As little girls, aided by the rags to riches tale of Cinderella and her pumpkin carriage, many of us dreamed of growing up to become a princesses. We imagined entering lives swathed in luxury, in which we'd never have to lift our fingers -- except to wave at the plebs.

Then, as those little girls grew older such dreams begin to fade and were replaced by the harsh knowledge that we're likely to work until our mid-sixties, and then endure a penurious retirement.

But then something happened to remind us that every now and again someone does rise through the ranks and become royalty: Kate Middleton.

You know the story: boy meets girl, boy marries girl, girl becomes Princess and eventually Queen consort. And we all kick ourselves wondering why we didn't apply to go to St Andrews University and nab Prince William ourselves.

If Kate's tale hasn't yet turned you green with envy, fear not we've got a selection of more commoners turned nobility in the gallery below, to really make you squirm.

Enjoy.

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  • Lady Diana Spencer

    Lady Diana Spencer married Prince Charles on 29 July 1981

  • Grace Kelly

    American actress Grace Kelly married Rainier III, Prince of Monaco, in April 1956

  • Duke of Fife

    The title was created for Alexander Duff when he married Louise, Princess Royal, in 1900

  • Jane Seymour

    Jane Seymour married King Henry VIII on 30 May 1536

  • Camilla Parker-Bowles

    Camilla wed Prince Charles on 9 April 2005

  • Sophie Rhys-Jones

    Sophie married Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex, in 1999

  • Mark Phillips

    Princess Anne married Mark Phillips in 1973

  • Wallis Simpson

    Wallis Simpson married Prince Edward Duke of Windsor in 1937

  • Sarah Ferguson

    Sarah Ferguson married Prince Andrew on 17 March 1986

  • Catherine Middleton

    Kate Middleton married Prince William on 29 April 2012