In the first part of this series, I discussed how Grace Kelly was not the first Hollywood actress to become a princess. She would not be the last, either.
Zsa Zsa Gabor was a Hungarian born actress who found her way to Hollywood and made herself a household name, almost more so for her persona and private life than for her acting roles in films like We’re Not Married and others (mostly) in the 1950s. Glamorous, gorgeous Zsa Zsa had been married several times already (notably to actor George Sanders and Hilton hotel patriarch Conrad Hilton Sr.) before settling down with her 9th and final husband, German born Hans Lichtenberg, aka Frederic Prinz von Anhalt. Hans had been adopted when he was 36 years old (?!) by the deposed German Princess Marie-Auguste of Anhalt. Royal titles had already been abolished in Germany so Hans never received an official title; instead he incorporated it into his new surname. Like the Mdivanis before him, Hans styled himself as Prince von Anhalt and Duke of Saxony and people accepted it.
Zsa Zsa, who like many young girls, probably dreamed of one day becoming a princess (Darwin Porter’s book on the Gabor sisters mentioned she actually had wanted to be Queen of England), had no issue with styling herself as Princess von Anhalt, Duchess of Saxony upon her marriage in 1986. In the 1988 Pee-Wee’s Playhouse Christmas Special, which I admit I have watched MANY times thanks to my children, Pee-Wee Herman actually introduces Zsa Zsa in her guest appearance as “Princess Zsa Zsa.” Zsa Zsa and her prince remained married until her death in 2016.
This next one, I am embarrassed to say I didn’t even know until recently, despite thinking that this actress turned princess is pretty awesome. Who, you ask? Film and television actress Olivia Wilde, known mostly for her roles in shows like House and Portlandia and films like Tron: Legacy. In 2003, when she was 19, she married Italian prince Tao Ruspoli. Looking at their relationship, perhaps the fact that I didn’t know was not unusual. Unlike Zsa Zsa, Olivia didn’t appear to flaunt her title and the couple didn’t have a big wedding ceremony steeped in paparazzi, instead choosing to elope and get married on an old school bus. They divorced in 2011.
Which brings us to our final actress turned princess. Unlike Olivia Wilde, it would be hard for someone NOT realize she was a princess judging by the amount of fanfare her entrance into the royal family received: Meghan Markle. The now Duchess of Sussex had mostly been a television actress (known for her recurring role in Suits) with a handful of films under her belt before she married the United Kingdom’s Prince Harry.
Despite many monarchies and their titles having long since been abolished, there are a many who are still going strong. This many, in fact:
…It sort of makes you wonder, which Hollywood actress will become the next princess?
Porter, Darwin. Those Glamorous Gabors: Bombshells from Budapest. Blood Moon Productions, Ltd., 2013.
“Olivia Wilde.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 24 Mar. 2019, http://www.wikipedia.org/.
“Meghan Markle.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 24 Mar. 2019, http://www.wikipedia.org/.
Photo of Zsa Zsa Gabor: Wikipedia: [http://www.ebay.com/itm/1959-STUNNING-Zsa-Zsa-Gabor-Actress-Press-Photo-/221259708595?pt=Art_Photo_Images&hash=item33841b38b3 ebay] |Author =News release…