood, as government in exile during WW2, etc.
The genre is relatively small but growing, with 139 stories on AO3 (October 2015) rising to 315 stories in November 2020, 241 of them related to the British monarchy. It is largely written by a few prolific authors, and is banned by many site's rules on RPF. However, stories in other fandoms which include royal appearances may not be marked as Royalty RPF, and it may be necessary to search on the names of royal family members etc.
Tropes & Fanon
Although the role of Britain's monarchy is largely ceremonial, Harry Potter crossovers involving British royalty often give them judicial and governmental powers that they have not had in the real world for many centuries; for example, ordering the immediate execution of Death Eaters, or military action against them. This is usually explained as being part of the Statute of Secrecy or a special constitution for the wizarding world. They are sometimes portrayed as a family of especially powerful wizards.
An occasional assumption is continuity of dynasties into the indefinite past; for example, the idea that there is continuity from King Arthur to the present day in Britain. In reality there have been several changes of ruling dynasty with no continuity, and kings have been imported from another country on at least two occasions when the ruling dynasty has died out. There are similar discontinuities in nearly all royal families. A related trope (for the British Royal Family) is the assumption that descendants of King Arthur have more "right" to the throne than members of later dynasties; for example, it might be claimed that the discovery that Harry Potter was the last traceable descendant of the Pendragon dynasty would make him king in the magical and muggle world. This is not borne out by numerous real-world examples of "true heirs" who are not in line for the throne.
- Young, Hot and Royal (series) by carmenta, rekishi (2010-12) - series about the romances of various royal families, going AU in 2010
- Crossovers with Other Fandoms
- The Driver by Losyark (2015) - Captain America story set in WW2.
- Royal Ward by Catstaff (2014-2018 WIP) - Harry Potter story, eventual Sirius/Princess Diana
Archives & Fannish Links
- New Kings on Old Thrones by B. Waters (1898), a period article on Jacobite claims to the British throne.