"Being friends long before we fell in love" is the secret of Prince and Princess Michael of Kent's enduring marriage – and it's a recipe that seems to have served them well. On Monday, the couple celebrate their 30th wedding anniversary, making their union one of the most successful in royal circles.
Prince Michael - the Queen's cousin - tied the knot with his Austrian-born wife Marie-Christine in 1978 after Lord Mountbatten suggested their relationship went deeper than friendship and they went on to have two children, Gabriella and Freddie.
The marriage has survived financial problems – in 2004 their beloved country Nether Lypiatt was sold because of the crippling maintenance costs – and speculation about her close friendship with a Russian businessman 21 years her junior.
As the couple mark three decades of a life together, another well-known aristocrat is getting over the end of his latest romance. Charles Spencer, the brother of the late Princess Diana, has finished his two-year relationship with American TV presenter Coleen Sullivan.
In 2006 Earl Spencer separated from his wife Caroline Freud, with whom he has a son and daughter. He also has four children by his former marriage to former model Victoria Lockwood.