Prince Charming is the tritagonist of Disney's 1950 animated feature film, Cinderella. As his name suggests, he is the prince of a faraway kingdom, known for his dashing and handsome air. On the night of a royal ball, Charming falls in love with a mysterious maiden. Before he could learn her name, the maiden flees the castle, leaving only a glass slipper behind. The enamored Charming thus vows to use the slipper to find and marry his true love.
In earlier drafts of the screenplay, the Prince originally played a larger role and had more character development than what he ultimately received in the final version of the film (the third film would rectify this, however). In one abandoned opening, the Prince was shown hunting a deer, but at the end of the sequence, it was to be revealed that the Prince and the deer were actually friends playing a game. In an abandoned alternate ending, after the Grand Duke discovered Cinderella's identity, she was shown being brought to the castle to be re-introduced to the Prince, who is surprised to learn that the woman he fell in love with was merely a modest servant girl instead of a princess, but the Prince's feelings for her were too strong to be bothered by this, and he embraced her. He also had a solo number at one point, entitled "The Face That I See in the Night", in which he sang about how he couldn't stop dreaming of the mysterious girl who stole his heart at the ball.
Prince Charming was actually and finally given a true personality in the franchise's final installment. He showed himself to be humorous, vital, and enjoy ballroom dances. He was also revealed to be a romantic, once expressing that all he wants is love as true as the one his parents had shared. His love for Cinderella was so powerful that, little by little, it was able to free him from Lady Tremaine's mind-manipulation spell, and even compel him to jump right out of the castle window to rescue and propose to Cinderella.
Though elegant enough both mentally and appearance-wise, he appears to be quite a swashbuckler, as shown when he challenges his father, the King, in friendly sword fights, and when he is seen racing on a horse to save Cinderella in A Twist in Time. He's also shown to have a rebellious side, in both the original film and A Twist in Time, having disobeyed his father's wishes or orders on several occasions, mostly as a result of his love for Cinderella. Additionally, in the original film, he was shown unamused by his father's attempt at matchmaking when he threw a ball in hopes of having one of the invited, young women catch his son's eye, romantically. As such, he was seen yawning sarcastically, rolling his eyes, and glaring at his frustrated father at the start of the iconic evening.
Interestingly, despite his position in power and royal status, he is far from shallow and is shown to be rather accepting of those around him, no matter their position or background, and seems to judge people more on their personalities and overall character. As seen in the original film, none of the women gushing over him caught his eyes. It wasn't until he spotted Cinderella, a maiden wandering aimlessly about the palace, paying no attention to the high profile prince, did he become romantically invested in the evening at hand. As seen in Dreams Come True, he supported Cinderella's wishes to abolish peasant discrimination by inviting the village townsfolk to the king's royal banquet, finding her nontraditional way of doing things perfect.
Prince Charming has a structural and muscular body with broad shoulders. He has fair skin, dark brown hair, and brown eyes. His outfit consists of a cream royal jacket, red pants with a gold stripe, golden belt, black boots, and opera gloves.
In Cinderella II: Dream Come True, Prince Charming retains wearing his main outfit but in a minor color change; his royal jacket is dark blue and his pants are white.
In Cinderella III: A Twist in Time, Prince Charming gains two normal outfits throughout the film. When celebrating their first anniversary with his wife Cinderella while riding a horse before changing to his original outfit cast upon by the Fairy Godmother, he wears a brown formal vest with a white long-sleeved button shirt with a matching white tie on the front, olive pants and brown boots.
After he was convinced by Jaq and Gus to find Cinderella who is about to depart the ship and later proposes to her after they reunite together, he wears a white long-sleeved collared shirt, red pants with a gold stripe, golden belt, and black dress shoes. He is not seen wearing his opera gloves while wearing this outfit. He also carries a dagger on the left side of his waist which he uses to slash the ship's sailing cloth to make a successful landing on the ship in order to reunite with Cinderella.
During his remarriage with Cinderella and protecting both her and Anastasia from the wand's spell casts by Lady Tremaine, Prince Charming maintains his royal outfit as his pants is white to match his royal jacket and has a brown sword sheath on the right side of his belt where he keeps his royal cutlass and a matching white boots. Like his normal outfit, he is not seen wearing his opera gloves.
- Expert Swordsman: Prince Charming has an excellent sword and fencing skills. The sword that Prince Charming wields as seen in A Twist in Time is a royal cutlass which serves as his primary weapon. Before he reunites with Cinderella to remarry her, he carries a dagger.
- Horse Riding: Prince Charming is able to ride a horse well, even at high speed in difficult circumstances.
In the first film, Prince Charming is returning to his home kingdom after a long absence. Meanwhile, his father, the King, is frustrated with his son as he has yet to find a wife. The King misses the sounds of children running around the castle and wishes to see his grandchildren (offsprings of the Prince and his wife, if he ever finds himself one) before he passes away. He then comes up with the idea to throw a welcome ball. The King orders the Grand Duke to invite every eligible maiden in the kingdom, hoping that his son will fall in love with one.
The ball takes place in the King's castle that very night, where the Prince makes his first appearance. One by one, the maidens in attendance present themselves to the Prince, who is unimpressed by both the maidens and his father's attempts to match him up. Eventually, he spots a young girl wandering about the ballroom and is enticed by her sparkling appearance. He walks over to her, courts her to the center of the ballroom, and the two begin to waltz. He and the girl then share private time together (courtesy of the Grand Duke) during which they fall in love and are about to kiss, but when the clock begins to strike midnight, she suddenly runs off. The Prince desperately tries to stop her, wanting to know her name and where to find her, but other maidens attending the ball surround him and question him about her.
However, the Prince learns that the girl whom he has spent the night with has left behind a glass slipper as she disappeared, so he decides to marry the girl who can wear the slipper, and the Grand Duke delivers the news to the King. The King is excited with the idea of his son being in love and, after a brief struggle with the Duke, orders him to go on a non-stop search. After hours, the Duke finds the girl, Cinderella, and sees that her foot fits the slipper. He quickly takes Cinderella to the castle, where she and the Prince are reunited.
Prince Charming is last seen at the film's finale, walking down the stairs with Cinderella as his bride. The King and the Grand Duke happily celebrate their marriage as the newlyweds ride off in a carriage to go out on their honeymoon. As the carriage pulls away, Cinderella and the Prince share another kiss (with the final words in the book, below the illustration of the couple kissing, reading "and they lived happily ever after").
Prince Charming reappeared in the film's sequel. In the first story "Aim to Please" he and Cinderella have just returned from their honeymoon only to find out that he and his father must leave on a trip. While they are gone, Cinderella must learn how to be a princess and set up a ball in honor of their return. When they do, the Prince and his father love the new way Cinderella planned the party. She invited guests from the village instead of just aristocrats as well as brightening up the castle.
In the next segment, the Prince and Cinderella attend a carnival festival. He is shown at the ball with her after she helps Anastasia fall in love with the baker in "An Uncommon Romance". In the end, he is briefly seen reading when Jaq and Gus rush by him with a scrapbook that they plan to show Cinderella.
In A Twist in Time, the Prince had a larger role and was the deuteragonist for the first time. In this film, he and Cinderella are celebrating a year's worth of magic with their love stronger than ever. However, in the midst of the festivities, her Fairy Godmother misplaces her magic wand, and it falls into the hands of Lady Tremaine. She and Drizella quickly disregard their power when Anastasia accidentally turns Lucifer into a goose-cat hybrid. In a scuffle with the Fairy Godmother, Anastasia accidentally turns her into stone, and now the wand lies in the hands of Lady Tremaine, who turns back time to when the Grand Duke brought the glass slipper to their house.
Using the wand's magic, Lady Tremaine altered the glass slipper's size to fit Anastasia. The Grand Duke escorts the Tremaines to the palace to meet Prince Charming, with Cinderella secretly tagging along to show the Prince that she's the one he danced with. While practicing their sword skills, the Prince and his father discuss the matter of him finding the mystery girl, with the King revealing his thoughts stating it's not a suitable reason to marry through a glass slipper. The Prince, however, reveals it's not about the slipper, but the girl in it and reveals his thoughts on how she is the one for him. Soon when the King's sword lands near a painting of himself and his late wife, the Prince reminds him that when he touched his mother's hand, he knew she was the one and the Prince says that all he wants is to find his own true love.
Suddenly hearing the Grand Duke's return, the Prince leaves believing him to have found the girl and prepares himself. However, much to his disappointment and embarrassment, he notices Anastasia is not the right girl. He apologizes to the Tremaines and prepares to order the Duke to send them home. As he makes way for the door, Lady Tremaine casts a spell on him with the wand, warping his mind to make him believe it was Anastasia and erases all his memories of Cinderella. Now under the spell, he welcomes the Tremaines in with open arms. Jaq and Gus, who were around to witness the event, rush to Cinderella. Meanwhile, the Prince and Anastasia begin preparations for their wedding and in during which, he begins to feel uncertain about the "love" between her and himself. According to his father, one feels a spark in the heart when they touch the hand of their true love, but when he and Anastasia's hands touched, he felt nothing.
Meanwhile, in Lady Tremaine's quarters, Jaq and Gus manage to steal the wand back and hand it over to Cinderella, while the blue birds manage to find the Prince and bring him to Cinderella. She tries to break the spell but Lady Tremaine orders the guards to arrest her and banish her from the kingdom. Before she's taken away, she tries to explain what's going on and manages to touch the Prince's hand, but she is taken away. However, he feels a connection. He then goes to his father and begins to express his worries, revealing something to be wrong. The King tries to soothe his son's worries stating he will marry the girl who fits the slipper. However, he quietly states that's what he's worried about. Soon Jaq and Gus get his attention and bring him into a sewing room. They explain what's going on to him and are able to make him realize that Cinderella is the real girl from the ball. He rushes off to save her from banishment.
The Prince rushes on his horse to the ship but discovers that it's already leaving. He doesn't give up though and continues on to catch it. He rides his horse up a lighthouse, but it becomes frightened and flings him off. However, he is able to save himself and lands safely on the ship's deck, where he soon spots Cinderella. They reunite and touch hands, thus restoring his true memories and breaking Lady Tremaine's spell. He asks her (referring to her as Cinderelly) for her hand in marriage to which she gladly accepts, but reveals her name to actually be Cinderella. They return to the palace, where they explain the entire situation to the King and Grand Duke. The King orders for the Tremaines to be arrested, but discovers that they already fled, causing the King great amount of stress. However, the Prince assures his father of his desire to marry Cinderella to which they immediately begin the wedding preparations.
However, unaware to the Prince or anyone, Lady Tremaine kidnaps Cinderella and morphs Anastasia into a copy of her. At the wedding, the Prince and Anastasia are halfway through the ceremony, but Cinderella manages to return to the chapel, just in time to witness a remorseful Anastasia confessing the scheme to the Prince. Lady Tremaine and Drizella soon reveal themselves and the former soon begins casting spells, turning the guards into animals. She then attempts to get even by transforming both Cinderella and Anastasia into toads but the Prince intervenes and repels the magic beam with his sword, transforming Lady Tremaine and Drizella into toads instead. After he and Cinderella reunite and her Fairy Godmother is restored back to normal, she transforms Cinderella's destroyed wedding gown into a new one and offers to restore their original timeline, but they decline, as they are happy and content for what they have accomplished in this new one. They finally marry and they live happily ever after...again.
Prince Charming makes many cameos in House of Mouse, always seen aside Cinderella.
An emoticon version of Charming appears in the Cinderella entry of the As Told by Emoji short series.
In Once Upon a Time, Prince Charming is renamed Prince Thomas (as Prince Charming was the nickname for the Prince). Here, he and his father are hosting a ball, where he falls in love with Cinderella. She leaves before midnight but leaves her slipper. He eventually finds her with the help of Snow White. He later defends her from Rumplestiltskin, who she had promised anything in exchange for going to the ball and now wants their firstborn. When she discovers she is pregnant, she tries to run away. But Thomas and Prince James devise a plan to capture Rumplestiltskin. It succeeds, but Thomas disappears. Rumplestiltskin vows that she won't see Thomas again until the contract is fulfilled.
In Storybrooke, he is known as Sean Herman. He is first seen when confronted by Emma Swan about Ashley (Cinderella) and their baby. He explains he left Ashley under his father's forbidding of them being together, but he later decides to disobey him and reconciles with her. A few weeks later, on Valentine's Day, he proposes to her. It is unknown if they're already married. He returns in the Season 6 episode "The Other Shoe", where he warns Emma of Ashley's intent to kill her stepsister, who arrives from the Land of Untold Stories.
At some point after the fourth Curse, the Prince, portrayed by Liam Hall, becomes involved with Lady Tremaine, assisting her in killing her husband. Her stepdaughter, Cinderella, plots to get revenge, as she believes the Prince to be solely responsible for her father's demise. A Resistance against the Prince, his family, and Lady Tremaine is eventually formed, led by Tiana.
When the Prince hosts a ball in hopes of finding love, both Tiana and Cinderella attend, with Tiana spying on the Prince and Cinderella wishing to kill him to avenge her father. After the Prince meets Cinderella, he does not recognize her and begins to fall for her. However, when they wander off alone, Cinderella pulls out a dagger but has a change of heart and decides not to kill him. However, as the Prince thanks her for changing her mind, Lady Tremaine stabs him through the back, killing him so that his younger brother, who has become interested in Lady Tremaine's daughter Drizella, can take the throne. She then frames Cinderella for his murder by calling out for the royal guards to stop her from escaping.
In this version, Prince Charming is known as "Kit", and commonly engages in hunting parties and fencing lessons. During one of his hunts, he encounters a girl by the name of Ella. Though their meeting is brief, he almost immediately falls in love with her, forming into a romantic obsession. Later on, he soon finds his father, the King, is nearing death, and as a dying wish, he asks that Kit finds himself a bride at an upcoming ball. However, the law states that he can only marry a princess, which Ella is not. Even so, he manages to convince his father to allow every eligible maiden to attend the ball, as opposed to just royalty, which he accepts. At the ball, Ella enters and dances with Kit. But before names can be exchanged, the clock strikes midnight, and she departs.
Following these events, the King gives Kit permission to find his true love, before dying, and a mission is ignited to find Ella, using the glass slipper she left behind. In the mix, however, the Grand Duke plots to sabotage Kit's relationship with Ella, with the assistance of Lady Tremaine. Though the Duke tries to manipulate Kit, he merely becomes even more determined to find his love, and soon manages to do so. Before the Duke and Lady Tremaine can be arrested for conspiracy, they flee the kingdom.
In the end, Kit and Ella are married, becoming king and queen, as well as the kingdom's most beloved monarchs.
While visiting Cinderella's world, Kilala must obtain her tiara, which has been stolen by the Tremaines to brainwash Prince Charming.
Although Prince Charming himself doesn't appear in this book, Gaston mentioned a prince from a neighboring kingdom who finds success "after the matter of the glass slipper was sorted", hinting that Cinderella takes place in the same world as Beauty and the Beast, along with Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs and The Little Mermaid.
Prince Charming has a cameo in the Snow White portion of the game: if the player makes a mistake, Prince Charming will be summoned and try the glass slipper on Snow White.
Prince Charming is a protagonist featured in the world Castle of Dreams in Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep. He is the future king of the Castle of Dreams who serves as Cinderella's love interest, marrying her, and saving her from the evils of Lady Tremaine after the events of the ball.
Prince and heir to the throne of Castle of Dreams, Prince Charming first laid eyes upon Cinderella, his one true love, at the ball, which was held by the King in hopes of finding his son a wife. During it, they were cornered by a powerful Unversed which was later defeated by Terra, this disruption, however, did not disturb their romance, and they proceeded to dance. Prince Charming later came before the Grand Duke after Cinderella fled the ball, her Fairy Godmother's spell about to break, and was introduced to Aqua. They were both hesitant of each other, the Prince holding a search for the girl he had danced with. Telling the Grand Duke to find whichever maiden fit the glass slipper, he found Cinderella at the home of Lady Tremaine, marrying her, and thus saving her from the life of abuse servitude she had lived with her wicked stepfamily.
Prince Charming is a rare meet-and-greet character in the parks. He usually appears exclusively in shows and parades.
He is the central character of Prince Charming Regal Carrousel.
He also appeared along with Cinderella in the former castle stage show Dream Along with Mickey at the Magic Kingdom. When Minnie wishes to be a princess, Mickey grants her wish and welcomes Aurora, Phillip, Snow White, her prince, Cinderella, and Prince Charming for a waltz.
Currently, at the Magic Kingdom, Charming makes daily appearances during the Festival of Fantasy Parade.
He also appears in the Cinderella segment of the nighttime spectacular Once Upon a Time dancing with Cinderella.
- Not only is the Prince's name never revealed, he is never actually referred to as "Prince Charming" in any of the films. His name was only mentioned in merchandise and, more recently, Kingdom Hearts and Prince Charming's Regal Carousel.
- Disney France revealed in a TV spot advertising the Blu-ray/DVD release of Cinderella that Prince Charming's real name is Henry (or "Henri" in French).
- However, in 1971's Disney on Parade, they say that his name is Prince Alto August Ferdinand.
- As with Cinderella, the Prince's hair color has been altered by being lightened from its original dark brown to a lighter brown shade in merchandise depictions that have him alongside Cinderella.
- In the Season 6 episode "The House Meets the Mouse - Part 1" from Full House, Steve plays this character, despite the fact that D.J. swears it was him.
- Prince Charming is one of the few Disney feature film characters to be mentally manipulated by an antagonist.
- There is a homage made for Prince Charming in The Princess and the Frog as Tiana is seen in Charlotte's room with a prince doll that resembles him wearing his outfit from the second movie.
- While he inherited his coloring from his father, the Prince (facial-wise at least) takes more after his mother in looks.
- In the 1971 episode of The Wonderful World of Disney, a live-action remake of the ball scene from the 1950 classic is presented. Notably, in this version, the Prince's name is spoken aloud, "His Royal Highness Prince Otto August Ferdinand". He dances with Cinderella. After a brief animated sequence showing the glass slipper scene, he is seen again marrying her.
- In earlier drafts of the screenplay, the Prince originally played a larger role and had more character development than what he ultimately received in the final version of the film. In one abandoned opening, the Prince was shown hunting a deer, but at the end of the sequence, it was to be revealed that the Prince and the deer were actually friends playing a game. In an abandoned alternate ending, after the Duke discovered Cinderella's identity, she was shown being brought to the castle to be reintroduced to the Prince, who is surprised to learn that Cinderella was actually a modest servant girl instead of the princess he thought she was, but the Prince's feelings for her were too strong to be bothered by this, and he embraced her; the Fairy Godmother was to reappear and restore Cinderella's ball gown for the closing shot. Walt Disney himself reportedly cut the alternate ending because he felt it was overlong and did not give the audience its "pay off", but the scene would later be incorporated in the video game Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep.
- The second of Prince Charming's two royal outfits is later shared by Prince Eric from Disney's The Little Mermaid, where he wears this outfit to marry a disguised Ursula named Vanessa in his hypnotized state and later his marriage to Ariel after defeating Ursula and rescuing her at the end of the movie as well as he and Ariel christened their daughter Melody and her 12th birthday in the sequel.
- Interestingly, his current voice actor, Christopher Daniel Barnes is known for voicing Prince Eric in the original film.