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Royalty’s love of Hollywood

Prince Harry’s relationship with American actress Meghan Markle is far from the first Hollywood/royalty match up.

For long, members of royal families have been captivated with the glam of actresses. Easily the most famous of those being Grace Kelly.

Grace Kelly was an American actress born in 1929. At the age of 23, she rose to stardom only to retire from acting three years later when she was to marry Prince Rainier III of Monaco. Prince Rainier proposed to Grace three days after meeting her family who had to pay a $2 million dowry so the “wedding of the century” could go ahead.

The wedding was watched by around 30 million people on television. The new Princess of Monaco obtained dual U.S and Monégasque citizenship. They had three children together, Caroline, Albert and Stéphanie.

On 14 September 1982 at the age of 52, Princess Grace died in hospital after suffering a stroke while driving and crashing her car.

Their only son, Prince Albert decided to follow in his father’s footsteps. Prince Albert’s, who is now married to Olympic swimmer Charlene Wittstock, dating history looks like the little black book of Hollywood including that of Naomi Campbell, Angie Everheart, Kylie Minogue, Janice Dickinson, Claudia Shiffer, Catherine Oxenberg and none other than “The King”, Elvis Presley’s daughter, Lisa Marie Presley.

Prince Harry isn’t the only member of his family either to fall for an American actress. Harry’s uncle, Prince Andrew was once believed by many to be on the journey down the aisle with Koo Stark.

The two started dating in the early eighties to the delight of many who were excited to see what the vibrant actress would bring the typically tightly wound family. Koo Stark was born on in the United States and raised between the US and the UK. Yet she would be her own undoing when her past film work (a naked lesbian shower scene for Emily in 1976 in particular) came into focus and it was made known that from many traditionalists that the match was not approved of.

“It wasn’t like a Hollywood movie, with a grand finale,” said Koo Stark in a later interview. “In the end, we just ran out of energy. It had been strangled to death.”

Prince Andrew was to find a more suitable bride, to which he then married Fergie, whom the couple had two daughters.

Actress Rita Hayworth left her film career in 1948 to marry Prince Aly Khan, son of Sultan Mahommed Shah, Aga Khan III. At the time of the marriage, Rita Hayworth said she might convert to Islam but never did. The argument between the two on what religion to raise their daughter was only one such problem between the two; Prince Aly was also seen dancing with Joan Fontaine. Hayworth filed for divorce stating “extreme cruelty, entirely mental in nature” from the prince when she became worried that her daughter was at risk to be kidnapped.

Tao Ruspoli, son of  Prince Alessandro Ruspoli, 9th Prince of Cerveteri married American actress Olivia Wilde in 2003 when she was only 19-years-old. The pair was married in Virgina, United States, on an abandoned school bus (can you say romantic?) with only their witnesses. The marriage was a secret at first ,and a school bus was the only place they would have privacy. In 2011, the couple announced they would be getting divorced citing “irreconcilable differences”. Olivia Wilde did not ask for spousal support, and the two came to an agreement in private over their property.

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