Commoners Who Became Royals

Fairy tales do come true, and men and women can become princes and princesses, kings and queens. There’s hope for us all!

Grace Kelly, Princess of Monaco

In 1956, American actress Grace Kelly married Prince Rainer III of Monaco and became the Princess of Monaco. The couple had three children and were married until Grace’s death in 1982 following a car accident.

Charlene Wittstock, Princess of Monaco

It happened twice in one family. Charlene Wittstock was a South African Olympic swimmer who met Grace Kelly’s son, Prince Albert II in 2000. They eventually married in 2011 and had twins in 2014. Her title is Princess of Monaco.

Kate Middleton, Duchess of Cambridge

Kate Middleton was a college student at University of St. Andrews and met Prince William in 2001. They married 10 years later and have a son, Prince George, and a daughter, Princess Charlotte. There’s a third on the way. Maybe twins? The Duchess of Cambridge is keeping it secret.

Silvia Sommerlath, Queen of Sweden

Silvia was a hostess during the 1972 Olympics where she met the future king of Sweden, Prince Carl Gustaf. They married in 1976 and have three children who themselves have five children.

Daniel Westling, Prince of Sweden, Duke of Västergötland

Crown Princess Victoria is next in line for the throne and met her husband Daniel in 2001. He was a gym owner and trainer at the time and she was a client. The pair married in 2010 and have two kids.

Michiko Shōda, Empress of Japan

Michiko met Crown Prince Akihito, at a tennis match in 1957. They married two years later and Michiko became the first commoner to marry into Japan’s Imperial Family. They remain married to this day and have three grown children.

Masako Owada, Crown Princess of Japan

Here’s another twice-in-one-family story! Masako was a Harvard graduate, studied law at the University of Tokyo and international relations at Oxford University. She met Prince Naruhito (Prince Akihito and Michiko Shoda’s son) and refused his marriage proposal. Twice. They finally married in 1993 and have one daughter.

Máxima Zorreguieta, Queen of the Netherlands

Máxima speaks three languages and has a degree in economics. In 1999, she met Prince Willem-Alexander and didn’t know he was a prince, since he never told her. They got married three years later (by then she knew he was a prince) and have three children, all girls.

Letizia Ortiz, Queen of Spain

Prince Felipe VI found his future bride, Letizia Ortiz, who was a journalist and news anchor. And divorced, to boot. They married in 2004, and Prince Felipe became king in 2014. They have two daughters, and Letizia is the first commoner to be Queen of Spain.

Mary Elizabeth Donaldson, Crown Princess of Denmark, Countess of Monpezat

Mary Elizabeth met Prince Frederik at a bar during the 2000 Summer Olympics. They apparently hit it off, because just four years later, they tied the knot. They have four children.

Marie Agathe Odile Cavallier, Princess of Denmark

What? A THIRD royal family with commoners mixing in? You got it. Marie met Prince Joachim (Frederik’s brother) at a party and married in 2008. They have two children together.

Rania Al-Abdullah, Queen of Jordan

Rania worked at Apple and Citibank before she met Abdullah bin al-Hussein in 1992. They were married a year later and have four children. Abdullah became the King of Jordan in 1999 and Rania became queen.

Meghan Markle, A royal to-be

Prince Harry, “The Spare” met American actress Meghan Markle, who tamed his roving eye and bachelor ways. She likely will become the Duchess of Sussex when the pair marry in May 2018.

Diana Spencer, Princess of Wales

Even though no one had heard of Diana Spencer until her engagement to Prince Charles, it was always assumed she was a commoner, as the English rose taught pre-school and was never seen on the social circuit. In reality, Spencer came from a noble family, her father carrying the title of “earl.” Charles and Diana were married for more than 16 years before divorcing. They had two sons, William and Harry (The heir and “the spare”) and sadly, Diana’s life was cut short in a horrifying car crash in Paris in 1997.

Wallis Warfield Simpson, Duchess of Windsor

American socialite Wallis Simpson met Prince Edward in 1931. She was already into her second marriage when she started an affair with Edward three years later, in 1934. Although he later became King of England, he abdicated the throne for the woman he loved, and they remained married until his death in 1972.

What are you waiting for? Get out there and get mingling! You never know who you might meet.