Real life fairytale: 10 commoners who married royals

It's no surprise why the world is infatuated with Kate Middleton.

A picture-perfect romance in university took her from commoner to beloved royal, thrusting the beauty into the spotlight and giving her a title that many can only dream of. Now with two adorable children -- and one on the way -- the Duchess' life seems straight out of a storybook.

10 commoners who married royals
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10 commoners who married royals

In 1959, then Japanese Crown Prince Akihito broke tradition by marrying Michiko Shoda in Tokyo. Akihito met Shoda at a tennis match -- it reportedly took years for the now-Emperor to convince his parents to allow him to marry Shoda. 

Aside from their non-traditional romance, the two have been hailed for their progressive leadership. 

She's not just Hollywood royalty.

Beloved actress Grace Kelly married Prince Rainier III of Monaco in 1956 after meeting at the international Cannes Film Festival. The two had three children, and she died in 1982 after she suffered a stroke while driving. 

While studying at the National University of Lesotho in 1997, 'Masenate Mohato Seeiso met King Letsie III of Lesotho and the two became engaged two years later.

The Queen, formerly known as Anna Karabo Mots'oeneng, has been hailed as a pioneer for HIV research and her work with orphanages.

The two now have three children. 

Rania Yassine met Prince Abdallah when she was just 22 and the two married in 1993, when she was 26. Their marriage is just one of the many ways Prince Abdallah has been viewed as trying to mend Jordan and the West. 

Rania does not wear a veil. She's quite outspoken about free speech, equal rights and helping steer Jordan away from its former "human rights record." 

In 2011, Spain's Duchess of Alba, Maria del Rosario Cayetana Fitz-James-Stuart married Alfonso Diez in Seville, Spain.

The Duchess, hailed as one of the "world's most titled nobles," was criticized for marrying Diez who was 25 years younger. The twice-widowed 85-year-old was reportedly worth 2.8 billion Euros, but Diez "renounced any claim to the family fortune," said People.

She died at age 88 in 2014. 

Longtime bachelor Prince Nikolaos of Greece and Denmark met Caracas-born Tatania Blatnik (previously an event planner for designer Diane von Furstenburg) through friends while on a ski vacation in 2003. 

Marrying in 2010, the Georgetown-educated Blatnik soon took the title of Her Royal Highness Princess Tatiana of Greece and Denmark. “I do not feel that I married a prince, with a title. Well actually, yes, he is my prince, but nothing more,” she once said about her title, according to Vogue

In 2004, then Spanish Crown Prince Felipe married Letizia Ortiz in a lavish wedding attended by royals from around the world. Formerly a journalist, Letizia regularly appeared as an anchor covering global events such as 9/11 and the Iraq war. 

Since becoming queen in 2014, she's been praised for her incredible philanthropy work, progressive thinking and enviable style.

In 1972, King Carl Gustaf XVI of Sweden met commoner Silvia Sommerlath -- from Germany and Brazil -- at the 1972 Munich Summer Olympics. 

Marrying in 1976, she "is also the first Swedish royal to have had a career, and worked previously as an interpreter," said Vogue. The two have three children and many grandchildren. 

Like his father, Prince Carl Philip of Sweden also married a commoner, Sofia Hellqvist in 2015.

Formerly a model and reality television star, the Princess met Prince Carl at a restaurant in 2010. Their second child is due in fall 2017. 

Dutch Crown Prince Willem Alexander married Crown Princess Maxima Zorreguieta in 2002 -- she now holds the title of Queen of the Netherlands. 

Reports say the couple met in 1999 at Sevilla Spring Fair in Spain, where the King introduced himself merely as "Alexander." She didn't know his title until much later on. At that time, she was serving as one of Deutsche Bank's VP of sales. 


But she's not the only commoner who has married into a royal family. In fact, there are dozens of other stories of regular people who met the love of their life on a ski trip or at a bar, only to later realize he or she is in line to the throne.

Whether these couples are defying royal tradition, swapping reality shows for tiaras, or marrying a man 25-years younger, here are our favorite real life fairytales.

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