12 of the longest-lasting royal marriages in history
Some royal love stories actually do have a fairytale ending.
The Queen and Prince Philip, history's longest-married royal couple, were together for 73 years.
Prince Rainier never remarried after his wife of 26 years, Grace Kelly, died tragically.
Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip were married for 73 years, making them the longest-married royal couple in history.
Princess Elizabeth and Prince Philip met for the first time at a wedding when she was just 8 years old and he was 13. However, it's been said that Princess Elizabeth truly fell in love with Prince Philip when they met again a few years later.
It was announced that the two were engaged in 1947, shortly following Elizabeth's 21st birthday. The wedding took place later that year. After her father's death in 1952, Princess Elizabeth became Queen Elizabeth.
She was 25 when her father died and 27 when she was officially crowned. At her coronation, Prince Philip offered her his undying loyalty, kneeling before her and pledging to be her "liegeman," or faithful servant.
They were married for 73 years before Philip's death in April 2021. The couple lived through numerous crises during their time together, including a world war, a pandemic, and personal tragedies like the death of Princess Diana.
"It is with deep sorrow that Her Majesty The Queen announces the death of her beloved husband, His Royal Highness Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh," the palace said in a statement. "His Royal Highness passed away peacefully this morning at Windsor Castle."
Prince Philip was the longest-serving British consort in history.
Queen Anne of Romania and King Michael I of Romania were married for 68 years before Anne's death in 2016.
The couple met after they both attended the wedding of Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip in 1947. Shortly after Michael proposed, the royal was forced to abdicate and go into exile after communists overtook the monarchy in December 1947.
"Michael lost a country but won an exceptional woman," commentator Stelian Tanase, an acquaintance of the royal couple, told the Associated Press, according to the Los Angeles Times.
Queen Anne of Romania and King Michael I of Romania were married in 1948 in an Orthodox wedding ceremony after Pope Pius XII denied Anne's request to marry a non-Catholic. The couple wed years later in a Catholic ceremony in Monaco in 1966.
At the time of Queen Anne's death at age 92 in August 2016, she and King Michael had been married for 68 years. Michael died a little over a year later on December 5, 2017.
Japan's former Emperor Akihito and his wife, Empress Michiko, have been married for 62 years.
In 1957, then-Crown Prince Akihito of Japan met the woman who would become his wife during a tennis match. Literature graduate student Michiko Shoda, a commoner, soon became known nationwide as the future Emperor's "love match," breaking with 2,000 years of tradition, according to CNN.
When the couple wed on April 10, 1959, an estimated 15 million watched the wedding live on television, setting the stage for future televised royal weddings.
The couple is still together today and shares three children. Their eldest son, Emperor Naruhito, stepped into power when Emperor Akihito abdicated in 2019. He was the first Japanese monarch to abdicate in over 200 years, according to the BBC.
Prince Edward, the Duke of Kent and first cousin of Queen Elizabeth II, has been married to Katharine, the Duchess of Kent, for 60 years.
Prince Edward met Katharine Worsley, now the Duchess of Kent, while he was serving on an English military base, according to Town & Country. The pair were married on June 8, 1961, making them one of the longest-married royal couples.
They went on to have three children: George Windsor, Earl of St Andrews, 59; Lady Helen Taylor, 57; and Lord Nicholas Windsor, 51.
King Constantine II and Queen Anne-Marie of Greece have been married for 57 years.
King Constantine II and Queen Anne-Marie of Greece were the last rulers of Greece before the monarchy was abolished in 1973. The pair met in 1959 when Constantine was 19 years old and Anne-Marie was just 13. A few years later, the pair's friendship blossomed into a romance.
Due to the couple's young ages, their engagement was kept a secret for several months. Finally, in January 1963, the couple's engagement was announced to the world. Almost two years later, King Constantine II and Queen Anne-Marie of Greece were married — just a few weeks after the royal bride's 18th birthday and days later than the official mourning period ended following the death of Constantine's father, King Paul. Constantine was 23 years old.
The royals have now been married for 57 years and share five children: Princess Alexia, 56; Crown Prince Pavlos, 54; Prince Nikolaos, 52; Princess Theodora, 38; and Prince Philippos, 35.
George III and Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, who are fictionalized in the Netflix series "Bridgerton," were married for 57 years.
When King George ascended to the throne at the age of 22, he was unmarried and in need of a wife. Princess Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, a small northern German dukedom, appeared to be an appropriate choice.
Within hours of the princess' arrival in England months later, the pair were married at the royal chapel at St James's Palace in 1761. Roughly a week later, a coronation took place announcing King George III and Queen Charlotte as reigning monarchs.
The couple went on to purchase and renovate a number of royal residences, including what would become Buckingham Palace and Frogmore House. They would also bear 15 children, 13 of whom survived to adulthood.
In 1765, the King suffered his first, though temporary, bout of mental illness and Charlotte was declared Regent if George should be unable to rule. George recovered briefly, but he fell into a state of "permanent madness" in 1811, during which time his eldest son was declared Regent.
However, Charlotte remained by her husband's side as his guardian, in addition to presiding over the court and her younger children, until her death in 1818.
The King and Queen of Norway, King Harald V and Queen Sonja, have been married for 53 years.
In a story that sounds straight out of a fairytale, Sonja Haraldsen, a commoner, met the then-Crown Prince Harald in 1959. Though the pair instantly connected, it wasn't until nine years later that Prince Harald's father, King Olav, gave the pair permission to marry.
The future Queen was immediately embraced by the Norweigan people, despite her non-royal roots and what the royal family feared would be a source of great backlash. Prince Harald and Sonja Haraldsen married in August 1968.
When Prince Harald became King Harald V in 1991, she became Queen Sonja. They share two children, Princess Märtha Louise, 50, and Crown Prince Haakon, 48.
Queen Margrethe II, the sister of Queen Anne-Marie of Greece, and Prince Henrik of Denmark were married for over 50 years before his death in 2018.
The then-Crown Princess Margrethe met her husband, Henri Marie Jean André de Laborde de Monpezat, during an official dinner at the French Embassy in 1966, while he was stationed in London as a diplomat, according to the BBC.
They were married in 1967, not long after Henrik officially moved to Denmark. When Anne-Marie became Queen in 1972, he was named Prince Consort, although the royal later became vocal about his distaste for the title. He truly wished to be King of Denmark, a sentiment which many Danes took offense to and regarded as arrogant and power-hungry, the BBC reported.
They were married for 55 years until Prince Henrik's death in 2018.
King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia of Sweden have been married for 45 years.
King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia of Sweden met during the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich. Silvia, who was born in Germany, was working as a hostess trainer with the Organising Committee for the Munich Olympic Games, during which time she was introduced to the then-Crown Prince Carl Gustaf.
During their four-year-long courtship, Prince Carl Gustaf was crowned King Carl XVI Gustaf. The couple announced their engagement in March 1976 and were married in June that year.
They share three daughters: Crown Princess Victoria, 44; Prince Carl Philip, 42; and Princess Madeleine, 39.
Queen Elizabeth's parents, King George VI and the Queen Mother, were married for almost 30 years before his untimely death in 1956.
Much like her daughter Queen Elizabeth, Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon never anticipated becoming Queen. Elizabeth grew up in friendly acquaintance with all the children of King George V and Queen Mary, including the second son of the reigning monarchs, Prince Albert Frederick Arthur George.
Despite growing up together, the couple reportedly shared something far from a traditional love story. According to Hello! magazine, Elizabeth repeatedly turned the prince down out of concern for her freedom. However, in 1923, it was announced that they were engaged. The pair married in April that same year in Westminster Abbey.
However, following the death of King George V and the abdication of King Edward VIII, Albert, Duke of York, was proclaimed King George VI. When King George VI died at the age of 56 from lung cancer, Queen Elizabeth became the Queen Mother and her eldest daughter, Princess Elizabeth, became Queen Elizabeth II.
Grace Kelly and Prince Rainier were married for 26 years until her tragic death in 1982.
Before becoming one of the most famous royals in the world, Grace Kelly had a highly successful career as an actress.
She acted in her first film, "Fourteen Hours," when she was just 22 years old. She got her big break in 1952 with the release of "High Noon," which launched her career to new heights. She later won the Academy Award for best actress in 1954 for "The Country Girl," beating out Judy Garland in "A Star is Born."
According to Harper's Bazaar, Grace Kelly was invited to join the United States Delegation Committee at the Cannes Film Festival in 1955. While in France for the festival, she met Prince Rainier III of Monaco on the set of a photo shoot. A year later, they were married.
The couple was married for 26 years, up until the princess' death in 1982. Princess Grace suffered an apparent stroke while driving with her daughter, Princess Stephanie, which resulted in the royal losing control of the car and plunging into a ravine. She died from a brain hemorrhage the following day at the age of 52.
Prince Rainier never remarried and was laid to rest beside her when he passed away in 2005 at the age of 81.
Prince Edward, the youngest son of Queen Elizabeth, and Sophie Wessex have been married for 21 years.
Prince Edward is the sole child of Queen Elizabeth to have never gotten divorced. Prince Edward met Sophie Rhys-Jones through a friend of hers that he was dating in 1987, though the pair later reconnected and began dating in 1993, according to the Express.
In 1999, it was announced that Prince Edward and Sophie Rhys-Jones were engaged. In June of that year, the couple wed at St George's Chapel at Windsor Castle. In a similar fashion to other royal weddings, the ceremony was televised and viewed by more than 200 million people.
The couple shares two children: Lady Louise Windsor, 18, and James, Viscount Severn, 14.
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