Chance Royal Meetings: Sophie Rhys-Jones & Prince Edward

We received quite a few emails and comments when we featured Sophie, Countess of Wessex in our series on the Royal’s Christmas Day Walk to Sandringham (click here and here for a refresher). This post is for those of you who requested more information about Sophie!

We love talking about Chance Royal Meetings, and Sohie and Edward have a good one. They first met in September of 1993 at a charity event held at The Queen’s Tennis Club in aid of the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award.  Sophie was working in PR and was there assisting her boss. During the event, she was asked to step in for a photo with Prince Edward to help promote the event. English presenter Sue Barker was supposed to have been there and would have been in the picture instead but she couldn’t make it at the last minute.

This is the photo!

Two months later, Prince Edward asked Sophie out on a date after getting her contact information from her office. Reportedly, their first date was a game of Real Tennis (the original racquet game which has evolved into modern tennis). Here’s a picture of Edward in his tennis whites ready for a game.

Check out our post on Sophie’s engagement ring for more information on how their relationship progressed.

Fun Fact: When Sophie and Edward got engaged, it got out that Sophie’s mother had had her own chance royal meeting; she had once danced with Prince Philip at a society ball. Wish we had a picture of that! If you like, our other posts on Chance Royal Meetings by clicking here.

To end, here are two very recent photographs of Sophie and Edward taken on New Year’s Day, 2012 at Sandringham. Prince Philip was there as well; this was his first public appearance since returning home from hospital.

Chance Royal Meetings: Olympic Edition Part Two

Crown Prince Carl Gustav of Sweden attended the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich and while he was there, he met a young woman by the name of Silvia Sommerlath, now Queen Silvia of Sweden. Silvia met the prince through her work as a hostess and interpreter for the Organizing Committee of the Games. She was no doubt a great asset as she speaks  several languages (her current total is six: German, English, Swedish, French, Spanish, and Portuguese). She grew up in both Germany and Brazil which no doubt helped her become multilingual.

Here she is, ready for a medal ceremony. The young future Queen of Sweden looks so much like her daughter Crown Princess Victoria here, don’t you think?

Gotta love her enthusiasm here:

And the piece de resistance: a picture of the future King and Queen when they first met. You’ve got to love when there is  photographic proof of such a significant Chance Royal Meeting! We’re just so sorry this is a rather small picture:

In the year after the Olympic Games, the Crown Prince became the King of Sweden when his grandfather died (Carl Gustav’s father had already passed away). Despite the added pressure of becoming King, he and Silvia continued to date and they announced their engagement on March 12, 1976. Here is the happy couple at their official announcement with the press:

The couple married on June 19 that year. Fun tidbit: the couples eldest daughter Crown Princess Victoria married Daniel Westling on the same day in 2010.

This is a lovely portrait of the King and Queen on their wedding day on June 19, 1976:

And here is their daughter Crown Princess Victoria on her wedding day with Prince Daniel, the former Daniel Westling, on June 19, 2010:

Last but certainly not least, we found this footage of Queen Silvia when she was plain Silvia Sommerlath working as a hostess and interpreter at the games. We don’t understand a word of it,  but the footage speaks for itself. There’s even footage of  Abba performing ‘Dancing Queen’ for the couple at a concert the night before their wedding and a look at the wedding itself!


The summer Olympics in London will be here before we know it. Who knows – it might just happen again! Stay tuned.

Chance Royal Meetings: Olympic Edition Part One

We love discussing Chance Royal Meetings! We last spoke about how Princess Grace and Prince Rainier met during the 1955 Cannes Festival and  our next two Chance Royal Meetings took place at another big event, the Olympic Games. Let’s start with Prince Frederick of Denmark and Mary Donaldson.

Mary Donaldson, then a 28 year old account director for DDB Needham, went out to meet friends at the Slip Inn pub in Sydney on September 16, 2000 and ended up meeting Prince Frederick of Denmark who was in town for the Games. At that point, she just knew him as “Fred” and had no idea she was sitting next to a European prince.

Prince Frederik was smitten from the start. He later said, “I really felt that she was a soul mate. I was drawn to Mary on all fronts. It was fantastic.” Of their first meetings Mary remembered, “He never really told me that much about his other life in the beginning. It was more about who we were and what we were about. It wasn’t about him living in a place with high ceilings or anything.”

Here’s the Slip Inn in Sydney:

After over a year of long distance dating, Mary moved to Paris in December 2001 to be closer to the Prince. Here’s a snapshot of the couple in the early years:

Prince Frederick and Mary officially announced their engagement on October 8, 2003. Fun fact: Mary and Frederick are sitting on the same sofa here that Frederick’s parents Prince Henrik and Queen Margrethe used when they announced their engagement. Frederick’s brother Prince Joachim also sat on this sofa when he announced his engagement to Alexandra Manley (his now ex-wife). 

The married on May 14, 2004 in a lavish ceremony at Copenhagen Cathedral in front of 682 guests. We love Mary’s dress! And just think, all this because she showed up at the pub.

They now have four children and are a fun couple to watch. Here they are having a day out in the park with their two eldest children Prince Christian (the future King of Denmark) and Princess Isabella:

And the whole family together at the christening of their twins, Princess Josephine and Prince Vincent:

Join us tomorrow to see how a King met his Queen at the Olympics. See you then!

Chance Royal Meeting: Prince Rainier and Grace Kelly

Here at the Royal Post, we love a good Chance Royal Meeting that turned into something. Today we are featuring an oldie but a goodie: how Prince Rainier and Grace Kelly met.
                                              Luckily, we have pictures of this event. Grace Kelly was in Cannes in May of 1955 for the Film Festival and Paris Match suggested she meet Prince Rainier for an editorial feature. Grace agreed and decided to wear this dress because it was the only one she had packed that didn’t require ironing; the electricity had gone out in her hotel that morning.
Via Paris Match

The Prince showed her his gardens, including a visit to his Zoo. It was just eight months later that the couple announced their engagement in December of 1955. The wedding was less than a year after they first met, in April 1956.

Funny to think what would have happened with the House of Grimaldi and Grace Kelly’s bright career if it weren’t for Paris Match…Click here to read about ALL of the titles Grace Kelly held after her wedding to Prince Rainier. 

Chance Royal Meeting: Peter Middleton and Prince Philip

via The Daily Mail

There are a few chance Royal meetings that were captured on film and that proved to be somewhat prophetic. This picture illustrates on of my favourites.

On the left hand side we have Peter Middleton, Kate’s grandfather, and on the left we have Prince William’s grandfather the Duke of Edinburgh. This picture was taken in 1962 when they returned from a two month long mission to South America. How much their paths crossed during that time is not publicly known, but we just love that we have a picture of this. Can’t help but wonder how shocked Peter Middleton would have been to know that in 2011 their grandchildren would get married.

Sadly, Peter Middleton passed away shortly before William and Kate announced their engagement, which is why the engagement was delayed until November 16,2011 (the couple became engaged on October 20th during a trip to Kenya). We can only hope he was let into this secret before he passed away.

To read more about the Middleton family and how things have changed for them since The Wedding, click here!