As a young woman, Princess Leia used the Tantive IV both for humanitarian missions and as a consular ship (although her "mercy missions" were sometimes cover for her Rebel activities). She was aboard the Tantive IV en route to Tatooine with the Death Star plans when they were intercepted by Darth Vader's Star Destroyer. After Princess Leia was captured and the droids R2-D2 and C-3PO escaped, the ship was destroyed.
In early materials, this ship was referred to only as the "Rebel blockade runner." It was named for the hunting cry "Tantivy!" during the NPR radio adaptation of Star Wars.