Royals | Celebrity

5 Modern Day Royal Love Stories That Will Make You Believe In Fairy Tales

Back in the day, it was not the norm for a member of any royal family to marry a commoner.

In the rare occasion that they did, they would be forced to abdicate the throne, give up their title, or lose their rank in the line of succession.

In today's modern world, that has changed a lot.

Princes and princesses of the world's royal families are choosing to marry people they love regardless of their ethnic background or status in society.

Here are five modern-day real-life fairy tales that will bring out the hopeless romantic in you and make you swoon.

1. Prince William and Kate Middleton

Young Prince William and Kate Middleton
Business Insider UK

Many of us only became familiar with Catherine the Duchess of Cambridge, formerly known as Kate Middleton, when she wed Prince William in 2011, but she's been a part of the heir's life for a decade before that.

The meeting

William and Kate met in 2001 while they were both pursuing a degree in art history at St. Andrew's University in Scotland, and living in the same residence hall.

However, they reportedly did not start a romantic relationship for another two years.

Prince William and Kate
ABC

According to a royal historian, Kate curtsied when she first met William, and it made him spill his drink all over himself.

Kate admitted that she "went bright red and scuttled off, feeling very shy" after meeting William, but she got over that really fast.

The couple had their fair share of ups and downs, and even broke up in 2007, but that just made them stronger.

The Proposal

After eight years of dating, William decided to bend down on one knee and ask his best friend to marry him.

The couple were on vacation in Kenya in October 2010 when the sweet moment took place.

William and Kate after their engagement
Woman Magazine

Will and Kate were reportedly staying in a log cabin at the foothills of Mount Kenya, when he surprised her with his mom, the late Princess Diana's sapphire ring.

"I didn’t really plan it that far in advance. I just knew I wanted it to feel comfortable where I did it," Will explained.

The wedding

As many of us witnessed on April 29, 2011, Prince William and Kate Middleton tied the knot in a beautiful ceremony at London's Westminster Abbey.

The $34 million event was televised for the whole world to watch, and the couple looked picture perfect. Kate wore an Alexander McQueen gown, while the royal groom wore an Irish Guards colonel's uniform.

Prince William and Kate Middleton

Following the ceremony, the couple made their way to the Buckingham Palace in a carriage processional as two million people lined the streets.

The ceremony and both the lunchtime and evening reception had star-studded guest lists, including David and Victoria Beckham, Rowan Atkinson, Elton John, and members of other reigning royal families.

Pop star Ellie Goulding performed a two-hour set, and the night ended with a fireworks show.

Nearly seven years after the memorable day, the Duke and Duchess are now parents of three children: Prince George, Princess Charlotte, and a newborn son whose name hasn't been announced yet.

2. Prince Albert II of Monaco and Princess Charlene Wittstock

Prince Albert and Charlene Wittstock
PopSugar UK

Growing up in Zimbabwe and South Africa, Charlene had dreams of becoming an Olympic athlete, not a princess.

Today, she is both.

The meeting

In 2000, Charlene represented South Africa at the Sydney Olympics, and that same year, she met His Serene Highness Prince Albert II of Monaco at a swimming competition in Monte Carlo.

Prince Albert and Charlene Wittstock
The Royal Corrspondent

It wasn't until 2006 that they were officially spotted together. They made their first official appearance at the Automobile Club party after the F1 Grand Prix in Monaco City.

Charlene has been accompanying Albert, who is the late Grace Kelly's only son, to events ever since.

The proposal

Famous for his bachelor lifestyle, Prince Albert surprised many when he announced his engagement to the swimming champion turned school teacher in June 2010.

Prince Albert and Charlene engagement photo
colunas.revistaepoca.globo.com

According to The Star, a South African newspaper, Albert called Charlene's father, Michael Wittstock, to ask for his blessing before he proposed.

"He called me just before kick-off and I wanted to get the whole thing over and done with," Michael joked about chatting with Albert right before his country's national soccer team played a decisive World Cup game against France.

Due to palace protocol, the couple had to wait at least six months after their engagement before walking down the aisle.

The wedding

Albert and Charlene's wedding was held on July 2, 2011, and it was one for the history books.

It was the first royal wedding of a reigning prince since Grace Kelly married his father, Prince Rainier III in 1956. So as expected, a two-day public holiday was declared.

The couple actually had a civil wedding the day before the religious ceremony, which didn't stick to tradition and took place in the main courtyard of the palace instead of a church.

Prince Albert and Charlene on their wedding day
writeopinions.com

Charlene wore an Armani Privé gown, and people couldn't resist comparing her to her late mother-in-law.

To honor Charlene's roots, part of the ceremony was held in Arikaans, a language spoken in her native South Africa.

Like William and Kate's glamorous nuptials, Albert and Charlene's reception ended with fireworks, but it wasn't before guests, including royalty, athletes, fashion designers, were treated to performances by famous artists like Andrea Bocelli.

The couple announced that they were expecting their first child in 2014. A few months later, it was revealed that they were going to be having twins. On December 10, 2014, Princess Gabriella and Crown Prince Jacques were born.

3. Prince Carl Philip of Sweden and Princess Sofia Hellqvist

Prince Carl and Princess Sofia
Hello Magazine

The Windsors aren't the only royal family who cause a frenzy with their every move. The media is totally taken by the Swedish royal family, especially Prince Carl Philip.

His love life has been carefully followed by the press, so when he finally found the woman he wanted to marry, it was turned into a big deal.

The meeting

Prince Carl Philip, the only son of King Carl XVI Gustaf, met model and reality TV star Sofia Hellqvist in 2010, and it was a surprisingly normal encounter.

Prince Carl and Sofia
elpais.com

They both happened to be dining at the same restaurant, and it turns out, the friends they were with knew each other.

"We started with a shy greeting and everything followed," said Carl Philip once said.

Despite her non-traditional past as a celebrity bombshell, Sofia was welcomed into the royal family with open arms, and after four years of dating, the prince popped the question.

The proposal

Carl Philip and Sofia announced their engagement on June 27, 2014.

Princess Sofia's engagement ring
Pinterest

The prince revealed that he took his sweetheart by surprise when he proposed in the morning, but he wasn't feeling confident.

"I was nervous," the prince said of the proposal. "I woke up several times the night before, I don't know if Sofia noticed. I wanted it to be a surprise."

The gorgeous brilliant-cut ring was custom designed by the royal for his future wife.

The wedding

The couple's 2015 wedding was a national celebration, and was even broadcast live on TV.

The ceremony took place at the Royal Chapel, Slottskyrkan, in Stockholm. Afterwards, the prince and the new Duchess of Värmland were part of a horse-drawn carriage procession through part of the city.

Prince Carl and Princess Sofia
The Daily Beast

Like Prince William and Kate, Carl Philip and the new princess appeared on the palace balcony, where the prince gave a brief speech.

The reception took place at the palace's White Sea Hall, and featured performances by the late Swedish DJ Avicii and the duo Icona Pop.

Carl Philip, who is fourth in line to the throne, has since welcomed two children, Princes Alexander and Gabriel, with Sofia. Their children are currently fifth and sixth in line for succession of the Swedish throne.

4. King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands and Queen Maxima Zorreguieta

King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima
pinterest

They may not be as popular as Will and Kate, but King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands and Queen Maxima Zorreguieta have a love story that's just as adorable.

The meeting

King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima's fairytale goes all the way back to 1999.

Willem-Alexander and Maxima
Pinterest

The couple met at the Seville Spring Fair in Seville, Spain. Just like in the movies, the then-prince didn't tell his future wife that he was royalty at first.

He eventually came clean, and Maxima, who worked as a banker, admitted that she thought he was joking. Still, this did not discourage her from dating him after they met again in New York.

The proposal

On March 30, 2001, Willem-Alexander's mother, then-reigning Queen Beatrix, announced that her son was engaged to Maxima.

Willem-Alexander and Maxima
isgeschiedenis.nl

According to reports, the couple were rollerblading and Willem-Alexander managed to lure Maxime to a nearby pond where he had hidden some roses and champagne.

He reportedly proposed in English, so Maxima, who was born in Argentina, would fully understand what he was saying.

He gave her a platinum set ring featuring a stunning unique orange diamond in the middle, surrounded by two emerald-cut diamonds.

The wedding

Despite the controversy that surrounded their relationship (Maxima's father was a cabinet member under President Jorge Rafael Videla's military dictatorship), the couple still managed to make it down the aisle.

Willem-Alexander and Maxima tied the knot on February 2, 2002. Two days before the big day, a dinner and ball with 500 guests was held at the palace to celebrate the upcoming wedding as well as the Queen's 64th birthday.

The bride's parents did not attend the wedding, but it didn't put a damper on the couple's day as many of her family members were present.

Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima
Hello Magazine

Willem-Alexander wore a full captain Royal Netherlands Navy uniform while Maxima donned a beautiful silk Valentino gown with an impressive 16.4 foot lace train.

The bride and groom left the ceremony in a horse-drawn carriage then appeared on the palace balcony to greet the crowds and share their first public kiss.

The day after the wedding, a concert and luncheon was held in honor of the newlyweds. The orchestra played a tango as a surprise for the bride.

16 years later, Willem-Alexander and Maxima are the heads of the Dutch monarchy, and have welcomed four children, Catharina-Amalia, Princess of Orange, Princess Alexia of the Netherlands, and Princess Ariane.

5. Prince Harry and Meghan Markle

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle
Town and Country Magazine

Prince Harry is the opposite of his older brother Prince William. He was notorious for being a playboy during his roaring 20s, but he eventually cleaned up his act and met his future bride, Meghan Markle.

The meeting

The couple met in Toronto, Canada in 2016. Meghan lived in the city where her show Suits was filmed, and Harry was in town to promote the Invictus Games.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle
Business Insider

Those who are close to the couple told the media that the pair "fitted in straight away" after they were set up on a blind date by a close female friend.

"We were very quietly dating for about six months before it became news, and I was working during that whole time, and the only thing that changed was people’s perception," the actress told Vanity Fair.

Although E! News claims that they can confirm Violent won Westenholz, daughter of Prince Charles' friend, is the "real heroine of this love story," neither Meghan nor Harry have backed this up.

After months of speculation, the couple finally made their official debut at the 2017 Invictus Games.

The proposal

Two months after their whirlwind romance was finally confirmed, the couple announced their engagement on November 27, 2018.

Kensington Palace confirmed the happy news and revealed that Harry asked for the blessing of the Queen and Meghan's parents before popping the question.

Prince Harry and Meghan
viberadio.com

During their interview following the announcement, the couple told the BBC that it happened a few weeks ago at their cottage in Kensington Palace.

“It was a cozy night,” Meghan told the BBC. “We were roasting chicken. It was just an amazing surprise. It was so sweet and natural and very romantic. He got down on one knee.”

Harry added: “It was a really nice moment — it was just the two of us. I think I managed to catch her by surprise.”

Meghan then excitedly said: “Yes, as a matter of fact I could barely let you finish proposing! I said, ‘Can I say yes now!’ ”

The three carat yellow-gold engagement ring was designed by Harry, and it includes one diamond sourced from Bostwana, where the couple vacationed, and two smaller stones from Princess Diana's collection.

The wedding

Unlike the rest of the couples on this list, Harry and Meghan haven't said "I do" yet. The couple have set their wedding day for May 19, 2018, and the ceremony will take place at St. George's Chapel at noon EDT in the grounds of Windsor Castle.

Like his brother and father's wedding, Prince Harry's big day will also be televised.

Prince Harry and Meghan engagement shoot
Telegraph/Kensington Palace

The chapel will be decorated by London Florist Phillippa Graddock, and they plan to use white garden roses, peonies, foxgloves, as well as branches of beech, birch and hornbeam.

Two receptions will be held after the carriage procession, one by Her Majesty and another by Prince Charles.

No details have been revealed about the bride and grooms attires, but Harry is expected to be wearing a uniform.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle
YouTube

As for the menu, the only thing that has been revealed so far is the cake, which will be made by pastry chef Claire Ptak. The lemon elderflower cake will feature buttercream and fresh flowers as decoration.

It is rumored that the evening's entertainment will be provided by the Spice Girls, Elton John, Ed Sheeran or Sam Smith, but nothing has been officially confirmed.

The couple have asked their guests to forgo giving them gifts and instead consider donating to one of seven charities they have chosen.

We can't wait to watch it from across the pond!

Awa has been writing for Shared for 3 years. She is a serial snacker who unapologetically loves celebrity gossip. Drop her a line at awa@shared.com.