Five Commoners Who Became Princesses

marie claire

Queen Letizia of Spain
There aren’t any other monarchs who can lay claim to having reported from the front line. The granddaughter of a taxi driver, Letizia Ortiz was a divorced TV news presenter (who had reported live from New York's Ground Zero on September 11) when she met (then) Crown Prince Felipe of Spain while she was covering the sinking of an oil tanker (random, we agree) in 2002. The following year, she would travel to Iraq to report on the conflict there before marrying Felipe in 2004. In June this year, the couple ascended to the throne after Felipe's scandal-plagued father, Carlos abdicated.

Queen Letizia of Spain


Crown Princess Mette-Marit of Norway
It's not just bars where you might bump into a single royal on the lookout for a tiara-ready helpmate – try the beer queue at your next festival. Mette-Marit Tjessem Hoiby first met her future husband, Crown Prince Haakon, at Norway's biggest music festival in the late '90s. While rock might have been on the cards, romance wasn't and the duo didn't actually get together until 1999 (at another music festival, natch) by which time the former waitress had become a single mother. Add her self-confessed history of heavy partying and Mette-Marit certainly makes for one of Europe's most, ahem, colourful princesses.


Princess Marie of Denmark
Queen Margrethe of Denmark must surely be used to her sons Frederik and Joachim bringing home commoner girlfriends by now. Besides Frederik and "Our Mary", Prince Joachim was married to Hong Kong-born sales and marketing exec Alexandra Manley for a decade before their divorce. In 2002, supposedly during a hunting trip, Joachim is said to have met Marie Cavallier, an economics graduate who had logged various stints at marketing and advertising agencies in Europe, who these days goes by the title Princess Marie of Denmark (they walked down the aisle in 2008).

Princess Marie Denmark


Marie-Chantal Claire, Crown Princess of Greece, Princess of Denmark
Sure, she was a commoner before getting hitched to Pavlos, Crown Prince of Greece, but Marie-Chantal has some serious social pedigree. The daughter of a duty-free shipping magnate, the heiress spent her formative years in Hong Kong and at Switzerland's ultra-exclusive Le Rosy boarding school before taking a job with Andy Warhol when she was 16. In 1992, Marie-Chantal met Pavlos on a blind date and the couple wed in 1995. Her wedding dress was suitably Cinderella-worthy: It reportedly took 25 of Valentino's seamstresses to create her ivory silk wedding gown. These days Marie-Chantal spends her time designing kids' clothes.


Princess Tatiana of Greece and Denmark
Want to snag a royal bloke? Take up some sort of pursuit pastime that involves the outdoors (think hunting, music festivals, etc). Like Marie-Chantal, Crown Princess of Greece, Princess of Denmark, Venezuelan-born Tatiana Blatnik reportedly met her prince (in this case Prince Nikolaos of Greece and Denmark) in the great outdoors, in this case, during a session on the slopes during a skiing trip in 2003. The former events planner for Diane von Furstenberg tied the knot with her 40-year-old royal flame in 2010. Nice.

Princess Tatiana


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