Princess Hours, also known as Palace (Goong), was a hit 2006 drama that helped spread the Hallyu wave throughout Asia and the world, but also launched the acting careers of some huge names in Korean entertainment. Based on the popular manga, it’s been 12 years since the drama aired, but it’s still one of the most beloved Korean exports. Check out what the main cast members look like now, and where their careers have taken them.
1. Yoon Eun Hye (Shin Chae Kyung)
Yoon Eun Hye debuted as an idol in 1999 with the girl group Baby V.O.X, but moved to acting when she left the group in 2005. Princess Hours was her first drama, and her portrayal of the cute, bubbly and fiery art student betrothed to the crown prince shot her to national fame. In 2007 she took on the leading role in the The 1st Shop of Coffee Prince alongside Gong Yoo, which also became a huge worldwide hit. She hasn’t appeared in a drama since 2013’s Marry Me If You Dare, but was recently cast in Love Watch which will air later this year.
2. Joo Ji Hoon (Prince Lee Shin)
Prior to Princess Hours, Joo Ji Hoon was known as a model for brands like Calvin Klein, Levi’s and Reebok. He won Best New Actor at 2006’s MBC Drama Awards for his role as the cold heartthrob prince Lee Shin. In 2009, he was arrested for ecstasy use, as part of a mass operation that charged 15 for drug offences, including the alleged supplier, an actress known only as Yoon.
He was banned from KBS and MBC for several years but became active again in 2011, after he completed his military service. His career rebooted with roles in hit projects Medical Top Team, Mask and Along With The Gods. He dated Gain for three years until the pair split in 2017. He is currently promoting his most recent movie, Dark Figure Of Crime.
3. Kim Jeong Hoon (Lee Yul)
Like Yoon Eun Hye, Kim Jeong Hoon initially rose to fame as a member of an idol group, part of the duo UN, which debuted in 2000. The group disbanded in 2005 and Kim Jeong Hoon focused on acting, landing some minor roles in TV and drama, but it was his role as the bitter cousin Yul, second in line to the throne in Princess Hours, that shot him to nationwide fame.
After completing his military training in 2011, he appeared in a number of dramas and shows including 2016 Chinese drama God of War, Zhao Yun alongside Girls’ Generation‘s YoonA, and Start Again.
4. Song Ji Hyo (Min Hyo Rin)
Song Ji Hyo needs no introduction, having appeared on Running Man since 2010 and in several hit dramas and movies since her breakout role in Princess Hours. She had already made her acting debut, to positive reviews, in the 2003 film Wishing Stairs and was a well-known model, but 2006 was her year to shine. Her role as the ballerina who rejected prince Lee Shin but couldn’t get over him in Princess Hours shot her to nationwide fame, along with a main role in the hit Jumong.
As well as her reoccurring role on Running Man, Song Ji Hyo has hosted Inkigayo, starred in her own beauty shows and filmed Chinese reality show We Are In Love. She has also appeared in countless movies and dramas in both Korea and China, most recently in Lovely Horribly, which is one of the highest rating dramas of 2018.
5. Lee Yoon Ji (Princess Hye Myung)
Lee Yoon Ji has gone on to star in several hit dramas including Dream High, The King 2 Hearts, and Wang’s Family. She also appeared in We Got Married, as well as the romantic comedy film Couples. In 2014 she got married and welcomed a daughter in 2015. Earlier this year, she appeared with her adorable three-year old, Lani, on the celebrity reality show The Return Of Superman.