The days of ruling monarchies may well be dim and distant memories in much of the world, but there are still several royal families around. And while it’s not necessary to be beautiful to be a princess, quite a few women with that title are undeniably good-looking. So, too, are many other female royals – such as these 40, for instance…
40. Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge
Formerly known as Kate Middleton, Catherine’s winning smile featured strongly in one of the most heavily publicized royal weddings in decades, when she married Prince William in 2011. The couple’s antics are still keenly observed by the world’s media, too, with much having been made of the births of their children: Princes George and Louis and Princess Charlotte.
39. Mette-Marit, Crown Princess of Norway
The backgrounds of those who marry into royalty are often closely scrutinized, and that was certainly the case with Mette-Marit. Before becoming engaged to Prince Haakon Magnus in 2000, she was a single mom from a poor family, working in coffee shops. And while some Norwegians were critical of the prince’s choice, the couple nevertheless married the following year and are still going strong. The crown princess appears to have beauty within, too, as she has used her position to engage in humanitarian work.
38. Princess Alexandra of Luxembourg
Royals are sometimes called out for not doing much in the way of work, but that claim certainly can’t be levied against Alexandra, the daughter of Luxembourg’s Grand Duke Henri and Grand Duchess Maria Teresa. The attractive princess’ career history includes both time as an intern at the U.N. Security Council in New York and in a journalism posting in the Middle East.
37. Princess Sirivannavari Nariratana of Thailand
The only daughter of the King of Thailand, Sirivannavari Nariratana spent a lot of time in the U.K. before eventually returning home with her father. And she wasn’t actually granted the status of princess until 2005 – the same year that she represented her nation at badminton in the South East Asian Games, where she emerged triumphant with a gold medal. Away from sport, Princess Sirivannavari was named in 2008 as one of the hottest young royals by Forbes magazine.
36. Princess Madeleine of Sweden
Madeleine – or to use her full title, Princess Madeleine, Duchess of Hälsingland and Gästrikland – is the youngest child of the current King and Queen of Sweden. And as well as speaking beautifully in three languages – English, German and Swedish – the royal is a keen equestrian; she has even gone so far as to compete in show-jumping events under a pseudonym.
35. Princess Ameerah al-Taweel of Saudi Arabia
Princess Ameerah al-Taweel – who has a much, much longer name in Arabic – was raised by her mother and grandmother in Riyadh before captivating Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal when she was just 18. And since becoming a royal, she has found herself drawn to activism, voicing her support in particular for women’s rights in Saudi Arabia and across the Middle East.
34. Queen Letizia of Spain
Letizia Ortiz Rocasolano has been the Queen of Spain since 2014, following her father-in-law’s abdication and her husband’s coronation. Before she married King Felipe VI, though, Letizia radiated beauty from the small screen, working as a news journalist for Spanish broadcaster TVE. During her time in the role, she reported from Ground Zero following the 9/11 attacks; she was also in Galicia in Northern Spain to cover the Prestige oil spill.
33. Princess Sikhanyiso Dlamini of Swaziland
Along with Morocco and Lesotho, Swaziland is one of only three African sovereign states with royal families. King Mswati III is the Swazi ruler, while Sikhanyiso is the first of his rather staggering total of 33 children. And the striking princess has dabbled in music, having recorded a single in honor of her father as well as engaging in outreach work.
32. Mary, Crown Princess of Denmark
Despite being next in line to be crowned Queen of Denmark, Crown Princess Mary has a remarkably humble backstory. The attractive Australian native was enjoying a drink at the Slip Inn pub in Sydney during the 2000 Olympics when Prince Frederik of Denmark, well, slipped in. And the two got on so well that they married four years later; the royal couple now also have a quartet of kids.
31. Charlotte Casiraghi
Of all the glamorous women who married into royalty, film star Grace Kelly remains perhaps the most famous. Charlotte Casiraghi is Kelly’s granddaughter, and she definitely inherited some of her beauty, too. Casiraghi is both an equestrian and journalist, and she became fast friends with Stella McCartney during the royal’s time as editor-at-large of environment-focused magazine Above.
30. Queen Rania of Jordan
Perhaps the most interesting thing about the radiant Queen Rania is that – unlike many royals – she’s extremely active on social media. She has heavily active Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages, for example, as well as her own YouTube channel. The queen uses her platform on the video-sharing site to encourage discussion about the Middle East, including conversation on Muslim racial and cultural stereotyping.
29. Princess Ashi Sonam Dechan Wangchuck of Bhutan
The daughter of the fourth King of Bhutan and a sibling of the fifth, Princess Ashi Sonam Dechan Wangchuck has a formidable educational background, with a Stanford University bachelor’s degree in international relations and a master’s degree in law from Harvard. At present, the princess is sitting pretty in the Bhutanese judiciary as the president of the country’s national legal institute.
28. Charlene, Princess of Monaco
Originally from Rhodesia – now Zimbabwe – Charlene represented South Africa in the 2000 Olympics as a swimmer. However, it was at the Mare Nostrum swimming competition – held the same year in Monaco – that she met Prince Albert. And when the couple wed in 2011, she gained another honor: that of princess. Since then, Charlene’s style savvy has seen her become something of a fashion icon.
27. Princess Claire of Belgium
Although Princess Claire was born in England, she has lived in Belgium since she was a toddler. The wife of Prince Laurent makes her own living, though, as a land surveyor. She has lent her support to environmental issues, too, and is also involved with various bodies dealing with her mother country’s concerns in Belgium.
26. Zara Tindall
Zara Tindall is the only daughter of Princess Royal Anne, who in turn is Queen Elizabeth II’s only daughter. The striking British royal picked up the Tindall surname, however, from her husband: former English rugby captain Mike. Equestrian Zara is also a former eventing world champion and earned a silver medal for her skill in the discipline at the 2012 London Olympics.
25. Princess Haya of Jordan
Princess Haya – full name Haya bint Hussein – is a descendant of the Prophet Muhammad and the daughter of King Hussein and his third wife, Alia Al-Hussein. Yet another competitive horse-rider – can anyone see a pattern developing? – the elegant princess was president of the International Federation for Equestrian Sports from 2006 to 2014.
24. Princess Keisha Omilana of Nigeria
Keisha Omilana was already enjoying a hugely successful career before becoming a princess of Nigeria. After making a name for herself on the catwalk, the statuesque beauty became one of the most recognizable faces of the Pantene brand; she even appeared in the fashion-based comedy film Zoolander.
23. Princess Angela of Liechtenstein
A true history-maker, Princess Angela of Liechtenstein was the first woman of African descent to ever marry into a reigning European royal family. Even before wedding Prince Maximilian, though, Angela was making waves as a stylist in New York.
22. Marie-Chantal, Crown Princess of Greece
Crown Princess Marie-Chantal may have been a commoner before her marriage to Greek Crown Prince Pavlos, but she’s now not the only person in her family with royal ties. You see, her younger sister Alexandra was previously the wife of Prince Alexander von Fürstenberg, who belongs to one of Germany’s foremost noble houses.
21. Princess Nandi Zulu
The Zulu dynasty is still alive and well in South Africa, despite past attempts by the British Empire to wipe it out. And Princess Nandi is a key member of the clan, being one of King Goodwill Zwelithini kaBhekuzulu’s 28 children. Nandi married a Xhosa chief in 2002.
20. Stéphanie, Hereditary Grand Duchess of Luxembourg
Stéphanie of Luxembourg was born into the aristocratic House of Lannoy, meaning she can track her lineage all the way back to the 1200s. Rather more recently, however, in 2012 she wed Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume – a man whom she would later describe as her Prince Charming – and so became the Hereditary Grand Duchess Stéphanie.
19. Princess Maria-Olympia of Greece and Denmark
Princess Maria-Olympia is a truly modern royal; not only is she a princess, but she’s also a fashion model. The New York-born socialite even has an Instagram account. However, her status as sixth in line to the former Greek throne means that she can’t get away with the online antics that some young people can. When in 2018 she posted a picture of herself flipping the bird, for example, the outcry was such that she had to take the image down.
18. Sheikha Moza bint Nasser al-Missned
Sheikha Moza bint Nasser al-Missned is one of three consorts to Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani of Qatar. That’s far from the only distinction she holds, though. She’s heavily involved in the governing of her country, too, as well as being a United Nations Advocate for Sustainable Development Goals. The Qatari royal has also been instrumental in forming a UN heath forum – and that’s not even to mention her bachelor’s degree in sociology.
17. Princess Märtha Louise of Norway
When Princess Märtha Louise was born in 1971, she was excluded from ever taking the throne of Norway due to her gender. And while the law concerning succession was changed in 1990, she is nevertheless still behind her younger brother when it comes to the line to the throne. However, the New York-based princess has done plenty outside of her regal role, including publishing children’s books and becoming a trained physiotherapist.
16. Princess Tamara of Spain
Princess Tamara – the child of Prince Adam Czartoryski Borbón – is somewhat of a rebel royal. She performed poorly at boarding school due to her bad behavior, leading to her parents cutting her off, and so she’s since had to go her own way. As a consequence, Tamara has worked as a horse stable cleaner and a waitress; she’s also appeared on TV through shows such as American Princess.
15. Queen Mathilde of Belgium
As the daughter of a count and a countess, Mathilde was a member of the aristocracy from birth. In September 1999, though, it was announced that Mathilde would be ascending even further through the societal ranks, when Prince Philippe of Belgium revealed that she had agreed to marry him. Now she is queen – unusually, the first in Belgium’s history to actually have been born in the country – and has four children with Philippe.
14. Princess Deena Ali Al-Juhani Abdulaziz
Deena Ali Al-Juhani Abdulaziz may have been born in California, but she’s now a Saudi princess thanks to her 1998 marriage to Prince Sultan bin Fahad bin Nasser bin Abdulaziz. Keen on fashion, she was even briefly the editor-in-chief of Vogue Arabia. The royal is also the director of D’NA – a Middle Eastern store so exclusive that you either need to be a member or be invited by the princess herself to shop there.
13. Queen Jetsun Pema
When 21-year-old Jetsun Pema wed King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck of Bhutan in October 2011, she became the youngest queen in the world. Her family has distant links to royalty, too, even though she was technically a commoner before her marriage. And the king has praised his wife in the past, having described her as “warm and kind in heart and character” during his engagement announcement to Parliament in May 2011.
12. Tunku Datin Myra Madihah
Tunku Datin Myra Madihah may be little known outside of her native Malaysia, but the daughter of Tunku Dara Tunku Tan Sri Naquiah is nevertheless worth watching – if only in envy of her lavish lifestyle. The member of the state of Negeri Sembilan’s royal family owns an event management firm and has two children with her British husband.
11. Princess Elisabetta of Belgium
Princess Elisabetta of Belgium, Archduchess of Austria-Este – to give her her full title – is the only child of Italian film producers Ettore Rosboch von Wolkenstein and his wife Countess Lilia. In addition, her uncle was “editor prince” Carlo Caracciolo, who owned a leading publishing company. It’s probably not that surprising, then, that she has a bachelor’s degree in comparative literature and film.
10. Princess Salwa Aga Khan
Once upon a time, Salwa Aga Khan was Kendra Spears, an American fashion model who graced the covers of Vogue and Elle. However, in 2013 she married Prince Rahim Aga Khan, changed her name and became Princess Salwa. She got to keep her modeling career into the bargain, too.
9. Beatrice dei Principi Borromeo Arese Taverna
Beatrice dei Principi Borromeo Arese Taverna is married to Pierre Casiraghi, the son of Caroline, Princess of Hanover. And the pair, who share two children, make a seriously good-looking couple. In addition to being a mother, Borromeo is also a popular television personality in Italy and has directed documentaries.
8. Princess Hajah Hafizah Sururul Bolkiah
Princess Hajah got off to a pretty good start in life by being the daughter of the Sultan of Brunei – one of the richest people in the world, in case you didn’t know. When she married Pengiran Haji Muhammad Ruzaini in 2012, then, no expense was spared; indeed, the occasion was speculated to have cost up to $20 million. The bride’s dress was nothing short of stunning, too.
7. Princess Elisabeth von Thurn und Taxis
Princess Elisabeth von Thurn und Taxis doesn’t rest on her laurels, as she’s been an editor for Vogue magazine for several years. She’s had a very interesting life in general, though – not least because of her acquaintance with Michael Jackson and her subsequent spells at his Neverland Ranch home. Nowadays, the royal with the nickname of “TNT” lives in London.
6. Elia, Crown Princess of Albania
As is the case with a few of the women on this list, Princess Elia was in the entertainment industry before she married into royalty. Specifically, she was an actress and singer, with both her mother and brother being actors, too. In 2016, though, she took on her biggest role to date: wife of Leka II, Crown Prince of Albania.
5. Princess Tatiana of Greece and Denmark
As the Greek monarchy was abolished in 1973, you could say that Tatiana is a princess without a people. Born in Venezuela and raised in Switzerland, she married Prince Nikolaos in August 2010. And unlike many other princesses around the world, she’s not immediately recognizable – even in Greece. However, she has been happy to help her adopted country through recent hard times with her extensive charity work.
4. Princess Lalla Salma
When Salma Bennani married King Mohammed VI in 2001, it marked a huge turning point for the Moroccan royal family. You see, Salma was not only the first wife of a king there to have a public life, but she was also the first to both receive a title and to be allowed to be photographed. The king also announced that Salma would be his only wife going forward – and they’re still together to this day.
3. Queen Máxima of the Netherlands
Máxima Zorreguieta Cerruti may have had a bit of a shock when she discovered that the young man she had met in Spain was actually a prince. Nevertheless, the pair continued their relationship in New York, where Máxima was working, and got married in February 2002 – even though the queen consort wasn’t fluent in Dutch at the time. The couple also now have three daughters.
2. Princess Mako of Akishino
Princess Mako is the grandchild of Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko, and as such she belongs to the Japanese Imperial Family. However, she may not be a royal for much longer. That’s because Mako plans to marry Kei Komuro in 2020, and by law Japanese princesses must give up their titles if they marry commoners. So far, eight royal women have done this – and Mako may well be the ninth.
1. Meghan, Duchess of Sussex
The world went completely gaga for Suits actress Meghan Markle when news came that she would be marrying Britain’s Prince Harry. And after her wedding to the most eligible bachelor in the world took place in May 2018, Meghan became Duchess of Sussex. Now, she and Harry are expecting their first child, who is due to arrive in spring 2019.