15 February 2016

The Top Ten: Romantic Royal Weddings of the Century

We may all be coming down from our Valentine's Day champagne-and-chocolate highs, but love is definitely still in the air. What better way to celebrate than a look at ten of the most romantic royal weddings of the 21st century? We may only be a decade and a half in, but there's been plenty of royal romance to enjoy. Be sure to weigh in with your list in the comments below!

10. The Prince of Asturias and Letizia Ortiz Rocasolano (2004)

The Spanish people were reportedly caught by surprise when Felipe announced his engagement to Letizia, a well-known journalist and news anchor. Their wedding, celebrated on May 22, 2004, was the first to be held in Madrid in almost a century, and although rain fell, the couple were clearly happy. More than ten years later, they are King Felipe VI and Queen Letizia of Spain, and they are parents to two princesses, Leonor and Sofia.

9. Crown Prince Haakon of Norway and Mette-Marit Tjessem Hoiby (2001)

Single mother Mette-Marit was a very controversial figure in Norway when her relationship with the country's future king was made public. But Haakon was firm in his decision to marry the woman he loved, and the pair wed in Oslo's cathedral on August 25, 2001. Today the couple are still happily married and are parents to Marius, Princess Ingrid Alexandra, and Prince Sverre Magnus. (See the glittering jewels from their pre-wedding gala and their royal wedding!)

8. Princess Madeleine of Sweden and Chris O'Neill (2013)

After a very public broken engagement in 2010, Madeleine fled Sweden for New York, where she met financier Chris. Two years later they announced that they were engaged, though Chris decided to decline royal status. They were both emotional during their wedding at the chapel of the Royal Palace in Stockholm on June 8, 2013, and today, they are parents to Princess Leonore and Prince Nicolas. (See the glittering jewels from their pre-wedding dinner and their royal wedding!)

7. Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume of Luxembourg and Countess Stephanie de Lannoy (2012)

The marriage of Guillaume and Stephanie on October 20, 2012, was a rare match between a royal and a noble. Luxembourg's future grand duke had known his bride for years. The wedding was a bittersweet occasion, however, because the bride's mother had died unexpectedly only months before. The marriage is still going strong three years later.

6. The Prince of Wales and Camilla Parker Bowles (2005)

The romance of Charles and Camilla was long, enduring, and incredibly controversial for years before their engagement and wedding, which took place on April 9, 2005. Although the public's affection for the late Diana, Princess of Wales overshadowed the occasion for some -- and the death of the pope delayed it by a day -- there was no denying the couple's love for each other at their religious blessing at Windsor. The two have now been happily married for more than a decade. (See Camilla's heirloom engagement ring and the glittering jewels from their royal wedding!)

5. The Duke of Cambridge and Catherine Middleton (2011)

One of the most sensational royal weddings of the last decade was undoubtedly the marriage of William and Kate, who toyed with the press and public for years before finally announcing their engagement. The wedding at Westminster Abbey on April 29, 2011, was a romantic occasion, filled with family and celebrated under a canopy of green trees. Nearly five years on, the future British king and queen are now parents to Prince George and Princess Charlotte. (See the glittering jewels from their royal wedding!)

4. Prince Felix of Luxembourg and Claire Lademacher (2013)

Few royal weddings have ever felt as personal and love-filled as the nuptials of Felix and Claire, who wed in France on September 21, 2013, after a civil wedding in the bride's native Germany. In an especially romantic touch, the two said their vows in their spouse's native language. Today, they run a vineyard in the south of France and are parents to Princess Amalia.

3. Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark and Mary Elizabeth Donaldson (2004)

Four years after meeting in Sydney during the Olympics, Frederik married his Aussie bride on May 14, 2004, at Copenhagen's cathedral. Mary wore a delicate lace veil that had belonged to Frederik's great-grandmother; Frederik couldn't hold back his tears when he saw his bride coming down the aisle. Today, the couple are the happy parents of four children: Prince Christian, Princess Isabella, and twins Prince Vincent and Princess Josephine. (See the glittering jewels from their royal wedding here and here!)

2. The Prince of Orange and Maxima Zorreguieta Cerruti (2002)

When Willem-Alexander made his wedding vows to Argentine-born Maxima in Amsterdam on February 2, 2002, the cheers from the crowd outside could be heard echoing through the church. Although Maxima was popular herself, her father's ties to a dictatorship meant that her parents had to stay away from the wedding; her family and heritage were honored by the playing of a traditional Argentine tango during the ceremony. Today, the couple are the country's king and queen, and they are parents to three princesses: Catharina-Amalia, Alexia, and Ariane.

1. Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden and Daniel Westling (2010)

Sweden's future queen fell in love at the gym; she and her personal trainer, Daniel, dated for nearly a decade before they married on June 19, 2010, in Stockholm's cathedral. They faced personal adversity after their engagement announcement, when Daniel underwent a kidney transplant. By their wedding, though, both were healthy and extremely happy, and their love for each other was evident in every moment of the day. And, as an extra romantic touch, the pair were married on the wedding anniversary of her parents, King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia. Almost six years later, the two are parents to Princess Estelle and to another baby, who is due to arrive in a matter of weeks. (See the glittering jewels from their pre-wedding gala here and here, and the jewels from their royal wedding here and here!)

Want more royal wedding romance? Read all about my ten favorite royal wedding tiaras!