Weird History Every Person Who Married Into The Royal Family In The Last Century, Ranked  

Setareh Janda
490.9k votes 76.4k voters 2M views 29 items

List Rules Vote up the most inspiring figures to have married into the Royal House of Windsor.

Royal weddings over the last century have run the gamut. They’ve ranged from quiet partnerships to over-the-top royal weddings in Westminster Abbey that have ended in heartbreak. The royal marriages of the last 100 years have been as varied, fascinating, romantic, and troubled as the people who have married into the royal family - and they've had mixed success.

Can royalty marry commoners? Absolutely. While the public generally assumes that royals are only supposed to marry other royals, there are plenty of Cinderella stories in the last 100 years that turn that notion on its head. 

The children and grandchildren of monarchs have married both elites and people from more humble backgrounds. The last commoner to marry British Royalty was Catherine Middleton in 2011, but that title will soon go to Meghan Markle when she weds Prince Harry in 2018. In fact, it is becoming more and more common for royals - both in the United Kingdom and elsewhere - to opt for common spouses over royal ones. Though members of the British Royal Family have had to seek the monarch’s permission before marrying - thanks to the Royal Marriages Act of 1774, which wasn’t repealed until 2013 - they have increasingly chosen to marry outsiders. Indeed, people who have married into the British Royal Family have come from all walks of life: artists, athletes, attention-seekers, and homebodies have all joined the House of Windsor.

Diana, Princess of Wales is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list Every Person Who Married Into The Royal Family In The Last Century, Ranked
Photo: Gegodeju/via Wikimedia Commons/CC BY-SA 4.0
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Diana, Princess of Wales


  • Born into one of the most storied aristocratic families in England in 1961 on the queen's own estate at Sandringham
  • Married Prince Charles - the heir to the throne - in 1981 to great fanfare, but the marriage was a total disaster, and they divorced in 1996
  • Became known as the "People's Princess" for her tireless devotion to charities and bringing attention to various causes - like landmines, AIDS, and homelessness - with her trademark warmth and style
  • Died tragically in a car crash in Paris in 1997 at the age of 36

Age: Died at 36 (1961-1997)

Born: Diana Frances Spencer

Children: Prince William, Duke of Cambridge (b. 1982), Prince Harry of Wales (b. 1984)

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Catherine, Duchess of Cambridg... is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list Every Person Who Married Into The Royal Family In The Last Century, Ranked
Photo: Featureflash/Shutterstock

  • Was born in 1982 to a family that became millionaires through their party supply business and met Prince William when they went to University of St. Andrews together
  • Their marriage at St. Paul's Cathedral in April 2011 was a worldwide spectacle
  • She is best known for her sense of style and has been credited for spearheading the Heads Together Campaign, a major mental health initiative from Kensington Palace

Age: 36

Born: Kate Middleton

Children: Prince George of Cambridge (b. 2013), Princess Charlotte of Cambridge (b. 2015)

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Queen Elizabeth The Queen Moth... is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list Every Person Who Married Into The Royal Family In The Last Century, Ranked
Photo: Freebase/Public domain

Age: Died at 102 (1900-2002)

Born: Elizabeth Angela Marguerite Bowes-Lyon

Children: Elizabeth II (b. 1926), Princess Margaret, Countess of Snowdon (1930-2002)

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Sophie, Countess of Wessex is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list Every Person Who Married Into The Royal Family In The Last Century, Ranked
Photo: Freebase

  • Has perhaps the humblest origins of any current Royal Family member: her father was a salesman and her mother was a secretary
  • Had a successful career of her own in PR before marrying Prince Edward, the queen's youngest child, in 1999
  • Despite working tirelessly at royal engagements, she does not stand on ceremony and is known to be low key

Age: 53

Born: Sophie Helen Rhys-Jones

Children: Lady Louise Windsor (b. 2003), James, Viscount Severn (b. 2007)

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