Goong / Princess Hours (2006)

Korean title: 궁 (Goong)
: 24

Director: Hwang In Roe
: In Eun Ah

Adapted from a manhwa by Park So Hee

What’s popping:

This romance story is every girl’s dream come true. A common 17 year-old girl, Shin Chae-Kyeong (Yoon Eun-hye) marries the Crown Prince of Korea! She then moves into the Palace, gets to wear designer clothes, is chauffeured to school and everyone else calls her “Princess” – what a fairy tale.

But everything is not as rosy as it seems. Living in the Palace and being the country’s Princess is pretty similar to being in prison. Carefree Chae-Kyeong feels suffocated in the Palace because she has lost her freedom. She also longs for the love of her husband, the Prince.

The plot reminds me of the late Princess Diana and her unhappy marriage to Prince Charles, who really loves Camila Parker Bowles. There are also references to the love triangle in the drama.

Yoon Eun Hye plays the spunky Shin Chae Kyeong who
has to adapt to a rigid life of a Princess in the Palace

For me, the first few episodes started off a bit slow. Earlier episodes showed Shin Chae-Kyeong and Prince Lee Shin (Joo Ji Hoon) in school. I thought it was a little childish at first, but it certainly picked up around episodes 3-4.

Royal friends: Shin Chae-kyeong’s friends
provides her constant support in school

Then a second prince comes into the picture and things started to get really interesting. Kim Jeong Hoon who’s really a singer surprised the masses with his acting chops by portraying the romantic Prince Lee Yul.

Veteran actress Kim Hye Ja played the Queen Mother and i especially enjoyed her sing-song voice. She really sounded like ancient royalty.

The plot:

Modern day Korea is a constitutional monarchy and the reigning King is ailing. To prepare the Crown Prince Lee Shin, the elders decide to marry him to his betrothed, Shin Chae-Kyeong.

The King and Queen

Shin Chae-Kyeong
is not of royal blood, nor is she from a rich family. Her grandfather saved the life of the Emperor many years ago so the latter promised to marry his grandson, the Crown Prince, to the man’s granddaughter.

Prince Lee Shin is in love with Min Hyo-rin (Song Ji Hyo) who has dreams of becoming a world renowned ballerina. Lee Shin proposes to his girlfriend, but she turns him down, choosing to fulfill her dreams instead. Prince Lee Shin has no choice but to marry his betrothed, Shin Chae-Kyeong.

Meanwhile, Lee Yul and his mother returns after a 14-year exile. We learn that Lee Yul is the original Crown Prince, but destiny stole the throne away from him. His father passed away, so he and his mother were banished from the Palace.

Now that he is back, Lee Yul is Chae-Kyeong’s classmate. They become fast friends and he soon falls in love with her.

Two princes – one princess
Prince Lee Yul (back) and Prince Lee Sin
playing polo in the Palace grounds

The plot thickens as Lee Yul’s power hungry mother (Shim Hye Jin) schemes and manipulates to not only reinstate her son as Prince, but to make him Crown Prince instead of Lee Shin.

Watch it:

Get the DVD boxset.

Princess Hours (Ep. 1 – 24) English Subtitled(DVD box set)
Princess Hours Tofu Cushion (Now you get to bash up Prince Lee Shin too!)
Princess Hours Wrist Rest Pillow
Princess Hours OST

Who is your Prince?

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