International Love! Prince Harry, Peter Phillips and Other Royals Who Fell for Someone from Another Country
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle
Queen Elizabeth’s grandson made headlines when his romance with the American actress broke in 2016. After a year-and-a-half of life as working members of the family — and welcoming son Archie — they decided to step down from royal life, splitting their time between the U.K. and Canada, where Meghan lived while working on the show Suits.
Peter Phillips and Autumn Kelly
The Queen’s grandson and Autumn met at the 2003 Montreal Grand Prix, where they were both working — and she didn’t immediately recognize the royal! After 12 years of marriage and two daughters, Savannah and Isla, they announced their plans to divorce.
King Edward VIII and Wallis Simpson
Wallis’s engagement to King Edward VIII came with much more controversy than Meghan and Harry’s did. In 1936, Wallis’s twice-divorced status made her an unacceptable wife and partner for the monarch — and the head of the Church of England, according to the British Cabinet. He ended up abdicating the throne to marry Wallis, who was born in Pennsylvania and grew up in Baltimore. The couple remained married until his death in 1972.
Prince Rainier and Princess Grace
American actress Grace Kelly met Prince Rainier of Monaco during the Cannes Film Festival in 1955 — and they married a year later. They went on to become parents to three children.
Prince Albert and Princess Charlene
The son of Grace Kelly also looked outside his own country for love. He married Zimbabwean-South African Charlene over a decade after meeting at a swimming competition in Monte Carlo. They’re parents to twins Prince Jacques and Princess Gabriella.
King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima
Maxima Zorreguieta Cerruti was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and met the future Dutch king in 1999 in Seville, Spain. Since he only introduced himself as “Alexander,” she had no clue he was royalty! Their relationship caused some controversy, due to Maxima’s father’s position as a cabinet minister during the National Reorganization Process. Despite this, the couple married in 2001 and shared three daughters.
Prince Frederik and Princess Mary
Denmark’s future king met his Australian bride in a relatable way: at a bar! The couple met at a Sydney pub when the prince was visiting Australia during the 2000 Summer Olympics. They managed a long-distance relationship until Mary moved to Denmark in December 2001. They married in May 2014 and have four children.
King Hussein and Lisa Halaby
Halaby is best known today as Queen Noor, the name she adopted after marrying King Hussein of Jordan. The couple met while Halaby, a Princeton graduate, was living in Amman and working for Royal Jordanian Airlines. First, they were friends, as King Hussein was still mourning the death of his third wife, Queen Alia. But gradually, their friendship became something more, and they got engaged in 1978, marrying later that year. They went on to have four children together.
Prince Pavlos and Princess Marie-Chantal
Marie-Chantal was an American citizen, but grew up all over the world: Born in the U.K., she spent time in Hong Kong, Switzerland and the United States. While studying at New York University, Marie-Chantal, who is the creative director of a line of children’s clothing, became engaged to Pavlos, the Crown Prince of Greece (though Greece’s royal family is no longer officially recognized in the country). They married in 1995 and have five children together.
Alexander von Furstenberg and Alexandra von Furstenberg
Two Americans who married into royal families come from the same family: Marie-Chantal’s sister, Alexandra, married Prince Alexander von Fürstenberg of Germany — and the son of fashion designer Diane von Fürstenberg, and went on to have two children together. Though they divorced in 2002, Alexandra continued to work with her former mother-in-law at DvF before launching her own home collection.
Princess Madeleine and Christopher O'Neill
The only American man to marry into a royal family, (O’Neill has dual citizenship between the U.S. and the U.K.), he tied the knot with Princess Madeleine of Sweden in 2013. O’Neill had the option to become an official working member of the Swedish royal family, as well as a Swedish citizen, but declined both in order to keep working in his career in finance in London. The couple relocated to the U.S. in 2018 with their three children and now live in Florida.
Stanislaw Albrecht Radziwill and Caroline Lee Bouvier Canfield
The sister of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis had plenty of family pedigree on her own. But she managed to up the antee when she married Stainslaw Albrecht Radziwill, nicknamed Stas, a Polish prince. However, when he became a British subject, he couldn’t use his title without permission from Queen Elizabeth, and usually went by the more simple name of “Mr. Radziwill.” The couple had two children together, and divorced after 15 years of marriage.