Here in the US, we don’t always pay so much attention to the royal family. But their popularity and American interest in them has been rising over recent years since William and Kate’s engagement, wedding, and the births of their children. Now with two new royal couples on the horizon, interest in royal news and gossip is reaching all time highs.
The bride to be is the younger daughter of Prince Andrew, Duke of York, and Sarah, Duchess of York. The young couple look radiant in their official engagement photos, and her beautiful pink sapphire ring is certainly second to none. However, as far as royal weddings go, this princess – 8th in line to the throne – will need to fit hers around the schedule of another royal engagement.
A royal prince with a bit of a reputation marrying an American actress is the stuff that tabloid dreams are made of. Fans of the royal family can’t get enough of this couple. As Markle as undoubtedly learned by now, marrying into the royal family is serious business.
But while the rest of us might enjoy the attention we get while showing off our new bling at work, or while retelling the romantic proposal story, royal brides experience a whole different level of attention. First, there must be an official announcement along with official engagement photos. Lucky for us, we get to see all those photos of all those princesses!
While normal newly engaged couples receive congratulations and celebrations, royal engagements come with scrutiny and public opinions. Has there ever been a prince or princess betrothed to someone wholly accepted and loved by the public?
The engagement photos are understated and reserved, but this marriage turned out to be anything but. You wouldn’t know by looking at these prim and proper young people, that their marriage would be rife with rumor, affairs, drugs, and fairly open cruelty and animosity.
Theirs, as we know, isn’t the only royal marriage beset by very public scandals.
But at the time, the world swooned for the lovely Lady Diana, and her seemingly perfect fairy tale. The official engagement photo shoot was just the beginning of Diana’s public life. If you’re not born into it, sometimes it’s impossible to adapt to the life of a modern royal.
Kate Middleton seems made for the life of a royal princess. In her engagement photos, like she does so often and with such subtle grace, she gives a nod to Prince William’s late mother with her choice of blue dress.
Here Claire Coombs is given the royal treatment with an extended family photo shoot to announce her engagement to Prince Laurent of Belgium in 2002. After all, when you marry the man, you marry the entire royal family of Belgium.
Jordan Crown Prince Hamza Bin al-Hussein and Princess Noor Bint Aasem Bin Nayef look so unabashedly happy in their official engagement photos from 2003. The young couple radiates so much excitement and joy that they look almost like the rest of us when we get engaged.
Mary Elizabeth Donaldson and His Royal Highness Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark take a moment to check out the new bling during their official photo shoot in 2003. Her simple, understated hair, makeup, and dress seem perfectly suited to her new life as a royal princess.
In this 2004 press conference photo announcing the engagement of Japan’s Princess Sayako and Yoshiki Kuroda, the couple seem more press conference-y and less newly engaged-y. Gushing public displays of affection might not be culturally appropriate for a Japanese princess. Also, can you imagine having to stand for a press conference to announce your engagement?
With their long history, when Prince Charles and Camilla Parker Bowles announced their engagement in 2005, many people were thrilled that the pair could finally make their long standing love official. The two began their romance before their respective first marriages, and continued on and off during and after those marriages fell apart. The long standing rumor is that Camilla would have never been approved as a bride for Charles back before the days of Diana. Now their relationship is finally royally sanctioned. Think of all the pain and heartache that could have been saved had the Palace approved in the first place!
Here Crown Prince Felipe of Spain and Letizia Ortiz Rocasolano announce their engagement in 2003. It’s hard to tell which one grew up in royal palaces.
Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden and Mr. Daniel Westling announce their engagement with an official photo shoot in 2009. She is relaxed and at ease in front of the camera. He looks like he really wants to be anywhere else.
In this official 2010 public press release announcing the engagement of Greece’s Prince Nikolaos to Tatiana Blatnik, the couple looks like any other couple posing for an engagement announcement.
When beautiful actress Grace Kelly got engaged to dashing Prince Rainier III of Monaco in 1956 the world collectively swooned. She managed the transition from starlet to royal princess with impressive poise and refinement.
Prince Albert II of Monaco, the son of Rainier III and Grace Kelly, took a page out of dad’s playbook when he announced his engagement to South African olympic swimmer Charlene Wittstock in 2011. The fairy tales keep unfolding in Monaco!
He introduced himself simply as Alexander and she later thought he was joking when he revealed that he was not only a royal prince, but was the heir apparent of the Netherlands. She is now the queen and mother of the future queen. She looks radiant and at ease in their official engagement announcement from 2001.
Swedish Prince Carl Philip announced his engagement to Sofia Hellqvist in 2014. Princess Sofia of Sweden, Duchess of Värmland, has come a long way since her days of posing for magazines wearing just a bikini and a boa constrictor!
Having a royal family in the mix complicates things. The couple’s betrothal is about more than a private union. It now involves the future of a nation and the royal family. Some couples falter under the pressure and spotlight, and others seem to shine. But is that really any different from the marriages of us mere mortals?