Royal couples that will make you forget all about Prince Harry & Meghan Markle

Royal weddings are the stuff Disney movies and daydreams are made of, so it's no surprise that Prince Harry's engagement to American actress Megan Markle (and their subsequent wedding) captured headlines across the globe. Now that the second (and last) child of the late Princess Diana and Prince Charles of Wales has walked down the aisle, you may find yourself jonesing for a little more royal romance. Fear not: there are plenty of other regal couples living out their happily-ever-after. Just like Markle, many of these princesses didn't come from royal lineage, and a few were even American-made. 

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge William and Catherine

Who could forget the fairy-tale nuptials of Prince William and commoner Kate Middleton? The college sweethearts met while at St. Andrews University — which just so happens to be coined 'Britain's top match-making university,' according to ABC News — and were friends before they began dating. The pair even lived together as friends, and the prince, to his credit, pulled out all the stops to woo his bride-to-be.

"When I was trying to impress Kate, I was trying to cook these amazing fancy dinners and what would happen was I would burn something, something would overspill, something would catch fire," Prince William said in an interview with Sky News following the engagement.

The pair even split for a bit, but this royal couple was meant to be. After years of dating, the prince popped the question in Kenya with his mother Princess Diana's engagement ring. The happy Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have two children, Prince George and Princess Charlotte, and announced that there will be a third little royal joining the family in 2018.

King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck and Queen Jetsun Pema of Bhutan

The king and queen of the Buddhist kingdom on the Himalayas' eastern edge were a longtime couple and lived together before marrying in a traditional ceremony. According to The Washington Post, King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck, an Oxford graduate, reportedly first met his future bride Jetsun Pema, the daughter of an airline pilot, when she was just 7-years-old (and he was 17). The pair later fell in love — which the king attributes to their shared passion of the arts and the queen's intelligence.

"I have been waiting for quite some time to get married," he told The Washington Post after the ceremony in 2011. "But it doesn't matter when you get married as long as it is to the right person. I am certain I am married to the right person."

The king and queen are not the kind to shy from mixing with their subjects, and can often be found visiting hospitals or schools. The pair are also active on social media. They routinely share photos of their travels, as well as some of the fellow royal guests they've hosted (like Will and Kate). These days, their family photos include an extra person: the pair welcomed their first child in February 2016, a boy who is lovingly referred to as "The Gyalsey" (his full name is Jigme Namgyel Wangchuck).

The Duke and Duchess of Värmland, Prince Carl Philip and Princess Sofia

It's not every day a reality TV star and a prince fall in love, but that's exactly what happened to Prince Carl Philip and Sofia Hellqvist. When the prince was introduced to the Paradise Hotel finalist after coming out of a 10-year relationship, the pair described it as "love at first sight."

"The first thing I noticed about Carl Philip was that he seemed very humble," she told Swedish channel TV4 (via People). "When I got to know him, I saw that he was incredibly natural, very intelligent and very humble."

Prince Carl Philip also gushed about his then-bride-to-be saying, "I don't think I knew the magic of love before I met Sofia. But ever since I met her, I've seen how love can change a person."

Not long after the engagement, the Swedish media jumped on the fact that Hellqvist had previously modeled topless with a boa constrictor. But the princess didn't seem bothered — she told news outlets (via BBC) that she had "long since moved on" and had no regrets. "All these experiences have made me the person I am," Hellqvist said. "I wouldn't have made those choices today."

Upon marriage, Hellqvist became Princess Sofia, Duchess of Värmland. The Duke and Duchess are doting parents to two children, Prince Alexander and Prince Gabriel.

Prince Nikolaos and Princess Tatiana of Greece and Denmark

When most were leaving Greece at the height of economic crisis in 2015, Prince Nikolaos and Princess Tatiana of Greece and Denmark made the decision as a couple to move back — despite the fact his father, the former King Constantine II, had been deposed.

"We came to the conclusion there was nothing stopping us," the prince told GQ (via greekroyalfamily.gr). "We don't have any children yet, so it wasn't a question of putting children in new schools or worrying about how they were going to adapt, so we said if we're going to do it, it's got to be now, and I haven't regretted it at all."

The pair, who married in 2010, seem to be settling into Greek life. Princess Tatiana set about helping local artisans through her company TRIA ETC, and often posts selfies of the couple hiking or taking walks with their dog on her Instagram. Despite marrying into the once-royal family, she insists the pair are as normal as normal can be (although she has been known to sport a tiara now and again — see the above picture).

"I live a very simple life here. I work, I go to the supermarket, I cook, I walk my dog," she told Vogue. "The Greek people have welcomed me like they would anyone else."

King Abdullah II and Queen Rania of Jordan

King Abdullah II and Queen Rania of Jordan met at a dinner party, and married six months later in 1993. Abdullah wasn't originally supposed to be king — it was a shock when his father, before his death, switched his designated successor from his brother to his firstborn son.

"That was obviously a defining moment in my life," the queen said in a 2016 interview with Stellar (via queenrania.jo.) "On the one hand, we were coming to terms with the enormity of losing King Hussein; an inspirational leader and peacemaker. And at the same time, we were dealing with the enormous responsibility we had just been handed — effective immediately. And I wasn't expecting that at the age of 28."

Despite her sudden ascension to the throne, Queen Rania spoke with 60 Minutes about how she insisted on driving her own car, picking up her children from school and mixing with the people of Jordan. Their reign has still been anything but ordinary: King Abdullah has been known to sneak out in disguise to check on his kingdom, and Queen Rania has spearheaded several educational initiatives as well as her own YouTube channel.

"His Majesty is my truest friend, my confidant, my role model," she told Stellar. "I feel truly blessed and grateful for him every day."

Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume of Luxembourg and the Countess Stephanie de Lannoy

When the Grand Duke and Countess of Luxembourg met through mutual friends while on vacation in Germany, the countess said she knew she had met her match.

"I remember the day I met Guillaume I told a friend I had found an exceptional man with whom I shared many things in common," she told outlets (via Hello!) of meeting the prince. "I really did not think such a man could exist. So, of course, I believe in Prince Charming."

Guillaume is expected to succeed his father, Grand Duke Henri, to the throne. Since their 2012 wedding, the pair has kept a relatively low profile. The princess told French magazine Point de Vue in early 2016 (via Hello!) that they don't have any plans on becoming parents yet and that they're still just enjoying time being with one another. As of January 2018, their family unit remains a twosome.

Crown Prince Haakon and Princess Mette-Marit of Norway

Princess Mette-Marit was a single mother when the Crown Prince of Norway swept her off her feet. Since their 2001 wedding, the pair have two children together and are going strong. The heir to the throne and his commoner wife can't help but praise one another in interviews. 

"We're normal and vulnerable people," said the prince in an interview to national newspaper Dagbladet (via Hello!). "Mette has this great talent of connecting with people, so that they open up and feel good. Her empathy is a talent. The same thing happens with the children. If they have problems, they go to her. She knows how to deal with them well."

But the princess was quick to return the compliment stating: "Thanks Haakon but that isn't completely true. The children also go to you asking for advice and help."

The crown princess has also thrived in her role as soon-to-be-heir, championing human rights issues and working as a UNAIDS international goodwill ambassador, telling China's CCTV: "I feel both incredibly fortunate to have met my fantastic husband and to have this platform to work on issues I really, really care about." 

Prince Andrea Casiraghi of Monaco and Tatiana Santo Domingo

Few royals captured the imagination like American-born actress Grace Kelly. Now her grandsons and granddaughters are keeping the glamour of the royal line alive.

One of her grandsons, Prince Andrea (the eldest son of Princess Caroline and Stefano Casiraghi), followed in his grandfather's footsteps, and also fell in love with an American woman. He proposed to his future-bride, New York-born Tatiana Santo Domingo, after several years of dating, according to People, and they got married in 2013. 

Tatiana is the co-owner of an ethical fashion line, Muzungu Sisters, and the couple have two children together, Alexandre Andrea Stefano Casiraghi and India Casiraghi, according to an announcement from royal officials (via Hello!).

The Monaco royals keep a relatively low profile, but Tatiana did open up to Nine in the Mirror before the birth of her second child saying, "I can't wait. I'm a very nostalgic person so I have already forgotten all of the bad sides and only remember the good sides. I'm sure the second the next baby is born I will remember all of the difficult moments again." She said. "But for now, I'm very excited."

Prince Pierre Casiraghi of Monaco and Beatrice Borromeo

It might be hard to imagine royals who don't live in the lap of luxury, but Princess Beatrice Borromeo is content to stay at home cooking and wearing skinny jeans. No tiara for this princess.

"I remember when I first started dating my husband, he was like, 'Do you not have a dress? Are you a girl, or what?" she laughingly told Glamour in an interview. But don't be fooled — she isn't another commoner-turned-royal. Beatrice is an Italian aristocrat, whose family comes from ancient noble lineage.

The younger brother of Prince Andrea Casiraghi, Prince Pierre married Beatrice in a 2015 civil ceremony at the Prince's Palace salon. Later, they held an opulent religious service on the scenic Lake Maggiore in Italy.

That same year, Beatrice, a journalist who holds a masters from Columbia University, became the special envoy for human rights for Fashion 4 Development, a United Nations-affiliated organization that Crown Princess Mette-Marit, Charlize Theron, Naomi Campbell, and model Petra Nemcova are also involved with.

Like the other Monaco royals, the pair tend to keep out of the limelight. The couple welcomed their first child in 2017, which seems to have always been a part of their plan, according to her Glamour interview.

"I come from a big family, and I want children of my own," she said at the time, though noted: "at the moment I'm thinking about putting my career in a place where it would not get threatened by the presence of children."

Prince Rahim Aga Khan and Kendra Spears

Seattle-native and fashion model Kendra Spears was once a fixture of a cat walks and graced the pages of high-end fashion magazines like Italian Vogue. But those days seem to be behind her since she became Princess Salwa Aga Khan, wife of Prince Rahim Aga Khan. His father, Aga Khan IV, is the hereditary Iman (or spiritual leader) of the Shia Ismaili Muslims.

The prince and the princess now have two children, Prince Irfan and Prince Sinan. The proud grandfather, Aga Khan IV, announced the birth of the second prince in 2017 (via the.ismali) stating that the new baby "has brought immense joy to our family." 

But, this isn't the first star-studded wedding for this royal family. According to PeoplePrince Rahim's grandfather, Prince Aly Khan, was married to Hollywood bombshell Rita Hayworth from 1947 to 1953.

Prince Yoel and Ariana Austin

Imagine going out to a nightclub with some friends, meeting a guy, and falling in love. Then, later, you find out he's a prince. That actually happened to Ariana Austin when she met Joel Makonnen.

Makonnen, who's also known as "Prince Yoel," is the great-grandson of Haile Selassie, the last emperor of Ethiopia. The pair met over a decade ago in a Washington nightclub when the prince hit her with what he thought was a stellar pick up line.

"I said, 'You guys look like an ad for Bombay Sapphire,' or whatever the gin was," Makonnen told The New York Times. "Not even five minutes later I said, 'You're going to be my girlfriend.'" Austin, a Harvard graduate of Guyanese decent, also had her own family legacy: her grandfather was the lord mayor of Georgetown, the capital of Guyana.

The prince opened up to her about his past — how he grew up in Switzerland, where his parents were living in exile from Ethiopia after political upheaval. After several years of dating on and off, the prince popped the question and the pair wed in an Ethiopian Orthodox ceremony in 2017. 

Austin shared a photo to her Instagram in December 2017 of the pair celebrating their first Christmas together as a married couple. "#MerryChristmas from us!" she wrote. "It was our first Christmas together in our new place and we're feeling so grateful. Wishing each of you a happy and blessed holiday season xo."