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Kate and other commoners who became queens

Last updated on: November 16, 2010 12:04 IST

Kate and other commoners who became queens

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Their blood may be blue, but then love is blind. With the news of Prince William's engagement to longtime girlfriend Kate Middleton, we take a look at the many royals from across the world who have married commoners.

She's no longer 'Waity Katy'!

With the announcement of her engagement, Prince Williams' girlfriend of eight years Kate Middleton is all set to join Britain's royal household and become a princess next year. And thankfully, it's with the blessings of the Queen -- a century ago, such a decision would mean that the Prince of Wales had to give up his right to the throne.

However, the stiff upper lip of the world's royals seems to have thawed considerably in recent years. In fact, Williams' own father Prince Charles married the erstwhile Camilla Parker Bowles, a commoner, in 2005; both of them are divorcees.

In the following pages, we take a look at other members of royalty whose search for love has ended in the arms of partners from normal walks of life instead of fellow royals.


Image: (Top) Prince William and Kate Middleton, (below) Prince Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall
Photographs: (Top) POOL New and Andrew Winning, both Reuters
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Queen Rania and King Abdullah II of Jordan

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Queen Rania was just another young woman in 1993, pursuing her career in banking and later IT when she met her future husband, then Prince Abdullah bin Al-Hussein of Jordan at a dinner party.

After a whirlwind courtship that lasted only six months, the couple were married that same year and have been together ever since. They have four children together.


Image: Queen Rania and King Abdullah II of Jordan
Photographs: Ali Jarekji/Reuters
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Mary, Crown Princess of Denmark and Frederik, Crown Prince of Denmark

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Formerly Mary Donaldson, the Australian-born Princess met Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark in an Australian pub, during the 2000 Summer Olympics. She was working with an advertising agency at the time.

They maintained a long-distance relationship for a year, after which Mary moved to Europe and they announced their engagement in 2003, followed by marriage in 2004. The royal couple has two children and the Princess is currently pregnant with twins due in January.


Image: Mary, Crown Princess of Denmark and Frederik, Crown Prince of Denmark
Photographs: Michael Dalder/Reuters
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Letizia, Princess of Asturias and Felipe, Prince of Asturias

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Now here's a situation you don't hear of everyday -- a divorcee journalist marrying a prince!

It is believed that Letizia, whose professional achievements includes reporting from the frontlines during the invasion of Iraq, met Felipe when she was covering a 2002 story in the North of Spain. They kept their relationship well under wraps till their wedding in 2003, following which they have had two daughters.

While some conservatives initially frowned upon the fact that Felipe was marrying a divorcee, the Spanish people by and large seem to have taken to their pretty princess from Day One.


Image: Letizia, Princess of Asturias and Felipe, Prince of Asturias
Photographs: Stringer/Reuters
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Princess Maxima of the Netherlands and Willem-Alexander, Prince of Orange

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A former investment banker, Argentinian Maxima Zorreguieta met the future king of the Netherlands at a fair in Seville, Spain back in 1999. It is rumoured that she thought he was joking when he first told her he was a prince!

Soon after that, however, they were in a relationship and the announcement of their marriage initially caused an outcry in Netherlands, as the to-be Princess' father had been a minister under the rule of an Argentinian military dictator who committed several atrocities.

It was only after the Dutch Parliament approved of his marriage plans that Prince Willem-Alexander was able to go ahead with them in 2002, without compromising his position as heir apparent to the throne. The royal couple remain happily married to this day and have three daughters together.


Image: Princess Maxima of the Netherlands and Willem-Alexander, Prince of Orange
Photographs: John Kolesidis/Reuters
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The royal family of Sweden

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Victoria, Crown Princess of Sweden had to bear with years of media speculation regarding her love life before she was married this year to longtime partner Daniel Westling, her personal trainer -- it is believed they have been in a relationship since 2002.

Victoria's father King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden also married a commoner -- her mother Queen Silvia was once a flight attendant and later worked as an educational host during the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich. It was here that she met King Carl, then a prince. After four years of courtship they married in 1976.

The date of Princess Victoria's wedding in June coincided with her parents' 34th anniversary, but her father has been caught up in a media storm in recent weeks, thanks to explosive revelations in a newly-published biography that accuse him of wild partying, several extramarital affairs and other moral transgressions.


Image: (Top) Victoria, Crown Princess of Sweden and Prince Daniel, Duke of Vastergotland, (below) King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden and Queen Silvia
Photographs: (Top) John Kolesidis and (below) Fabrizio Bensch, both Reuters
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Mette-Marit, Crown Princess of Norway and Haakon, Crown Prince of Norway

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Mette-Marit met Prince Haakon at Norway's largest rock festival in the late 1990s.

They were engaged in 2001 and despite the fact that not all of Norway was thrilled at this news, they were married the following year. At the time, the Princess was already mother to a son from a previous relationship, but they have since had two more children of their own.


Image: Mette-Marit, Crown Princess of Norway and Haakon, Crown Prince of Norway
Photographs: Fabrizio Bensch/Reuters
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Princess Lalla Salma and King Mohammed VI of Morocco

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Before Lalla Salma, no women in the royal family of Morocco were conferred with a title.

But King Mohammed VI was so smitten with this pretty computer engineer that he not only made her his wife in 2002, he also bestowed the title of princess upon her. The couple have two children together.


Image: Princess Lalla Salma and King Mohammed VI of Morocco
Photographs: Yousef Allan/Reuters
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Crown Princess Masako and Crown Prince Naruhito of Japan

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And finally, we have Japanese royals Princess Masako and Prince Naruhito.

The daughter of a senior diplomat, Masako worked with her father at the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs. She is believed to have first met the prince when she was a student at the University of Tokyo in 1986.

After nearly a decade of clandestine relations (and, it is rumoured, several proposals from the Naruhito), Masako finally agreed to the wedding and became the Crown Princess of Japan in 1993.


Image: Crown Princess Masako and Crown Prince Naruhito of Japan
Photographs: Ho New / Reuters
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