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Counterpart to La Résistance. Their homeland has been invaded. They fought valiantly, but they were ultimately overwhelmed. But they refuse to admit defeat quite yet. They know that they have allies abroad, and it's only a matter of time before they can muster the support to fight back. So for today, the leadership of the nation and whatever citizenry they can bring along make a hasty retreat, taking refuge in a nearby allied nation. While much of their citizens are left behind, possibly forming La Résistance and waging a war from within, they work to muster up support and mount a counterattack from outside to reclaim their homeland.

Frequent any time Everything's Better with Princesses meets La Résistance in the same series. The princess in question will probably be a deposed Crown Princess trying to get her crown back.

If the monarch refused to leave In Its Hour of Need, this may be led by a successor. If only the armed forces are still fighting on, with their government having capitulated or otherwise done away with, then it is The Remnant.

Examples of Government in Exile include:


  • In Mai-Otome, Garderobe is invaded midway through the series. Although it's the training ground for Otome, the elite warriors of the world, they don't have enough gathered at first, and then their abilities are cut off. The Headmistress, Natsuki, is one of only a handful to escape. She spends the next series of episodes taking refuge in nearby Aries and forming an alliance to mount a counterstrike.
  • Amaterasu crew's justification to fight against Henrietta alliance in Starship Operators.
  • In Code Geass one of the ministers of the former Japanese government claimed this. Of course, he was also a Chinese puppet...
  • Although her kingdom consists of about 9 girls and a couple of cats, Sailor Moon is still their princess and they still treat her like one.

Fan Works

  • In With Strings Attached, many Raleka fled Ketafa after the Idris started massacring them. They set up towns on the Rust Coast of Baravada, and some of them subsequently made the long pilgrimage to the Shining Coast in order to learn magic and combat skills with which to defeat the Idris back in Ketafa.


  • In the novel SS-GB, England is conquered by Nazi Germany. King George VI is held prisoner. By the end of the novel, George is killed and his daughter in Canada, Elizabeth II, became Queen. One of the reasons why British La Résistance members arrange his death is so Elizabeth can be a legitimate Government in Exile.
  • 1632 is a variant of this. Being irreparably separated from the United States, Grantsville re-founds America.
  • The last book in The Westmark Trilogy has the protagonists form a Government in Exile while still in the country. The text even says it isn't a government-in-exile, it's a government-in-pawnshop.
  • In the Yashim series, the heroes best friend is a Polish diplomat who is harbored by the Ottoman government as a Take That to Russia. The Polish diplomat is a one-man Government in Exile.
  • In the later Honor Harrington books, the Peoples' Navy In Exile make allusions to this, but they never fool anybody but themselves. And then they don't even fool themselves anymore once they realize that they have crossed the Moral Event Horizon by cutting a deal with the Mesans to act as hired guns in return for support.

Live Action TV

  • The Colonial Government in Battlestar Galactica can be seen as this. They even keep the trappings of their government for quite some time.
  • Babylon 5 was this in a way being a government in exile from it's own government. It also harbored G'kar who was a more classic example of this, as well as Delenn's Ranger's which were a partial example: Minbar was not actively hostile to Delenn's war effort, but it was rather cool and much of her effort partook of Screw the Rules, I'm Doing What's Right.
  • The Targaryens in Game of Thrones think of themselves as this. They are under the impression that the common folk pray desperately for their return, and that the current king is seen as an evil usurper. Whilst (technically speaking) they have a point about Robert Baratheon usurping their father's throne, they are both too young to remember that their father was a raving nutter that everyone hated. (Robert, for all his flaws, is sane, and has maintained peace for seventeen years.)
  • This is essentially the case in the season 3 finale of Merlin , when Morgana took over and Arthur, Gaius, Merlin and the knights escaped into hiding. Uther remained imprisoned, though, until the good guys returned to retake the castle and free him.
  • One Mission Impossible Mission of the Week involved the jailbreak of a political prisoner from an apartheid regime in order to set up a Government in Exile with him in charge.

Video Games

  • Suikoden V: The royal palace is captured in an attack by the Godwin faction of nobles, with the King and Queen dead and Princess Lymsleia installed as a puppet Queen. The Prince and a handful of his bodyguards manage to escape, taking refuge at first in the territory of the Barrows faction, who's rivaled with the Godwins. They eventually carve out their own section of territory under their control, recruiting cities and neighboring countries to their side one at a time until they can retake the capital.
  • In Suikoden IV, this happens to the kingdom of Obel. When Kooluk's forces invade, Lino En Kuldes escapes on the rebellion's future headquarters and promotes your hero to head of the rebellion, and you set out to free the other islands.
  • Medieval: Total War had something like this as a gameplay mechanic. Even after defeating a nation, it was a common occurrence for "loyalists" to rise up and try fighting back.
  • Pretty much half the plot of the original Fire Emblem for the NES (as well as the remake, Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon for the DS). Altea is betrayed by their ally, Gra and have the shit kicked out of them - the only member of the royal family not killed or captured is Prince Marth, who, along with a remnant military force (Jagen, Cain, Abel, etc.) and ministers (Madelleus) escape and take refuge in Talys, one of the few countries which is truly an ally of Altea.
    • Likewise, the opening acts of The Sacred Stones play out very similarly.
  • Warcraft II begins with Azeroth, having been conquered by the Orcs and its king slain, founding a government in exile in Lordaeron under Anduin Lothar as Regent.
    • In World of Warcraft, Gilnas is this after being invaded by the Forsaken. The Night Elves help as many people as possible escape the small nation and offer them a home on Teldrasil (Which considering the Night Elves' well known Xenophobia is a big deal). Their king however only stays for a brief period of time before going to Stormwind, where he stands next to its king.

Web Comics

  • The Order of the Stick — the surviving residents and leaders of Azure City escaped on ships out to sea after Xykon's forces took over their homeland. Post-Time Skip finds them still trying to find a place to re-settle since the other Southern nations can't take in all the refugees. It finally takes a wizard to get them all to a suitably-inhabitable island to colonize. Meanwhile, the Azure City residents that were left behind form different factions of La Résistance and bicker amongst themselves.
  • In Drowtales, the clans of Chel'el'sussoloth started out as this and believed in the Queen Sharess' promise to bring them back to the surface after war forced them underground, but by the time the main story begins it's persisted for a millennium and almost all of the original dark elves have been replaced by their children the drow, and the fact that they haven't adapted since then causes problems that become more and more evident as the series goes on and the office of the Val'Sharess, who supposedly speaks for Sharess, is shown to be either indifferent or powerless.

Web Original

  • The Witches of Dathomir in The Gungan Council claims to be one of these. Yet, being composed of only Nightsisters and their allies, such a claim is contested by the rest of the galaxy.

Western Animation

  • In The Legend of Korra, Prince Wu is technically the elected Earth King, along being recognized by the three elemental nations as the Legitimate leader of the Earth people, but he's stuck in Republic City. Being unambitious, and not eager to meet his predecessor's fate from the last season, he spends his time living the life of the Idle Rich. In the Grand Finale, he decides to dissolve the monarchy entirely and let the various city-states govern themselves.

Real Life

  • Details from Wikipedia
  • World War II had Charles de Gaulle, who initially lead part of the Free French Forces. As he continued to organize more exiled forces under his command, and even began to gain control of French colonies previously under the control of Vichy France, he gradually became the de facto leader of the French Government In Exile.
  • Several nations that were invaded by Germany in WWII had governments-in-exile, often headquartered in London.
  • One contingency plan in the unlikely success of a German invasion during WWII would have had the Royal Family (or at least Princesses Elizabeth and Margaret - who, famously, would not leave without their mother, who would not leave without the King, who would never leave), along with some senior British politicians, setting up a government-in-exile in Canada. Presumably, members of the governments-in-exile already in London would have likewise fled to Canada or the United States. 
  • Several nations that were invaded by Germany in WWII had governments-in-exile, often headquartered in London.
    • Poland's government-in-exile continued for 51 years until the fall of communism in 1990, when it disbanded after recognizing the legitimacy of the post-communist government led by Lech Walesa. The longest government-in-exile in modern times to have been disbanded, however, was that of Ukraine (1920-1992) established after the Soviet takeover.
    • In contrast, the longest government-in-exile, the Rada of the Belarusian Democratic Republic, is still going strong in Canada since its inception in 1919 to the present day. Unlike Ukraine, it was unwilling to recognize Lukashenko's government after he seized power by decree. Interestingly, this Rada was never even meant to be a permanent government, much less one to last almost a century; it was a provisional parliament intended only to set the foundation for a constitutional convention.
  • It was once common practice for monarchs to harbor pretenders to a rival throne. The most famous of these to English speakers were the Jacobites.
    • To the point that, years later, it was common for loyalists to the Stuarts to hold their wine glasses above their water glasses when toasting "To the King" - 'the King over the water' i.e. the exiled King across the Channel in France.
  • The Tibetan government in exile, residing currently in India.
  • Queen Wilhelmina and the rest of the royal family fled the Netherlands in World War II as a symbol of resistance; they were welcomed back with uproarious joy afterward. (King Leopold II, in neighboring Belgium, had stayed and dealt with the invaders and was consequently forced to resign.) Her daughter Juliana went further afield, to Ottawa (where her daughter Margriet was born; the Canadian government temporarily declared the maternity ward of the hospital in which Juliana gave birth extraterritorial so she would gain citizenship from her mother alone). It also helped that Juliana's husband Bernhard, although a German, had wanted to stay and join La Résistance, and remained in London with his mother-in-law for much of the war, flying missions for the RAF and later taking command of the Dutch armed forces in the last days of the war.
  • Though China would have you believe differently, Taiwan counts as this for them since they call themselves the Republic of China, left over from the Nationalist side of the civil war back in the 30s and 40s. Fortunately or unfortunately, depending on your point of view, since they're just an island facing off against one of the world's largest countries there's very little chance that they'll actually be able to become the recognized government again.
  • Ecclesiastical equivalent: in partibus bishops are Roman Catholic bishops whose dioceses were unavailable because of schismatics, heretics or non-Christians taking over the places, in partibus is the shorter form of in partibus infidelium, meaning "in the lands of the unbelievers."
    • One example of such seat was the diocese of Bethlehem, whose bishop fled the Saladin on 1187 to the Hospital of Panthenor in the town of Clamecy in Burgundy and who remained there considerated and treated as a normal bishop until the revolution.
    • The Greek Orthodox Church occasionally awards to bishops sees in modern Turkey whose Greek population was expelled in 1923.
  • Following the fall of Richmond, The Confederate States of America formed a short "Government in Exile" by moving departments into a train of boxcars. A few of the leadership did make it to Brazil and set up an exile government community (exile's descendants still live in the area but as citizens of Brazil, and do funny enough, decades later accepted the Confederate to the Union loss than it's modern-day racist brothers in the American homeland as the "Lost cause"). Given the ad hoc nature of the Confederate Government, many of its cabinet leadership felt it was this from the get-go. One such member went so far as to declare that his entire department existed in his hat.
  • South Korea considers itself to be the government in exile to the North and considers that government illegitimate and illegal. The government in Seoul still appoints governors for Northern provinces, although their offices are obviously just symbolic. The government in Pyongyang holds a similar opinion of the South.
  • Cyclic Trope for the states ruled by House Savoy:
    • The first time happened when the Duchy of Savoy was invaded by the French in 1536 when the political manouvering of duke Charles II (or III), aimed at trying to keep the state alive in the struggle between France and Spain, gave them an excuse to invade, overrunning most of the country and staying there (in spite of a treaty that obligated them to leave) until in 1559 a new treaty, following a devastating defeat against Spain (whose army was led by the new duke, Emmanuel Philibert), forced them to let the country go. In the meantime, the Duchy's court resided in Vercelli.
    • The second time was during The Napoleonic Wars, when France reacted to Charles Emmanuel IV's neutrality in the War of the Third Coalition by invading and turning most of their mainland territory in the Piedmontese Republic (Savoy proper and Nice having already been occupied during Napoleon's first Italian campaign). As the House of Savoy in the meantime had gained the Kingdom of Sardinia, Charles Emmanuel IV and his successor Victor Emmanuel I retreated to Cagliari until Napoleon's final defeat-at which point they would, in time, take advantage of the heightened sense of Italian national identity caused by the French to unify the country.
    • The third time happened during World War II, when the Italian surrender to the Allies resulted in the Germans occupying most of the country, with Vittorio Emanuele III ruling from Brindisi until the Allies and the remnants of the Italian army took back Rome. This government is most notable for being set up to end with the deposition of its ruler, as Vittorio Emanuele's role in Mussolini's control over the country had turned everyone against him, making his abdication the last hope to preserve the monarchy (it failed in no small part due him making his son Humbert II a regent and postponing the actual abdication until a month before the referendum to choose between monarchy and republic and reminding everyone just why they were having one at the worst possible moment).
      • At the same time of Vittorio Emanuele's exile in Brindisi, the Germans formed a puppet state in the occupied territories, with Mussolini proclaiming Rome as the capital... But due the city being too close to the front lines he had to set shop in various cities in the North (most notably Salò, hence its popular nickname as "Republic of Salò").
    • The fourth was set up by Victor Emmanuel, son of Humbert II, on the justification that his father had effectively abdicated when he accepted the results of the monarchy-republic referendum and went into exile. This is most notable for the reason: his father opposed his wedding, and thus could not marry his fiancee and keep his place as dynastic heir unless he proclaimed Humbert II deposed from head of the House. For obvious reasons, most monarchists either abandoned the cause or recognized the Duke of Aosta as the new head of the House, and anyway the government ceased its (scarce) operations by 2002 so that Victor Emmanuel and his son could return to Italy.
  • The Chechen Republic of Ichkeria was founded during the fall of the Soviet Union, but it wasn't recognized despite being one of the first republics to gain independence. They succeeded after the First Chechen War where they gained de facto independence, while remaining de jure wise part of Russia. However, political instability and terrorism inside the republic began to spill out of control and provoked a second Chechen War, and the formal governmental body was declared illegitimate with the Russians installing a pro-Krelim Chechen government in power. The Prime-Minister Akhmad Zakayev gained asylum in the West due to his status as a secular Muslim unlike the Islamist terrorists and continued to speak out in behalf of an independent Chechnya. With the conflict's end and Chechnya being an autonomous republic within the Russian Federation rather than a sovereign nation, the Ichkeria Republic practically doesn't exist anymore since it has been absorbed by terrorist forces who denounced Zakayev for "promoting democracy instead of Sharia law".
  • The self-proclaimed 'Microstate' of "Romanov Empire" is weirdly interesting example, due to spite rather being a newest ideological movement in modern-day Russia with the original Romanov dynasty is no longer exist to truly restore the Russian Empire, was founded by proclaimed Monarchist businessman Anton Bakov, as they eventually got a German-born Romanov descended pretender to "claimed" the long-dead throne since 1917, and even they sorta but mostly fail managed make a deal with the Western African government of Gambia to create new islands to make their micronation to making this into reality; But, however, was quickly subverted by the official Gambian government weeks later, as they denied this, due to highly likely this could sour the current Russian relations if they do that.