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When news broke back in 2017 that Suits star Meghan Markle would be marrying into the British Royal family, the world nearly exploded. Everyone who followed the family was losing their mind over not only an outsider being wed into the family, but an actress?! Unheard of! Except, it’s not unheard of, it’s happened more often than you think.
In fact, Meghan wasn’t the first actress to get married into the British Royal family (that title belongs to Sophie Winkleman!) But Meghan’s entrance did start a conversation, and since then, people have loved hearing about the crossover royal and Hollywood love stories.
Like any love story, some end in tragedy, while others get their happily ever after with a crown on top.
Now, we know the love stories between Meghan and Prince Harry, along with Grace Kelly and Prince Rainier of Monaco III. But did you know about old Hollywood legend Rita Hayworth’s love story with playboy Prince Aly Khan or Zsa Zsa Gabor’s final marriage? Buckle up, because these stories have it all — including some adorable meet-cutes.
From Italian princesses to former exiled Prince’s love stories with French actresses, these stories are a must for royal fans. Below, check out which actresses have married into royal families over the years.
While there have been quite a few modern-day Hollywood + royal family fairytales in recent years, Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s is the most well-known. They met on a blind date in the summer of 2016 from their mutual friend Violet von Westenholz, and they hit it off immediately. Their relationship became public in 2017, and they wed on May 2018. However, their time as an official royal couple was short-lived, and they left the Firm in Jan 8, 2020.
Since then, they’ve focused on making a life for themselves in America and have welcomed two children named Archie, born May 2019, and Lilibet, born June 2021.
The legendary Hollywood actress met her future husband Prince Rainier of Monaco III during a photoshoot at the Cannes Film Festival in 1955. He proposed to her after three days of knowing her. She decided to leave Hollywood, and they married in April 1956.
They welcomed three children named Princess Caroline of Monaco, born Jan 1957, Albert II, Prince of Monaco, born March 1958, and Princess Stéphanie of Monaco, born Feb 1965.
They were together until Kelly’s sudden death in 1982, and Rainier vowed to never marry again, per the Guardian.
Fun fact, courtesy of Best Life, Kelly was offered a role in the Hitchcock film Marnie, but had to turn it down and never considered an acting return for the rest of her life.
Isabella Orsini has been acting since 1998, but she didn’t become an Italian princess until 2009, when she married Prince Édouard Lamoral Rodolphe de Ligne de La Trémoïlle. Their love story is more on the private side, with details about how they met kept under wraps. However, we do know that they share Princess Althea Isabelle Sophie de Ligne de la Trémoïlle, born May 2010, Princess Athénaïs Allegra Isabella de Ligne de la Trémoïlle, born May 2014, and Prince Antoine Tao Édouard Adrien de Ligne de la Trémoïlle, born Jan 2019.
Unlike most actresses-turned-princesses, Orsini is still active in the acting world, and is a red carpet staple at Cannes Film Festival.
Another old Hollywood legend-turned-princess was none other than Rita Hayworth. However, unlike Kelly’s happily-ever-after, Hayworth’s time as princess was short-lived, and full of trouble. Back in the 1940s, Hayworth met the son of Sultan Muhammed Shah named Prince Aly Khan. They met at a party on the French Riviera and spent the night dancing, and according to a friend, per Yahoo, Khan was “immediately smitten.”
He gave her countless gifts and treasures, but according to the same Yahoo article, Hayworth still had feelings for her second husband Orson Welles. Despite this, they wed in 1949 and welcomed a daughter named Yasmin Aga Khanm, born Dec 1949.
Now, their marriage only lasted four years. Trouble started when Khan tried to offer Hayworth $1 million to raise their daughter as Muslim, which she rejected, per Best Life. Then the rumored infidelity started, with rumors swirling that he was in a relationship with Joan Fontaine.
They divorced in 1953.
Who could forget when actress Sophie Winkleman married Prince and Princess Michael of Kent’s son Lord Frederick Windsor back in 2009? They two originally met back in 2007 during a night out, and met by happenstance, and sparks flew immediately. They share two children together named Maud Elizabeth Daphne Marina, born Aug 2013, and Isabella Alexandra May, born Jan 2016.
Like Isabella Orsini, Winkleman continues to wow in acting projects, with her most recent being the 2022 series This Is Going to Hurt.
Zsa Zsa Gabor
Oh, Zsa Zsa Gabor, you will always be an icon. Gabor married quite a few times in her life (nine, to be technical), and her final husband was Prince Frederic von Anhalt. They met back in 1986 when she crashed a party hosted by writer Sidney Sheldon. Despite their 26-year age difference, the two fell in love instantly. They wed in the same year of 1986, and were together until Gabor’s death in 2016, and have since been auctioning off her things, per Vanity Fair.
Now, Gabor’s daughter Francesca Hilton and Anhalt had a frosty relationship, with her claiming he prohibited Gabor from having visitors and more, per Web Archive.
Another well-known actress to become a princess is French actress Clotilde Courau, who wed former prince-in-exile Emanuele Filiberto of Savoy, Prince of Venice back in 2003. So they met in the early 2000s while fencing at an event organized by Prince Albert of Monaco, per NYTimes. They share two daughters named Princess Vittoria Chiara Cristina Adelaide Maria, born March 2003, and Princess Luisa Giovanna Bianca Agata Gavina Maria, born Aug 2006.
Like Isabella Orsini, Courau continues to act and almost always goes to Cannes Film Festival.
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