Practice your Ps and Qs, fetch the best china, and take the corgi out for a walk, it's Royal Wedding time. After years of being the unruly son of Prince Charles and Princess Diana, Prince Harry is finally ready to walk down the aisle - and with an American actress, no less!
While many would give anything to be queen (or king) for a day, there are a select few have actually been able to do that, or at least get their foot in the palace door. Hogging the limelight with your latest movie or celebrity scandal is one thing, but imagine combining that power with dating a member of the royal family.
The history of entertainment is littered with those who have married into a royal bloodline out of convenience, business, or simply to extend their time in the limelight. Whether a distant cousin of Queen Elizabeth II, the heir to the Spanish throne, or simply feeling the blood of Scottish clans coursing through your bloodstream, Hollywood and royal families seem to go hand in hand. However, with many of Tinsel Town’s famous faces already being regarded as their own royal family, it is easy to see why the two worlds are often drawn together. Now, as Prince Harry and Meghan Markle tie the knot in London, it's time to look back at 20 stars who've dated royalty and what went right (or wrong) with their relationships.
Here are 14 Stars Who Married Royalty (And 6 Who Dated).
20 Married: Olivia Wilde And Tao Ruspoli
Changing her name in high school in tribute to the writers in her family and the great Oscar Wilde, Olivia Wilde is undoubtedly one of Hollywood’s golden girls. She's acted in the likes of House M.D. and Tron, it could’ve all been so different if she traded it for a life on the shores of Italy as an Italian princess.
Married at just age 19, Wilde had an eight-year union to filmmaker and musician Tao Ruspoli - the second son of Prince Alessandro Ruspoli and Austrian-American actress Debra Berger.
The pair married on an abandoned school bus in Virginia because it was reportedly the only place they could be alone, and performed in secret at the time, Wilde and Ruspoli had only two witnesses at the ceremony. Sadly, the marriage wasn’t to last and, citing “irreconcilable differences,” they split in 2011.
Since then, Wilde has been rather candid with her comments about the relationship with Ruspoli, once making reference to a lack of attention from her former spouse. Thankfully, she seems much happier now, engaged to Horrible Bosses star Jason Sudeikis and having had two children together. Well, the life of royalty just isn’t for everyone.
19 Married: Jamie Lee Curtis And Christopher Guest
From scream queen to nearly queen, Jamie Lee Curtis has more than just acting talent to put her as one of society’s elite. She may be renowned for her roles in horror movies like the Halloween series, The Fog, Prom Night, and Terror Train, but did you know that she also married into some form of royalty thanks to Christopher Guest?
With her parents being Tony Curtis and Janet Leigh, Curtis already had some pretty impressive blood running through her blood, however, the good genes kept on coming when she married the actor and This Is Spinal Tap writer in 1984.
Jamie Lee Curtis officially achieved the title of Lady Haden-Guest in 1996 when Christopher’s father passed and he became Baron Haden-Guest. Christopher even sat in the House of Lords for a brief while until The House of Lords Act 1999 reformed the whole system.
While Jamie may be synonymous with the horror genre, thankfully her love life has been something more of a fairytale. According to O Magazine, Curtis reportedly flicked through the pages of Rolling Stone Magazine and told Halloween producer and co-writer Debra Hill, "I'm going to marry that man.” It all worked out in the end and this is one woman many wouldn't mind “trading places” with.
18 Dated: Ellie Goulding And Prince Harry
Just missing out on the honor of being Mrs. Prince Harry, singer/songwriter Ellie Goulding could’ve once been in line to take a seat at Buckingham Palace. Ironically, Goulding actually performed at Prince William and Kate Middleton’s wedding, covering Elton John’s “Your Song” for their first dance. While this was probably the first time Goulding and Harry met, rumors of their romance didn’t start until a few years later. That being said, Goulding did come out to defend Harry during his photo scandal in 2012, so maybe she’d seen it all before?
Things really heated up when snapped together at an exclusive polo match in 2016 and the pair were caught canoodling under a blanket.
Although Harry and Ellie was never made official, an awkward interview once asked if she was planning to have Harry’s baby and cued a room of red faces.
While no one will ever know the full story, the paparazzi were once obsessed with the chances of Ellie Goulding becoming part of the royal household. Now, with Harry having happily moved on, many would assume that Ellie wouldn’t be on the guest list to Meghan Markle’s wedding. However, according to The Sun, Harry has extended the “Starry Eyed” singer a gilded invited along with some of his other famous flings.
17 Married: Portia De Rossi And Ellen DeGeneres
With a connection to the British royal family - but probably just missing out on an invite to the latest wedding - comedienne Ellen DeGeneres is actually the cousin of Kate Middleton. Married to Prince William, Kate is in line to sit alongside the King of England one day, while Ellen has her own Queen to keep her happy in Portia de Rossi.
Dating since 2004, Ellen and Portia officially tied the knot in 2008 after the gay marriage ban was overturned in California. Known as Nelle on Ally McBeal, De Rossi has also had major roles in Nip/Tuck and Arrested Development, however, she has just confirmed that her part in season 5 of the comedy will mark her retirement from acting.
As for the DeGeneres and Middleton connection, the New York Genealogical Society announced the news by sending Ellen a letter, revealing that she and Kate are 15th cousins. According to the letter, Degeneres and Middleton are related through (albeit distantly) through Sir Thomas Fairfax and his wife Agnes Gascoigne. Degeneres has joked that she once persuaded Meghan to adopt a dog, so who knows what impact this royal cousin could have on the rest of the family.
16 Married: Jessica Chastain And Gian Luca Passi De Preposulo
Oscar-nominated Jessica Chastain began dating Gian Luca Passi de Preposulo in 2012, after her long-term relationship with writer-director Ned Benson came to an end. Chastain reportedly doesn’t date actors, so it is good news that Gian Luca works in fashion and currently for French brand Moncler. After previously handling the PR for Armani, Passi de Preposulo is no stranger to hanging with the likes of George Clooney and Julia Roberts. The Passi de Preposulo family dates back to 973 and Gian Luca’s father is Count Alberto Passi de Preposulo, who still owes the family’s massive estate Villa Tiepolo Passi.
While Chastain has been particularly private in her love life, she has shown her affection to her husband and regularly sends heartfelt messages across social media.
The two had a lavish ceremony in Venice last year, with an A-list guest list including the likes of Anne Hathaway.
Despite officially tying the knot, Chastain refuses to attend red carpet ceremonies with her partner and remains a shy person. Chastain may be stepping into the world of superhero movies thanks to a mysterious role in Simon Kinberg’s X-Men: Dark Phoenix, however, this undoubtedly pales in comparison to the fact that Chastain will one day become a countess thanks to her husband.
15 Dated: Kit Harington And Rose Leslie
Jon Snow may know nothing, but Kit Harington sure knows how to bad an impressive significant other. The Game of Thrones star is currently engaged to Rose Leslie, who played Ygritte the wildling on HBO’s fantasy epic. While Jon Snow and Ygritte shared a romance on the show, it soon stretched beyond the confines of the Seven Kingdoms and into real life. However, just like a storyline from Thrones, Leslie’s history is steeped in royalty.
Leslie is no stranger to castles, with Ygritte famously losing her life at Castle Black in season 4 of the show. In fact, the castle that Leslie grew up in is now available to rent on Airbnb. Lickleyhead Castle has been in Rose’s family since the 15th Century and was the seat of Clan Leslie until they moved down the road to the 12th century Warthill Castle in Old Rayne.
Harington also has a royal connection, apparently related to King Charles II through his grandmother Lavender Cecilia Denny when she married the 12th Baronet Harington - a title that has been around since the 1400s. Despite this, Harington insists his upbringing wasn’t as lavish as Leslie’s.
Together, Harington and Leslie are their own Game of Thrones golden couple on and off the screen - Daenerys Targaryen could have a run for her money.
14 Married: Amber Heard And Johnny Depp
He is already one of the most-recognized actors in the world thanks to his eclectic turns in the likes of Edward Scissorhands and Pirates of the Caribbean, but Johnny Depp also has a long lineage of royalty flowing through his veins. A genealogist from the BBC’s Who Do You Think You Are? found that Depp is related to Queen Elizabeth II (20 times removed). This means that a certain Amber Heard technically married into royalty.
Heard met Depp in 2011 after working on The Rum Diary and the pair started a relationship shortly after, marrying in 2015. However, after a string of alleged violent outbursts on Depp's part, the duo parted ways in 2016 and finalized their divorce last year, with Heard pledging to donate her money from the divorce to charity. This means Heard can no longer claim a royal title, although it would’ve been fun while she could.
There is an unconfirmed marriage in Yorkshire, but Johnny is apparently descended from the Deppes family - French Huguenots who lived in 14th Century England. Admittedly, it involves going back some 600 years, but the tie is still there. To be honest, a Johnny Depp biopic exploring his royal bloodline sounds like the perfect Hollywood fodder!
13 Married: Laura Harring And Carl-Eduard Von Bismarck-Schönhausen
Get ready for a mouthful when pronouncing the relationship between Laura Harring and Carl-Eduard von Bismarck-Schönhausen. She’s the Mexican-American actress who became the first Hispanic woman to be crowned Miss USA and he is the great-great-grandson of Otto von Bismarck. Although the two worlds may be miles apart, Harring married Carl-Eduard in 1987.
There is much more to Harring than just a pretty face. Having studied her A-Levels in a Swiss boarding school, she has also been the victim of a drive-by shooting and became an unofficial soap queen thanks to Sunset Beach. However, she is best-known for her dual role as Rita and Camilla Rhodes in David Lynch’s mind-bending Mulholland Drive and enjoying success in movies like The Punisher and The King, as well as a guest sting on season 5 of The Shield.
Her marriage to Carl-Eduard was a short-lived affair, with the actress claiming it had to come to an end because she refused to give up her acting career.
While Harring has failed to recapture the magic of Mulholland, there is no denying that she made the right choice not to give up her Hollywood dream for Bismarck. Despite divorcing way back in 1989, Harring still retains her title of Countess von Bismarck-Schönhausen.
12 Dated: Kirsten Dunst And Jake Gyllenhaal
A double-whammy for the dating scene, those Gyllenhaal kids have some nobility hidden in their past. Hailing from Sweden, the name Gyllenhaal descends from cavalry Lieutenant Nils Gunnarsson Haal and the family even has its own coat of arms that hangs in Stockholm’s House of Nobility. Considering that the entire Gyllenhaal name has its own Wikipedia page, the royal connection spreads much further than just Maggie and Jake. While anyone who has ever dated either of them has a claim to fame, let’s focus on Jake's romance with Kirsten Dunst.
Alongside the likes of Britney and Justin and Brad and Jen, Jake and Kirsten originally looked like they could go the distance.
After Dunst hit the big time playing Mary Jane Watson in 2002’s Spider-Man, she and Gyllenhaal became Hollywood’s It couple. Unfortunately, it wasn’t just the way she ate her salad that ended their romance in 2004. The rest, as they say, is history: Dunst is engaged to Jesse Plemons and recently had a child with him, while Gyllenhaal went on to briefly date Taylor Swift.
As for that strong Gyllenhaal name, Jake and Maggie nudge just ahead of Johnny Depp as 19th cousins to Queen Elizabeth but still fail to get an invite to the Royal Wedding.
11 Married: Grace Kelly and Prince Rainier III
We're heading back to a bygone era for one of the most iconic celebrity/royal marriages of all time. Grace Kelly was already considered a princess of Hollywood, however, she made it official when she married Prince Rainier III of Monaco on April 18, 1956.
After heading up the US delegation at 1955’s Cannes Film Festival, Kelly caught the eye of Rainier. Despite her involvement with French actor Jean-Pierre Aumont, Kelly started a private correspondence with Rainier while she portrayed a princess in Charles Vidor’s The Swan.
On a tour of the US to stop Monaco reverting to the French, Rainier proposed to Kelly after just three days. Kelly was known for her roles in the likes of Rear Window and Dial M For Murder, however, her role in High Society alongside Bing Crosby was to be her last - she even wore her actual engagement ring on the set.
Just as Markle has given up her role on Suits to pursue a life in the Royal Household, Kelly left Tinsel Town to be Mrs. Prince Rainier III.
The likes of Hitchcock and Herbert Ross attempted to lure her back, but Kelly lived the rest of her days happily married and producing three children with Rainier. Her son Albert is still the current Prince of Monaco.
10 Married: Sophie Winkleman And Frederick Windsor
Actress Sophie Winkleman rose to prominence playing the character of Big Suze on Channel 4’s madcap comedy Peep Shop and has gone on to star in shows like Red Dwarf and Titanic, as well as a small role in the movie The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. However, some might recognize Winkleman by her official title - Lady Frederick Windsor. Her husband is Freddie Windsor, the only son of Prince and Princess Michael of Kent, and you may have even been able to spot Winkleman at events like William and Kate’s wedding.
Freddie is the first cousin once removed of Queen Elizabeth II, but currently sitting as 47th in line to the throne. Sophie probably shouldn’t start trying on coronation dresses just yet. Freddie proposed to her on Valentine’s Day 2009 and they married each other the same year. Since then, they have gone to many royal engagements and have two girls together.
In 2017, Winkleman was involved in a head-on collision with another car and suffered life-threatening injuries. During Sophie’s recuperation, she thanked her uncle-in-law, Prince Charles, for her recovery. Although she is officially a Windsor, Sophie still uses her maiden name in her acting career.
9 Dated: Gwyneth Paltrow And Felipe VI
How much truth was there in the rumor about the future king of Spain and Gwyneth Paltrow? According to royal expert Andrew Morton, there was more than just friendship between Gwyneth and Felipe before his engagement to Ortiz.
The screen starlet has always been notoriously private about her dating life, but Andrew Morton’s tell-all book linked her to Felipe VI.
Starting out in the likes of Emma, Sliding Doors, and playing a head in a box for Se7en, Paltrow’s garnered worldwide recognition for her performance as Viola de Lesseps in Shakespeare in Love. Paltrow is a much bigger star than Felipe VI's actual wife, currently taking on an ever-expanding role as Pepper Potts in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
These days, Paltrow is divorced from Coldplay frontman Chris Martin and rumor has it that she married American Horror Story’s Brad Falchuk earlier this year. As for those Queen of Spain possibilities, there is no solid proof to the claim apart from a couple of whispers. That being said, Paltrow has previously gushed about her love of Spain and even called it her second home. Just imagine, Queen Gwyneth of Spain - it could’ve been another best-selling movie in the works.
8 Married: Rita Hayworth And Prince Aly Khan
Another golden oldie, screen legend Rita Hayworth shared a headline-grabbing marriage with jockey and playboy Prince Aly Khan. Khan was the son of Sultan Muhammed Shah and sought to woo Hayworth after her marriage to Orson Welles came to an end. Thanks to her role in Gilda, Hayworth had earned the title of Hollywood’s “Love Goddess,” and Aly Khan had become infatuated with her.
Although Hayworth was being courted by the likes of Aristotle Onassis and the Shah of Iran, Khan found himself in a position that many would give their right arm to be in when he became Hayworth’s third husband in 1949.
However, happiness wasn’t to last. When differences arose, Hayworth rejected her husband’s offer of $1 million to raise their daughter Princess Yasmin Aga Khan as Muslim. As well as a clash over how to treat their child, there were prevalent rumors that Khan was having a fling with another actress, Joan Fontaine. In 1951, Khan had been spotted dancing with Fontaine in the same nightclub he met Hayworth in.
Taking her daughter and fleeing to Lake Tahoe over fears of abduction, Hayworth established legal residency and filed for divorce in 1951 for "extreme cruelty, entirely mental in nature." Finally granted her divorce in 1953, Hayworth was free to find another husband, however, her final two marriages were equally tumultuous.
7 Married: Letizia Ortiz And Felipe VI
Here comes Felipe VI again! Married for over 13 years now, the tale of Letizia Ortiz and King Felipe VI is one of the few that that still has a happy ending. Back in 2002, Ortiz was a journalist for Televisión Española and reported everything from 9/11 to the Iraq War.
Watching her on the news, Prince Felipe took a shine to Ortiz and asked journalist Pedro Erquicia to set up a meeting between the pair.
At a dinner arrangement, Ortiz reportedly gave Felipe her number and the two began dating in secret a few months later.
Many were shocked when Ortiz announced her engagement and started sporting an impressive 16-baguette diamond engagement ring in 2003. It came as a big surprise, mainly because she was seen as a commoner, but also because she was divorced from her first husband in 1999. Thankfully, her marriage to Alonso Guerrero Pérez was only a civil ceremony, meaning the Catholic Church didn’t need to have it annulled.
Letizia and Felipe tied the knot in Madrid in 2004 and marked the first wedding in the capital for nearly a century. Felipe took to the throne in 2014 after his father abdicated and the happy couple has ruled side-by-side in relative harmony with their two daughters since.
6 Dated: Rob Lowe And Princess Stéphanie Of Monaco
As a tie to the Grace Kelly and Prince Rainier relationship, Rob Lowe nearly went from Hollywood heartthrob to man of Monaco thanks to his fling with Princess Stephanie of Monaco. Stephanie is the youngest daughter of Kelly and Rainier and was the one traveling with her mother in the car during a fatal accident in 1982. Following the passing of Grace Kelly, Stephanie refused to talk about the incident for the next 20 years but soon became known as the “royal rebel.”
According to Lowe's autobiography, Stories I Only Tell My Friends, he claims that he moved into Stephanie’s Paris apartment only the day after they first met in 1986 - however, it wasn't to be forever.
Lowe has had an illustrious career in Hollywood thanks to his breakout role as Sam Seaborn The West Wing. Since then, he has big hits with Brothers & Sisters and Parks and Recreation, and was even once attached to play McDreamy in Grey’s Anatomy. Lowe has done it all - from being engaged to Little House on the Prairie’s Melissa Gilbert to his inappropriate tape scandal. As for Stephanie, she married (then divorced) her former bodyguard and had an equally short-lived union with acrobat Adans Lopez Peres.
5 Married Diane Von Fürstenberg And Prince Egon
Known as the party princess, Diane von Fürstenberg celebrated a relatively short marriage to Prince Egon von Fürstenberg. Born Diane Simone Michelle Halfin in Belgium, the future socialite first met Egon when she was just aged 18. She married him after his relationship with Fiat heiress Clara Agnelli fell apart and the pair embarked on a whirlwind marriage. Egon’s parents reportedly frowned upon the union due to Diane’s Jewish heritage, but it didn’t stop her becoming Her Serene Highness Princess Diane of Fürstenberg.
Deciding that she wanted to be more than just a stay at home princess, Diane started her fashion work only a year after they were married and is often credited with the invention of the legendary wrap dress. The couple had a notoriously open marriage and divorced in 1972, with Egon often speaking about his fluid orientaiton afterward.
Although she is no longer allowed to use her royal title, Diane kept Egon’s surname and attached it to her fashion empire, making her own royal standard of clothing.
In 2005, Von Fürstenberg was inducted into Time’s hallowed 100 as an icon. Arguably more famous than her ex-husband, Diane von Fürstenberg has started her own dynasty that will last a lifetime.
4 Married: Zsa Zsa Gabor And Frédéric Prinz Von Anhalt
The well-known Hungarian-American socialite Zsa Zsa Gabor's final husband, Prince Frederic von Anhalt, has the most colorful story of any thanks to his own royal title (of sorts).
Frederic was born Hans Georg Robert Lichtenberg, but changed his name when he paid Princess Marie-Auguste of Anhalt to adopt him as an adult. The full title is Prince Frederic von Anhalt, Duke of Saxony and Westphalia, Count of Ascania, however, it was only recently that he confessed to swindling his way to the illustrious name.
When moving to the USA in 1984, Anhalt soon became a socialite of the scene and a prime candidate for a marriage to the well-to-do Gabor. They met when he crashied a party in Holmby Hills. Gabor was 65 at the time and Anhalt was 39. Bonding over their love of Munich, the pair were married two years later in what was his seventh marriage and technically her eighth - the one to Felipe de Alba had been annulled.
Despite many warning Gabor over her new beau, the pair tied the knot regardless and remained married for the next 30 years. As for buying his title, Anhalt paid Marie-Auguste 2000 marks a month as a “door opener.” Since Gabor passed away in 2016, Anhalt has been a widower and controversially started selling off her possessions.
3 Dated: Naomi Campbell And Monaco’s Albert II
Before Prince Albert II of Monaco’s marriage to Olympic swimmer Charlene Wittstock in 2011, he was known as a notorious bachelor of the scene who has reportedly dated some big names.
The internet is awash with pictures featuring Naomi Campbell and Albert in intimate displays of public affection, but the pair never made it official.
Campbell was once something of a bachelorette in her own right and was declared as only one of six models in her generation to earn the title of supermodel. Being her own fashion royalty, Campbell's previous love interests have included U2 bassist Adam Clayton and F1 racing head Flavio Briatore, however, Albert is the only one with a royal title. Despite being linked to a slew of beautiful models (including Campbell), Albert was dogged by rumors about his orientation. Coincidentally, it was in 1994 that he was rumored to be dating Campbell and gave a frustrated interview with French magazine Madame Figaro abou this orientation.
Ironically, Campbell went to Albert and Wittstock’s wedding, upstaging the bride in an extravagant white Givenchy gown. However, with Campbell making her name as a spirited icon of the fashion industry, what else did anyone expect?
2 Married: Casper Van Dien And Catherine Oxenberg
Actor Casper Van Dien may have been born into a long line of military relatives, however, he went down the thespian route. It was thanks to this that he captured the attention of his wife Catherine Oxenberg.
Having already been married to Carrie Mitchum for four years, Van Dien met Oxenberg while the pair filmed TV movie The Collectors in 1999. While Oxenberg may be known for her part as Amanda Carrington on the ‘80s version of Dynasty, less people know that she is actually the daughter of Princess Elizabeth of Yugoslavia.
Both have enjoyed a variety of roles, with Van Dien known for his part as Johnny Rico in the Starship Troopers movies and Oxenberg having even played a real-life princess when she portrayed Princess Diana in The Royal Romance of Charles and Diana. Oxenberg and Van Dien married Graceland Wedding Chapel and stayed together until 2015, when he filed for divorce.
During their time together, the pair appeared in short-lived reality series I Married a Princess. With the slogan "under the tiara and behind the shades - a real-life look at a fairy-tale family,” fans failed to be bowled over by the show. Although Catherine has no noble rank and is not technically recognized as a princess by any government, she does hold the title of being the only royal ever to host Saturday Night Live.
1 Married: Meghan Markle And Prince Harry
The UK is ready for a new nation’s sweetheart: American actress Meghan Markle. Prince Harry was the George Clooney of the royal world, making everyone from Goulding to The Saturdays’ Mollie King and X-Factor presenter Caroline Flack swoon.
For a while, it looked like Harry might be destined to make an honest woman out of his long-term girlfriend Chelsy Davy, however, the fairytale fell apart. The prince then met American actress Markle when a mutual friend set them both up on a blind date. It clearly went well, with them meeting two more times before Harry invited her on a trip to Botswana with him.
It was all pretty hush-hush until an “anonymous” source told the Sunday Express about their budding romance. With Harry having dated some big names of the entertainment scene, Markle is no exception thanks to her roles in movies like Remember Me and Horrible Bosses, as well as her starring role in Suits.
Apparently giving up acting (for the time being at least), Markle’s presumably comes from the monarchy’s dim view on their family grabbing headlines. That being said, Time named Markle as one of the “100 Most Influential People in the World" in 2018 - a ranking which is only set to climb with her new-found royal status.
Which is your favorite royal love story? Sound off in the comments below!