21 times ‘commoners’ fell in love with royalty


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Royal families used to have a strict “equal marriage” rule for the monarch and heirs; royals married other royals. However, now, it’s not so uncommon for them to marry commoners.

Many of these commoners had regular folk jobs before they married their prince or princess charming.

Here are 21 commoners that married into royalty.

Edward VIII and Wallis Simpson

1. Wallis Simpson and Prince Edward, Duke of Windsor (formerly King Edward VIII)

Profession before the royal title: Socialite

Royal Title: Duchess of Windsor

Wallis Simpson met Prince Edward at a party in 1931 through his then-mistress. Allegedly, the couple began their affair in 1934 while Wallis was still married to her second husband.

A year after becoming King of England, Edward abdicated the throne in order to marry Wallis, leaving the title to his brother King George VI.

The couple was married on June 3, 1937, and were together until 1972, when Duke Edward died from cancer.

Grace Kelly and Prince Rainier III

2. Grace Kelly and Rainier III, Prince of Monaco

Profession before the royal title: Actress

Royal Title: Princess Grace of Monaco

It was a story worthy of a Hollywood fairy tale: America’s sweetheart left her home to marry her prince in a land far away. Grace Kelly first met Rainer III during a photo shoot at the Cannes Film Festival in 1955.

Kelly, who at that point had a short but lustrous acting career, retired from Hollywood in order to marry the Prince of Monaco. The couple married in 1956 and had three children.

Kelly’s happily ever after was somewhat short lived, as the beloved actress and Princess of Monaco died aged 52 after suffering a minor stroke while driving.

Sonja Haraldsen and Harald, Crown Prince of Norway
Holger Motzkau/ Wikimedia Commons

Sonja Haraldsen and Harald, Crown Prince of Norway

Profession before the royal title: Studied dressmaking and tailoring, and received a degree in fashion and social sciences

Royal Title: Queen consort of Norway

Sonja Haraldsen, the daughter of a clothing merchant, met then-Crown Prince Harald at a party in 1959. Soon after, the Crown Prince invited Haraldsen to a graduation ball, where they were first photographed together.

The couple dated for nine years but kept the relationship a secret, as Sonja was a commoner. After the Crown Prince made it clear to his father that he won’t marry anyone else but Sonja, King Olav V gave his permission, and the two married in 1968.

Sonja became Queen Consort of Norway when her husband ascended the throne in 1991 and became King Harald V. They have two children together: Princess Märtha Louise and Crown Prince Haakon.

Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko

Michiko Shōda and Akihito, the 125th Emperor of Japan

Profession before the royal title: Graduated summa cum laude from the Faculty of Literature at the University of the Sacred Heart with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English literature.

Royal Title: Empress consort of Japan

Michiko Shōda met then-Crown Prince Akihito in August 1957 on a tennis court. The couple announced their engagement in 1958 with the media presenting their story as a real “fairy tale” and the “romance of the tennis court.”


Despite the disapproval of many officials, including Akihito’s mother, Michiko and Akihito married in 1959, making Michiko the first commoner to marry into the Imperial Family.

Silvia Sommerlath and Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden

Silvia Sommerlath and Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden

Profession before the royal title: Hostess

Royal Title: Queen consort of Sweden


Silvia Sommerlath was leading a marketing campaign for the city of Munich during the 1972 Summer Olympics when she met the then Crown Prince Carl Gustaf.

In 1973, after the death of his grandfather King Gustaf VI Adolf, the prince ascended the throne and became King of Sweden.

The two married in 1976 and have three children and eight grandchildren.

The newly married Crown Prince Naruhito and Crown Princess Masako in Japanese traditional attire, 1993

Masako Owada and Naruhito, Crown Prince of Japan

Profession before the royal title: Educated at Oxford and Harvard, worked as a diplomat

Royal Title:  Empress of Japan

It didn’t take long for Crown Prince Naruhito to fall for the charms and wit of young Masako when they first met in 1986 at a tea party for Infanta Elena of Spain.

As a result of controversy over Masako’s maternal grandfather, Yutaka Egashira, the press caused quite a stir, and her name was removed from the list of potential brides.

But this didn’t stop Crown Prince Naruhito, who remained interested, even though Masako traveled to Oxford University’s Balliol College for the next two years. After two rejected proposals, Masako finally agreed to marry the prince.

The couple wed in 1993, making Masako the third commoner to marry into the imperial family, after her sister-in-law Princess Kiko and mother-in-law.

Rania Al-Yassin and Prince Abdullah of Jordan

Rania Al-Yassin and Prince Abdullah of Jordan

Profession before the royal title: Worked in marketing

Royal Title: Queen consort of Jordan

Rania Al Abdulah had a lustrous career in marketing, having graduated in business administration and working at Apple Co. in Amman when she met the future King of Jordan, Abdullah bin al-Hussein, in 1992 at a dinner party.

The two married in 1993, in a wedding ceremony that was considered a national holiday. After his father died in 1999, Abdullah ascended to the throne, making Rania the queen consort of Jordan.

Marie-Chantal and Pavlos, Crown Prince of Greece

Marie-Chantal Miller and Pavlos, Crown Prince of Greece

Profession before the royal title: Began a degree in History of Art at New York University

Royal Title: Crown Princess of Greece

Marie-Chantal Claire Miller was about to get a degree in history of art at New York University when she abruptly dropped out in 1994 when she got engaged to Pavlos, Crown Prince of Greece. 

Born a Catholic, Claire Miller converted to Greek Orthodoxy in 1995. The couple wed at St Sophia’s Cathedral in London in a ceremony attended by many European royal family members. The couple has four children.

The Earl and Countess of Wessex at Trooping the Colour in June 2013
Carfax2/Wikimedia Commons

Sophie Rhys-Jones and Prince Edward of the United Kingdom

Profession before the royal title: Public relations

Royal Title: Countess of Wessex and Forfar

Rhys-Jones met Prince Edward while working at Capital Radio as PR in 1987 when he was dating her friend. The two began their relationship soon after meeting again in 1993.

The couple married in 1999, and Prince Edward became Earl of Wessex with the subsidiary title of Viscount Severn.

Queen 'Masenate Mohato Seeiso with King Letsie III
IAEA Imagebank/Wikimedia Commons

‘Masenate Mohato Seeiso and King Letsie III of Lesotho

Profession before the royal title: Studied for a Bachelor of Science degree

Royal Title: Queen consort of Lesotho

Born Anna Karabo Mots’oeneng, Queen ‘Masenate met King Letsi III, “the only unmarried King in Africa,” in 1996.

When the two got engaged in 1999, ‘Masenate was in her second year at the National University of Lesotho, where she studied for a Bachelor of Science degree.

The couple married in 2000 and have three children.

Crown Princess Mette-Marit and Crown Prince Haakon
Holger Motzkau/Wikimedia Commons

10. Mette-Marit Tjessem and Haakon, Crown Prince of Norway

Profession before the royal title: Waitress

Royal Title: Crown Princess of Norway

Mette-Marit, a Norwegian commoner, met Crown Prince Haakon in the late 1990s at a garden party during the Quart Festival, Norway’s largest music festival, in her hometown of Kristiansand.

When the two reconnected years later at another party related to the festival, she was a single mother.

The two married in 2001 and have two children.

Máxima Zorreguieta and Prince Willem-Alexander

Máxima Zorreguieta and Prince Willem-Alexander

Profession before the royal title:  Vice president of institutional sales at Deutsche Bank

Royal Title: Queen consort of the Netherlands

Máxima was serving as the vice president of institutional sales at Deutsche Bank in New York City when she met Willem-Alexander in April 1999 in Seville, Spain, during the Seville Spring Fair.

The prince introduced himself only as “Alexander” to hide his identity, so Máxima thought he was joking when he later revealed that he was not only a prince but an heir apparent to the Dutch throne.

The couple married on February 2, 2002, and have three children.

Letizia Ortiz and King Felipe VI of Spain
Holger Motzkau/Wikimedia Commons

Letizia Ortiz and King Felipe VI of Spain

Profession before the royal title: Journalist and News Anchor

Royal Title: Queen Consort of Spain

Before meeting the then-Prince Felipe VI and becoming queen of Spain, Letizia Ortiz worked as a journalist and news anchor.

The couple married in 2004 and have two children.

Prince Felipe ascended the throne in 2014 after his father’s abdication, making Oritz the Queen Consort of Spain.

Mary Elizabeth Donaldson and Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark

Mary Elizabeth Donaldson and Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark

Profession before the royal title:  Project consultant for business development, communications and marketing at Microsoft

Royal Title: Crown Princess of Denmark and Countess of Monpezat

Mary Elizabeth Donaldson met her future husband, Prince Frederik, during the 2000 Summer Olympics at a bar in Sydney. Her friends did not identify Frederik as the Crown Prince of Denmark until after they met.

Soon after the couple started a relationship, Donaldson moved to Denmark in 2002.




They married in 2004 and have four children.

The Queen Consort and King Charles III

Camilla Parker Bowles and King Charles III of the United Kingdom

Profession before the royal title: 

Royal Title: Queen Consort of the United Kingdom

Camilla Shand met then-Prince Charles in mid-1971. They were romantically involved before and during their first marriages. The couple’s affair was highly publicized in the media and attracted worldwide scrutiny.

Prince Charles declared that his relationship with Parker Bowles was “non-negotiable” following both of their divorces. The couple wed in 2005 in the Windsor Guildhall.

In 2022, following the death of Queen Elizabeth II, Prince Charles was crowned the King of the United Kingdom, establishing Camila as Queen Consort.

Wedding of Victoria, Crown Princess of Sweden, and Daniel Westling
Holger Motzkau/Wikimedia Commons

Daniel Westling and Victoria, Crown Princess of Sweden

Profession before the royal title: A personal trainer and gym owner

Royal Title: Duke of Västergötland

Daniel Westling was a personal trainer and gym owner when he met Crown Princess Victoria in 2001 after she attended his training session.

The two married in June 2010 in a ceremony that has been described as “Europe’s biggest royal wedding since the Prince of Wales married Lady Diana Spencer.

They have two children.

Prince Joachim and Princess Marie of Denmark
Frankie Fouganthin/ Wikimedia Commons

Marie Cavallier and Prince Joachim of Denmark

Profession before the royal title: Executive secretary in ING Numismatic Group

Royal Title: Countess of Monpezat

Marie Cavallier met Prince Joachim (Prince Frederik’s brother) at a party hosted by a mutual friend. Cavallier had an established career in marketing and had initial doubts about marrying into the royal family. The couple married in May 2008 and have two children.

After her marriage to Joachim, Marie became “Her Royal Highness Princess Marie of Denmark, Countess of Monpezat.”

She is the stepmother to the prince’s two sons from his first marriage.

Kate Middleton and Prince William of Wales

Kate Middleton and Prince William of Wales

Profession before the royal title:  Accessories buyer with the British clothing chain Jigsaw.

Royal Title: Princess of Wales

Catherine Middleton was attending the University of St. Andrews, where she studied art history, when she met Prince William in 2001.

Having dated off and on for several years, the couple married on April 29, 2011, in a ceremony watched by millions around the world. After the death of Queen Elizabeth II, Prince William became the heir apparent, receiving the title Prince of Wales.

They have three children: Prince George, Princess Charlotte, and Prince Louis.

Charlene Wittstock and Albert II, Prince of Monaco

Charlene Wittstock and Albert II, Prince of Monaco

Profession before the royal title: Olympic swimmer

Royal Title: Princess consort of Monaco

Former South African Olympic swimmer Charlene Wittstock met Prince Albert II (Grace Kelly’s son) in 2000 during a swimming meet in Monaco.

The couple married in July 2011, and Wittstock became the Princess of Monaco.

Wittstock gave birth to fraternal twins in 2014.

Prince Carl Philip and his wife after their wedding ceremony on 13 June 2015
Frankie Fouganthin/ Wikimedia Commons

Sofia Hellqvist and Prince Carl Philip, Duke of Värmland

Profession before the royal title: Model and reality TV contestant

Royal Title: Duchess of Värmland

Sofia Hellqvist was a glamour model and reality TV contestant before she married Prince Carl Philip and became a princess of Sweden. The couple began dating in 2010 and married in 2015. They have three children: Prince Alexander, Prince Gabriel, and Prince Julian.

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry of Wales

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry of Wales

Profession before the royal title: Actress

Royal Title: Duchess of Sussex

The American actress, Meghan Markle began dating Prince Harry in 2016. The couple wed on May 19, 2018, in a ceremony at St. George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle, watched by millions around the world.

Upon marrying, Prince Harry received the title Duke of Sussex making Meghan the Duchess of Sussex.

In January 2020, the couple announced they were stepping back from their royal duties and settled in California.

They have two children, Archie and Lilibet.

This article was produced and syndicated by MediaFeed.org.