A Who's Who Of The Queen's Children

·6-min read
Photo credit: Tim Graham - Getty Images
Photo credit: Tim Graham - Getty Images

The late Queen Elizabeth II’s children are some of the most famous royals in the world. When looking back at her seven-decade-long reign, Her Majesty’s three sons and daughter are known to be her crowning achievement.

From a young age, Her Majesty - who passed away on Thursday, September 8 - along with her late husband Prince Philip, taught her four children everything they needed to know about being the face of the royal family, from how to conduct themselves in public to the importance of championing certain charitable causes and issues, whether it's sports or the environment.

Prince Charles, Princess Anne, Prince Edward and Prince Andrew have all led very independent, public lives over the years. However, in the Queen’s later life, many of taken on specific individual royal obligations and increased their royal duties in order to provide additional support.

Photo credit: Chris Jackson - Getty Images
Photo credit: Chris Jackson - Getty Images

Following the Queen's death, here's an overview of Her Majesty's four children and their most memorable moments over the years:

Prince Charles

As the Queen’s first child, Prince Charles, the Prince of Wales, is next in line to the throne. He was born at Buckingham Palace in November 1948, with a proclamation posted on the Palace railings on the night of his birth.

During his youth, he embarked on a naval career, much like his father and grandfather, and later became a helicopter pilot.

Despite being the oldest and longest-serving heir apparent in British history, the Prince’s relationship with his first wife, the late Princess Diana, has longed remained a subject of public fascination and formed the basis of The Crown season four plot.

Photo credit: Max Mumby/Indigo - Getty Images
Photo credit: Max Mumby/Indigo - Getty Images

The pair filed for divorce in 1996 after 15 years of marriage and continues to co-parent their two children, Prince William and Prince Harry. Princess Diana, who is often referred to as the 'People's Princess' died in a car crash in 1997 in Paris.

Prince Charles went on to marry Camilla Parker-Bowles, now know as Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, in 2005. Today, the couple reside in the royal family’s Clarence House mansion and regularly attend official engagements together.

Prince Charles dedicates much of his time to charity work and not-for-profit organisations, supporting the Queen and embarking on international royal tours. The royal has long held a passion for the environment, sustainability and education.

Princess Anne

Princess Anne, the Queen’s second child, is Her Majesty’s only daughter and is commonly referred to as the ‘Princess Royal’. From an early age Princess Anne showed an interest in outdoor sports like equestrianism, and even competed in the 1976 Montreal Olympics, making her the first British royal to do so in the Games' history.

Photo credit: Matt Green - Getty Images
Photo credit: Matt Green - Getty Images

At the age of 23, Princess Anne was caught in the middle of a kidnap plot when travelling back to Buckingham Palace after attending a charity event. A 26-year-old man named Ian Ball ambushed the Princess Royal's car with a handgun to hold her ransom for a reward of £2 million. She is famously known for refusing to get out of the car and replying with: 'Not bloody likely.'

Photo credit: Bettmann - Getty Images
Photo credit: Bettmann - Getty Images

The Princess Royal, who is 17th in line to the throne, is now married to Sir Timothy Laurence after being previously married to Captain Mark Phillips for almost two decades. She has two children, Zara Philips and Peter Phillips, and was the first royal mother to give birth in a hospital.

Given that Princess Anne was the Queen and Prince Philip's only daughter, her children weren't guaranteed a royal title on birth, unlike the offspring of Her Majesty's sons. While the Queen offered courtesy titles to her daughter's children, the Princess declined.

The Princess has been President of Save The Children UK since 1970 and is involved in over 300 charities, organisations and military regiments, including acting as President of the British Olympic association.

Prince Andrew

The Queen’s third child, Prince Andrew, the Duke of York, is commonly known to be her 'favourite'.

Following his A levels the royal joined the Royal Navy and was later presented with his 'Wings' in the RAF by his father, the late Duke of Edinburgh. In addition to his military career the royal represented the UK as Special Representative for International Trade and Investment until 2011. The Prince is ninth in the royal line of succession.

The royal began dating Sarah Ferguson in the late 1980s, whom he married in 1986, yet after welcoming two daughters (Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie) the couple announced their divorce in 1996 after splitting four years earlier.

Photo credit: Chris Jackson - Getty Images
Photo credit: Chris Jackson - Getty Images

More recently, Prince Andrew has been caught up in several public and contentious issues, as a result of his former link to the late convicted sex offender, Jeffrey Epstein. The Prince recently faced accusations of sexual abuse in a US civil case – allegations he has vehemently denied. In March 2022 the BBC reported that he paid a financial settlement to his accuser Virginia Giuffre.

On the subject of the stripping of his HRH and military titles, earlier this year Buckingham Palace said in a statement:

'With the Queen's approval and agreement, the Duke of York's military affiliations and Royal patronages have been returned to the Queen.

'The Duke of York will continue not to undertake any public duties and is defending this case as a private citizen.'

Prince Edward

Prince Edward, the Earl of Wessex, is the Queen’s youngest child and is 14th in the royal line of succession. Compared to his siblings, the Prince is one of the royal family’s less visible members, however, he has started to take over many of the responsibilities and engagements of his late father, Prince Philip, since his passing in April 2021.

Photo credit: Max Mumby/Indigo - Getty Images
Photo credit: Max Mumby/Indigo - Getty Images

After a stint in the marines, the Prince worked briefly for musical theatre composer, Andrew Lloyd Webber, before setting up his own theatrical production company. Two years later, he set up Ardent Productions, Ltd., a film recording company, which folded in 2009. He is the first child of a British monarch to pursue a career in the private sector.

In 2002, Prince Edward announced that he would focus on supporting the Queen full-time, during her Golden Jubilee year and beyond.

The Earl of Wessex married Sophie Rhys-Jones in 1999 and have since welcomed two children: Lady Louise Windsor and James, Viscount Severn. The pair live at Bagshot Park in Berkshire.

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