7 Royals Who Are Doing More Than Just Standing Around Being Royalty

Listen, most royalty today can’t run their country the way they used to. With the fall of the feudal system and the increasing acceptance of the constitutional monarchy, it’s hard out there for a prince(ss). Luckily, here are seven legit royals who are doing more with their lives than basking in the glow of their forebears.

1. Queen Rania of Jordan

In addition to being absolutely gorgeous, Queen Rania of Jordan is an absolute force to be reckoned with. She works with UNICEF and advocates for world leaders to make good on their commitment to the second Millennium Development Goal: Universal Primary Education, i.e. guaranteed basic education for children under the age of 12. (This varies from country to country.) In between advocating for the rights of children and empowering Jordan’s youth, Her Highness also runs various social media accounts (including a pretty great Twitter account) and works to improve relations between Muslims and non-Muslims worldwide. Oh, and she’s raising four children, including the Crown Prince of Jordan. Suffice it to say, she keeps busy.

2. His Majesty, King Norodom Sihamoni of the Kingdom of Cambodia

The current King of Cambodia, King Norodom Sihamoni spent roughly half of his life in various European locales. He grew up in Prague, and later spent over 20 years in France. Upon returning to Cambodia in the late 1970s, he spent two years under house arrest with his family (!!!) before returning to Europe while his father was deposed by the military and the country experienced political unrest. Prior to his installation as king in 2004, His Highness, King Sihamoni, served as Cambodia’s cultural ambassador to UNESCO, and taught ballet and traditional Khmer dances in Paris. He appears to be, by all photographic evidence, totally adorable. Fluent in French, Czech, and Khmer, he serves as the (diplomatic) representative of the Kingdom of Cambodia and its people as their constitutional monarch.

3. Adewale Ogunleye

What? NFL players can be quasi-royalty, too. While Troy Aikman is still something of a demi-god in Dallas, Adewale Ogunleye is the real deal. His grandfather was the Yoruba king of the city-state of Emure in Ekiti State. Although he hasn’t played since 2010, he was part of the Bears when they faced the Colts in Super Bowl XLI. Lately, he’s been best known as Mr. Sanaa Lathan, having dated the actress for two years.

4. King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck of Bhutan

There’s a reason His Majesty, King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck is known in the Thai and Japanese press as “Prince Charming” — he’s incredibly good-looking, and easily one of the youngest reigning monarchs in the world. At just 33, he’s been king of Bhutan for 7 years, and even delivered a speech to the United Nations at the age of 22. Since his coronation, His Majesty as been overseeing the democratization of Bhutan, introducing political and social reforms, and serving as a dignitary and diplomat for the Kingdom of Bhutan. He is known for being approachable, personable, and having the people’s interests at heart, as well as for being ridiculously good-looking. Alas, ladies (and some gentlemen) in the readership: he married in October 2011.

5. Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai

Another ridiculously good-looking gentleman, His Majesty, Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed Al Maktoum is more than a pretty face. An accomplished sportsman, enjoying horseback riding and skydiving, His Majesty Sheik Hamdan is best known for his romantic, evocative poetry published under a pseudonym Fazza. His body of work includes poems about his family as well as ones with patriotic themes. As heir to one of the wealthiest countries in the world, he serves as the president of Hamdan bin Mohammed e-university, and he sits on the Dubai sports council. At 30 and unmarried, he is often written about in “eligible bachelor” listings. (Can you blame the journalists? LOOK AT HIM.)

6. Princess Sikhanyiso Dlamini of Swaziland

The eldest daughter of the king of Swaziland, the last absolute monarchy in Africa, Her Royal Highness Princess Sikhanyiso Dlamini is a young woman remarkable for her outspokenness and her nonconformism. She has famously spoken out against the practice of polygamy, as well as other policies her father has undertaken in Swaziland. She graduated from Sydney University in May 2012 with her Master’s in digital communication. The Port Elizabeth Herald reported she intends to work to empower Swazi women. While she doesn’t consider herself a rebel, her work within a confining system is worth applauding and supporting. Given how much Tumblr seems to like her, she’s got a lot of support already.

7. Saif Ali Khan

While most Bollywood fans probably know him better dancing in silver pants, Saif Ali Khan is also notable for being straight up legit Indian royalty. By direct lineage, he’s the current Nawab of Pataudi, a ceremonial title with historical significance. Beyond that, his mother is Sharmila Tagore, a member of the prestigious Tagore family (who have dominated North India’s arts scene for nearly two centuries) and the current head of the Censor Board, the Indian equivalent of the MPAA. Saif is a decorated actor, active in Bollywood since his debut in 1992. He’s performed alongside some of the biggest names in the industry: Shahrukh Khan, Aamir Khan, Akshaye Khanna, Preity Zinta, Salman Khan, Rani Mukherjee, Kareena Kapoor, Deepika Padukone, and innumerable others. After his recent marriage to longtime girlfriend Kareena Kapoor, he’s grown a beard and begun to branch out into new genres and film production roles.

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