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Royalty refers to a social class of people with political and economic power. Within the Final Fantasy series, the Royalty usually rule over kingdoms and are often major characters in the story, either as allies, party members, or antagonists.
Given its great status and power, royalty has been a recurrent theme on the series since its origins, spawning both non-playable and playable characters. Most, if not all, are important to their respective game's plot, for they help the player with key items or other support to progress.
In early games, royal families appear akin to those of medieval Europe. Unlike the real world, however, royalty in the games is mostly reduced to or centered around kings, queens or princes, disregarding other noble positions such as dukes, counts, etc. This suggests they may be non-existent or just irrelevant for story purposes.
Ever since Final Fantasy III, royalty has featured several playable characters, with different abilities across the games.
A princess named Sarah often appears in many games as a reference to the first Princess Sarah of Final Fantasy.
Many summoned monsters are referred to as royalty, though it is unlikely there is any sort of actual hierarchy and they are merely titles bestowed in recognition of their power. Bahamut is often known as the King of Dragons, and sometimes as the king of all monsters. Odin is seen as a royal figure frequently, and in games where he is not he is found in the ruins of an ancient castle of some sort as a reference to his status as nobility in other games. Other summons are often given titles as well, such as Shiva being the "empress of ice", and Leviathan being "lord of all waters".
In the first game, the game's first quest is when the King of Cornelia tasks the Warriors of Light to rescue his daughter Princess Sarah from the rogue knight Garland. Sarah has an unnamed younger sister and a mother, Queen Jayne.
Princess Hilda is the leader of the Wild Rose Rebellion that Firion, Maria and Guy fight for, and is the princess (later Queen) of Fynn. She was engaged to Scott, Prince of Kashuan, until Fynn was conquered and Scott was lost in the fighting. Scott's brother, Gordon, eventually joins the Rebellion in his brother's name, when Scott is found mortally wounded by Firion and dies.
Alus Restor is the crown Prince of Saronia, and aids the party. His father, King Gorn, is controlled by his advisor Gigameth, who is actually the monster Garuda who is referred as the "King of Avians". Gorn dies when Gigameth tries to make him kill Alus and Gorn turns his sword on himself to stop himself, and Alus is crown king after his death.
At first, the King of Baron appears to be the main antagonist of the game, until the party finds out he is a puppet ruler with Golbez using him to gather the Crystals. The party eventually discovers the true King of Baron was killed and replaced by Cagnazzo as an impostor. The true King of Baron eventually joins the party to aid them as Odin. At the end of the game, Cecil is crowned the new King of Baron with Rosa as his queen.
Edward is the Prince of Damcyan at the start of the game, but his parents are killed in an attack by the Red Wings. Though he does not officially take the title until the end of the game, Edward is acting King of Damcyan at this point.
Edge is the Prince of Eblan. At some point prior the party meeting up with Edge, the King and Queen of Eblan were captured by Dr. Lugae and turned into monsters. At the end of the game with his parents gone, Edge is crowned King of Eblan.
All player characters that are royalty in the two previous games return. Ceodore, Prince of Baron and Rosa and Cecil's son, and Ursula, Yang's daughter and Princess of Fabul, appear as new party members. Luca also joins as a new party member.
Most party members with the exception of Bartz are royalty.
Queen Karnak is the ruler of Karnak. A Kingdom with industrial prowess thanks to the power of the Fire Crystal and the inventions of Cid Previa. The Queen becomes mad with power and incarcerates Cid for trying to turn the machines off for they were dangerous. Eventually the Queen is possessed by Exdeath and turns into a monster known as Liquid Flame, but is defeated and the Crystal destroyed. She then remains in a delirious state for the remainder of the game.
Xezat is ruler of Surgate, a Warrior of Dawn and longtime friend of Galuf. He aids the party into attacking the newly resurrected Exdeath in his castle, by commanding a fleet of ships. When the party infiltrates the Barrier Tower, Xezat dies as he destroys the engine, which allows the party access to Exdeath's castle and the Submarine.
Edgar is the King of Figaro Castle and Sabin is his younger brother. Their father, the former King, died ten years prior to the game. Sabin eventually left the castle in pursue of his own freedom while Edgar remains regent. As Edgar travels with the main party the castle is in the hands of his Chancellor.
The king of Doma was the ruler of Doma, until he, along with the citizen of the castle were poisoned by Kefka in the attempt to put an end to the stalemate during the Siege of Doma.
The character designer for the Figaro brothers Kaori Tanaka wrote the dōjinshi Figaro no Kekkon: Tales from Desert featuring several short stories expanding on the backstory of the brothers and includes other members of the royal family. As the work was not published by Square Enix it is not considered canon.
At the Gold Saucer during the date sequence, Cloud plays the part of the knight Alfred in a play. Cloud is tasked by the King to rescue his daughter, Princess Rosa (played by Cloud's date), from the Dragon King Valvados. Depending on the player's actions, numerous outcomes are possible in the play.
The Kingdom of Alexandria is the first one visited in the game and the most prominent overall. Queen Brahne peacefully ruled Alexandria for many years until her husband, the King, died. She then became power-hungry and greedy, acting as an antagonist for a large part of the game. She is ultimately killed by Bahamut (under Kuja's control), thus making Princess Garnet, her adoptive daughter, the new Queen of Alexandria (a position that she only fully embraces at the end of the game).
Before the events in the game, the Kingdom of Dalmasca was ruled by King Raminas, a descendant of the first Dynast King: Raithwall. Fearing an attack from the Archadian Empire, he weds his daughter, Princess Ashe, to Lord Rasler, Prince of Nabradia. However, Rasler is mortally wounded at the Battle of Nalbina Fortress and, with Archadia in control of the Fortress, King Raminas is assassinated after being tricked with a false Peace Treaty.
Even though King Raminas had eight sons, they had all previously perished either in war or due to illness, thus making Ashe the only living heir to Dalmasca.
Ashe then turned to Marquis Halim Ondore IV, ruler of Bhujerba and close friend of both her and her father, to publicly announce her suicide. She proceeded to retreat underground, adopting a fake name and, along with Captain Vossler, created the Resistance (Final Fantasy XII) (a group of anti-Imperial forces, bent on regaining Dalmasca's Independence). One year after the events of the game, Ashe is to be crowned Queen of Dalmasca.
The three members of Archadian House Solidor met in-game are all royalty. Emperor Gramis is the ruler of Archadia; his elder son, Vayne, is the antagonist of the game; and his youngest son, Larsa, becomes the Emperor of Archadia one year after the events of the game.
Although Rozarria is never visited Al-Cid Margrace, a member of the ruling family, makes an appearance. Al-Cid's status as royalty is, however, debatable. In Final Fantasy Tactics A2: Grimoire of the Rift, Al-Cid states that he is "but one of many" princes. It is left to interpretation if this means he is not a direct heir, or if he simply doesn't consider too important the title of Prince.
Lucis is a kingdom ruled by the Caelum bloodline. The Lucian kings are the sworn protectors of the Crystal and they pass on their powers to their descendants via the bonding of the souls and the Ring of the Lucii. The kings can wield the magical royal arms, and use magic. A prophecy foretells the birth of the True King who will banish the darkness known as Starscourge from the world. King Regis is the 113th ruler of Lucis, and his son Noctis is the heir apparent.
Niflheim is an empire ruled by Iedolas Aldercapt who seeks to conquer the world. Nox Fleuret is the family line of Oracles who were the royalty of Tenebrae, but it has been annexed by the empire and the Nox Fleurets—Lunafreya and Ravus—no longer use royal titles.
Ardyn Izunia was to be the first king of Lucis, who worked as a healer 2,000 years ago to save the world from the Starscourge and the daemons it brings forth. He became corrupted by the daemons and rejected by the Crystal. Now immortal and unable to enter the afterlife, Ardyn waits for the coming of the True King to have his revenge. Ardyn's brother, Somnus Lucis Caelum, ascended the throne in his stead.
Princess Ovelia Atkascha is a notable member of the royalty within Ivalice, having been the daughter of the King of Ivalice itself, Ondoria Atkascha III, and also having served as the tragic precursor to the impending struggle, the War of the Lions. Her stepmother, Louveria Atkascha and her stepbrother, Orinus Atkascha are also of royal descent, although Louveria obtained such a status through the customs that define a royal marriage while Orinus obtained his royal status as birthright.
Princess Ovelia travels for a short period of time with Ramza's party following the incident at Orbonne Monastery and supports his party with the exclusive Holy Magicks known only to a Princess. She is accompanied by her close personal bodyguard, Agrias Oaks and her subordinates, Alicia and Lavian, as they ensure her a safe passage to Lionel Castle.
Delita, although not of a royal upbringing himself, is sufficiently defined as royalty later in the game. He marries Princess Ovelia, thereby ascending immediately to the crown, effectively making him the King of Ivalice.
In the world of Orience, four countries exist, of which only one stands by the hierarchy of kingship. The Kingdom of Concordia is host to the Azure Dragon Crystal, bestowing unto them the awesome power of commandeering dragons and monsters to do their bidding, be it through traversing the rigors of a daily life or that of withstanding the inevitability of war. It appears to be more of a matriarchy due to a sullied action made by the male ancestors of Concordian's current male population.
Due to the curse obtained from consuming dragons, Concordian males are capable of becoming mindless monsters called the "Dracobaltians", thereby forcing the Concordian female population to step up and take more governmental roles regarding the upbringing of the Kingdom due to the curse's influence among the male populace.
The ruler of Concordia was Queen Andoria. She possessed a calmed demeanor that demanded the utmost of order, fellowship and respect with regards to her countrymen and in particular, Class Zero. She is said to have ascended the throne of Concordia following the unfortunate decline in male heirs. She possesses the royal ability of speaking to the Queen Dragon, of which turns out to be a physical manifestation of the Azure Dragon Crystal.
In the midst of the story, she had decided to intervene in the war efforts, trying to obfuscate the wanton belligerence between the Rubrum and Militesi nations. Following her prompt meeting with Class Zero, she was assassinated under the orders of Cid Aulstyne, so as to bolster the war efforts into its inevitable conclusion. She had impressed Class Zero so, that they became devastated upon hearing of her passing.
After Andoria's untimely death, the reins were passed onto a Concordian King.
Princess Althea Sol Alfitaria is a princess of the Lilty kingdom Alfitaria, and the daughter of the King and Queen Alexis. Althea has one of the three royal Crystal Idols with her at all times, using it to hide the ornate crystal patch on her chest that marks her as Crystal Bearer.
The King of Lorim's kingdom had its citizens frozen, he ask Sumo to defeat the monster who caused it which resides within the Cara Mountain Range.
The King of Vandole is Julius's father. Near the end of the war, when his side was losing, he left his baby son near the Waterfall.
Ryu-O is the King of Dragons, living in the World of Ocean. He fled from the underwater world and lives on an island in the guise of an old man.
King Clamin was originally hailing from Elan, Clamin has settled down in Pureland, ruling the cloud city of Cirrus. Arthur asks King Clamin for the Pass to Goht because he wants to stop the invasion of the Masters. He ask to see Xcalibr, and upon seeing it gives him the Pass which is needed to enter the Underworld.
Lisa Pacifist is the daughter of the Tsar of Russia, making her Tsarevna and heiress to the Russian throne. It is unknown, however, if she succeeds her father following his death during the concluding events of Final Fantasy Unlimited After, or even if she would have a claim, due to Tsar Pacifist's complete disinterest in his family, having only started one to further his political career prior to becoming Tsar.
Tsar Pacifist himself is also the head of the C2 Organization (of which Lisa is a member) and a high-ranking member of the secretive Privy Council.
A royal family is the immediate family of a king or queen regnant, and sometimes his or her extended family. The term imperial family appropriately describes the family of an emperor or empress, while the terms ducal family, grand ducal family or princely family are more appropriate to describe the relatives of a reigning duke, grand duke, or prince. However, in common parlance members of any family which reigns by hereditary right are often referred to as royalty or "royals".