Duke Zaral is a character and the true main antagonist of the Japanese anime/animated series, The Story of Cinderella.
He is the Duke who knows about Prince Charles' adventures outside the palace, but keeps them a secret. He wants to arrange a marriage between Isabelle and Charles. However, Charles is not at all interested in marrying Isabelle. He is also plotting to overthrow the King and take over the kingdom, and uses a band of supporters as his henchmen.
Duke Zaral is a slender, tall man with grayish-brown hair in a ponytail and a matching beard. He normally wears a purple coat and an ascot. He is also a wealthy nobleman and has a daughter named Isabelle.
Role in the Series
In the ninth episode, "There's Something Strange About That Boy", Duke Zaral is chased out of the palace because Prince Charles suspected him of replacing his tutors. Charles pursues Duke Zaral, and Cinderella helps. Duke Zaral then orders his henchmen to capture the prince. The henchmen overtake Cinderella and she overhears his plans. She is later rescued.
In the twelfth episode, "Pleased to Meet You, Prince", The King and Queen host a ball so Prince Charles can find a wife. Duke Zaral pines to have Charles marry Isabelle, and will threaten to tell Charles' parents about his adventures in town if he refuses. Cinderella finds out about this and, with the help of her fairy godmother Paulette, disguises her dog Patch as a lion to cause chaos at the ball. Patch chases Duke Zaral through the grounds, and the rest of the ball is canceled. This allows Charles to refuse Isabel.
Duke Zaral pays a visit to Cinderella's stepmother's house in the sixteenth episode, "The Prince and House Work". Cinderella is sick with a fever, so Charles comes over to help. Charles tries unsuccessfully to prepare dinner. When Duke Zaral tries the soup, he is furious and criticizes the Duchess for serving him a disgusting meal, and promptly leaves the house.
Isabelle, in the meantime, rebels against her father due to disagreeing with his actions, and in the twentieth episode, "Traveling Towards Happiness", she leaves him and elopes with a rich young man she fell in love with.
The Duke finally unleashes his plans in the twenty-third episode, "Eliminate the Prince", where he attacks the palace. His men kidnap a commoner named Marcel, who is dressed up as the prince for a costume party. When the henchmen attack the palace, Prince Charles fight them off. At the same time, Cinderella learns that the prince was the same young man she had befriended earlier.
Duke Zaral's final appearance is in the twenty-sixth and final episode, "A Happy Marriage". He and his men attempt to spoil Prince Charles' wedding to Cinderella. They kidnap Cinderella and seemingly kill Charles. But Charles is alive and defends his future bride from Duke Zaral. After a duel, Duke Zaral is knocked off of the castle. He falls to his death. Afterwards, the wedding plans go through, and Charles and Cinderella are married.