7 Times Royals Married Commoners and Proved Love Always Wins
Unless you've been living under a rock, you already know that Prince Harry and Meghan Markle announced their engagement today which means we are only mere months away from their royal wedding.
But we've been excited about this moment from the very beginning of their relationship not just because they are a picture-perfect couple, but also because their marriage would prove that you don't need to be a princess to find your prince. At the end of the day, love matters a lot more than royal titles, and those two lovebirds are the living proof.
Markle, who was born in Los Angeles, will not be the first commoner to make it into a royal family. There are several examples throughout history and from all around the globe that will warm your heart—one even ended up with the royal renouncing his crown to marry his significant other.
Here are seven, soon to be eight, couples whose love was stronger than antiquated traditions.
The Duke of Windsor and Bessie Wallis Warfield Simpson
The Duke of Windsor only reigned as "King Edward VIII" for under a year before he abdicated to marry Bessie Wallis Warfield Simpson, a twice-divorced American, in 1936. He became the first monarch in British history to do so voluntarily. At the time, the king, who is also the head of the Church of England, couldn't marry a divorced woman because of the church's doctrines against divorce, so he renounced his throne and married Simpson six months later in France.
Prince Rainier and Grace Kelly
In April 1956, Monaco's Prince Rainier married Philadelphia-native actress Grace Kelly in what was dubbed "the wedding of the century." As a result, Kelly acquired 142 official titles (yes, you read that right), that were formally recited after the couple's civil ceremony.
Prince Carl Philip of Sweden and Sofia Hellqvist
Their love story started in 2010 when they were introduced by mutual friends at a restaurant. At the time, Hellqvist was a model and reality TV contestant, which initially raised some eyebrows among the royal pack in Sweden. But the couple proved their critics wrong and married in 2015 in a lavish ceremony in Stockholm and Hellqvist is now known as Princess Sofia of Sweden.
King Felipe VI and Letizia Ortiz
Born in a middle-class family in Oviedo, Spain, Ortiz went on to become a successful journalist and TV news anchor. She married her first husband in 1998 and divorced him a year later. Ortiz met King Felipe VI through a mutual friend and the couple began dating secretly. They tied the knot in May 2004 and Ortiz became Queen of Spain after King Juan Carlos abdicated the throne to King Felipe in 2014.
Prince Albert and Charlene Wittstock
Former professional swimmer Charlene Wittstock was born in Zimbabwe but she grew up in South Africa for which she competed at the 2000 Sydney Olympics. She met Prince Albert at a sporting event in Monaco in 2000, and he proposed a decade later with a stunning Maison Repossi pear-shaped diamond ring.
Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden and Daniel Westling
Former fitness instructor Daniel Westling met his princess in a gym in Stockholm. He was actually her trainer when they fell in love. Even her father, the King of Sweden, was reportedly against their relationship because of Westling's modest origins and lack of royal lineage. But at the end, love won and Princess Victoria married Westling in June 2010 in Stockholm.
Prince William and Kate Middleton
It's sometimes easy to forget that Kate Middleton doesn't come from royalty because we're so used to seeing her in her official role. Middleton was born in Reading, Berkshire, but she went to school at the University of St Andrews in Fife, Scotland, where she met Prince William. The couple started dating only after Middleton broke up with her previous boyfriend. And the rest, as they say, is history.