With recent rumors that Emma Watson and Prince Harry might be dating, and in spite Watson discounting this via Twitter, our minds are spinning with possibilities. Unlikely as it does seem, nobody would argue that Watson would make an excellent princess, with incomparable grace, a strong sense of justice, and an upcoming role as Belle, the only Disney royalty that matters. But as a "commoner" can she actually become a princess? And more importantly, could we?
Although her net worth has certainly increased since her Harry Potter days, Watson, like Hermione Granger, comes from a pretty normal, middle class background. Nothing aristocratic or connected to nobility. Of course we all know that the lack of a pedigree did not stop Kate Middleton for marrying William, and technically she's not even the first commoner to marry a King. King James II married Anne Hyde and King Edward IV married Elizabeth Woodville, both commoners, so although it's frowned upon, this IS a thing that's happened.
Pehaps the most famous instance of a member of the British Royal Family marrying a commoner is the case of Wallis Simpson. King Edward VII fell in love with the twice-divorced Simpson, who at the beginning of their courtship was still technically married, and this caused a hysteria among the royal family. Though Simpson was indeed a commoner of plain social background, it's important to stress that that was not the reason their marriage was controversial. It was her marital status that caused the dilemma, as the Church of England did not allow for divorcees to remarry if their previous spouses were still alive. It should be noted that as of 2002, that law has been revoked.
And so, Edward VII eventually abdicated his throne to marry the women he loved. He maintained the title of "Duke of Windsor," and Simpson became the" Duchess of Windsor," although she was denied the privilege of being "her royal highness," settling for the lesser. "Her Grace." However, this information is mainly all null and void since the law isn't in affect and Watson is very much not-divorced. So here we are.
The truth? Marrying a commoner isn't so scandalous anymore, because, well, there are very few Royals left to marry without taking a one-way trip to Incest Town. Not that that's stopped Royals before, but seriously, that bloodline is getting weak. The rules can be bent.
Still, there are a few guidelines that still need to be followed in order to become princess, and they are as such:
You Can't Be Roman Catholic
This is according to Act of Settlement of 1701, and I guess it would technically would put me out of the running. Though it's unclear how she was raised religiously, Watson personally identifies as "more spiritual than than spiritually religious." You know, she's one of those. Amusingly she could practice any other religion or no religion as all and still get the go ahead, so long as it's not Catholic.
You Need To Get The Reigning Monarch's Consent OR Wait A Full Year
This is under the Royal Marriages Act of 1772, which actually came about when two princes-Prince Henry and Prince William Henry-both married commoners considered to be beneath their station. King George III proposed the law, finding both marriages completely inappropriate.
The thing is, I personally couldn't think of a reason Elizabeth II would find the elegant, Ivy League-educated Watson an unsuitable suitor, but in the event that she disapproved, all the couple would have to do is wait one year after the monarch's refusal to get married. Both parties must be over the age of 25, and as of this April Watson would be good to go. The only other thing that could stop them is if both Houses of Parliament didn't approve, but to date that's never been an issue.
You Can't Elope With Your Prince
I mean, they can, but all subsequent children would be considered illegitimate and wouldn't be allowed to success to the throne. There's no reason this would necessarily happen, but then again, Prince Harry is cray.
So yes, Virginia, barring that, commoners CAN marry royals. and considering Watson's current high social standing and Harry's role as a controversy-starting spare, I doubt it would be that big of an issue. But furthering that, I also doubt that this is even a thing we have to worry about. Good information for your celebrity fanfiction, though.
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