Thu, 23 Aug, 2018
Inside the Queen’s complicated relationships with her children
While Queen Elizabeth II is known for her position as the Queen of England and the Head of the Commonwealth to the world, to her four children she is also known as ‘mum’.
Understandably, balancing her duties as both a reigning monarch and a parent hasn’t come without complications.
Here’s a look into the varied relationships with her three sons and daughter.
Prince Charles, Prince of Wales
Prince Philip and the Queen’s eldest son was born on November 14, 1948. Although Elizabeth was not yet Queen when Charles was born, she was often away fulfilling her public duties when he was young, according to Vanity Fair. When Her Royal Highness was coronated in 1953, her schedule became even busier. Royal biographer and author of Prince Charles: The Passions and Paradoxes of an Improbable Life, Sally Bedell Smith, wrote that the Queen “depended on the nannies to supervise the daily lives" of her young kids.
Charles’ relationship with his mother became tense after she found out that he was having an affair with Camilla Parker Bowles after marrying Princess Diana in 1981.
Reportedly, the Queen became so upset by the revelation that she allegedly shouted that she wanted "nothing to do with that wicked woman."
For years after, many speculated that their relationship had not been repaired and that tensions still lingered after she sent him to St. James and missed his 50th birthday celebrations.
However, over time the pair rebuilt their bond and she forgave him. Charles received his mother’s approval when he went on to marry Camilla in 2005. Now, the mother and son are regularly photographed together enjoying each other’s company and in April 2018, she declared that it was her “sincere wish” that Charles be the future Head of the Commonwealth.
Princess Anne, Princess Royal
Princess Anne was born two years after Charles on August 15. Anne is the Queen’s only daughter and formed a close relationship with her mother during her teenage years. During an interview with the BBC, Anne admitted that her mother had “limitations” because of her demanding schedule, however, she said she always knew her mother loved her.
"We as children may have not been too demanding in the sense that we understand what the limitations were in time and the responsibilities placed on her as monarch in the things she had to do and the travels she had to make,” she said.
"But I don't believe any of us for a second thought she didn't care for us in exactly the same way as any other mother did.
"I just think it extraordinary that anybody could construe that that might not be true."
Anne, who shares her mother’s same passion for horses, also inherited her work ethic, with Anne consistently listed as one of the royals who perform the most official engagements each year.
Prince Andrew, Duke of York
Ten years after Anne was born, the Queen had another son in 1960. Royal historian Robert Lacy said that by the time the Duke of York was born, the Queen was “warmer and flexible”. Reportedly, the Queen spent more time with her children during this period and lessened her public duties.
Although Prince Andrew’s ex-wife Sarah Ferguson created various scandals in the royal family, it is believed that she never criticised him for her actions. A royal insider told the Daily Mail that Andrew is placed on a pedestal by his mother.
Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex
The youngest of Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip’s children, Prince Edward, was born on March 10, 1964. Just like Andrew, Edward received a lot more time with his mother in his younger years as she had settled into her role as monarch. It is widely believed that the Earl of Wessex is the favourite child for both the Queen and Prince Philip. Reportedly, Edward’s portrait is the only one that hangs in Prince Philip’s study.
The Queen also has a close relationship with Edward’s wife, Sophie, the Countess of Wessex.
"She is like another daughter to Her Majesty, they are that close," a royal insider told the Daily Mail.
Now, Edward carries out the royal engagements that used to belong to his father and it is believed that he will take on the Duke of Edinburgh title when Philip passes away.
"Edward has moulded into a quiet and efficient figure who does not seek attention or acquire headlines," another insider revealed to Express.