This is the question I ask of the universe.  Why?  Because I’ve just spent WAY too much time on reading about the countries that have commoners as the spouses to the heir of the throne.  None of the stories are quite the same, and yet they all are!  Boy meets girl, girl likes boy, they get permission from the monarch to get married and still rule, they get married.  How is it that this is suddenly happening so often, yet not often enough?  After all, this kind of romance can’t just exist in the monarchies . . . well, the asking for permission from the ruling monarch does sort of differentiate it, but how many boys still ask dads for permission?  It’s  not that different.  No, I refuse to believe that romance against odds exclusively belongs to royalty.

However, royalty does get quite a bit more press.  A list of those against odds marriages (with marriage date):

  • Sweden (most recent, June 19th, 2010): Prince Olof Daniel Westling Bernadotte was a physical trainer to the heiress-apparent previous to their marriage.  There was some decent opposition in the royal family and the citizens of Sweden to marriage.  The couple even had a song written especially for their wedding (it’s pretty dang cute).
  • Denmark (May 14th, 2004):  Crown Princess Mary Elizabeth was involved in marketing and accounting before she met her husband during the Sydney Olympics.  The native Australian gave up her dual citizenship (Australia and United Kingdom) for Danish citizenship.  The Prince and Me, a story about a commoner marrying into the Danish monarchy, was released one month before the wedding.
  • The Netherlands (February 2, 2002): Princess Máxima was an investment banker and the daughter of Jorge Horacio Zorreguieta Stefanini, a politician involved in decently high government positions during Argentina’s “Dirty War.”  Though he was not directly involved in the tens of thousands of deaths, his association led to him missing the ceremony (he offered), so as not to create trouble.  Máxima met her husband in Spain during the Seville Spring Fair.  The Argentinian is now a dual citizen between her native country and the Netherlands.
  • Norway (August 25, 2001): Crown Princess Mette-Marit was the wild child of these commoner spouses (she calls it “having an unconventional phase”).  She has a son by another man who is recognized as the step-son of the Crown Prince, but not as part of the succession–par for the course in some ways, kind of unconventional in others.  She met her husband at Norway’s largest rock festival, Quart Festival.

Now, mind you, these are just those I could find.  Today’s picture is all these “commoner princesses” attending Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden’s wedding with bright smiles of support, one assumes, and joy on their faces.  The Princesses are, from left to right: Crown Princess Mary (Denmark), Princess Máxima (the Netherlands, tucked behind CP Mary), and Crown Princess Mette-Marit (who looks like Cinderella in that dress–oh, she’s from Norway).  Husbands (l–>r): Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark and Prince of Orange, Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands.

This kind of thing would NEVER have been allowed even twenty years ago.  I’m shocked I missed this for so long (I’ve known about Crown Princess Mary for about a year or so).  After all, it’s pretty much every little girl’s dream to marry some Prince who doesn’t care about titles or families.  Then again, by the time these ladies were getting married, I’d moved into tomboy mode with a vengeance.  Little girl dreams were, well, unnecessary and too frilly.

But back to the original question:  So where’s my European prince?  Don’t they ever come to America?  Don’t they know how to sweep a girl off her feet over here?  I posit that the universe is unfair to have withheld.  Most of these princesses met their husbands at events that could hardly be called frilly.  Tomboy seems to be in vogue.  Well, until they become princesses.  Then the dresses come out.  :/  That’s not so cool.  And the whole converting to the state religion isn’t my thing, either.

Guess I’ll have to stick with my plain-old, wonderfully sweet, totally “common” guys.  The friends and boyfriends who sweep me off my feet by being amazing.  Who are uncommonly good, and breath-takingly genuine.  The boys who don’t have to hide in a crowd or introduce themselves as someone else at first to feel like they’ll be appreciated for themselves.  These boys are something special, princely even.   I don’t mind the lack of European prince, not when I’m surrounded by the boys who have been my best friends for years.  And, knowing me, I’d never notice the prince.  Not with these boys around.

And so, I happily greet the dating pool of “common men,” strong in the knowledge that there are an astonishing amount of  good men out there.  And I happily greet a world where, no matter where you started out, you can fall in love with pretty much whoever.  That’s the kind of world I want to live in.

P.S.  Two posts in one week, and three hanging around for when I want to do them.  I’m so ahead, it’s scary (and scary cool)!  Hooray for writing a little every day, even if it is a blog.