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15 Royals Who Started Their Lives As Regular People

Everyone dreams about marrying into a royal family and living the rest of their life in luxury, but not very many of us actually make it happen.

These 15 women from humble backgrounds found a literal prince charming and said, "I do."

1. Silvia Sommerlath - Queen of Sweden

Before she was Her Royal Highness Queen Silvia, she was working as a hostess at the 1972 Summer Olympics. That's where she caught the eye of Prince Carl Gustaf. They married just four years later, and she became queen when Carl's father died.

2. Kate Middleton - Duchess of Cambridge

The Maggie Blog

While we know her as "Princess Kate," that's not really true (yet). Middleton was studying art history at university when she met Prince William, and the couple dated off-and-on before finally trying the knot in 2011.

3. Maxima Zorreguieta - Queen of the Netherlands

This queen is an accomplished career woman in her own right, with a degree in economics and experience as the international sales VP at Deutsche Bank.

ABC News

When she met Crown Prince Willem-Alexander in 1999, he only introduced himself as "Alexander," and it took some time before she realized he was royalty.

4. Grace Kelly - Princess of Monaco


Movie stars met monarchy when this silver screen icon married Prince Rainier III of Monaco. Their televised wedding took just 16 minutes, but attracted more than 30 million viewers worldwide.

5. Letizia Ortiz - Queen of Spain

ABC News

Ortiz was a journalist and news anchor before beginning a relationship with Prince Felipe VI, so of course she knew what she was getting into when they married. She became Queen when Felipe's father abdicated in 2014.

6. Jetsun Pema - Queen of Bhutan

Pema's official title is the "Dragon Queen" of the tiny Asian monarchy, and she's actually a distant cousin of her husband (deep breath here) King Jigme Khesar Namyel Wangchuck.

Royal Correspondant

Their relationship caused controversy, because Pema is 10 years younger than her husband, and they married when she was just 21.

7.  Sonja Haraldsen - Queen of Norway

Royal Correspondant

Crown Prince Harald had to keep his love for Haraldsen secret, because she was not a noble and their marriage was forbidden. He swore to his father that he would never marry unless he could be with her, and the king granted him special permission for the engagement.

8. Diana Spencer - Princess of Wales

Daily Express

Sorry, make that "14 Commoners Who Became Royalty By Marriage." Despite being "The People's Princess," Diana came from a noble family, and became Lady Diana in 1975 when her father was made an Earl. She simply upgraded to Princess Diana when she married Prince Charles.

Daily Express

The prince's second spouse, Camilla Parker Bowles, wasn't a commoner either.

9. Charlene Wittstock - Princess of Monaco

Robb Report

Prince Rainier and Princess Grace Kelly's son, Prince Albert II, fell in love with South African Olympic swimmer Charlene Wittstock. The pair were married in 2011, and had a set of fraternal twins in 2014.

10. Mette-Marit Tjessem - Crown Princess of Norway


Tjessem first met King Harald's son Prince Haakon at Quart, Norway's biggest rock festival. They met again years later, when Tjessem had become a single mother, and started their royal romance.

11. Michiko Shoda - Empress of Japan


Shoda was tennis partners with Crown Prince Akihito in the 1950s, and he had to argue with his mother for permission to marry her. Shoda became the first commoner to marry into Japan's royal family. Emperor Akihito recently announced he'll be leaving the throne.


It must run in the family, because Shoda and Akihito's son, Crown Prince Naruhito, also married a commoner, Masako Owada. The prince reportedly proposed three times before Owada said yes.

12. Rania Al-Abdulla - Queen of Jordan

Daily Express

The queen of this Middle Eastern monarchy worked for Citibank and Apple before she married Prince Abdulla bin al-Hussein. The couple met in January 1993, and were married by June.

13. Meghan Markle - (future) Duchess of Sussex

The actress met Prince Harry last summer on a blind date, and the pair clicked almost immediately. We're already getting excited for their upcoming wedding.

US Weekly

Markle broke the mold for the British Royal Family in a number of ways, because she's already once-divorced and a Protestant.

14. Mary Donaldson - Crown Princess of Denmark


Donaldson was a real estate agent from New Zealand before she met Denmark's Crown Prince Frederik. The couple crossed paths at a bar in Sydney, Australia during the 2000 Olympics.

15. Marie Agathe Odile - Princess of Denmark


Another Danish princess with humble beginnings, Odile worked in marketing before a mutual friend introduced her and Prince Joachim. By her own account, Odile was actually very skeptical about marrying into royalty. Well, it's not for everyone.

Share this list if you always wanted to be a princess!

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