Back in the day, royal romantic pursuits were typically limited to marrying some distant cousin. You laugh, but Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip are both the great-great-grandchildren of Queen Victoria, who married her own first cousin. Thankfully, the royals have oh-so-graciously let some commoners infiltrate their ranks, and while Meghan Markle may be the only duchess to have two Hallmark movies on her IMDB page, she’s hardly the first celebrity to rub shoulders with the royals. Here are 21 stars who have reportedly sparked romances with royals, members of nobility, and other assorted aristocrats. Is there a Tinder for HRHs we should know about?
Meghan Markle’s Suits departure isn’t unprecedented; Grace Kelly also gave up her acting career when she married Monaco’s Prince Rainier III, whom she first met at the Cannes Film Festival. Her last movie was the 1956 musical comedy High Society, which co-starred Frank Sinatra and her ex-boyfriend Bing Crosby. Kelly wore her own Cartier engagement ring throughout filming.
Before settling down with Jason Sudeikis, Wilde was married to filmmaker, photographer, and musician Tao Ruspoli—the son of Italian aristocrat Alessandro Ruspoli, 9th Prince of Cerveteri. The couple split in 2011 after eight years of marriage.
There aren’t many folks who can claim they’ve dated a royal and had a song on the Fifty Shades of Grey soundtrack. In fact, there’s just one: singer Ellie Goulding, who squirmed when confronted about (pre-Meghan) reports that she and Prince Harry were an item.
The Old Hollywood icon put her film career on hold when she married Prince Aly Khan, a descendant of the Iranian royal family and son of Sultan Muhammed Shah (AKA Aga Khan III) in 1949. The couple divorced in 1953 after clashing over how to raise their daughter Princess Yasmin Aga Khan—not to mention the prince’s rumored affair with Oscar-winning actress Joan Fontaine.
The famed fashion designer was known as Her Serene Highness Princess Diane of Fürstenberg during her short marriage to Prince Egon of the German noble house of Fürstenberg. She lost her title when they divorced, but that DVF name is now rooted in sartorial history.
Monaco’s Albert II was quite the playboy in his day. His girlfriends reportedly included Naomi Campbell, and Google Images is teeming with PDA receipts (hugs, hand-holding, feeding him with her very own supermodel hands). Things must have ended on friendly terms, as Campbell was invited to the then-Prince’s 2011 wedding to swimmer Charlene Wittstock.
The Moroccan-French comedian—whom you may recognize from Priceless, Midnight in Paris, and Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee—was in a relationship with Princess Caroline of Monaco’s daughter Charlotte Casiraghi until in 2015. They have a son together.
Prince Aly Khan was still legally married to Rita Hayworth when he popped the question to the classic film star Gene Tierney. His father Aga Khan III reportedly rejected the relationship, and they ultimately split after a year-long engagement.
You may have seen Prince Harry’s actress ex—they dated from 2012 to 2014—in films like 2017’s Tulip Fever and The Bye Bye Man.
Monaco’s then-Prince Albert denied being "romantically involved" with the supermodel in a 1993 profile, insisting that the "hoopla" and "high visibility" of their relationship "scared [him]." That said, the pair did spend much of the early ‘90s together, and Schiffer was rumored to have rejected the royal’s engagement proposal.
The Parks and Recreation actor nearly made the leap from Brat Packer to Monaco consort when he had a fling with Princess Stéphanie of Monaco, the singer-model daughter of Grace Kelly and Prince Rainier III. According to his autobiography, Stories I Only Tell My Friends, Lowe moved into the royal’s Paris apartment the day after they met in 1986, and their romance involved lots of lie-ins, vodka tonics, and clubbing.
The Queen of Goop has been linked to two current heads of state. Paltrow denied rumors of a romance with Spain’s Felipe VI (who was then *just* a prince) in 2002, the same year she met future ex-husband Chris Martin. She’s also one of many actresses—including Brooke Shields and Sharon Stone—said to have dated Albert II of Monaco.
The Starship Troopers actor split from actress wife Catherine Oxenberg (Dynasty) in 2015. Oxenberg is the daughter of Princess Elizabeth of Yugoslavia, and is the only royal to have hosted Saturday Night Live. She’s also a second cousin once removed of England’s Prince Charles, which must have made for an awkward family reunion when she played Princess Diana in the 1982 TV movie The Royal Romance of Charles and Diana.
Princess Michael of Kent has problematic jewelry and a famous daughter-in-law. Winkleman, best known for playing Big Suze in the cult British show Peep Show and a recurring role on Two and a Half Men, became Lady Frederick Windsor when she married the son of Prince Michael of Kent, first cousin of Queen Elizabeth II.
Who needs royal blood when you’ve got a checkbook? The legendary actress’ ninth husband, Frédéric Prinz von Anhalt (also known as Prince Frédéric of Anhalt, Duke of Saxony and Westphalia, Count of Ascania) bagged his royal title by paying the money-strapped Princess Marie Auguste of Anhalt to adopt him as an adult. Sensing an opportunity, he and Gabor then went on to adopt at least 10 grown men for large sums of money. Gabor, who died in 2016 at age 99, also took to styling herself as Princess von Anhalt, Duchess of Saxony. A truly extra move.
This should give hope to reality stars and A Christmas Prince fans across the land: Before she married Sweden’s seriously dreamy Prince Carl Philip in 2015, Princess Sofia was Sofia Kristina Hellqvist, a glamour model famous in part for kissing adult film star Jenna Jameson on the mid-00s reality show Paradise Hotel.
The Molly’s Game star could claim countess status thanks to her marriage last summer to Gian Luca Passi de Preposulo. Though he makes his living as a fashion executive, Passi de Preposulo is a member of an Italian aristocratic family dating back to the 1300s.
As the daughter of actors Tony Curtis and Janet Leigh, Jamie Lee Curtis is Hollywood royalty in her own right. As the wife of British actor Christopher Guest, the Halloween star is also a bonafide member of nobility. Curtis officially became Lady Haden-Guest in 1996, when her husband inherited the title of Baron upon his father’s death.
The Mulholland Drive actress and former Miss USA became Countess von Bismarck-Schönhausen when she married Count Carl-Eduard von Bismarck-Schönhausen, the great-great-grandson of German chancellor Otto von Bismarck, in 1987. The marriage ended two years later because, as Harring has claimed, she refused to give up her acting career.
Jacqueline Kennedy married a future president. Meanwhile, her sister married a prince. Lee Bouvier’s second husband was Polish prince Stanislaw Albrecht Radziwill, who was distantly related through marriage to yet another man who was famously assassinated: Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria.
One day you’re hanging out with Tino, the next you’re trying on tiaras. This My So-Called Life star became Lady Courtenay when she married British attorney Charles Courtenay in 2004. Since the death of his father in 2015, she’s been upgraded to Countess of Devon. And yes, they have a castle.