Princess syndrome

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Princess syndrome is a common epithet referring to women who are are hypergamous, high-maintenance, and will only date high-status men.[1] Women afflicted by the syndrome typically relish in old stories of low-status women marrying up into royalty or disgraced female royalty marrying within royalty. They tend to make excessive demands of their dates in order for their dates to 'prove themselves worthy' of 'such a princess' like her. They often feel entitled to special treatment that is unecessary outside dating as well, such as expecting a luxury car from their parents.

Royalty syndrome is mostly female[edit]

'Royalty syndrome' in general is fairly female-gendered. There contain few fiction or cases of men wanting to be royalty (besides Elliot Rodger), but plenty of women wanting to be so. Men instead are taught to fantasize being a high-income earner or a hyper-competitive man. When men dream of being high-status, like a rock-star for example, it usually involves some notion of work or earned admiration, rather than genetic or happenstance luxury.

There also exist more colloquial subsets or variations of the term "princess syndrome", than "king/prince syndrome" or similar terms.

Other terms[edit]

The female-gendered version of royalty syndrome has many common variations or subsets, including: "Princess complex", "Princess sickness", "Jewish-American Princess", "Cherokee Princess", "Cinderella syndrome", "Disney princess syndrome" etc. This term is especially critical in Taiwan and Western nations.


Wikipedia as of 2019 attributes the term to late 20th century China (without much citation) or Collette Dowling in 1989. We do see earlier references however, which tie the term to haughtiness and detachment from society. For example in Phyllis Greenacre's 1953 book, "Trauma Growth and Personality" in which he refers to women who "lack force in social and intellectual pursuits" and describes a patient who he felt had a "kind of withdrawness which was not primarily a reactive introversion, but which gave a superficial impression of a princess complex, though without haughtiness".[2] Earlier references are unlikely as chivalry was pretty much universally seen as not particularly negative before the 20th century while typography existed. And a young woman dreaming of a princess was typically viewed pre-20th century as naive at worst and not otherwise a particularly negative thing.


O I’d like to be a princess. If I knew where to find a fairy I’d go to her and say: “Please ma’am I’m tired of being just a common little girl, and if you’d only give your golden wand a wave”.
If you can’t handle me at my worst, you don’t deserve me at my best. What these people don’t realize is that Marilyn Monroe who coined the phrase killed herself so even she couldn’t handle herself at her worst.
Cause you were Romeo, I was a scarlet letter.


See Also[edit]