Celebrity status is kind of a small world. Despite there being A-listers and B-listers and so on, the fact is that they’re all pretty far removed from the average Joe. So it’s not too much of a surprise when celebrities turn out to be friends. But what’s a little more rare are pairings between a celebrity and a royal, like the most famous one of Meghan Markle and Prince Harry. Or is it? There is actually quite a list of celebrities and royals who are fast friends, and here are 20 other celebrities with royal ties that will remind how small the world actually is.
Besides money, there are a couple of things that celebrities and the royal family share. One is knowing what it’s like to have the eyes of the world on you. Another is, for many of them, an altruistic focus. In fact, some people consider giving back to be a sort-of mandate that follows notoriety — whether that’s born or earned. Like the monarchy, entertainment and sports royalty have gotten pretty good at lending their credibility and followings to the causes they believe in.
But there are myriad other reasons why royals form a bond with famous people. It might be social, or political — in one case on this list it was even about a shared job. So without further ado, take a look at a sampling of the ways that these famous lives have intersected.
1. Elton John
Elton John’s close friendship with Princess Diana was legendary during her lifetime, as Harper’s Bazaar reported. They met at a party in 1981 and danced the Charleston together for 20 minutes, the singer told his biographer.
After a falling out in early 1997, according to CNN, they reconciled their friendship a few months later. That was a good thing, since Princess Diana tragically died in a car accident in August that same year. John captivated the world when he performed at her funeral, The Sun reported.
2. Ellie Goulding
To be chosen as a performer at a royal wedding means you must have a close relationship with the family. That’s the case for Ellie Goulding, who performed at the royal nuptials of Prince William and Kate Middleton, according to the BBC. She told Vanity Fair’s Derek Blasberg that it was “…a very professional, very professional show.”
3. James Blunt
The surprise might not be that Prince Harry is friends with the British singer, considering that the Duke of Sussex runs in A-list circles, but that they met in a much less glamorous place. According to ELLE, the two served together in the British Army and must have remained close, as Prince Harry invited the singer to perform at the Invictus Games via text message in 2016, as James Blunt confirmed on Twitter.
4. Angelina Jolie
Angelina Jolie has a strong connection with Queen Elizabeth thanks to her tireless work on important issues. The Queen even gave her an honorary title as a dame for her work to combat sexual violence, according to Cosmopolitan.
The actress has also met with Prince William and Kate Middleton, according to Vanity Fair, at a tea where they bonded over their work to stop the trade of illegal wildlife.
5. Serena Williams
The tennis superstar met Meghan Markle back in 2010 at the Super Bowl and they immediately clicked, according to Hello! Magazine. They’ve been friends ever since and Markle has regularly been spotted at Serena Williams' biggest tennis matches. Indeed, they’re close enough that Williams reportedly organized Markle’s baby shower that was held in New York City, according to Vanity Fair.
6. Joan Rivers
After Joan River's death in 2014, Prince Charles called the superstar comedian “an extraordinary woman with an original and indefatigable spirit,” according to People. They met at a dinner party when Prince Charles was young and a fan of her outrageous humor, according to the Daily Mail. He often invited her to perform at fundraisers and events at his estate, as People reported, and they remained friends until she died.
7. Lady Gaga
Prince William reached out to the singer after reading her open letter about her struggle with PTSD, according to the BBC. That led to a joint video that addressed the need to change the stigma against mental health issues. The singer’s courage may have inspired Prince William to open up about his time working with a counselor to help process his mother’s death.
8. Tom Hardy
Tom Hardy was a bit of a mystery when he showed up at the wedding of Meghan Markle and Prince Harry; nobody really knew that the actor had become close to the royals. As it turns out, Hardy and both the princes met when they cameoed together in Star Wars: The Last Jedi, according to the Daily Mail. In case you missed it, they appeared in a scene where four stormtroopers guard John Boyega’s character Finn in an elevator.
9. Mila Kunis
Mila Kunis and her husband, Ashton Kutcher, are good friends with Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie after meeting during a charity event in 2013, as Us Weekly reported. They even double-dated with Princess Beatrice and her ex-boyfriend, Dave Clark, and joined the couple for a vacation in Saint Tropez, according to the Daily Mail. It is thought, according to Us Weekly, that Clark was the one who introduced the couple to the royals.
10. Will Arnett
Will Arnett shared on the Late Late Show With James Corden that he’s texting buddies with Prince Harry, as People reported. He explained that he met the prince “very briefly,” but there was enough connection there that they exchanged numbers. Later, on a trip to London, the actor texted Prince Harry that he was in front of “his gran’s house” as he walked by Buckingham Palace. Prince Harry apparently appreciate the joke, according to the actor.
11. David Beckham
David Beckham has been friends with the younger generation of the British royals since he and Prince William worked together on London’s try for the 2012 Olympics, according to Vogue. He and his wife Victoria received invites to the respective weddings of Prince William and Prince Harry, as well as Princess Eugenie. He’s so close with Princess Eugenie that she even attended his daughter Harper’s birthday party that was held at Buckingham Palace, according to People.
12. The Obamas
It’s no real surprise that the former American leaders, Michelle and Barack Obama, would have strong connections to the monarchy. They’ve met nearly every member of the royal family, including Queen Elizabeth, according to Hello! Magazine, and, perhaps most famously (OK, adorably...), young Prince George in a robe.
And the former first couple has a special bond with Prince Harry; according to The Telegraph, they’ve worked together on initiatives that help military families as well as the Invictus Games.
13. Eddie Redmayne
Eddie Redmayne and Prince William were classmates at Eton and even played on the same rugby team, according to the Daily Mail. But like many of us who have a past connection to celebrity, the actor did admit that it’s not like their still close buddies. “He was a pal at school, but I haven’t seen him since school,” he previously told Loaded magazine. “And no, no messages.”
14. Cara Delevingne
The model/actress is friendly with several members of the royal family, including Prince Charles and Prince Harry. According to Cosmopolitan, the acquaintances come courtesy of Delevingne’s grandmother, who was a lady-in-waiting for Princess Margaret. Delavigne is close enough with Prince Harry that she used to do some friendly flirting with him via text, according to the Daily Mail. Presumably, that all stopped long ago now that Markle has his heart.
15. Chrissy Teigen
Back in the days before they were famous, Chrissy Teigen shared the stage with Markle as one of the suitcase girls on Deal Or No Deal, according to Harper's Bazaar. Teigen previously told Glamour that she tells her husband John Legend all the time, “That could be me. I could be Princess Harry,” in reference to Markle. Markle and Teigen teamed up again in 2014 to participate in DirecTv’s Beach Bowl.
16. Dave Grohl
Dave Grohl's band The Foo Fighters seem to be one of Prince Harry’s favorites, as they have often performed at charitable events organized by the prince, as Cosmopolitan reported. They’re so close, in fact, that Grohl told the BBC Prince Harry was the first person to visit him in the hospital after he had surgery in London.
Back when Prince Harry was a single man, he did a little more partying than he has since he met Meghan Markle. One of those occasions was during his visit to Barbados for the country’s 50th anniversary of independence in 2016.
While there, he met Rihanna and they enjoyed the nightlife of the island, according to The Guardian, and he even convinced her to take an HIV test, on Worlds AIDS day, something he was promoting during his tour of the Caribbean.
18. Rod Stewart
Prince Charles and Camilla Parker-Bowles attended a party where Rod Stewart performed, and were so taken by the singer that he was invited to perform at Prince Charles 60th birthday party, according to The Independent. Stewart even agreed to forgo his usual performance fee of $1 million to headline the event, The Independent reported.
That’s not their only connection though; Stewart is also an ambassador for Prince Charles' charity, The Prince’s Trust.
19. Chris Martin
Back in 2016, according to Vanity Fair, Chris Martin’s band Coldplay performed at a fundraising event for Prince Harry’s charity Sentebale, which works on behalf of kids in Africa. Prince Harry briefly joined the band on stage, giving Martin a hug, according to Hello! Magazine.
20. George & Amal Clooney
The Clooneys have been all over the royal map in recent years. They attended the wedding of Prince Harry and Markle, they hosted the couple for a vacation in Lake Como, and Amal attended Markle’s baby shower in New York City, according to Vanity Fair. But they’re not only friends with the younger royals; George and Amal were spotted at a charity dinner held by Prince Charles at Buckingham Palace, according to Town & Country.
So with all that said, it's safe to say the royal family's rolodex is much more impressive than many of us may have thought.