To catch a Prince: “Seven golden rules” revealed by global study of royal romances
• Kate’s met her prince. Want to meet your own? Seven-point plan is born from Badoo.com study of 107 romances since World War II
• Forget kissing frogs. Best strategy is: work in media or showbiz; attend university (ideally, Cambridge); think sporty (ideally, tennis); get on your party shoes; target Europe (ideally, Monaco or Scandinavia)
Kate’s met her prince. Want to meet your own?
It’s easier than you think, provided you know how – according to a global study of 107 royal romances since World War II, commissioned by Badoo.com (www.badoo.com), the world’s largest social networking site for meeting new people.
All you need is to follow the “Seven Golden Rules” for meeting a prince, uncovered by Badoo’s analysis of the recent historical data.
“Until now, the only known strategy for meeting a prince has been to kiss lots of frogs”, says Lloyd Price, Badoo’s Director of Marketing. “We have produced the first real strategy based on statistical analysis of hard data.”
The other good news is that you don’t have to be royal yourself to make Badoo’s rules work. Nearly three-quarters (71%) of the women who romanced European princes in Badoo’s study were commoners, rather than royals or aristocrats.
What’s more, there are more princes to go round than you think. There are still over 30 reigning royal families worldwide, plus assorted European aristocrats and ex-royals still entitled to call themselves “prince”. The princes in Badoo’s study come from 30 countries, 33 families and four continents.
So, ditch the frogs. Think strategic and follow Badoo’s seven steps towards catching a prince of your own.
Badoo’s “Seven Golden Rules”, In Brief
1. Think Global – Nearly Half Of Princes Marry Foreigners
2. Target Europe – Ideally, Monaco or Scandinavia
3. Get Educated – University Is The New Royal Marriage Market
4. Get On Your Party Shoes – Princes Like To Party
5. Think Sporty – Best Of All, Play Tennis
6. Get A Job – Ideally, In Media or Showbusiness
7. Fame Helps – Boost Your Odds By Becoming Famous
To Catch A Prince: The Rules In More Detail
• Rule 1: Think Global – Nearly Half Of Princes Marry Foreigners
• Statistics: 43% of princes and 63% of European ones in Badoo’s study married or had long-term relationships with foreign women.
• Tactic: Think global. Leave home.
• Analysis: In the past, princes married foreign princesses for reasons of dynastic alliance and national strategy. Nowadays, they still marry foreigners but for love not lineage and meet by chance not arrangement in our increasingly globalized world.
· Mary Donaldson, now Crown Princess of Denmark, was an ordinary Australian gal when she first met Prince Frederik of Denmark at a Sydney bar in 2000.
· The woman now known to the world as Queen Rania of Jordan was plain Rania al Yassin from Kuwait when she first met King Abdullah of Jordan, when he was still a prince.
· Josephine Trevorrow from Cornwall in the UK married Tunku Mahmud Iskandar, a Malaysian prince, in 1956.
Rule 2: Target Europe – Ideally, Monaco or Scandinavia
• Statistics: European princes are far more likely to romance both commoners and foreigners than are princes elsewhere.
Only 6% of the European princes in Badoo’s study romanced women who were fellow royals, compared to 26% of princes globally. 71% of European princes romanced commoners versus 36% of princes globally. 63% of European princes romanced foreigners versus 43% globally.
• Analysis: Non-European royal families still retain a more traditional approach to marriage. South-East Asian and Middle-Eastern princes are more likely to have arranged marriages, while Middle-Eastern societies generally offer less chance for women to meet princes in less traditional circumstances.
• Tactic: Unless you are royal yourself, target European royal families, best of all those in Monaco and Scandinavia, the ones most open to commoners of almost any background, profession or nationality.
Beyond Europe, target Jordan and Japan, since princes in both countries now have a track record of more adventurous marriages.
· Charlene Wittstock, Zimbabwe-born fiancée to Prince Albert II of Monaco, is a former Olympic swimmer for South Africa, who first met Albert when she was competing in a swimming competition in Monaco in 2000.
· Grace Kelly, the Hollywood actress, met her future husband, Prince Rainier of Monaco, when Kelly was invited to Rainier’s palace for a photo-shoot during the Cannes Film Festival of 1955.
· Mary, Crown Princess of Denmark, was plain Mary Donaldson, the daughter of an Australian mathematician, when she met Frederik Crown Prince of Denmark at the Slip Inn in Sydney, when Frederick was attending the Sydney Olympics in 2000.
Rule 3: Get Educated – University Is The New Royal Marriage Market
• Statistics: 10% of the relationships studied by Badoo began as student romances: nine at university, two at school. The figure for European princes was even higher (12%).
• Tactic: Target a top university, since princes are more likely to attend one. Best of all, target Cambridge, the only university in Badoo’s study to produce two royal romances.
• Analysis: Kate is not the first girl to meet a prince at university. Eight others in Badoo’s study did the same.
Maria Teresa Mestre, a Cuban, met her future husband, Prince Henri (now Grand Duke) of Luxembourg, while both were studying politics at Geneva University.
Kawashima Kiko got engaged to Crown Prince Akashino of Japan, second-in-line to the Japanese throne, while both were undergraduates at Gakushuin university in the 1980s. She studied psychology, while he did law.
Louise Leakey, of the well-known Leakey family of anthropologists, was doing a PhD in paleontology at University College London when she met Prince Emmanuel de Mérode, a fellow doctoral student, Belgian prince and her future husband.
Jessica Sainsbury, of the well-known Sainsbury family, was studying Archaeology and Anthropology at Cambridge when she met Peter Frankopan, a Croatian prince and fellow student, who became her husband.
Birgitte Eva van Deurs Henriksen was attending finishing school in Cambridge when she met her future husband, Prince Richard, Duke of Gloucester who was studying architecture at Cambridge University.
• Rule 4: Get On Your Party Shoes – Princes Like To Party
• Statistics: 25% of the romances in Badoo’s study, and 35% of those involving European princes, began at a party, dinner party, ball or similar social engagement.
• Tactic: Don’t be a wallflower. Princes like to party.
• Analysis: Parties are the new frogs. The more you attend, the better your odds of meeting a prince. Of course, all parties are not equal. The best are those thrown by mutual friends, since 17% of princes and 29% of European ones met the women they loved through mutual friends.
· Letizia Ortiz, a newsreader on Spanish TV, met Prince Felipe of Spain, how her husband, at a dinner party given by a leading Spanish TV journalist in 2002.
· Marie-Chantal Miller, the American socialite, met Crown Prince Pavlos of Greece, her future husband, at a wedding anniversary party of mutual friends in New Orleans in the 1990s. “It really was love at first sight”, said Pavlos, son of the former King Constantine.
· Princess Lalla Salma, now first lady of Morocco, was still known as Salma Bennani, the daughter of a school-teacher when she first met her future husband, Prince Mohammed at a private party in 1999.
• Rule 5: Think Sporty – Best Of All, Play Tennis
Statistics: 7% of the romances in Badoo’s study began via sport, while 13% of those with European princes did so.
Analysis: Either playing or watching sport is a good way to meet princes, especially European ones. But some sports – like polo, swimming or, best of all, tennis – offer better prospects than others, such as, say, beach volleyball or darts.
• Michiko Shōda, the first commoner, at least of modern times, to enter the Japanese Imperial family, did so after meeting Crown Prince Akihito playing tennis in 1957.
• Mathilde d'Udekem d'Acoz, a young aristocrat and speech therapist, first met her future husband, Belgian Prince Philippe, Duke of Brabant, on a tennis court in 1996.
• Prince Charles first met Camilla Parker-Bowles (then, Camilla Shand), now his second wife, at a polo match in Windsor in 1970.
• Rule 6: Get A Job – Ideally, In Media or Showbusiness
Statistics: 18% of the women in Badoo’s study first met their prince through work. The equivalent figure for those who met European princes was nearly a quarter (23%).
Analysis: The media (journalism, TV, PR) or showbusiness (especially acting) seem the best professions for meeting princes.
Tactics: Plan a career in PR, journalism, TV or showbusiness, preferably acting. Doing the PR for charity fundraising events is a good niche-within-a-niche.
· Sophie Rhys-Jones was a young Englishwoman working in PR when she first formally met Prince Edward, her future husband, in 1993. They were collaborating on a tennis fundraising event when Sophie reportedly approached the Prince and said, “I’d love to have a hit”. She is one of several women to have met a prince via working in PR.
· Princess Rym Ali of Jordan was plain Rym Brahimi, an Egyptian-born journalist, when she first met Prince Ali bin Al Hussein, her future husband, in 2004. They met after she had been expelled from Iraq to Jordan as a result of her work as a reporter and Prince Ali requested to see her to discuss the situation in Iraq. She is one of several journalists to have romanced a prince.
Rule 7: Fame Helps – Boost Your Odds By Becoming Famous
• Statistics: Badoo does not offer any statistics on the seductive power of fame – only a large number of examples of princes falling for women who were already famous before they met.
• Analysis: “Power is the ultimate aphrodisiac”, claimed Henry Kissinger, the American politician, but many princes seem to find fame the next best thing. Fame increases the odds both that women will come to the attention of princes and that they will come into contact with them.
• Tactics: If you want to meet a prince, aim to become famous first.
• Grace Kelly, the Hollywood star who became Princess Grace of Monaco after marrying Prince Rainer III, is probably the best-known example of a show-girl catching the eye of a prince, but she is far from the only one.
• Isbella Orisini, the Italian actress and goddaughter of Silvio Berlosconi, married Prince Edouard de Ligne, while Koo Stark, the American actress, had a long-term romance with Prince Andrew, the second son of Queen Elizabeth, before he went on to marry Sarah Ferguson.
• Letizia Ortiz was a newsreader on national TV in Spain when she met Prince Felipe, her future husband, at a dinner party hosted by another TV journalist. Some say that Felipe first fell for her through watching her on TV.
• ABOUT BADOO:
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