03 May 2015

A Prince and His Sister

In honor of Prince George of Cambridge and his as-yet unnamed little sister, who was born yesterday at the Lindo Wing of St. Mary's Hospital in Paddington, let's take a look at other royal big brother-little sister combinations starting with the most recent.

In Denmark, we actually have two sets with the children of Crown Princess Mary and the children of Princess Marie. True, Marie's children do have two older half brothers, the sons of their shared father Prince Joachim and his first wife Alexandra Manley, now the Countess of Frederiksborg. Prince Henrik, who was named for his royal grandfather, celebrates his sixth birthday tomorrow, while his sister Princess Athena, is two years younger. Their first cousins, Prince Christian, a future king, and Princess Isabella are a bit older at nine and eight, respectively. They have two younger siblings, four-year-old royal twins, Prince Vincent and Princess Josephine.

Closer to home, Prince William's cousins, the nonroyal grandchildren of The Queen are slightly older than Prince William. Their mother, Princess Anne The Princess Royal, decided that they would have no titles or royal responsibilities. So, her first child was born simply Peter Phillips in 1977 and daughter Zara Phillips, the Olympic equestrienne was born in 1981, shortly before THE royal wedding of that century. Peter now has two daughters of his own, Savannah and Isla, while Zara's daughter, Mia is five months old.

A generation earlier, six sets of boy-girl siblings were born in the British royal family. The most recent two sets are actually age contemporaries of William and Kate. Lord Frederick Windsor was born in 1979 and his sister Lady Gabriela was born a month before Zara Phillips in 1983. They are the children of The Queen's first cousin, Prince Michael of Kent his controversial wife. The children of The Duke of Gloucester, who is The Queen's youngest first cousin, were born just a few years earlier. Alexander Earl of Ulster was born in 1974 and his first sister Lady Davina Lewis nee Windsor arrived in 1977.

The Queen's cousin Princess Alexandra's son James Ogilvy was the first of four royal children born in 1964. His younger sister Marina Ogilvy was born two years later. Alexandra's brother, The Duke of Kent also had a son George Earl of St. Andrews (born in 1962) followed by a daughter Lady Helen, the third of the 1964 babies. The Queen's sister, Princess Margaret had her son David Viscount Linley in 1962 and delivered the last of the 1964 royal babies, Lady Sarah. The Queen herself was included in the 1964 royal baby boom with the birth of her youngest child, Prince Edward The Earl of Wessex.

The first of that generation's six sets of boy-girl siblings was the offspring of The Queen. Her first two children, Charles The Prince of Wales and Anne The Princess Royal, were born when she was simply The Princess Elizabeth The Duchess of Edinburgh. Charles arrived in 1948 and Anne came almost two years later. They have almost exactly the same age difference as George and his new sister, and have reportedly been close all of their lives, although they have very different temperaments. Charles is said to have been a very sensitive child while Anne has always been very no-nonsense like their father, The Duke of Edinburgh. (Looks like Anne was never a fan of photo calls!)

Marlene A. Eilers Koenig Collection
In The Queen's generation, she had one set of cousins who were firstborn son followed by a daughter, the previously mentioned Edward Duke of Kent and Princess Alexandra. About a decade younger than The Queen, they were the first of three children of the glamorous George Duke of Kent and his equally glamorous wife Princess Marina of Greece, a cousin of Philip Duke of Edinburgh. Edward was born in 1933. Alexandra, born in 1936, was a bridesmaid at the Queen's wedding in 1947, and has always been a popular member of the extended royal family.

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