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Reason for Warning: This page contains themes relating to drugs, substance abuse, mental illness, and descriptions that (at the moment) can trigger dissociation and depersonalization in some individuals.

Dark Royaltycore is an aesthetic centered around the concept of fallen royalty. Focused on fallen royalty, the aesthetic merges opulence with decay. It is inspired by aesthetics like dark academia, royalcore, punk, lobotomy chic, old money and the visuals of Breadtube (see: Contrapoints, Philosophy Tube).

The Dark Royaltycore community celebrates the fusion of opulence and decline, emphasizing narratives of fallen nobility, entwined with themes of incestuous relationships and mental struggles. This aesthetic embraces left-wing values and post-irony, highlighting the rebellious spirit of regal figures against conventional norms. It encourages intellectual engagement through influences from dark academia and Breadtube, while acknowledging the intricacy of taboo subjects.

Dark Royaltycore also includes motifs of criminality and danger. Secret societies, cults and murder are common subjects within the aesthetic. Characters within the works of fiction associated with Dark Academia, specifically The Secret History and Kill Your Darlings, live decadent and self-destructive lifestyles involving drugs, moments of intense violence, and secrets.



Vladimir Mayakovsky, Russian-Soviet poet and playwright

This aesthetic had rooted during the end of the 19th century with the Decadence movement, and progressed to its peak in the early 20th century when a great number of aristocrats lost their wealth due to political shifts or the economic crises. It cyclically rises back to fame once every 60 years, see: Beat Generation, 2020s.


  • Live fast, die young. Everything is temporary and all that matters is to have fun and be fancy.

Dark Royaltycore enjoyers despise right-wing values, yet they adopt their families' noble titles. This act stems from the Czech gay poet Jiří Karásek ze Lvovic.

  • Some types of drugs and alcohol are seen as double-edged swords in that either they can be beneficial or detrimental to a person, but exceptions are made for cigarettes and psychedelics specifically (not encouraged by the wiki).


Castles, tattered curtains and tarnished silverware are some types of imagery that is present in Dark Royaltycore imagery in order to combine elements of fallen nobility and decay.

Self-destructive habits are also portrayed in the aesthetic, and in visuals, this tends to manifest in smoking tobacco, which also was a very common thing to do in the past and still has some connotations of mystery and glamour. Other drugs and alcohol are in books, but are less common in photographs.


As the morning sun bathes the room in a soft glow, you rise to embrace the allure of fallen nobility. The aroma of rich coffee fills the air, a companion to your contemplative thoughts. With a sense of anticipation, you cast your gaze upon the scattered books that adorn the floor, their pages beckoning you to immerse yourself in their world. You have no will to read anymore. They serve as a decoration that yoou show your friends to prove you are smart. And they remind you of the past, of how your life used to be.

You light up a cigarette. And another. And another. You're down one pack, but mommy's got your back and stocks you up with cheap Polish cigs every month. You never run out.

You spend the day lying down, coughing, dying, suffering, contemplating your life and drinking too many teas. You may even write a poem, or, attend a reading and steal the mic, as the true egomaniac you are. Most of the days, you visit a doctor or a psychiatrist since both your mental and physical health are very frail.

Your evenings are spent observing queers that have fallen victims to the world of hard drugs. Some days, you even find yourself an hour away from your home on a mission to save someone. You might have accidentally turned your flat into a hotel.

House Decor[]

Dark Royaltycore's house decor brings together the opulence of castles and the intriguing allure of an addict's mindset, resulting in a unique fusion that embodies themes of fallen nobility and decadence. Maximalism takes center stage, with elements of Dark Academia artfully blended with a touch of unconventional charm.

The house is adorned with old, second-hand wooden furniture that exudes a sense of history and character. Books find their place on the floor, creating an atmosphere reminiscent of a scholarly haven. Cigarette packs are scattered around, serving as a testament to the unconventional aspect of the aesthetic. Walls are adorned with a collage of cut-outs, book pages, random photos, maps, posters, and various artifacts that reflect the inhabitant's mindset and interests. This eclectic arrangement creates a visual narrative, allowing glimpses into their world and passions.

Fancy mirrors add a touch of elegance, while draping fabrics ingeniously transform small rooms into spaces that evoke the ambiance of castle interiors, all achieved on a budget.

Spotlights cast a soft glow, illuminating the carefully curated arrangements and enhancing the unique atmosphere. This lighting choice adds to the overall enchantment and warmth of the space.


Dark Royaltycore fashion encapsulates an array of styles that harmoniously blend opulence, decadence, and a touch of rebellion. This attire draws inspiration from various historical periods, fashioning a distinctive look that resonates with fallen nobility and junkies. The most colors are black, white, darker shades of green, brown, beige and petroleum blue.

Dark Royaltycore relies upon styling thrifted and passed-down items. You are a poor person, but you've also got an extravagant and maximalistic sense of style.


Puffy royal shirts take center stage, adorned with ornate embellishments like lace, ruffles, and puffed sleeves. Collars, whether layered under sweaters or making a statement with sailor-style designs, play a crucial role in this aesthetic. Sweaters, especially turtlenecks, contribute an autumnal and bookish essence, often featuring cable-knit or embroidery for added texture. Many fans of this aesthetic also wear strange, DIY cropped shirts.


Formal dress pants crafted from sturdy materials like tweed dominate the bottom half of the attire. Patterns like check and herringbone, along with pleats, add dimension to these pants. Skirts come in pleated and check-patterned styles reminiscent of prep school uniforms, flowing mid-length or long skirts for elegance, and straight pencil skirts with button details that exude a mature aesthetic.

Sometimes, more punk-influenced bottoms may be used, such as customised ripped baggy jeans that fall off your bottoms as you walk. It is normal for some enjoyers of this aesthetic to run errands in their underwear.


Dresses are often layered, with pinafores and sleeveless options serving as foundational pieces beneath turtlenecks or collared shirts. While some interpretations embrace romantic ballgowns or Medieval-inspired milkmaid dresses, layering remains a key principle.


Outerwear takes a central role, particularly luxurious coats that symbolize sophistication. These coats, adorned with intricate details and opulent fabrics, create a stunning visual impact. Their structure and texture showcase the aesthetic's decadence and intricate narrative. The choice of coat type alters the overall vibe—long coats in dramatic black exude intensity, while tailored coats radiate classic elegance. Fur coats are also often worn to mimic the russian whore aesthetic.

Other outerwear choices are sweaters, cardigans, leather jackets, warmer button-ups, denim jackets and so on and so on. The sweater/cardigan can also be tied over shoulders to mimic the advertisements for American Prep brands.


Leather men's dress shoes, such as brogues and wing-tips, are very common in this aesthetic. For an edgier touch, Doc Marten's boots may be incorporated, seamlessly blending with the overall attire. Feminine ensembles often feature Mary-Janes or Victorian-esque footwear paired with long socks.

Shoes with a platform over 10 cm are also very common, with most of them belonging to the brand Demonia.


Accessories play a pivotal role in both masculine and feminine branches of the aesthetic. Suspenders and intricate belts become signature elements, adding a touch of vintage charm. The accessories spectrum expands to include zippo-holding or sparkly belts, capturing the dual essence of utility and extravagance. Gender-neutral leather vintage bags, especially messenger bags, maintain the aesthetic's fusion of practicality and refinement.

Jewelry flourishes in both branches, with the masculine side incorporating rings as essential pieces that contribute to the intricate narrative. Rings, stacked in various styles, convey a sense of maximalism and personality. The feminine side revels in an abundance of jewelry, allowing rings to take center stage. Solid silver or gold pendants are common when paired with turtlenecks, while brooches add character and vintage allure. The fusion of rings and other jewelry elements showcases the aesthetic's decadence and individuality.

Hair and Makeup[]

From the refined Oscar Wilde-inspired bowl cut with added length to the edgy grown-out buzzcut intertwined with small braids, each style fuses historical influences with modern twists. The artful use of bleach introduces contrast and dimension, while the shaggy mod style conveys a rebellious yet refined vibe. Middle parts exude symmetry and balance, while mullets provide a bold and intriguing dichotomy of short and long. With an emphasis on standout hair, these styles, including the option of extremely bleached white hair, amplify individuality without venturing into unnatural colors, accentuating the essence of Dark Royaltycore.

Dark Royaltycore's makeup captures a delicate balance of weariness and fragility, evoking a haunting allure that aligns with the aesthetic's themes of decay and fallen nobility. Achieving a tired look involves reddish eyebags, while pale skin with subtle blush enhances a sickly appearance. The eyes are often accentuated with eyeliner and white mascara. Cracked, bloody lips contribute to the morbidity.

Fashion Brands[]

  • Vivienne Westwood
  • Valentino
  • Balenciaga
  • Alexander McQueen
  • Saint Laurent
  • Dior
  • Schiaparelli
  • Prada



  • Principia Discordia
  • Almost anything by Jules Verne
  • Prometheus Rising by Robert Anton Wilson
  • Insulted and Humiliated by Fyodor Dostoevsky
  • Demons by Fyodor Dostoevsky
  • Dead Poets Society by N.H. Kleinbaum
  • Songs of Achilles by Madeline Miller
  • Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs
  • Dune by Frank Herbert
  • No Longer Human by Osamu Dazai
  • The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
  • Sirens of Titan by Kurt Vonnegut
  • Cat's Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut
  • Sodoma by Jiří Karásek ze Lvovic
  • A Gothic Soul by Jiří Karásek ze Lvovic
  • Paradise Lost by Jiří Karásek ze Lvovic
  • The Sufferings of Prince Sternenhoch by Ladislav Klíma


  • Saul Bellow
  • Charles Dickens
  • Fyodor Dostoevsky
  • Arthur Conan Doyle
  • Jeffrey Eugenides
  • E.M. Forster
  • Nikolai Gogol
  • Count Lautréamont
  • Vladimir Nabokov
  • Alexander Pushkin
  • Arthur Rimbaud
  • Paul Verlaine
  • Kurt Vonnegut
  • Allen Ginsberg
  • Jack Kerouac
  • Jiří Karásek ze Lvovic
  • Egon Bondy
  • William S. Burroughs
  • Danill Kharms
  • J.D. Salinger
  • V.E. Schwab
  • Donna Tartt
  • Oscar Wilde
  • Virgina Woolf


By year released:

  • Metropolis (1927)
  • An Andalusian Dog (1929)
  • The Picture of Dorian Gray (1945)
  • Blow-Up (1966)
  • The Committee (1968)
  • I Killed Einstein, Gentlemen (1970)
  • Death in Venice (1971)
  • Dinner for Adele (1978)
  • Picassos äventyr (1978)
  • Dead Poets Society (1989)
  • Total Eclipse (1995)
  • Wilde (1997)
  • The Emperor's Club (2002)
  • Kill Your Darlings (2013)
  • The Danish Girl (2015)
  • Knives Out (2019)
  • Union of Salvation (2019)
  • The Last Duel (2021)
  • Dune (2021)
  • Trainspotting (2022)
  • Oppenheimer (2023)
  • Saltburn (2023)


  • The Special Adventures of Aladár Mézga
  • Peaky Blinders
  • Hannibal
  • His Dark Materials
  • The Queen's Gambit
  • Sherlock
  • Versailles
  • The Umbrella Academy
  • Breaking Bad

Anime & Manga[]

  • Black Butler
  • Code Geass
  • Claudine
  • Death Note
  • Eikou no Napoleon – Eroica
  • From Eroica with Love
  • Gankutsuou: The Count of Monte Cristo
  • Jojo's Bizarre Adventure
  • Monster
  • Moriarty the Patriot
  • The Royal Tutor
  • Orpheus no Mado
  • Oniisama e...
  • Rose of Versailles
  • Saga of Tanya the Evil
  • Sisyphus wa Ikou
  • Vampire Knight
  • Violet Evergarden
  • Revolutionary Girl Utena


  • The Government Inspector
  • Total Eclipse
  • Antigone
  • All plays by Oscar Wilde


  • The Count of Monte Cristo
  • Cats (original, not the CGI version)
  • Frankenstein: A New Musical
  • Hadestown
  • Jekyll & Hyde
  • Natasha Pierre and The Great Comet of 1812
  • Phantom of the Opera
  • Brothers Karamazov

Video Games[]

  • 1917: The Prologue
  • Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs
  • Ankh-Morpork (board game)
  • Assassins Creed: Syndicate
  • Call of Cthulhu
  • Catan (board game)
  • Castlevania
  • Hearts of Iron
  • Civillisation
  • Crusader Kings
  • Fallen London
  • Kingdom Come: Deliverance
  • 39,99€
  • Witcher
  • Skyrim
  • Vampyr
  • Wolfenstein


The music that fits the Dark Royaltycore vibe comes from a mix of different styles, like classical music, 1920s jazz, punk and post-punk, experimental and psychedelic rock and much more. Here are some of the artists and bands participants of the Dark Royaltycore aesthetic might like:

  • Swans
  • David Bowie
  • Soviet Soviet
  • Pink Floyd
  • Hole
  • Radiohead
  • The Cure
  • Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds
  • Tom Waits
  • Joy Division
  • Scott Walker
  • Karel Kryl
  • Talking Heads
  • Diamanda Galás
  • Tangerine Dream
  • Death in June
  • Jarboe
  • Jefferson Airplane
  • Hawkwind
  • Plusminusnula
  • Molchat Doma
  • The End of Electronics
  • Kino
  • MC Standa
  • Victor Kal.
  • Olympic
  • The Ink Spots
  • Jreg


  • Rakhmaninov
  • Gounod
  • Chopin
  • Liszt
  • Wagner
  • Beethoven
  • Tchaikovsky
  • Brahms
  • Bach
  • Debussy
  • Schumann
  • Dvořák
  • Schubert


  • The Seer (2012) - Swans
  • Live Through This (1994) - Hole
  • Pornography (1982) - The Cure
  • Disintegration (1989) - The Cure
  • Filth (1983) - Swans
  • Scott 4 (1969) - Scott Walker
  • Deathconsciousness (2008) - Have A Nice Life
  • Unknown Pleasures (1979) - Joy Division
  • Kid A (2000) - Radiohead
  • Public Strain (2010) - Women
  • Did You Know That There's a Tunnel Under Ocean Blvd (2023) - Lana Del Rey
  • Soundtracks For The Blind (1996) - Swans
  • Spiderland (1991) - Slint
  • The Lamb as Effigy (2023) - Sprain
  • The Doors (1967) - The Doors
  • The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars (1972) - David Bowie
  • Bone Machine (1992) - Tom Waits


Dark Royaltycore encompasses many activities.

For comedy's sake, many Dark Royaltycore enjoyers banter about committing crimes such as murder, art theft, and blackmail. Of course, this is not achievable in real life nor is it actually done on a petty level. Rather, people read about characters doing this in fiction, create outfits for if they were to do these crimes, or craft a persona similar to a beloved beatnik protagonist.


Here are external links for further information on this aesthetic.



Pinterest Boards[]



References and notes[]

All references marked with personal communication are interviews. To view transcriptions, access to the Dark Academia interview file on the Aesthetics Wiki Google Drive, which can be viewed here. Included in the file is the methodology, ethical guidelines and reach of the interview, as described by the Aesthetics Wiki interviewer. If you want to participate in this project, please contact graviphantalia.