American actress Meghan Markle will join a select group of "commoners" to marry into a royal family when she weds Britain's Prince Harry at Windsor Castle.
Markle, 36, follows the likes of Kate Middleton, who married Harry's elder brother William in 2011, and another American actress Grace Kelly who gave up her Hollywood career to become wife of Prince Rainier III of Monaco.
HERE ARE SOME RECENT MARRIAGES INVOLVING ROYALS AND COMMONERS:
GRACE KELLY AND PRINCE RAINIER
Hollywood icon Grace Kelly, star of films such as To Catch a Thief and Dial M for Murder, retired from her acting career to marry Rainier, the sovereign of the principality, on April 18, 1956 after the pair met at the Cannes Film Festival a year earlier.
Kelly died in a car crash in 1982 and Rainier died in 2005.
PRINCESS TAKAKO SUGA AND HISANAGA SHIMAZU
Japan's Princess Takako Suga, the youngest daughter of Japanese Emperor Hirohito, married financial analyst Hisanaga Shimazu in Tokyo in 1960.
She gave up her imperial title and relinquished her status to be a commoner, adopting her husband's name to become Takako Shimazu.
SONJA HARALDSEN AND NORWAY'S CROWN PRINCE HARALD
Sonja Haraldsen dated then-Crown Prince Harald of Norway for years before he told his father King Olav V he would never marry anyone but her, putting the throne in jeopardy as Harald was the sole heir.
They wed on August 29, 1968, after King Olaf consulted the government and allowed the engagement.
SILVIA RENATE SOMMERLATH AND SWEDEN'S CARL GUSTAF
Queen Silvia of Sweden was working as an educational host at the 1972 Olympics in Munich when she met the then-Crown Prince Carl Gustaf. She married the now King on June 19, 1976.
RANIA Al-YASSIN AND JORDAN'S CROWN PRINCE ABDULLAH
Doctor's daughter Rania Al-Yassin, born in Kuwait to Palestinian parents, met Jordan's Crown Prince Abdullah II at a dinner party. She studied in Cairo, and worked for Citibank and Apple in Jordan. The couple married in 1993 and Abdullah assumed the throne in 1999.
METTE-MARIT TJESSEM HOIBY AND NORWAY'S CROWN PRINCE HAAKON
Norwegian commoner and single mother, Mette-Marit Tjessem Hoiby, married Crown Prince Haakon of Norway on August 25, 2001. They had met at a music festival in the late 1990s.
MAXIMA ZORREGUIETA AND DUTCH CROWN PRINCE WILLEM-ALEXANDER
Maxima Zorreguieta, a former investment banker from Argentina, met Dutch Crown Prince Willem-Alexander in April 1999 in Seville, Spain, during the city's Spring Fair. Her father had served as Argentina's Minister of Agriculture during the violent regime of General Jorge Rafael Videla.
They married on February 2, 2002, and became King and Queen of the Netherlands in 2013 after Willem-Alexander's mother Queen Beatrix abdicated. Maxima was the first Dutch queen consort since 1890.
MARY DONALDSON AND DENMARK'S PRINCE FREDERIK
Australian Mary Donaldson met Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark at the Slip Inn during the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney. They married in Copenhagen on May 14, 2004 and now have four children.
LETIZIA ORTIZ ROCASOLANO AND SPAIN'S PRINCE FELIPE
Letizia Ortiz Rocasolano was a divorced journalist and well-known news anchor before marrying Spain's Prince Felipe on May 22, 2004. She became Spain's first commoner queen in June 2014, when her husband was sworn in as king.
Ortiz, daughter of a journalist and a nurse and the granddaughter of a taxi-driver, dated Felipe in secret before their engagement was announced in November 2003. They met at a dinner organised by a journalist friend.
DENMARK'S PRINCE JOACHIM AND MARIE AGATHE ODILE CAVALLIER
Prince Joachim, fourth-in-line to the Danish throne, met French-born Marie Agathe Odile Cavallier at a private hunt in 2002. In 2005, Joachim divorced his Hong Kong-born wife Alexandra, with whom he has two sons, by mutual consent.
The prince proposed to Cavallier while they were on holiday in Turkey, and the pair married in May 2008, at a tradition-steeped ceremony in an ancient church in the tiny village of Moegeltoender. Cavallier became known as Her Royal Highness Princess Marie.
OLYMPIAN CHARLENE WITTSTOCK AND MONACO'S PRINCE ALBERT
Charlene Lynette Wittstock was born in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe in January 1978. She competed for South Africa at the 2000 Olympics before marrying Prince Albert II of Monaco on July 1, 2011.
The couple began dating in 2006 and married in an opulent ceremony in Monte Carlo attended by European royalty and the international elite. Prince Albert is the son of Grace Kelly.
SOFIA HELLQVIST AND SWEDISH PRINCE CARL PHILLIP
Sofia Hellqvist was a model and reality TV star before she became Princess of Sweden when she married Prince Carl Phillip on June 13, 2015.
KATE MIDDLETON AND PRINCE WILLIAM
Kate Middleton, whose father is a pilot and mother an air stewardess who later set up a mail order business, met Britain's Prince William while at St Andrews University in Scotland in 2001. They married on April 29, 2011, with Kate becoming the first commoner in more than 350 years to wed a prince in such close proximity to the British throne.
Australian Associated Press