15 American Women Who Married Into Royal Families
1. Grace Kelly married Prince Rainier III of Monaco
Renowned for her elegance and beauty, Academy Award-winning actress Grace Kelly met her future husband, Prince Rainier III of Monaco, during a photo shoot at the Cannes Film Festival. The rest is history - the two were engaged by Christmas and married in April 1956. Kelly gave up acting when she became a princess. She had three children with the Prince before her tragic death in a car crash in 1982. She was only 52 years old.
2. Marie-Chantal Miller married Pavlos, the Crown Prince of Greece
As a jet-setting heiress, the daughter of American-British billionaire Robert Miller, Marie-Chantal Miller grew up a true citizen of the world, living everywhere from Hong Kong to New York. Miller met Pavlos, Crown Prince of Greece in New Orleans. "I knew that he was the person I would marry," Miller told Vanity Fair. They married on July 1, 1995. Unlike Grace Kelly, Miller found her own career later, a children's clothing brand, called Marie-Chantal. Also, she is the mother of five kids.
3. Alexandra Miller married German Prince Alexander von Fürstenberg
Apparently marrying princes runs in the family, because Marie-Chantal Miller's younger sister Alexandra Miller, also wed royalty. Just months after Marie-Chantal married Crown Prince Pavlos, Alexandra married German Prince Alexander von Fürstenberg in October 1995. The couple had two children but divorced in 2002. Now, Alexandra is a furniture designer and remarried to architectural designer Dax Miller.
4. Famous Wallis Simpson married Edward VIII, the King of England
Meghan Markle is not the first divorced American woman to marry into a royal family — that distinction goes to Wallis Simpson. While still being married to her second husband, Wallis started an affair with King Edward VIII. When they decided to marry, the Church of England didn't approve. King Edward VIII famously abdicated the throne to marry Wallis in 1936. King George VI, Queen Elizabeth’s father, took the throne instead. And Edward and Wallis became the Duke and Duchess of Windsor.
5. Meghan Markle married Prince Harry of Wales
Meghan Markle is the latest American woman to become a princess. Being not only American, but also divorced and of mixed race, Meghan made all the headlines last year when Britain’s Prince Harry asked her to marry him. As is now known to all, Meghan had already married once and it ended in 2013. She was then introduced to Prince Harry by a mutual friend in 2016. A year and a half later, Prince Harry proposed. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex were married at Windsor Castle on May 19, 2018.
6. Rita Hayworth married Prince Aly Khan
As one of Hollywood's brightest stars, Rita Hayworth married five times. Prince Aly Khan, son of the spiritual leader of Ismaili Muslims, was her third husband. She had just ended her relationship with Orson Welles when she married Prince Aly Khan. Unfortunately, their marriage only lasted a little less than four years and they had one daughter together.
7. Lisa Halaby married King Hussein of Jordan
Lisa Halaby, a.k.a Queen Noor of Jordan, was an urban planner and architectural designer, working at Royal Jordanian Airlines. There she met King Hussein of Jordan at an airport dedication to the King's late wife, Queen Alia. After a six-week courtship, Halaby married King Hussein in 1978. She gave up her career and instead embarked on a life of public service.
8. Jacqueline Kennedy’s younger sister Lee Radziwill married Polish Prince Stanislaw Radziwill
Compared to her elder sister Jacqueline Kennedy, Caroline Lee Radziwill seemed to have a more inherent sense of fashion and style. 85-year-old Caroline married three times and Polish Prince Stanislaw Radziwill was her second husband. They married on March 19, 1959, and had two children before divorcing in 1974. Rumors claimed that Caroline had an affair with Aristotle Onassis first, before he later married Jackie, making Caroline furious in the process.
9. Kelly Rondestvedt married Hubertus, Hereditary Prince of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha
Before becoming a German princess, Kelly Rondestvedt was an investment banker in NYC. She met her future husband Hubertus, Hereditary Prince of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, in an NYC restaurant. Rumors said she didn't know that Hubertus was actually a prince until months later! The couple married in 2009 and now have three children.
10. Sarah Butler married Prince Zeid bin Ra'ad, the Crown Prince of Iraq
Before becoming a princess, Sarah Butler worked for the United Nations, in the Department of Peacekeeping Operations. It seemed that she might not be the most likely candidate to marry a Middle Eastern prince. Nonetheless, she found her happiness in 2000 when she married Prince Zeid bin Ra'ad, the Crown Prince of Iraq.
11. Kendra Spears married Prince Rahim Aga Khan
Reportedly, Kendra Spears was introduced to her husband Prince Rahim Aga Khan by Naomi Campbell. After years spent modeling for Prada, Calvin Klein, Chanel and so on, Spears became a princess in 2013. The couple now live in Switzerland and have two children. Spears still works as a model.
12. Hope Cooke married the last King of Sikkim
In 1959, 20-year-old college student, Hope Cooke met Palden Thondup Namgyal, the Crown Prince of Sikkim, at a bar in India. They married two years later. Reportedly, the relationship was already over by the time Sikkim was annexed to India in 1975, but they officially divorced in 1980.
13. Ariana Austin married Prince Joel Makonnen
Ariana Austin, known as Princess Ariana Makonnen was an American writer, arts manager, and philanthropist. In 2005, she met her future husband Joel Makonnen in a nightclub in Washington, D.C. Joel Makonnen is the great-grandson of the famous last Ethiopian emperor, Haile Selassie I. The couple married in September 2017.
14. Olivia Wilde married an Italian prince, Prince Tao Ruspoli, when she was only 19
"The wedding was a secret," Olivia Wilde said in an interview. "It was all about the intimacy of the promise we were making." Olivia Wilde married Prince Tao Ruspoli 6 months after she met him in 2003. But eight years later, they called it quits. Now, Wilde has two kids with actor Jason Sudeikis: Otis and Daisy.
15. Joan Douglas Dillon married Prince Charles of Luxembourg
Joan Dillon's father was then U.S. Secretary of the Treasury, C. Douglas Dillon. The whole family moved to France because her father had been appointed an Ambassador to France. Prince Charles of Luxembourg was her second husband and she was the first commoner to marry into the royal family of Luxembourg. The couple had two kids.