After years of waiting for Prince William to pop the question to longtime girlfriend Kate Middleton, the couple finally did it and told the world on Nov. 16. While they reportedly got engaged during a holiday in Kenya last month, they, along with their close friends and family, kept a tight lid on the news.

Although many of us applauded the couple -- not just because of their high adorably cute factor but also their ability to stay together for so long (despite a breakup or two), buzz has been building on the fact that Miss Middleton is a commoner.

Before we start thinking back to some of our favorite fairy tales, we thought we'd explore the idea that in this very modern world of ours, commoners joining the royal club isn't as uncommon as some people think.

Here's our list of some of history's great "royal climbers."


Name:
Diana Spencer
Official title: Diana, Princess of Wales
Married: Charles, Prince of Wales
Wedding date: July 29, 1981
Before she was royal: Yep, like her daughter-in-law will, Diana married in -- and the queen mum didn't take kindly to her, at first, either. Diana studied in Switzerland before moving to London where she became a kindergarten teacher at the Young England School. She also did some cleaning work and babysat for an American family who lived in London. While her father inherited the title of Earl Spencer in 1975, she was still not considered royal. But she reportedly used to play with Prince Andrew and Prince Edward when her family rented Park House -- an estate Queen Elizabeth II owned. It wasn't until 1977 that she met Prince Charles, who was 13 years older than she. The courtship didn't start till 1980, and the couple didn't get engaged till Feb. 24, 1981, when Diana picked a ring with 14 diamonds surrounding a sapphire -- the bling that's now on Kate's finger. Although they had a lavish ceremony in St. Paul Cathedral, they divorced in 1996 after 15 years of marriage. And, well, you know the very sad ending to this tale.

Name: Camilla Parker Bowles
Official title: Duchess of Cornwall and Duchess of Rothesay (when in Scotland)
Married: Charles, Prince of Wales
Wedding date: April 9, 2005
Before she was royal: While the Londoner's great-grandmother had ties to royalty via being King Edward VII's mistress for some time, Camilla only rose to her royal position after tying the knot with Prince Charles as his second wife. Camilla is also a divorcee and was married to retired British Army officer Andrew Parker Bowles for 22 years. But it wasn't her divorce to Bowles that made the royal family and the Brits hate on her, it was the fact that she was cited as one of the biggest reasons Diana's and Charles' split. According to reports, the two met at polo match in 1970 and remained "very close." Camilla was even reported to have given her blessing when Charles was to marry Lady Di. But despite everyone's feelings toward her and her relationship with the prince, the couple has been together for five years and is still going strong.

Name: Sarah Margaret Ferguson
Official title: Sarah, Duchess of York
Married: Prince Andrew, Duke of York
Wedding date: July 23, 1986
Before she was royal: Before Sarah sold out her ex-husband in a schemed tabloid deal or became a Weight Watchers spokeslady, she was the daughter of a father who was a member of the Life Guards and was the polo manager to the Duke of Edinburgh and later to Prince Charles. Sarah graduated from the Queen's Secretarial College and worked in PR as well as held jobs in an art gallery and publishing company. Prince Andrew and Sarah announced their engagement in early 1986 after a two-year courtship. Unfortunately, the relationship didn't last as the couple filed for divorce in 1996 after a four-year separation prior.

Name: Grace Kelly
Official title: Princess consort of Monaco
Married: Rainier III, Prince of Monaco
Wedding date: April 19, 1956
Before she was royal: While many girls dreamed of becoming princesses, actress Grace Kelly actually become one. Viewed as silver screen royalty in America, the angelic-looking Grace was a triple threat -- modeling, dancing and acting. Before marrying the Prince of Monaco, she starred alongside acting heavyweights like Clark Gable, Ava Gardner, Cary Grant and even Old Blue Eyes himself, Frank Sinatra. Grace met the prince in 1995 during a photo shoot in 1955. And a year later, the two were married in what the press called "The Wedding of the Century," but that was after Grace's family paid Rainier a dowry of $2 million to keep up with traditions. As a royal, Grace founded the AMADE Mondiale, a non-profit that the UN recognized as an official NGO as well as worked to improve the arts and artist communities in Monaco. After almost 30 years of marriage, Grace suffered a stroke and tragically drove her car off the side of a cliff.

Name: Mette-Marit Tjessem Høiby
Official title: Mette-Marit, Crown Princess of Norway
Married: Haakon, Crown Prince of Norway
Wedding date: Aug. 25, 2001
Before she was royal: Born to a journalist father and homemaking mother, Mette-Marit had no ounce of royal blood in her body. However aside from being a commoner, she was a single mom by the time she and the Crown Prince met at the Quart Festival, the country's big rock music fest. And while the royal family were able to accept the "child-out-of-wedlock" (after the Prince Haakon threatened to renounce his title in order to marry her), the royal court and the country's people had to accept MM's wild past in Oslo, flunking out of college and shacking up with the Crown Prince before marriage. But after admitting her wrongs and showing her devotion to the man she loves, everyone started to accept who MM is, especially now that she's a princess.

Name:
Mary Elizabeth Donaldson
Official title:
Mary, Crown Princess of Denmark, Countess of Monpezat
Married: Frederik, Crown Prince of Denmark
Wedding date: May 14, 2004
Before she was royal: The youngest of four, Mary was born in Hobort, Tasmania, Australia, to a mathematician father and a mom who was once the exec assistant at the University of Tasmania. One of the school jocks, Mary played basketball, hockey and rode competitively on her horse Diana. She studied advertising in college and qualified for professional certification from The Advertising Federation of Australia and the Australian Direct Marketing Association. She worked for various advertising agencies all over the globe and held various executive positions in the field. Mary met the Danish prince at the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney and the two continued their long-distance relationship until the couple got engaged in October 2003. And after mastering the Danish language during her engagement, Mary became a royal in May 2004.

Name: Letizia Ortiz Rocasolano
Official title: Letizia, Crown Princess of Asturias
Married: Felipe, Prince of Asturias
Wedding date: May 22, 2004
Before she was royal: Born to a journalist father and nurse mother, commoner-turned-princess Letizia was born and raised in Madrid. Getting a bachelor's and master's degree in journalism, the Crown Princess was a working reporter before meeting Felipe. And while canoodling with the press or Letizia's divorcee status might be something the king and queen would want their son to stay away from, they were just relieved to know that he wasn't walking down the aisle with rumored girlfriend Gwyneth Paltrow. While there's no down she's a Spanish bombshell with a good head on her shoulders, Letizia's only faux pas is going under the knife for her nose, which she admits was for health reasons.

Name: Rania al Yassin
Official title: Rania Al Abdullah, Queen consort of Jordan
Married: King Abdulla II of Jordan
Wedding date: June 10, 1993
Before she was royal: Rania was born in Kuwait to Palestinian parents and studied business administration at the American University in Cairo. After school, she went to Jordan and pursued a career in banking at Citibank. She met the Jordanian king at a dinner party in January 1993, and the two were engaged two months later. While it went from courtship to marriage in less than a year, Rania had to quickly step up into an even bigger surprise -- becoming queen of Jordan. And now at 40 years old (note: we sure hope we look like that), she recently teamed up with the United Nations on a new campaign called, "Girl Up," to promote female education worldwide. Subjects and fans alike keep up with her queenly moves through YouTube, Facebook and Twitter.

Name:
Máxima Zorreguieta
Official title: Princess Máxima of the Netherlands
Married: Willem-Alexander, Prince of the Netherlands
Wedding date: March 30, 2001
Before she was royal: Born and bred in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Máxima's father was a farmer who later became a politician. While her parents have connections to Basque Argentine nobility, that didn't hold up in the Netherlands and made her commoner by the time she fell for Prince Willem-Alexander in the late '90s. But don't Máxima is anything but common, she used her economics degree to become an investment banker and rose to various Vice President positions in some of the largest financial centers in Argentina, New York and Europe before meeting her prince.

And the ladies aren't the only ones who find their Prince Charmings. Here's one guy who rose from the average commoner to Prince of Sweden.

Name: Olof Daniel Westling Bernadotte
Official title: Prince Daniel, Duke of Västergötland
Married: Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden
Wedding date: June 19, 2010
Before he was royal: Born on the day his father-in-law became King of Sweden, Daniel grew up with his parents and sister in Okelbo. After school, he served a short term in the Swedish army. He then became a gym owner and ran the fitness company Balance Training, which has three gyms in Stockholm. With a successful gym in the country, he was hired to be the Crown Princess's personal trainer in 2001. And like many of us can relate, she fell in love while breaking a sweat, and he went from everyday businessman to a prince. In 2009, Daniel reportedly stepped down as CEO and board director of Balance Training but still remains an equal partner.

(All photos courtesy of Getty Images)