Monday, 15 June 2015

Sofia Hellqvist, Kate Middleton, and 8 More Non-Royals Who Have Married Into Royalty

Sofia Hellqvist, Kate Middleton, and 8 More Non-Royals Who Have Married Into Royalty

When former reality TV star Sofia Hellqvist swapped vows with Sweden's Prince Carl Philip on Saturday[1], she certainly wasn't the first commoner to marry into royalty—she wasn't even the first in the family. Carl Philip's older sister, Crown Princess Victoria, who's next in line to the throne, married her former personal trainer, Daniel Wesling, in 2010, and his younger sister, Princess Madeleine, married U.S.-Brit businessman Christopher O'Neill in 2013.


The Swedish royal family: Sofia Hellqvist and Prince Carl Philip, Princess Madeleine and Christopher O'Neill, Crown Princess Victoria and Daniel Wesling.

More than half a century earlier, Welsh model Lilian Davies was already married when she met Sweden's Prince Bertil in London in 1943. Due to objections from the prince's father the two would wait 30 years to marry. Here she is between Princesses Madeline and Victoria in 2001.

More recently, of course, Kate Middleton—the daughter of a former British Airways flight dispatcher and air stewardess—married Prince William, second in line to the British throne.

Here are five more commoners who rose in the ranks to royalty on their wedding day:

Letizia Ortiz Rocasolano & Prince Felipe of Spain

When she said "I do" to Prince Felipe in 2004, Letizia—a well-known TV presenter—become the first commoner in Spanish history to be in line to become queen.

Rania al-Yassin & King Abdullah II of Jordan

Queen Rania, a doctor's daughter, worked for Citibank and Apple before her royal wedding. She met her future groom at a dinner party, and they would announce their engagement two months later.

Charlene Wittstock & Prince Albert II of Monaco

The former South African swimmer met her prince at a swimming event in Monaco in 2000, but they wouldn't make their official debut as a couple until the 2006 Winter Olympic Games in Turin, Italy.

Mary Elizabeth Donaldson & Prince Frederik of Denmark

When this couple met at a Sydney bar during the 2000 summer Olympics, Mary Elizabeth—an advertising executive-turned-estate agent—was unaware of the prince's royal status.

Michiko Shoda & Crown Prince Akihito of Japan

The daughter of a prominent industrial and academic family, Michiko met the then heir to the throne at a tennis match in the summer of 1957. She was the first commoner to marry into the Japanese imperial family in modern times.
Photos: Getty.

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