For some reason, I seem to have hit a rash of works in which the author seems to think that the best way to introduce a royal character as the main character is to show him blowing off his duties.
Not just at any idle moment of leisure. Explicitly blowing the duties off. As if the point of being royal was to skim off the pleasures and the ease of living and take them as one's due. They aren't villains, and they aren't even flawed royals who will learn better in the course of the work. If anything, I think it's supposed to make them sympathetic.
And what we see a character doing when first introduced is perhaps the most defining trait we see. It's hard to undermine the first impression when it's all we know about them.
grumble, grumble, grouse grouse grouse