Her Royal Highness, the Queen, is still unwed despite being in her early thirties. Since she is an only daughter with no prospect of bearing a child in the foreseeable future, the royal succession is left in uncertainty when the current heir to the throne meets a sudden death. Seizing the opportunity afforded by this crisis, the conservative faction, which presently holds sway at the Court, begins plotting for the crown. Sensing the threat, the Queen secretly searches for a new Crown Prince outside the palace walls and discovers Lee Hu, a young man who has been making his living by delivering Chinese food, in complete ignorance of his royal heritage. Hu, who has never even dreamed of becoming the King, is unexpectedly ushered into the palace and subjected to strict training to become the royal heir. This is where the main action of “Prince Hours” begins. Lee Hu is forced to compete with Lee Jun, the perfect candidate for Crown Prince strongly backed by the extended royal family. The two young men vie for the royal succession as an intricate web of conflicts, plots, and schemes unfolds around them. This is a story about communication.Communication between friends, between men and women, between parents and children, between monarchs and subjects, between teachers and students...Based on the premise that Korea is a constitutional monarchy led by a queen, “Prince Hours” opens a new chapter in fusion fantasy historical drama. It seeks to explore in depth the idea of communication between people, as well as the repercussions of a breakdown in such communication.By introducing a protagonist from a simple, working-class background to palace life, the show endeavors to find common ground for communication that begins at vastly differing eye levels.If there are no “perfectly parallel” lines in the world, all lines must surely meet someday; conveying the hope for this future “intersection” is the new yet familiar objective of “Prince Hours.” This story is a fairy tale preserving our lost innocence.The fantasy of a utopia where all can enjoy equality and happiness has long since been shattered.Still, each of us retains the memory of a time when we were genuinely happy.Depicting the 21st century in a 19th-century-style setting, “Prince Hours” will take contemporary audiences on a journey to rediscovering the innocence we once had. This story uncovers our lost ideal of “noblesse oblige.”The tale, which opens during the reign of Korea’s first queen since the restoration of the monarchy, investigates the definition of leadership demanded by today’s society, and the essence of the “noblesse oblige” imposed on those who reach positions of leadership.As the country’s sovereign, the Queen must now ask herself what kind of example she must set for her people, and practice true leadership that transcends personal gratification.Suffering the growing pains attendant on his rebirth as the Crown Prince, the hapless young man who could barely take care of himself and his family must learn the deeper truth that with great privilege comes great responsibility and that sometimes one must give up one thing to obtain another.Rather than being completed individuals, these characters are leaders-in-progress who must yet undergo numerous mistakes and trials. They are also reflections of ourselves as we strive toward our respective goals.The understanding that noblesse oblige is not an obligation limited to a particular class but one that can be given to anyone, as well as a shared responsibility for all to uphold together—this is the ultimate destination of “Prince Hours.”
Lee Hu (Prince Yeong-seong) – Se7en (Choi Dong-wook)
“The Screwball Chinese-Delivery-Boy Crown Prince”
Hu is a direct descendent of the royal family, with true blue blood running in his veins. But he himself is utterly oblivious to this fact, and ekes out a living by making deliveries for a Chinese restaurant in Incheon.
Although he screws up everything he does, he is an optimistic young man with a positive outlook and a cheerful constitution. He is the reigning champion of Chinese deliveries, able to complete any delivery within 7 minutes or less.
Despite severely lacking in culture and education, Hu’s natural affability allows him to make friends easily. The problem is that he is apt to “show off” his martial arts skills every chance he gets.
In fact, he has no real “skills” to speak of, but he certainly puts up a good front and some people actually fall for it. Most of the time, the fights he picks start and end with words. Even when it comes to entertainment—whether it be comic books, movies, or the occasional novel—his only genre of preference is martial arts fantasy.
One day, out of the blue, a messenger from the palace comes looking for the earnest and hardworking Hu.
“What do you mean, I have royal blood in my veins? What are you talking about?”
After living his whole life as Kang Hu, he must now become Lee Hu, Living in the palace and undergoing training to become a Crown Prince...
ang Sun-ui – Heo I-Jae
“An unpredictable, vivacious, and romantic goofball of a girl”
A royal attendant-in-training at the Court, Sun-ui is a rather unpredictable, extremely forgetful klutz with no sense of direction. After half a year of living in the palace, she still gets lost at every turn.
And why is the palace such a maze anyway? Sun-ui is easily swept away by romance novels and dreams of a fated love, but in reality she is just a humble royal attendant, the lowest class among all ladies-in-waiting. And an attendant-in-training at that...!
Sun-ui and Hu met as children in their hometown, and went to primary school and middle school together.
It would be great if their relationship was a thrilling romance, like in novels and the movies, but... alas, no such luck.
For Sun-ui, who always loses her way and constantly forgets her errands, and Hu, who wears the same red long underwear until the cicadas start to sing, the only memories they have of their long relationship are of catfights and arguments.
Then, one day, Hu left their hometown. And, on yet another fateful day, Hu shows up at the palace.
Lee Jun (Duke Munseong) – Kang Doo
“A arrogant, brazen-faced prince with a charismatic smile”
The son of Lee Gyeom, the Grand Duke Hyojang, Jun received the title of Duke Munseong from the Court.
Shining even brighter thanks to the radiant influence of his father, who wields the real power behind the government, Jun is also the conservative faction’s preferred candidate for the position of royal heir.
Since he was a mere child, he has been meticulously “groomed” by the overly assiduous attentions of his fussy mother, Lady Jang, and the rigorous instruction of his father, Lee Gyeom.
On the outside, he appears impertinent and cynical, but his subtle sensibility wins over the ladies.
Until Hu came to the palace, Jun assumed that he would naturally be named the Crown Prince.
Hu’s greatest strength is Jun’s greatest weakness: Hu boasts the royal lineage that Jun lacks. The fight for the position of Crown Prince has now begun.
When Jun accidentally discovers Hu’s Achilles heel, Attendant Yang Sun-ui, he tries to use her in his attempt to undermine Hu.
Shin Se-ryeong – Park Sin-hye
“An ambitious and stately daughter of the high aristocracy”
An aristocratic family of high and longstanding repute. A father who is expected to become the next prime minister.
Se-ryeong is the only daughter in a family that has it all: renown, power, and wealth.
All through school, she has never once yielded her place at the top of her class. She also possesses extraordinary beauty, and is more logical and rational than anyone around her.
Naturally, she is proud, haughty, and plainspoken, which makes her appear disdainful at times, but she’s nonetheless fair-minded in her own way.
She has a strong sense of right and wrong—so much so that she loathes betrayal, hypocrisy, and deceit.
But she’s also annoyingly selfish and despises relationships based on mere sentiment, such as loyalty and sympathy.
< Episode 1 >
In 2007, Korea is under the rule of its first Queen in the history of the nation. Kang
Hu, who happily rides a battered motorcycle along his Chinese delivery routes, is
the self-proclaimed “handsomest delivery man of Chinatown.”
The monthly “Chinese Delivery Battle” is an important event in Incheon’s Chinese
food industry. The winner enjoys exclusive delivery rights in the harbor area, which
is the industry’s largest customer base, for an entire month—a reward that cannot be
given up without a fight. Cho Sang-gi, the owner of the Palace Chinese Restaurant
where Kang Hu works, is like family to the orphaned Hu. Mr. Cho and Hu join forces
against Bul-bam and his cohort, from a rival Chinese restaurant, in a no-holds-
barred faceoff. Thanks to Mr. Cho’s superhuman cooking speed and dexterity, Hu
receives the requisite bowls of noodles and reports to the battle starting line. But
Bul-bam’s top-of-the-line motorcycle ends up leaving Hu far behind.
Meanwhile, a messenger carrying the queen’s secret missive visits the Palace
restaurant. At the same time, Hu, who is out on a delivery, is ambushed by a group
of unidentified men in black suits...
< Episode 2 >
Kang Hu unexpectedly finds himself living in the palace by the order of Queen Hwa-
in. Threatened by Hu’s unexpected appearance, the extended royal family decides to
hasten the appointment of Lee Jun, son of the powerful Lee Gyeom and an ideal
candidate for the throne, as the Crown Prince.
The Queen introduces Hu for the first time at a banquet attended by the entire royal
family and the aristocracy. However, Hu’s uncultured behavior offends the party
guests. Despite the extended royal family’s objections, the Queen moves to bestow
the title of “Prince Yeongseong” on Hu and formally adds his name to the royal family
register. As a direct descendent of the previous king, Kang Hu must now change his
name to Lee Hu. Divining the Queen’s unspoken intention to make Hu the Crown
Prince, Lee Gyeom tries to deter her by enlisting Shin Jae-man, who is the
candidate to be the next Prime Minister, and proposes that his son Jun become
betrothed to Shin’s daughter Se-ryeong.
Meanwhile, Hu starts to undergo rigorous training to acquire the dignity and
discipline required of a member of the royal family. Court attendant-in-training Yang
Sun-ui, who happens to be Hu’s childhood friend, gets in constant trouble due to Hu’
s antics. At the Royal Academy, a prestigious university for royalty and the
aristocracy, Hu develops an instant crush on Se-ryeong and devotes his efforts to
wooing her rather than to study...
< Episode 3 >
Hu makes an irretrievable blunder shortly before the policy council for deciding
whether or not he will be incorporated into the royal family. Owing to Lee Gyeom’s
machinations, Hu’s mistake becomes known to the extended royal family and his
incorporation into the royal family is postponed. The Queen, who sets out to fix the
problem herself, also suffers a blow.
Jun, who has been groomed his whole life for the position of Crown Prince,
watches Hu’s unruly behavior with a troubled mind. Although Hu is completely
unsuited to be a member of the royal family, he has emerged as the next in line for
the throne on the sole claim of being a direct descendent of the royal bloodline.
Unable to suppress his anger toward Hu, Jun lets his fist fly.
Se-ryeong, who has been watching Jun and Hu’s fisticuffs with interest, informs her
father that she wishes to postpone her engagement to Jun. She intends to wait and
see who the true winner turns out to be. Meanwhile, Sun-ui, who became involved
in Hu’s accident(?) against her will, may have to leave her position at the palace...
< Episode 4 >
The Queen tells Hu that in order to live as a member of the royal family, he must
forget the 20 years he lived outside the palace walls. She adds that the choice is up
to Hu himself. Moved by her sincere words, Hu promises to do his best to adjust to
palace life. However, each day sees another of Hu’s antics splashed across the
media headlines, and the public’s opinion of Hu suffers a continuous decline.
After much deliberation, the Queen makes a deal with Lee Gyeom to allow Hu’s
incorporation into the royal family and manages to win the approval of the extended
royal family. Meanwhile, Jun becomes witness to a series of blunders by Sun-ui
and starts to look with affection on the artless attendant-in-training.
Waiting with her heart in her throat for the decision of the Disciplinary Committee,
Sun-ui vows never to consort with Hu, who has landed her in this mess. On the day
that the promotions for attendants-in-training are announced, Sun-ui’s name fails to
be called out till the very end...
< Episode 5 >
Finally, after many trials and tribulations, Sun-ui is promoted to the post of royal
attendant. Unfortunately, far from relishing her success, she is hard put to hide her
perturbation in the face of Jipyeonggak’s new occupants. When Se-ryeong comes to
the palace to visit Jun, she senses a strange tension between the two young
princes and Sun-ui. She observes the hapless attendant with a wary eye, and
comes across an unexpected revelation.
After being assigned his own quarters, Hu begins to attend the Royal Academy and
embarks on his palace life in earnest. Not a day goes by without some sort of mental
or physical challenge. He also tries hard to make up for his previous mistake, which
had landed Sun-ui and Queen Hwa-in in trouble. Still, he cannot help wondering
why his mother, who had left the palace of her own will, wished to send him back
here. His mother’s hidden story and the royal family’s troubled history are both
mysteries he must unravel.
Bul-bam and Chu-ba come to see Hu at the Royal Academy. Delighted to see his
old friends, Hu tries to hang out with them as he used to but only succeeds in
reminding himself of his radically changed circumstances. As his loneliness and
insecurity deepen day by day, he finds Sun-ui to be his only consolation. They still
argue at every turn, but the more time they spend together, the more Hu finds himself
growing interested in his childhood friend. Soon, he begins to be troubled by Sun-ui’
s familiarity with Jun...
< Episode 6 >
Now that Jun knows about Sun-ui’s longstanding history with Hu, he feels
uneasiness at the sight of them together. Still, he is unable to restrain his deepening
attraction to Sun-ui. Grand Prince Hyo-jang and the extended royal family, buoyed
by Jun’s successful entrance into the palace, apply redoubled pressure on the
Queen to name an heir. She manages to put them off with an uncharacteristically
strong response, but realizes that she needs a more practical means of protecting
Hu’s royal training is intensified by the addition of a dedicated instructor. The Queen
and the Queen Mother appoint Se-ryeong as an aide to assist in Hu’s education.
Despite her father’s objections, Se-ryeong accepts the post, which allows her to
frequent Jipyeonggak and keep a watchful eye on Sun-ui.
Sun-ui, in turn, is irritated by Se-ryeong, who constantly accompanies Hu and
issues all sorts of difficult orders. Receiving an invitation to Se-ryeong’s party, Sun-
ui considers turning down the offer, but cannot bring herself to ignore the gesture of
goodwill; in fact, Se-ryeong has even sent her a dress for the occasion. Se-ryeong,
the queen of the party, wows her guests with her natural gift for dancing. But when
Sun-ui, decked out in a dress instead of her usual uniform, enters the room, the
spotlight suddenly shifts and even Hu and Jun are unable to take their eyes off her...
< Episode 7 >
Hu attempts to restore his suddenly-awkward relationship with Sun-ui, but it isn’t as
easy as it might seem. Whenever he comes near her, she ends up being scolded or
placed in a predicament. Sun-ui, on the other hand, berates herself for repeatedly
hurting Hu’s feelings with words she doesn’t mean.
Amid a constant barrage of lessons, including martial arts and schoolwork, Hu finds
the palace taking up more and more of his daily life. He searches for his own
answers even as he is thrown against towering walls and seemingly
insurmountable obstacles. However, he clashes fiercely with Court Lady Han, who
demands that he not only abandon his treasured belongings and friends but turn his
back entirely on his life outside the palace walls—a conflict that plunges the royal
family into deep concern and anxiety.
Se-ryeong becomes aware of the subtle changes affecting her in regard to Hu: she
finds herself excited and flushed at the sight of the young prince. At the same time,
she is unsettled and hurt by the alteration in Jun, who has returned to playing his
long-abandoned guitar. Meanwhile, Court Lady Han continually drills into Sun-ui the
difference in status between royalty and a mere attendant. Sun-ui laments her
position and regrets not going further in school. When she becomes interested in
applying to the Royal Academy, Jun encourages her. It also causes him to looks
back on the straight and narrow path he has thus far walked in life...
< Episode 8 >
A terrorist attack breaks out at a charity auction that the Queen attends with Jun and
Hu in tow. The assault, which was aimed at the Queen, fails thanks to Hu’s
intervention, but Hu is rendered unconscious as a result and the Court suffers a
serious shock. The incident, however, greatly improves the public’s perception of
Hu; it also allows him to forge a stronger bond with his newfound family. On the
other hand, it brings home to him the existence of hidden antagonistic forces, which
instills him with a sense of responsibility.
Se-ryeong receives a gift from her mother, with an accompanying note conveying
her regrets at not being able to attend her daughter’s engagement party.
Unfortunately, the gift is the same one she sent Se-ryeong on a previous occasion.
Se-ryeong’s loneliness deepens at this evidence of her mother’s indifference, but
seeing Hu, who is cheerful and courageous even though he has also grown up
without a mother’s care, makes her consider her own situation in a new light.
The Queen Mother, who secretly covets Se-ryeong as a potential spouse for Hu,
tries to divine the young prince’s feelings for the girl. However, Hu is increasingly
taken with Sun-ui, with whom he has become far closer since the terrorist attack.
Finding Sun-ui asleep while cleaning his room, Hu lays her down on the bed and
finishes her job for her. Jun goes up against his father, adjuring him not to sacrifice
Se-ryeong to his ambitions, but the irate Grand Duke Hyo-jang merely orders Si-
yeon to discover the cause of Jun’s changed attitude.
< Episode 9 >
Driven by an inexplicable sense of urgency, Hu braves significant risk to visit Sun-
ui. But Sun-ui sends him away with cold words, only to spend the whole night
tossing and turning. Jun conveys a message of encouragement to Sun-ui regarding
her application to the Royal Academy. Sun-ui is confused by Jun’s confession, but
finds herself paying increasing heed to his earnest advice.
Troubled by the change in her son, Yun-hui goes to see Se-ryeong, but the girl’s
evasive replies only strengthen her dark suspicions. Yun-hui visits Jipyeonggak and
observes Sun-ui closely. While returning from school, Hu learns from the agitated
atmosphere among the royal attendants that Sun-ui has once again landed in
trouble. Sun-ui appeals her innocence, but Hu and Jun are the only two people in
the entire palace who believe in her blamelessness. Sun-ui’s predicament causes
the two princes to form an unexpected alliance.
Meanwhile, the incident surrounding Sun-ui reminds Hu of his parents. He visits his
father’s grave, but suffers humiliation at the hands of a group of elderly people who
have been angered by some leaked UCC footage. Hu rails against a world that
would insult his mother for his mistakes, but the Queen sternly tells him that such
injustices should impel him to ponder what his own course of action should be...
< Episode 10 >
Hu turns to his trusted father figure, Sang-gi, for more information about his mother’s
past, but the older man refuses to investigate the issue. He tells Jun that even if
there is a hidden truth, it would be useless if Jun cannot defend it before the world.
The lips of the elder members of the royal family are likewise sealed tight. With each
passing day, the path that Jun must take becomes clearer to him.
To console Hu, the Queen Mother persuades Court Lady Han to return his former
belongings, including his motorcycle and the Chinese delivery case. Hu thanks the
Queen Mother for her kind gesture, but remarks that he no longer has need for such
things. Instead, he asks her for a special favor.
Se-ryeong is distressed to see Jun heading down a path that will likely bring him
adversity and regret, but Jun tells her that he would like to try treading that path
without her help. After overhearing their conversation, Hu asks Se-ryeong if she
would offer him help should he ask for it.
With the release of the Prime Minister’s statement, the members of the extended royal
family flock to the palace. Faced with their clamor for the announcement of an heir,
the Queen declares that she will name her successor at the ceremony celebrating
the seventh anniversary of her coronation. She shocks everyone present by stating
that she will select the person most qualified for the position, regardless of their
place in line for the throne.
< Episode 11 >
Before the royal family elders and the members of the policy council, the Queen
announces that Hu and Jun are to undergo a test to measure their qualifications for
the position of Crown Prince. The test will evaluate the two princes in the fields of
literature, martial skill, art, intelligence, and bravery, which are the educational
ideals of the Royal Academy, and the quality of virtue, which is indispensable for
someone who is to succeed to the throne. The battle between the two would-be
Crown Princes finally begins.
All eyes both within and outside the palace are bent on the battle between the two
princes. Sun-ui, busily preparing for her entrance examination to the Royal
Academy, and Se-ryeong, whose interest in Hu has intensified after the breaking off
of her engagement to Jun, are also anxiously awaiting the outcome of the battle.
The first task in the battle is announced: the restoration of the damaged artwork,
“Gunsangeokdo.” “Gunsangeokdo” is an illustrated poem, but the illustration and the
calligraphy are the works of two different people. The artwork would lose its
significance if the painting and the poem do not achieve a perfect harmony;
unfortunately, the illustrator and the calligrapher hate each other. Hu is charged with
persuading the artist, while Jun is charged with winning over the calligrapher, but
the task proves to be far from easy...
< Episode 12 >
Thanks to Hu and Jun’s efforts, the misunderstanding and secret surrounding
“Gunsangeokdo” come to light; the illustrator and the calligrapher reconcile and
collaborate in the restoration of the artwork. In the process, the secrets shrouding
the creation of the three sets of royal engagement rings and their transmission to
Grand Princes Hyo-jang, Hyo-in, and Hyo-seong are also revealed, causing Hu and
Jun to ponder the meaning and intention behind them. Meanwhile, the Queen finds it
difficult to declare a winner for this first task...
The Court decides to place “Gunsangeokdo” and the three sets of royal engagement
rings on display together, to commemorate their shared significance. Hearing the
news, Jun goes to his mother to recover Hu’s set of rings, but she refuses to hand it
over. Sun-ui, also worried that Hu will be placed in a difficult position on account of
the rings, seeks out Jun’s mother as well. Armed with a steely resolve, she
proposes a deal to Yun-hui...
2. Miracle - 하울
3. 전하지 못할 말 - J
4. 나무 - A&P
5. Remember (Drama Ver.) - 동방신기
6. 너와 함께 - 바닐라유니티
7. Super Bike (Drama Ver.) - Yellow Tail
8. 사랑바라기 - 소리아
9. 좋아좋아 (Drama Ver.) - 바닐라유니티
10. Miracle Ballad Orc. Version
13. 경복궁 Jig
14. Secret Waltz
16. 궁 이야기
17. Secret Waltz (with strings)
18. 밖으로 닫힌 창
19. 구름 같은 세상
20. Miracle Happy Run Version