When royals tie the knot with commoners
Britain's Prince William, who announced his engagement on Tuesday to Kate Middleton, becomes the latest royal around the world to decide to tie the knot with a commoner.
Marriages between royalty and commoners are becoming more and more frequent:
1937: In Britain Edward, the Duke of Windsor, marries commoner Wallis Simpson, who had been divorced twice. Crowned as Edward VIII, he is forced to abdicate.
1956: Prince Rainier of Monaco marries the American actress Grace Kelly.
1968: Norwegian King Harald V marries Queen Sonja who was born Sonja Haraldsen to the owner of a clothes shop. They had to wait nine years between their first meeting and their marriage.
1976: King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden marries a commoner, German-born Silvia Sommerlath, who becomes Queen Silvia.
1993: Prince Abdullah of Jordan marries Rania, a commoner from a Palestinian family.
1997: Cristina, the youngest daughter of Spanish King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia, marries Inaki Urdangarin, a professional handball player of Basque origin. They are now the duke and duchess of Palma de Mallorca
1999: Britain's Prince Edward, the youngest son of Queen Elizabeth II, marries Sophie Rhys-Jones, an advertising executive, the daughter of a tyre salesman.
His older brother Andrew, had married in 1986 the commoner Sarah Ferguson, from whom he separated in 1992.
2001: Norwegian Crown Prince Haakon Magnus marries commoner Mette Marit Tjessem Hoeiby.
2002: Dutch Crown Prince Willem-Alexander marries Maxima Zorrequieta from Argentina.
2002: Norwegian Crown Prince Haakon Magnus' sister, Princess Maertha Louise, is also married to a commoner, author Ari Behn.
2003: Belgium's Prince Laurent, the youngest son of King Albert II, is the only member of the royal family to have married a commoner Claire Coombs, a geometrist.
2004: Danish Crown Prince Frederik marries Australian-born Mary Donaldson.
2004: Spain's Crown Prince Felipe marries commoner and former journalist Letizia Ortiz.
2005: The sultan of Brunei, Hassanal Bolkiah, marries journalist Azrinaz Mazhar Hakim.
2005: Princess Sayako, the only daughter of Emperor Akihito of Japan, marries Yoshiki Kuroda, an urban planner.
2010: Swedish Crown Princess Victoria marries her former personal trainer Daniel Westling.
© 2010 AFP