How royal women have changed over the decades in unrecognisable photos

Refreshingly un-regal! But can you guess who is who from these royal snaps of years gone by?

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Today we know them as among the most recognisable people on the planet. But that hasn’t always been the case. 

And a look back through the archives shows that some of our royals have changed quite dramatically with the passing years.

So can you tell who is who from these refreshingly un-regal snaps?

Links with junta almost ruined her royal wedding

During their first encounter, her later husband and future King decided to keep his royalty a secret, not disclosing to the mystery woman he was a prince until later on

Born and brought up in Buenos Aires, this royal later moved to the United States where she took on a series of high-flying roles.

These included being vice president of Latin American Institutional Sales for the finance house HSBC James Capel Inc. in New York.

Little did she know that in April 1999, while on holiday in Seville, she would meet the love of her life. The pair were engaged just two years later.

The lead-up to the wedding was not straightforward. There was public disquiet as her father had played a role in Argentina’s repressive military junta.

In the end, the marriage went ahead after parliament concluded that the future royal had known nothing about the atrocities in Argentina.

Over two decades later, the royals are happily married and have three daughters. 

Decided to make the news, not just report on it

Not only did her engagement to the royal grab attention for her being a ‘commoner’, but also her status as a divorcée

This royal grew up in a middle-class family and became a journalist and news presenter.

She met her husband-to-be in 2002 at the site of an oil spillage and the pair announced their engagement one year later.

As she was both ‘commoner’ and divorcée, this raised eyebrows. She had previously married a high school teacher.

The royal couple have since welcomed two daughters.

A whirlwind journey to a Middle Eastern palace

During her early twenties, this royal moved to Amman, where her parents had settled after fleeing Kuwait along with thousands of other Palestinians following the 1991 Gulf War

This royal received her education at the American University in Cairo, where she graduated with a business degree.

During her early twenties, she moved to Amman, where her parents had settled after fleeing Kuwait along with thousands of other Palestinians following the 1991 Gulf War.

In her early professional career, she worked in banking and information technology. 

Sshe met her future husband, at a dinner party and it was love at first sight.

They married just five months later and the day was deemed a national holiday.

Posed naked with a boa constrictor before turning royal

Before becoming a royal, this woman made headlines as a glamour model and from her time on he Swedish reality show Paradise Hotel

After finishing school, this royal completed an arts programme a university, modelling to earn money.

Unlike most royals, she has  posed topless wearing a pair of camouflage print bikini bottoms, holding a live boa constrictor to preserve her modesty.

She later moved to New York where she became a yoga teacher and studied accountancy.

Her relationship with her royal partner was announced by the palace July 2010.

Heiress to a billionaire somehow made royal connections

While she may have been a high-flying party girl in the past, this royal now combines her work as a clothes designer with her busy schedule as mother of five

This royal grew with a billionaire and fell ‘in love at first sight’ with her prince.

She met her now-husband while studying for a degree in History of Art at New York University in 1993 after the pair were set up on a blind date by a mutual friend.

Their 1995 July wedding later that year was the largest gathering of royals in London since Queen Elizabeth’s wedding to Prince Philip in 1946.

Today, she combines work as a clothes designer with a life as mother-of-five .

Cheers – let’s get married! 

This royal had gone to the pub with her friends when she met her royal beau at the Slip Inn pub during the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games

The daughter of two Scottish immigrants, this princess  and was a marketing manager at an advertising company.

She had gone to the pub in Sydney with her friends when she met her royal beau and a long-distance relationship followed.

The couple’s engagement was made official in October 2003 and less than a year later, they were married in a ceremony attended by royals from across the globe.

Today they are parents to four children.

Swam for gold but found turbulent waters

When initially compared side by side with her royal match, their lives were very different. She was sports-mad and 20 years his junior, while he was the heir to a throne

This Serene Highness won medals in the swimming pool and bagged a royal husband. 

Their lives were very different. She was sports-mad and 20 years his junior. Her father was a photocopier salesman, and her mother was a competitive diver.

However, the pair allowed their relationship to develop slowly outside the public eye and in June 2010, their engagement was announced.

At the time of their wedding, she was dubbed the ‘Runaway Bride’ by the media after allegedly trying to flee before the £53million ceremony, but the reports were denied.

Rumours of the state of the couple’s marriage have swirled for years, even more so when the mystery woman spent most of 2021 from her husband. The pair have always denied these rumours and today share two children.

Daughter of a Polish countess is now a Queen

After completing her degree, this soon-to-be royal lady began working as a speech therapist and primary school teacher

Born into a noble family in her own right, her mother was a Polish countess who fled the country after the Second World War. Her father was a politician.

She had a very happy childhood, but in 1997, tragedy struck when her grandmother and younger sister lost their lives in a car crash.

After completing her degree, she began working as a speech therapist and part-time at a primary school as working with children has always been a dream of hers.

Later in life, she met her husband, who said: ‘I saw her from far, and I went to talk to her. I knew right away that she would be my future wife.’

The pair were married following a three-year-long relationship and now have four children. 

Fell in love with her personal trainer

If she ascends to the throne as expected, she will be her country’s fourth queen regnant and the first since 1720

Although she was a royal firstborn, her younger brother was heir apparent. 

However,a constitutional change in 1980 abolished ancient primogeniture rules and allowed women to take the throne, meaning this princess will now be queen.

After graduating from secondary school, she embarked on a long program of higher education and work experience to prepare for her future responsibilities, including time at Yale University and the United Nations in New York City.

She was recovering from an eating disorder when she got together with her future husband, having initially hired him as her personal trainer.

In February 2009, the couple announced their engagement and were married the following year. They later welcomed two children.

Demanded the right to go to school – and won!

This mystery royal was the first member of the British Firm to compete in the Olympic Games

Educated at home in common with other royal children, this princess broke with tradition and asked to go to school with other children, ending up at Benenden School in Kent in 1963. 

The royal developed an interest in horsemanship from a young age and later competed in the Olympic Games.

Just four months after her wedding to her first husband, she survived an armed kidnapping attempt.

The couple had two children but divorced following years of marital strain.

The same year, she married her second husband, a naval officer and former aide to Queen Elizabeth.

Prefers red wine and horses but has become leading front line royal

She married in 2005 and has since thrown herself into life as successful a senior royal

During her childhood, this royal developed a fondness for the outdoors and became a keen horsewoman. It was reported that she met her future husband at a polo match in Windsor in 1970 and they became friends soon after.

However, before marrying into the royal family, she was wedded to an officer in the British Army who also dated Princess Anne for a short time in 1970. 

The downfall of their marriage came after news emerged that she had been having an extramarital affair with a member of the British Royal Family. 

In 2006, their decades-long love story reached its climax when they were wed and she soon threw herself into life as successful a senior royal.

Here are the answers – did you guess right? 

1. Queen Maxima of The Netherlands

Queen Maxima pictured during a visit to Den Bosch, Netherlands in June this year

2. Queen Letizia of Spain 

Queen Letizia of Spain pictured at  journalism awards earlier this year in  Madrid

3. Queen Rania of Jordan

Queen Rania attendsing the Coronation Reception for Overseas Guests at Buckingham Palace in May 

4. Princess Sofia of Sweden

Princess Sofia of Sweden pictured at the Nobel Prize Banquet 2022 at Stockholm City Hall

5. Marie-Chantal, Crown Princess of Greece

Princess Marie-Chantal, the wife of Pavlos, pictured at French Consulate in New York in 2018

6. Mary, Crown Princess of Denmark

Crown Princess Mary of Denmark in 2022. She met the Crown Prince in a pub

7. Princess Charlene of Monaco 

Princess Charlene of Monaco in June. She has denied speculation that the marriage is in trouble

8. Queen Mathilde of Belgium 

Queen Mathilde of Belgium pictured during a One Day Official Visit in Paris in February 2014 

9. Victoria, Crown Princess of Sweden

Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden pictured as she attends the Polar Music Prize 2023 in Stockholm, Sweden

10. Princess Anne 

Princess Anne, Princess Royal, at Royal Ascot last year

11. Queen Camilla 

Queen Camilla during a ceremonial welcome at The Arc De Triomphe in Paris in September

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