Two Princesses of the Blood Royal Who Could Have Been Queen Consorts

Back in the days, royals around the world were not allowed to marry non-aristocratic commoners. 

Doing so, meant they would lose their places in the line of succession, stripped of their inheritance and worst, would be forced to live in exile. The 20th century classic example is King Edward VIII of Britain.

In the middle ages, this ethos of royalty was in full force, cemented by laws like The Royal Marriages Act of 1772 in the UK, and Pauline Laws in the Russian Empire. 

Only few royals defied this royal rule, and those who defied suffered sad consequences and family humiliation. 

Marrying fellow royals

There are number of reasons why royals restrict marriage within their circle:

  • Build political alliances with other territories. 
  • Expand land possessions. 
  • Preserve the royal bloodline within the echelon of aristocracy. 
  • Protect the royal family's veil of secrecy.
  • Keep the flow of the bloodline within the aristocracy. 

Commoners during those times were deemed unsuitable to join the royal family. And royals were discouraged forming a romantic relationship with them.

Change of Time

However, time change. 

As the 20th century approaches, royals knew they needed to adopt sweeping changes in response to the call of times. 

While in the past, a royal marriage was more of a political affair, providing the throne with heirs, today, it's love more than anything else.

Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip
Constantine II, ex-King of Greece, and Queen Anne Marie
The Hereditary Prince and Princess of Liechtenstein
Juan Carlos, King emeritus of Spain, and Queen Sofia

The last known royal marriages in Europe where royal couple means ROYALS (who are still alive, or one of the spouses still alive today) were the following:

  • Britain - Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh (he was born Prince of Greece and Denmark). He was the grandson of King George I of Greece.
  • Greece - King Constantine II and Queen Anne Marie (she was born Princess of Denmark). She is the younger sister of Queen Margrethe II of Denmark.
  • Liechtenstein - Prince Alois and Princess Sophie, the Hereditary Prince and Princess of Liechtenstein (she was born Duchess Sophie of Bavaria, daughter of Prince Max of Bavaria). She is an heiress to the Jacobite succession in the British throne.
  • Spain - King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia (she was born Princess of Greece and Denmark). She is the older sister of King Constantine II of Spain and both first cousins, once removed, of Prince Philip.

Royal Consorts

With this change of time, comes the choices of future monarchs marrying non-aristocratic commoners. 

With the exemption of Queen Elizabeth II of Britain, no reigning European crown heads and its heirs married into royalty.

However, there are two of them who were in the cusp or marrying royal blood princesses back in the days: King Felipe VI of Spain and King Harald V of Norway.

Princess Irene of Greece and Denmark

It has been reported that the future King of Norway, Harald, was going to marry the youngest child of King Paul of Greece and Queen Frederica. Princess Irene.

Princess Irene of Greece and Denmark

They were blood related, just like most royals of Europe. Princess Irene's great grandfather, King George I of Greece, and King Harald V's great grandmother, Queen Alexandra of Britain, were siblings, both children of King Christian IX of Denmark.

Talks of marriage were frequently discussed in the family. Harald's father, King Olav V of Norway, wished his only son and heir married into royalty.

Harald V, King of Norway since 1991

King Olav himself married his second cousin, Princess Martha of Sweden, and they had a happy marriage until the death of Princess Martha from cancer in 1954 before he could inherit the throne.

But by then Prince Harald was head-over-heels in love with his college sweetheart, Sonja Haraldsen whom he dated for nine years.

Sonja Haraldsen is a non-aristocratic commoner and this circumstance created a stir in Norway during those years. 

No Kings of Norway ever married commoners. Their relationship was not easily accepted by the public.

When his father insisted on his son to marry fellow royal, Prince Harald threatened the king he wouldn't take the throne if he couldn't marry Sonja.

The royal match between Prince Harald and Princess Irene of Greece and Denmark was eventually scrapped and Harald married Sonja in 1968.

King Olav V died in 1991 and his son succeeded him as Harald V. Sonja became the first consort of independent Norway to be born a commoner.

Queen Sofia and Princess Irene

Princess Irene on the other hand never married. It's not known however if she took the failed match badly, so much so that she decided to remain single for the rest of her life.

She had dated Prince Michel of Orleans, son of the Orleans pretender to the French throne, but he married a French noblewoman. And Princess Irene hadn't heard having a relationship then.

After the fall of the Greek monarchy where her older brother, King Constantine II and his family were forced to live in exile, Princess Irene and her mother moved to India.

When Queen Frederica died in 1981, she decided to move to Spain and to live near her sister and brother-in-law in the apartment of Zarzuela Palace in Madrid.

Princess Irene today

Princess Irene renounced her Greek citizenship and became a Spanish citizen in October 2018. But would occasionally visit Greece to see her brother and sister-in-law.

She is close to her only sister, Queen Sofia, brother-in-law, King Juan Carlos, nephew, King Felipe VI, and nieces, Infanta Elena and Infanta Cristina.

Princess Tatjana of Liechtenstein

Princess Tatjana (born on April 10, 1973 in St. Gallen, Switzerland) is the youngest child and only daughter of the Sovereign Prince of Liechtenstein, Prince Hans Adam II and Princess Marie.

Princess Tatjana of Liechtenstein

Liechtenstein is a tiny landlocked principality smacked between Switzerland and Austria, and one of the richest nations in the world.

Her father has been Crown Head of Liechtenstein since 1989. Her mother was born a Countess and belonged to the old Noble family in Hungary.

Princess Tatjana went to Spain in 1992 to attend the European Business School in Madrid, Spain taking up Business Administration.

Princess Tatjana and her mother, Princess Marie of Liechtenstein

It was during this time that she became acquainted with the dashing Prince Felipe of Spain. 

Rumors of dating quickly spread. Much to the delight of their families. The media went frenzy with the speculation, after all, the Prince of Asturias was still single at the time and life Spanish throne was on the look for a suitable bride.

Hans Adam II, the Sovereign Prince of Liechtenstein, and Princess Marie

By then, no commoners ever married a Spanish king. The last Spanish Queen Consort was Princess Eugenia, granddaughter of Queen Victoria and the grandmother of King Juan Carlos.

The idea of Prince Felipe marrying a royal blood princess delighted much of the royal observers.

In 1990s, Princess Tatjana was a prize catch for the Spanish royal family. She was born royal, a daughter of a reigning European Crown Head, well-cultured, Catholic (religion of the Spanish royal family).

Felipe VI, King of Spain since 2014

It seemed like the making of a fairytale marriage and in accordance with the royal custom.

But nothing came to fruitation as Prince Felipe seemed like had a roving eye for supermodels than for princesses.

He dismissed the idea of marrying a princess and instead dated Norwegian underwear model, Eva Sannum.

Princess Tatjana and Baron Latorff on their wedding day

Princess Tatjana returned home after her studies in Madrid. In 1999, she married Austrian-born aristocrat, Baron Philipp von Latorff, son of Baron Claus Latorff and Countess Julia Batthyanny von Nemet-Ujvar.

Baron Latorff worked for Boehringer Ingelheim in Germany, one of the largest pharmaceutical companies in the world. They have seven children together.

As Liechtenstein maintained an Agnatic Primogeniture succession (recognized male only descendants), Princess Tatjana and her children are not in line to succeed her father.

Prince Felipe broke up with Eva Sannum in 2001, later he met News Anchor Letezia Ortiz, a divorced commoner. 

They married on May 22, 2004 and have two daughters together, Princess Leonor and Infanta Sofia. Letezia is the first non-aristocratic commoner to become a Spanish Queen Consort.

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