Every Person Who Married Into The Royal Family In The Last 50 Years
Meghan Markle is the most high-profile addition to the royal family in years, but a lot of royal marriages have taken place in the last few decades.
In the last 50 years, the British royal family has loosened its rules on marriage quite a bit. Nowadays, British royals are more likely to marry a commoner than they are a prince or princess from another royal clan, and it’s no longer required for every member of the family to receive the monarch’s permission to get married (only those closest to the throne are required to get the Queen’s permission to marry).
From 1968 to today, here is every person who has married into the British royal family — as well as two who are about to join the ranks in the near future!
1. Jack Brooksbrank
In October 2018, Princess Eugenie of York will marry her longtime boyfriend, Jack Brooksbank, at St. George’s Chapel in Windsor. The couple met in 2010 while on a ski vacation in Verbier, Switzerland. Brooksbank has been a nightclub manager and also served as UK ambassador for George Clooney and Rande Gerber’s tequila brand.
2. Meghan Markle
On May 19, American actress Meghan Markle will make royal history as the first mixed-race person to marry into the royal family when she weds Prince Harry. Markle’s mother Doria Ragland is black, while her father Thomas Markle is white.
The California native retired from her acting career to become a full-time royal following the wedding. She was best-known for her role on the TV show “Suits,“ but also appeared in the films “Horrible Bosses” and “Remember Me,” among others. Markle has been an advocate for UN Women and involved with the charity WorldVision.
3. Mike Tindall
Former English rugby player Mike Tindall joined the royal family when he married Zara Phillips, the daughter of Princess Anne, in 2011 (just three months after Prince William and Kate Middleton’s wedding!). The couple have one daughter, three-year-old Mia Tindall, and are currently expecting another child.
4. Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge
After meeting Prince William at St. Andrew’s University in 2002, British beauty Kate Middleton dated the future king for nine years. She worked as an accessories buyer at fashion retailer Jigsaw, as well as for Party Pieces, her parents’ party-planning supply business.
5. Autumn Phillips
Although she doesn’t have a royal title, Canadian-born Autumn Kelly became a member of the royal family when she married Queen Elizabeth’s eldest grandson, Peter Phillips, in 2008. (Her mother-in-law is Princess Anne, the Queen’s only daughter.)
The couple met at the Montreal Grand Prix in 2003, and Autumn Kelly reportedly didn’t realize that Phillips was royalty! Now known as Autumn Phillips, the mother of two worked as an actress, bartender and management consultant prior to becoming a royal.
6. Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall
The relationship between Camilla Parker-Bowles and Prince Charles was a controversial one prior to their wedding in April 2005. The couple met in 1970 and carried on a romantic relationship before, during and after both of their first marriages. Upon Prince Charles becoming king, the duchess is likely to assume the title of “Princess Consort.”
7. Sophie, Countess of Wessex
Unlike other recent royal brides who’ve assumed the title of duchess after marrying a prince, when Sophie Rhys-Jones married Prince Edward in June 1999, she became a countess instead, due to the Queen giving her youngest son the title of Earl of Wessex upon his marriage.
The Countess of Wessex worked in public relations until 2002, but is now a full-time mom. The couple have two children together, whom they decided not to give prince or princess titles. Instead, their titles are Lady Louise and James, Viscount Severn.
8. Daniel Chatto
It was a relatively low-key event when British artist and former actor Daniel Chatto married the Queen’s niece Lady Sarah Armstrong-Jones in July 1994. (Lady Sarah’s mother was Princess Margaret and her father was photographer Antony Armstrong-Jones, who upon his marriage to the princess became the Earl of Snowden.)
The couple reportedly met on the set of the 1983 film “Heat and Dust,” where she worked as a wardrobe assistant and he had a small acting role. The couple have two children together, Arthur and Samuel.
9. Serena, Countess of Snowdon
In October 1993, the Honorable Serena Stanhope married Princess Margaret’s only son, David Armstrong-Jones, Viscount Linley. Upon the death of Armstrong-Jones’ father, the couple acquired the titles of the Earl and Countess of Snowdon. They have two children together, Lady Margarita and Charles, Viscount Linley.
10. Timothy Laurence
After finalizing her divorce from Captain Mark Phillips, her first husband, in 1992, Princess Anne, the Queen’s only daughter, went on to marry retired British naval office Sir Timothy Laurence that same year. The couple reportedly met while Laurence worked as a member of the Queen’s staff. He is now the stepfather to Princess Anne’s two children, Peter and Zara.
11. Sarah Ferguson
Sarah Ferguson, the former Duchess of York, and Prince Andrew married in July 1986 after being introduced by Princess Diana. The couple had two daughters, Princess Eugenie and Princess Beatrice, but divorced after 10 years of marriage.
After her divorce, Ferguson took up a career as a writer, brand ambassador and public speaker. Ferguson and Prince Andrew are said to remain good friends.
12. Diana, Princess of Wales
A former preschool teacher, Princess Diana quickly became one of the most famous women in the world when she married Prince Charles, the heir to the British throne, in a lavish wedding in July 1981. Their marriage, however, was not a happy one and the couple divorced amongst rumors of infidelity.
Tragically, Princess Diana died in a car crash in Paris in 2007. She is the mother of Prince William, who is second in line to the throne, and Prince Harry, who is sixth in line to the throne.
13. Princess Michael of Kent
Princess Michael of Kent is considered by some to be a controversial member of the British royal family, given that she was Catholic and a divorcée. Born Baroness Marie Christine von Reibnitz in the Czech Republic, she became a princess when she married Queen Elizabeth’s cousin Prince Michael of Kent in June 1978.
As Prince Michael was not given any additional titles upon his marriage, the couple simply go by Prince and Princess Michael. They have two children together, Lord Frederick and Lady Gabriella.
14. Captain Mark Phillips
In 1973, over 500 million people reportedly tuned in to watch the wedding of Princess Anne to commoner Captain Mark Phillips. At the time, Phillips was only the second commoner in 200 years to have married into the family. He served in the British Army and and participated in several Olympics as a member of the British equestrian team.
The couple had two children together — Peter and Zara — before divorcing in 1992, amid claims of infidelity. Princess Anne later went on to marry Sir Timothy Laurence.
15. Birgitte, Duchess of Gloucester
Born in Denmark, Birgitte Eva Henriksen met Prince Richard, Queen Elizabeth’s cousin, while they were both students at Cambridge.
Upon their marriage in 1972, the couple became the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester. The pair have three children together: Alexander, Earl of Ulster, Lady Davina, and Lady Rose.