Yet, while Princess Mako’s decision was more high stakes than others, it’s not the first time a royal has married someone from a lower class.
The British royal family’s history of welcoming “commoners” into its ranks is pretty recent, but now a standard practice.
Just look at Prince William, who wed Kate Middleton after meeting her at university; Prince Harry, who fell in love with actress Meghan Markle; Princess Anne’s daughter, Zara Tindall who married rugby player Mike Tindall; and Princess Eugenie , who married brand ambassador Jack Brooksbank.
Below, we detail the royals from around the world who have married one of us regular folk.
Japan: Princess Mako and Kei Komuro
Japan’s Princess Mako wed Kei Komuro on Tuesday 26 October. The pair met in 2012 while they were both studying at the International Christian University in Tokyo. After getting engaged in 2017, they were supposed to get married in 2018 but this was postponed, reportedly due to “financial difficulties” Komuro’s mother was facing.
The pair didn’t partake in the usual wedding rituals of the Imperial Family and Princess Mako gave up her royal status upon marrying Komuro.
Sweden: Prince Carl Philip and Sofia Hellqvist
Before marrying Prince Carl Philip, who is fourth in line to the Swedish throne, in 2015, Sofia Hellqvist was a glamour model and a reality television contestant.
The pair initially met at a nightclub in 2009 and now have three sons, Julian, Alexander and Gabriel.
UK: Prince Harry and Meghan Markle
Prince Harry first met American actress Meghan Markle on a blind date in 2016. By the end of 2017 the pair were engaged and they got married on 19 May, 2018.
They welcomed their son Archie in 2019 before leaving the royal family to move to California in 2020. They welcomed their daughter, Lilibet, in 2021.
Greece: Prince Nikolaos and Tatiana Blatnik
Prince Nikolaos of Greece and Denmark married Venezuelean publicist, Tatiana Blatnik, in 2010 after meeting during a skiing trip in 2003.
Nikolaos is the third child of King Constantine II and Queen Anne-Marie who were the last reigning King and Queen of Greece before the monarchy was abolished in 1973.
Jordan: King Abdullah II and Rania Al-Yassin
King Abdullah II and Rania Al-Yassin (now Queen consort of Jordan) met in 1992 at a dinner party.
The pair married the following year in June 1993 and they share four children. Abdullah became the King of Jordan in 1999 after his father passed away.
Denmark: Crown Prince Frederik and Mary Donaldson
Frederik, Crown Prince of Denmark and heir apparent to the Danish throne, first met Australian public relations specialist Mary Donaldson in a bar while he was visiting Sydney for the 2000 Summer Olympics.
They were married on 14 May, 2004 and now have four children together.
Netherlands: King Willem-Alexander and Máxima Zorreguieta Cerruti
King Willem-Alexander married Máxima Zorreguieta Cerruti in 2002 when he was still Crown Prince. He became King in 2013 following his mother’s abdication, which made Argentinian-born Máxima Queen Máxima of the Netherlands.
Before meeting the King, Máxima worked in finance and they now have three daughters, Princesses Catherina-Amalia, Alexia and Ariane.
UK: Prince William and Kate Middleton
Prince William famously met Kate Middleton while studying at the University of St Andrews in Scotland. They got married in 2011 at Westminster Abbey in London and now have three kids together, Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis.
Prince William is second in line to the British throne. His father, Prince Charles, is first.
Spain: King Felipe VI and Letizia Rocasolano
King Felipe VI met Spanish journalist Letizia Rocasolano in 2002 before getting engaged in 2003. They got married in 2004 and now have two daughters, Leonor and Sofia.
Felipe became King Felipe VI of Spain in 2014, following his father’s abdication, which made Letizia’s official title Queen Letizia of Spain.
Norway: Crown Prince Haakon and Mette-Marit Høiby
Crown Prince Haakon, who is first in line to the Norwegian throne, met former waitress Mette-Marit Høiby in 1999 through mutual friends.
Their relationship was initially met with some controversy as Mette-Marit was a single mother at the time, but they married in August 2001 and share two children together.