26 commoners who married into royalty

26 commoners who married into royalty
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·13 min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
Princess Mako (right) of Japan and her fiancé Kei Komuro at a press conference to announce their engagement at Akasaka East Residence in Tokyo in 2017.
Japan's Princess Mako and Kei Komuro announce their engagement in 2017. Reuters
  • Royals around the world have fallen in love with commoners.

  • Mary Elizabeth Donaldson, who's now the crown princess of Denmark, met her prince at a bar.

  • Japan's Princess Mako married her college sweetheart, Kei Komuro.

Anjelica Oswald contributed to an earlier version of this report.

Grace Kelly became royalty after tying the knot with Rainier III, the Prince of Monaco.

Prince Rainer of Monaco and Grace Kelly on their wedding day.
Grace Kelly was 26 when she retired from acting. AP

Grace Kelly, the daughter of a three-time Olympic gold medalist for rowing, began her acting career in 1950, but she retired in 1956 to marry Rainier III. They had met during a photo shoot at the Cannes Film Festival in 1955, one Grace almost skipped. The couple married a year later and had three children.

In 1982, she suffered a minor stroke while driving and was critically injured when the car went over the edge of a 45-foot embankment. Grace died the following night at the hospital.

Michiko Shōda, former Empress of Japan, met her future husband, then-Crown Prince Akihito, while playing tennis in 1957.

Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko Shōda of Japan stand on a balcony.
Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko Shōda of Japan. Ken Ishii/Getty Images

Though many officials opposed the relationship because of Michiko's lineage — including Akihito's mother, the empress — the couple married in 1959, establishing Michiko as the first commoner to marry into the Imperial Family. They have three children.

Sonja Haraldsen, Queen of Norway, tied the knot with then-Crown Prince Harald.

Queen Sonja and King Harald of Norway pose for a formal portrait, wearing uniforms and red sashes.
They have been married for 51 years. Jørgen Gomnæs, the Royal Court/Getty Images

Sonja first met the then-Crown Prince Harald in 1959. Nine years later, in March 1968, the king gave his permission for the two to marry, as she was a commoner, and they married in August 1968. They have two children. She became queen when her husband ascended to the throne in 1991.

Silvia Sommerlath was working as a hostess at the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich when she met then-Prince Carl Gustaf of Sweden.

Queen Silvia and Prince Carl Gustaf of Sweden in formalwear.
Silvia is the longest-serving queen of Sweden. Andreas Rentz/Getty Images

The prince ascended to the throne after the death of his grandfather in 1973. The couple married in 1976 — making Silvia the Queen of Sweden — and they have three children and eight grandchildren.

Masako Owada, now Empress Consort of Japan, married then-Crown Prince Naruhito in the '90s.

Masako Owada, Empress Consort of Japan, and Naruhito, Emperor of Japan, in the '90s.
She also studied international relations at Oxford for a short time as a postgraduate study. Edwina Pickles/Fairfax Media/Getty Images

Masako graduated from Harvard with a degree in economics and returned to Japan to study law at the University of Tokyo in 1986. That same year, she met Crown Prince Naruhito (Michiko Shōda's son) while attending a tea for the Duchess of Lugo.

She accepted after two proposals, and the couple wed in 1993. She gave birth to a daughter, Aiko, in 2001.

Rania Al-Abdullah, who had worked in marketing, became the Queen of Jordan after marrying Abdullah bin al-Hussein.

King Abdullah and Queen Rania of Jordan in formalwear.
She earned her bachelor's degree in business administration from the American University in Cairo just two years before marrying the prince. Chris Jackson/Getty Images

Before marrying Abdullah bin al-Hussein, Rania worked in marketing for Citibank, and she later took a job at Apple Computer in Amman. She met the future king at a dinner party in August 1992 in and they were married in June 1993.

Abdullah ascended to the throne after his father's death in 1999, making Rania the queen. They have four children.

With her marriage to King Letsie III, 'Masenate Mohato Seeiso became known as Queen of Lesotho.

King Letsie III and Queen 'Masenate Mohato Seeiso of Lesotho pose for a photo.
She promotes various charities, including promoting work to combat HIV/AIDS. Michael Sohn/AP

Formerly known as Anna Karabo Mots'oeneng, 'Masenate was studying at the National University of Lesotho in 1997 and became engaged to King Letsie III in 1999. They married in 2000 and have three children.

Mette-Marit Tjessem Hoiby, now the Crown Princess of Norway, was a single mother when she married into royalty.

Princess Mette-Marit and Prince Haakon of Norway wear traditional dress and ribbons.
Princess Mette-Marit and Prince Haakon of Norway. Ragnar Singsaas/Getty Images

Mette-Marit first met Crown Prince Haakon at a garden party during the Quart Festival, Norway's largest rock festival. When the two met again years later, she was a single mother. They married in 2001 and have since added two more kids to the family.

Máxima Zorreguieta became Queen of the Netherlands after exchanging vows with Prince Willem-Alexander.

Queen Maxima and King Willem of the Netherlands stand next to each other and pose for a photo.
She can speak three languages. Michel Porro/Getty Images

Máxima holds a degree in economics and was serving as the vice president of institutional sales at Deutsche Bank in New York City when she met Prince Willem-Alexander in 1999. They met in Spain during the Sevilla Spring Fair, and it was there that the prince introduced himself solely as "Alexander." She said she didn't know he was a prince until later.

They were married in 2002 and have three daughters. Máxima is considered a commoner, though she is a descendant of King Afonso III of Portugal through her father.

Letizia Ortiz was a journalist and news anchor prior to marrying then-Prince Felipe VI and eventually becoming queen of Spain.

King Felipe VI and Queen Letizia of Spain stand and smile.
She is the first Spanish queen to be a commoner. Carlos Alvarez/Getty Images

The prince and Letizia married in 2004 (her second marriage). The couple has two daughters. Prince Felipe became the king after his father abdicated the throne in 2014, establishing Letizia as the Queen of Spain.

The Princess of Wales wasn't a commoner exactly - Diana Spencer was born into nobility, but it was marrying Prince Charles that made her royalty.

prince charles princess diana
Prince Charles and Princess Diana after announcing their engagement in 1981. Hulton Archive/Getty Images

The "people's princess" came from a noble family and became Lady Diana in 1975, after her father inherited the title of earl.

Diana became the princess of Wales following her marriage to Prince Charles, and they had two children, William and Harry. Diana and Charles divorced in August 28, 1996, and nearly a year later Diana was killed in a car accident.

Mary Elizabeth Donaldson, Crown Princess of Denmark and Countess of Monpezat, met husband Prince Frederik at a bar.

Prince Frederik and Princess Mary Elizabeth of Denmark stand next to each other and smile.
She will become queen when her husband becomes king. Torsten Laursen/Getty Images

Mary Elizabeth met Prince Frederik at the Slip Inn, a bar in Sydney, during the 2000 Summer Olympics, and the rest is history. She moved to Denmark in 2002 and worked as a project consultant for Microsoft Business Solutions for about a year. The couple married in 2004 and have four children.

Former South African Olympic swimmer Charlene Wittstock married Prince Albert II, the Prince of Monaco.

Prince Albert II and Princess Charlene of Monaco stand next to each other with slight smiles.
Prince Albert II and Princess Charlene of Monaco. Michael Steele/Getty Images

She met Prince Albert II (Grace Kelly's son) during a swimming meet in Monaco in 2000. The couple went public in 2006 at the opening ceremony of the Winter Olympics and married in July 2011. Charlene, who became the Princess of Monaco, gave birth to fraternal twins in 2014.

Princess Marie of Denmark went by the name Marie Agathe Odile Cavallier before marrying royalty.

Prince Joachim and Princess Marie of Denmark on a ski slope.
Prince Joachim and Princess Marie of Denmark. Harold Cunningham/Getty Images

Marie had an established career in marketing when she first met Prince Joachim (Prince Frederik's brother) at a party held by a mutual friend. Though she had initial doubts about marrying into the royal family, the couple was married in May 2008. They have two children, and Marie is also stepmother to the prince's two sons from his first marriage.

Commoner Daniel Westling took on the title of Prince of Sweden, Duke of Västergötland with his marriage to Victoria, Crown Princess.

Princess Victoria and Prince Daniel of Sweden walk arm in arm.
His wife is next in line for the throne. Ian Gavan/Getty Images

Daniel was a gym owner and trainer when he met Crown Princess Victoria in 2001, after she attended a training session of his. He started Balance, a gym company, in 2006, but stepped down as CEO in 2009. The two married in June 2010 and have two children.

Princess Tatiana of Greece and Denmark, a former event planner, is married to Prince Nikolaos.

Princess Tatiana and Prince Nikolaos of Greece and Denmark.
Princess Tatiana and Prince Nikolaos. Ian Gavan/Getty Images

Tatiana Blatnik graduated from Georgetown with a degree in sociology in 2003 and met Prince Nikolaos that same year. She worked as an event planner for fashion designer Diane von Fürstenberg up until 2010, when she left to focus on her wedding. The couple married in August 2010.

Kate Middleton was studying art history at the University of St. Andrews when she met Prince William in 2001.

kate middleton and prince william
Kate will become queen when William becomes king. Chris Jackson/Getty Images

After dating on-and-off for numerous years, the couple married on April 29, 2011, and millions of people around the world tuned in to watch the ceremony. They have three children: Prince George (born July 2013), Princess Charlotte (born May 2015), and Prince Louis (born in April 2018).

The Queen of Bhutan was known as Jetsun Pema prior to her royal wedding.

Jetsun Pema and Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck of Bhutan on their wedding day.
She studied at Regent's College in London. Triston Yeo/Getty Images

It is rumored that Jetsun Pema met Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck at a picnic when she was 7 and he was 17, and that he promised to marry her when they grew up. Jigme became king in 2008, following his father's abdication. The couple married in 2011 (Jetsun was 21), and they had their first child in February 2016.

Before becoming Princess of Sweden, Duchess of Värmland, Sofia Hellqvist was a model and reality TV contestant.

Prince Carl Phillip and Princess Sofia of Sweden stand next to each other and smile.
Prince Carl Phillip and Princess Sofia of Sweden. Ragnar Singsaas/Getty Images

Prince Carl Phillip (Silvia's son and Victoria's brother) and Sofia began dating in 2010 and married in June 2015. Their first child, Prince Alexander, was born in April 2016. They welcomed their second child, Prince Gabriel, in August 2017, and their third, Prince Julian, in March 2021.

Alana Bunte was an American model before she married Prince Casimir zu Sayn-Wittgenstein-Sayn, an Austrian descendant of England's King James II.

Prince Casimir zu Sayn-Wittgenstein-Sayn and Alana Bunte.
The prince previously dated "Real Housewives of New York" star Tinsley Mortimer. David M. Benett/Dave Benett/Getty Images for Luisa Beccaria

Alana Bunte and Prince Casimir were wed in June 2019 in a 12th-century castle in Bendorf, Germany. The couple announced their engagement in June 2017, after meeting in London nearly four years ago.

Prince Casimir had previously been married to Corinna zu Sayn-Wittgenstein, but they divorced in 2005. He then dated "Real Housewives of New York" star Tinsley Mortimer before he met Bunte.

The prince was born into German royalty, and he is a descendant of James II and his illegitimate son, James Fitzjames, first duke of Berwick. He's the third child of the Prince and Princess of Sayn-Wittgenstein-Sayn, a former independent county in Germany.

Bunte studied art and design at University of the Arts and Central Saint-Martins in London.

Meghan Markle became the Duchess of Sussex after exchanging vows with Prince Harry.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle on their wedding day in 2018.
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle tied the knot in 2018. Ben Birchall/WPA Pool/Getty Images

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry officially wed on May 19, 2018, in a ceremony at St. George's Chapel at Windsor Castle.

Markle worked as an actress, activist, fashion designer, and entrepreneur. She also participated in the UN's Women's Political Participation and Leadership program.

The couple stepped back from their royal duties in January 2020 and eventually settled in California, where they continue to run their nonprofit organization Archewell. They have two children, Archie and Lilibet.

Jack Brooksbank doesn't have a royal title, but he married royalty.

Jack Brooksbank and Princess Eugenie on their wedding day in 2018.
Jack Brooksbank and Princess Eugenie during their October 2018 wedding. Toby Melville/WPA Pool/Getty Images

Jack Brooksbank, a brand ambassador for George Clooney's tequila company Casamigos, married Princess Eugenie in October 2018.

Eugenie is the youngest daughter of Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson. Queen Elizabeth II is her grandmother.

Eugenie and Brooksbank welcomed their son August Philip Hawke Brooksbank on February 9.

Kei Moriya married Japan's Princess Ayako.

Kei Moriya and Princess Ayako on their wedding day.
Kei Moriya and Princess Ayako. Reuters

Japanese Princess Ayako and Kei Moriya, an employee of shipping company Nippon Yusen, married on October 29, 2018.

Ayako renounced her royal title as princess to marry the commoner but told press that she was "filled with joy to get married."

In Japan, only women who marry commoners must renounce their royal status. Men who marry commoners are allowed to stay in the family.

King Maha Vajiralongkorn of Thailand married his personal bodyguard and longtime partner Gen. Suthida Tidjai, now known as Queen Suthida.

Thailand's King Maha Vajiralongkorn and Queen Suthida on their wedding day.
Thailand's King Maha Vajiralongkorn presents a gift to his Queen Suthida at Ampornsan Throne Hall in Bangkok at their wedding on May 1, 2019. Bureau of the Royal Household via AP

On May 1,2019, the king of Thailand married Suthida Tidjai in a lavish surprise ceremony where he poured sacred water on her head. The event took people by surprise because the royal palace never acknowledged the pair's relationship.

Suthida worked as a flight attendant on Thai Airways and later became a general in Thailand's army before joining Vajiralongkorn's security detail.

Businessman Edoardo "Edo" Mapelli Mozzi is an Italian count, but he married into royalty when he wed Princess Beatrice in July 2020.

Princess Beatrice and Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi on their wedding day.
Princess Beatrice and Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi. Benjamin Wheeler

Beatrice began dating Mapelli Mozzi, who comes from a family of Italian aristocrats, in the fall of 2018, but the two had known each other for much longer and been family friends for years.

Beatrice and Mapelli Mozzi married in a socially distanced ceremony on July 17, 2020, which was attended by their parents, the Queen, and the late Duke of Edinburgh.

The couple welcomed their first baby, Sienna Elizabeth Mapelli Mozzi, in September.

Japan's Princess Mako met her husband, Kei Komuro, in college. They held a press conference on Tuesday announcing their marriage.

Princess Mako of Japan with husband Kei Komuro at a press conference to announce their marriage.
Japan's former princess Mako (right) with her husband Kei Komuro at a press conference announcing their marriage. NICOLAS DATICHE/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

The low-key wedding, which followed a four-year-long engagement, came weeks after the Imperial Royal Household announced the princess had suffered post-traumatic stress disorder from the public scrutiny surrounding her relationship, The Japan Times reported.

The controversy stemmed from Komuro's mother's failure to repay 4.3 million yen, or around $35,000, to her ex-fiancé. Komuro issued a 24-page statement in 2021 where he said he would settle the payment.

"The flow of arbitrary criticism of Kei's actions, as well as one-sided speculation that ignored my feelings, made falsehoods somehow seem like reality and turn into an unprovoked story that spread," Mako said at the press conference.

Mako also rejected the $1.3 million payout offered to female members of the family who lose royal status by marrying "commoners."

Read the original article on Insider

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting