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Royals have been marrying commoners since England’s King Edward VIII fell for the twice-divorced American Wallis Simpson, resulting in him losing his crown. These days, however, the rags-to-royal story has never been more, well, common. Prince Frederik of Denmark wed Mary Donaldson, an ad executive in Australia up until six years ago; Prince Willem-Alexander, heir to the throne of the Netherlands, tied the knot with Máxima Zorreguieta, an Argentinian investment banker, and Monaco’s Prince Albert is finally settling down with Charlene Wittstock, an Olympic swimmer from South Africa. (It goes the other way too: Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden plucked her trainer Daniel Westling from obscurity.) Even if some aren’t blue blood, these women have certainly figured out how to dress the part. After all, Albert’s mom, Princess Grace, was only a 26-year-old actress when she wed Prince Rainier III. Could a waiting list for a Wittstock bag be that far off? 

This story first appeared in the August 26, 2010 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

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