Turns out Cinderella doesn’t need a ball to meet her prince; she could find him in a bar.
At least that’s how Mary Elizabeth Donaldson, formerly of Hobart, Tasmania, now the crown princess of Denmark, found her prince.
And then there’s Kate Middleton. Her 2011 wedding to Prince William captivated millions of people around the globe. The two of them met in college.
Now, actress Meghan Markle will soon join the royal ranks when she marries Prince Harry in the spring of 2018.
We’ve rounded up 18 commoners who married into royal families:
Grace Kelly began her acting career in 1950, but retired in 1956 to marry Rainier III, the prince of Monaco. They had met during a photo shoot at the Cannes Film Festival in 1955, one she almost skipped. The couple had three children.
She suffered a minor stroke while driving and was killed in 1982 when the car went over the edge of a 45-foot embankment.
Charlene is a former South African Olympic swimmer. She met Prince Albert II (Grace Kelly's son) during a swimming meet in Monaco in 2000. The couple went public in 2006, at the opening ceremony of the Winter Olympics, and married in July 2011. Wittstock gave birth to fraternal twins in 2014.
Kate was studying art history at the University of St. Andrews when she met Prince William in 2001. After dating on-and-off for numerous years, the couple married April 29, 2011, and millions of people around the world tuned in to watch the ceremony. They have two children: Prince George, born July 2013, and Princess Charlotte, born May 2015.
Silvia was working as a hostess at the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich when she met then-Prince Carl Gustaf of Sweden. Carl ascended to the throne after the death of his grandfather in 1973. The couple married in 1976 and have three children and five grandchildren.
Before she was a princess, Sofia was a model and reality TV contestant. Prince Carl Phillip (Silvia's son and Victoria's brother) and Sofia began dating in 2010, and married in June 2015. Their first child, Prince Alexander, was born April 2016.
Michiko met her future husband, then-Crown Prince Akihito, while playing tennis in 1957. Though many officials opposed the relationship because of Michiko's lineage -- including Akihito's mother, the empress -- the couple married in 1959, establishing Michiko as the first commoner to marry into the Imperial Family. They have three children.
Masako graduated from Harvard with a degree in economics, and returned to Japan to study law at the University of Tokyo in 1986. That same year, she met Crown Prince Naruhito (Michiko Shōda's son) while attending a tea for the duchess of Lugo. She accepted after three proposals, and the couple wed in 1993. She gave birth to a daughter in 2001, and will become empress consort when her husband ascends the throne.
Máxima holds a degree in economics and was serving as the vice-president of institutional sales at Deutsche Bank in NYC when she met Prince Willem-Alexander in 1999. They met in Spain during the Sevilla Spring Fair, and it was there that the prince introduced himself solely as 'Alexander.' She said she didn't know he was a prince until later. They were married in 2002 and have three daughters. Máxima is considered a commoner though she is a descendant of King Afonso III of Portugal through her father.
Before marrying Prince Felipe VI, Letizia was a journalist and news anchor. The prince and Letizia married in 2004 (her second marriage). The couple has two daughters. Prince Felipe became the king after his father abdicated the throne in 2014, establishing Letizia as the queen of Spain.
Formerly known as Anna Karabo Mots'oeneng, 'Masenate was studying at the National University of Lesotho in 1997, and became engaged to King Letsie III in 1999. They married in 2000 and have three children.
Mary met Prince Frederik at the Slip Inn, a bar in Sydney, during the 2000 Summer Olympics, and the rest is history. Born and raised in Tasmania, She moved to Denmark in 2002 and worked as a project consultant for Microsoft Business Solutions for about a year. The couple married in 2004 and have four children.
Marie had an established career in marketing when she first met Prince Joachim (Prince Frederik's brother) at a party held by a mutual friend. Though she had initial doubts about marrying into the royal family, the couple was married in May 2008. They have two children, and Marie is also stepmother to the prince's two sons from his first marriage.
Tatiana graduated from Georgetown with a degree in sociology in 2003, and met Prince Nikolaos that same year. She worked as an event planner for fashion designer Diane von Fürstenberg up until 2010 when she left to focus on her wedding. The couple married in August 2010.
Sonja first met the then-Crown Prince Harald in 1959. Nine years later, in March 1968, the king gave his permission for the two to marry, as she was a commoner, and they married in August 1968. They have two children. She became queen when her husband ascended to the throne in 1991.
Mette-Marit first met Crown Prince Haakon at a garden party during the Quart Festival, Norway's largest rock festival. When the two met again years later, she was a single mother. They married in 2001 and have added two more kids to the family.
Before marrying Abdullah bin al-Hussein, Rania worked in marketing for Citibank, and later took a job at Apple Computer in Amman. She met the future king in January 1993 and they were married in June of that same year. Abdullah ascended to the throne after his father's death in 1999, making Rania the queen. They have four children.
It is rumoured that Jetsun Pema met Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck at a picnic when she was seven and he was 17, and that he promised to marry her when they grew up. Jigme became king in 2008, following his father's abdication. The couple married in 2011 (Jetsun was 21), and had their first child in February 2016.
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