The Queen’s unique and complex relationship with all her grandchildren

No one does it better

The world has many royal families, from Europe to the Middle East and other parts of Asia, but let’s be honest – no one does it better than Britain’s Royal Family. And at the very tippy-top of that pyramid sits the longest-reigning monarch in the Kingdom’s history – Queen Elizabeth II.

No one does it better

Sure, it’s true that she’s been the Queen for pretty much everyone’s lives, but she is more than that. Elizabeth is also, for better or worse, a human being. She’s a mother, a grandmother, and even an aunt. And while it’s true that as Queen she’s legally barred from playing favorites, it doesn’t mean that as a person she can’t…

A full house

If you’ve been keeping up to date with the Royal Family and all of their relationships, you’ll know that Queen Elizabeth has been married to Prince Philip for decades. For 71 years, to be exact! Although their marriage was frowned upon by many people in high society, Elizabeth received the blessing she needed from her mother and father and tied the knot to the former Greek and Danish royal.

A full house

Over the course of their marriage, Elizabeth and Philip have welcomed four children into the world; Anne, Princess Royal, Charles, Prince of Wales, Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex, and Prince Andrew, Duke of York. Now that their children are much older, the Queen has also welcomed a fair few grandchildren into our lives…

More than just a grandmother

Before we get into that, though, it’s important to remember that The Queen is also an aunt, not just a mother and grandmother. If you’re up to date with the Royal Family, you’ll know that Queen Elizabeth II was not the only daughter of King George IV.

More than just a grandmother

She had a sister by the name of Margaret. Margaret has two children: son, David, and daughter, Sarah. Margaret unfortunately passed away in 2002 due to complications – including strokes and pneumonia- from a lifetime of smoking. Her son David is a furniture maker and 20th in line for the throne, while his sister is a painter and 23rd in line.

The grandkids

Now that we’ve discussed her lovely niece and nephew, we can move on to her grandchildren – Queen Elizabeth has eight of them! Of course, the most famous grandchildren and those who place nearer to the top of the throne are Prince William and Harry – because the whole world knows who they are!

The grandkids

As the heir to the throne, Prince William is one of the most senior men within the monarchy, and although Prince Harry has since slid down that ladder, he is still hugely popular around the world. Alongside Harry and William, the Queen also has six other grandchildren, including Lady Louise Windsor, James Viscount Severns, Princess Beatrice of York, Princess Eugenie of York, Peter Phillips and Zara Tindall.

The great-grandkids

However, the Christmas list doesn’t end there, because Queen Elizabeth has since become a great-grandmother to numerous great-grandchildren. There are Savannah and Isla, as well as Prince George, Princess Charlotte, Louis, and Lena.

The great-grandkids

Because these great-grandchildren are so young they have yet to be introduced to the limelight in the same way as the Queen’s grandchildren. Instead, their parents are still at the top of our royals list and are living a life of luxury, as well as being in line to the throne.

Having their favorites

You might think that your gran or grampa has favorites in your family, but they normally try to keep it a secret, or repeatedly tell you that they love you all equally! Yet, it seems as though the Royal Family is much more blatant when it comes to their favorites.

Having their favorites

After all, it was no secret that the late Queen Mother, Elizabeth’s mother, had a soft spot for Prince Charles. Over the course of his life, Prince Charles has actually hinted that he may have connected better with his grandmother than he does his mother. The Queen Mother helped to raise him and even helped him cope with the passing of Princess Diana.

Keeping it casual

Like her own mother, it seems as though Queen Elizabeth II is also taking a bigger interest in the heirs to the throne. Although it’s unknown as to whether Prince Charles (her son) or Prince William will succeed her when her reign comes to an end, she seems to be spending more time with her grandchild.

Keeping it casual

She has mentored the Duke of Cambridge on royal duties from a young age and has kept him up to date with all things prim and proper. On the other hand, she has reportedly been much more casual with his brother, Prince Harry, and will often laugh and joke with him.

The Princesses

Although they are arguably two of the most famous royals in the family right now, Prince William and Prince Harry aren’t the only ones who are in competition to become the Queen’s favorite grandchild. Prince Andrew, her second son and third child, has also welcomed two wonderful princesses into the world.

The Princesses

Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie are well-known in popular culture, thanks to their party lifestyle, their elegant and eccentric outfit choices, and their youth. They have made waves over the years with their place in society, and they seem to have a lot of fans across the world.

Viscount and Lady

However, there are more grandchildren to add to the mix! Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex also blessed his mother with children in the early ‘00s. In 2003, Prince Edward and Sophie, Countess of Wessex welcomed Lady Louise Windsor into the world.

Viscount and Lady

Just four years later, the couple once again welcomed a child into the world – this time a son. Known officially as James, Viscount Severn, this 10-year-old is the youngest grandchild of Queen Elizabeth II. So, could the youngest be the favorite? Well, it seems as though we’re not done yet…

The Olympian

The Queen’s only daughter, Anne, strikes an uncanny resemblance to her mom and has blessed the Royal Family with two children: Zara and Peter. Zara is one of the only members of her family to have a high-profile career outside of the royal monarchy.

The Olympian

As a famed Olympian and equestrian, Zara has won numerous awards and trophies, and was even awarded a silver medal at the 2012 London Olympics! Could her impressive accomplishments make her Elizabeths one true favorite grandchild?

Living like commoners

The Rrooyal Family is full of royal tradition, and it was one particular tradition that meant that Zara Tindall and her brother were not gifted with a royal title when they were born.

Living like commoners

This is because they are children of a princess, and it is only the children of a prince who automatically assume these royal names. Nevertheless, the Queen has the power to give anyone of her choosing a “courtesy title,” and she offered both Zara and Peter this chance. Yet, the children decided to turn down the generous offer, as they have preferred to live their lives as commoners.

A normal life

Living without this title has allowed Peter Phillips to lead a relatively normal life. Although he is still currently in line to the throne, he has been able to slip through the radar undetected and live like everyone else.

A normal life

He attended university, he has worked for major companies, and he has been able to raise a family out of the spotlight. Because he is much further removed from the rest of his cousins, it might surprise you to learn that the Queen’s favorite grandchild is not Harry, William, Beatrice, Eugenie, Louise, James or Zara… it’s Peter Phillips!

The only son

Peter Phillips is often regarded as the favorite grandchild – but how much do you really know about him and why does the Queen love him so much? Well, Peter Phillips was born on November 15, 1977, and is the only son of Princess Anne and her then-husband, Captain Mark Phillips.

The only son

Despite now being a little far removed from the likes of Prince Harry and Prince William, Peter actually spent a lot of time with his grandmother in Buckingham Palace when he was younger. He and his sister would run around the halls, and they would even vacation in the likes of Balmoral, Sandringham, and Windsor.

Call me Granny

In fact, Peter Phillips is just like any other grandchild you meet today. He looks up to his grandmother and admires everything she does for her family and her country.

Call me Granny

He enjoys spending time with his grandmother and catching up with her life, and he also joins in with the rest of his cousins to call Queen Elizabeth II “Granny.” However, his label as the favorite grandchild might surprise you, considering he has been involved with some of the most infamous royal exploits in history…

Breaking protocol

Yes, although Peter was just an adorable little kid running around Buckingham Palace a few decades ago, he has since made his way into adult life and taken on all of the responsibilities and the fame that comes with his title.

Breaking protocol

It seems as though this got the better of him, as he broke some serious royal protocol after his own wedding. As a general rule of thumb, royals are not allowed to interact with the public media, and only official statements and photos can be released from Kensington Palace. Unfortunately, Peter didn’t follow this rule.

A white wedding

In 2008, Peter Phillips won the hearts of the nation in the United Kingdom and Canada after he married Autumn Patricia Phillips. Although his marriage to the Canadian actress and model was approved by the Queen, she didn’t approve a £500,000 deal with a tabloid magazine.

A white wedding

Indeed, Peter and Autumn agreed to a magazine deal with Hello! Magazine, which offered them a large sum of money for exclusive photos of their wedding. These photos were not just of them, but also of other members of the Royal Family…

Not amused

The official photos of their wedding were published in the magazine without the Queen or Kensington Palace being aware of it. Because of this, the photos were a huge shock to everyone, and it’s reported that the Queen was not amused at all.

Not amused

However, the Queen wasn’t the only one who was shocked and upset by Peter’s decision. The English government were quick to condemn their decision and noted that no Queen should ever be featured in a magazine in such a manner. In their words, she was a royal, and not a “footballer’s wife.”

Meeting the girlfriends

It’s also been reported that both Prince Harry and Prince William were angry at their cousin. The wedding photos that were sold to the magazine also featured not only their own presence but the presence of their new girlfriends.

Meeting the girlfriends

In fact, Prince William had planned to introduce Kate Middleton to his grandmother for the first time during that wedding, and Prince Harry was planning to introduce his then-girlfriend Chelsy Davy to his grandmother. They believed that those precious moments had been ruined because of Peter Phillips and his decision to sell the photographs for money.

Blowing over

Despite all of the drama and the gossip that surrounded Peter and his wedding, it seems as though Queen Elizabeth II eventually pardoned her grandson, and they were soon back on good terms.

Blowing over

Just a few years after their wedding, Peter and his wife gave the Queen something to be proud of when they welcomed their first child, Savannah, into the world. When Kensington Palace officially announced the news, it was reported that the Queen was over the moon to welcome a new addition to their royal brood. It seems it had all blown over.

Going radio silent

In 2012, Peter and Autumn welcomed another daughter into the world, and Isla Elizabeth Phillips became part of the Royal Family. Yet, it was at this point that Peter and his wife started to shy away from the limelight and retreat into their own little bubble.

Going radio silent

Perhaps they did not want a re-run of the magazine fiasco, or perhaps they wanted to just enjoy being a loving family. However, Peter hasn’t fully retreated from his position within the monarchy. A couple of years ago, he made a move that would honor his grandmother.

Patron’s Lunch

To mark his grandmother’s birthday, Peter put all of his time and energy into organizing the famous Patron’s Lunch. This event was used to honor the life of his grandmother, as well as all of the hard work she has put in over the course of her reign.

Patron’s Lunch

Although he welcomed Prince Harry and Prince William onto the board of Patron’s for the event, it’s fair to say that Peter was the driving force behind the commemorative moment. Maybe that’s the reason he is the queen’s favorite grandchild after all…

Surprised?

We can only assume that you probably expected the favorite grandchild to be one of the late Princess Diana’s sons, and while they were in the running, Peter simply pulled ahead as far as favorites go.

Surprised?

There are many different reasons why one of the other two gentlemen could have been a viable option as the most beloved royal grandkid. For instance, it seems like Prince William and Harry spend much more time with their grandma than Peter, but he did throw her a huge bday party…

Future king

You would think that the possible future king would be number one in the eyes of Queen Elizabeth, but apparently not. William (after his father, Charles) is the closest in line to the throne and has been since birth.

Future king

From a young age, the prince has been in training with his grandmother to take over the crown. This means that they have spent numerous hours together and therefore have become super close. Though he is second in line to the throne, apparently it is not enough to be a favorite.

What about our redheaded prince?

That being said, his brother, Prince Harry, does seem to have a special bond with Queen Elizabeth and yet even he isn’t her number one grandchild. There were many rumors about her favoritism toward him after her filmed Christmas message in 2017.

What about our redheaded prince?

In the video, there was one thing in the background that people could not stop talking about. To the Queen’s left, there was a framed picture of Harry and his now wife (then fiancé) Meghan Markle. No other grandchildren were in the shot, including William and Kate.

More reasons in favor of Harry

Because Harry is sixth in line for the throne, his relationship with grandma seems to be much less serious, more relaxed and fun. The two are often seen joking around and laughing with each other.

More reasons in favor of Harry

The Queen seems to be very fond of Harry and he cares deeply for her. Perhaps their closeness is why people have always suspected that he was indeed her favorite grandchild. Apparently, being practically besties isn’t enough to win that title, though.

The Invictus Games

In 2016, Prince Harry filmed a promotional video for the Invictus Games, a sporting event where sick, injured, or wounded veterans and armed services personnel can participate.

The Invictus Games

Who accompanied him in the video, you may ask? None other than his Granny, Queen Elizabeth. The two made a spoof of a previous video from the American side, complete with a mic drop and all. Harry has said that his grandmother really enjoyed taking part in the playful video and he too said it was a lot of fun.

The whole thing with Meghan

It usually makes sense for significant others to attend holiday meals with the family. That is not the case with the Royals. One must be married to someone from the family to receive an invitation for such an event.

The whole thing with Meghan

Meghan, however, was present this past year, before her May wedding to the prince. This was a huge break in protocol that had people speculating that Harry was in fact, the Queen’s favorite. In case you’re wondering, no, Kate, was not in attendance while she was engaged to Harry’s brother William.

The Queen attended Harry’s wedding?!

As royal rules have it, divorce is extremely frowned upon. According to the Church of England, marriage is for life. This is so true that Queen Elizabeth did not even attend her son, Prince Charles’, wedding to Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, because both have been divorced before.

The Queen attended Harry’s wedding?!

The Queen did, however, not only give her blessing to the couple, but also attended the wedding of Meghan Markle and Prince Harry. Why is this a huge thing? Because Meghan was divorced before Harry. Perhaps Harry is at least her second favorite?

Final reason why Harry is at least in the running

You do not insult or make fun of the Queen; you just don’t. Harry, on the other hand, does all the time. The two have consistently had a relationship that included making jokes at each other and laughing over the little things.

Final reason why Harry is at least in the running

One instance that remains extremely memorable was not just a typical conversation between grandmother and grandson – it was a publicized moment. Harry said that his grandma was difficult to buy birthday gifts for. Not a huge insult, but most would not care say such things about Elizabeth II.

A second mother

A reason for Harry and William being so close to their grandmother could be traced back to the death of their mother, Princess Diana. The two brothers were practically kids at the time of their mom’s death – William was 15 and Harry was 12.

A second mother

Because of this, the car accident that left the princess dead was especially difficult for the boys. The Queen stepped in, though, and helped them get through the tragic event. She became like a second mother from the experiences they shared together.

Meghan has captured the Queen’s heart

Apparently, Queen Elizabeth loves Meghan, the new Duchess of Sussex. Not only did she welcome her into the family against all odds, the two have been spotted out and about, looking more like close friends than grandmother and granddaughter-in-laws.

Meghan has captured the Queen’s heart

In fact, they had their first solo public outing together less than a month after her nuptials with Prince Harry. Kate did not have have her first solo public appearance with the Queen until nearly a year after her marriage to William.

Peter still pulls ahead

Even with all that those three have been through together, neither of them are her favorite. That title still belongs to Peter. Maybe the reason behind this is more simple than we think.

Peter still pulls ahead

Peter is her oldest grandchild, which is significant for two main reasons. Peter will always be the one who made her a grandmother. Also, he’s been in her life the longest, therefore she probably knows him the best – he has said they’ve always been close. Her Majesty even requests to sit next to Peter at family events.

Favorite child?

Peter is said to be the favorite grandchild for the Queen of the United Kingdom, so it makes us wonder, who is her favorite child? This position has been long suspected to be held by her second son, Andrew.

Favorite child?

He was born in 1960 and made her the first ruling queen to give birth since Victoria in 1857. Elizabeth II has always praised her son for his bravery and heroism during his active duty in the Falklands War. He truly makes mom proud.

What about great-grandchild?

The Queen is a mother and grandmother, but as we mentioned, she’s also a great-grandmother. In fact, she has seven great-grandchildren, with the most recent addition being a baby girl, Lena Elizabeth, born to Zara Tindall.

What about great-grandchild?

Before that was Louis, the son of Kate and William. Because the great-grandkids are still so young, the oldest being Peter’s seven year-old Savanah, the Queen is still getting to know these members of her family. Perhaps in the next few years, she will have a favorite or at least a suspected one.

Rumorville

While many of this alleged favoritism has been long-rumored, the Queen would obviously never admit that she has a favorite child, grandchild, or even great-grandchild. That would not be very classy of her and, as we all know, she is pretty much the classiest woman alive.

Rumorville

Her favorites are all just speculations that have been made by various sources, but it is pretty hard to deny the signs that Peter and Andrew are clearly her number ones. Nevertheless, our girl Elizabeth II probably loves all members of her family equally.

What is the Queen like as a mom?

While much of Queen Elizabeth’s life is lived in the spotlight, there is one part that is private and that is her role as a mother. She holds this title near and dear to her heart and considers it her most important job.

What is the Queen like as a mom?

While Charles claims that his mother was absent much of his childhood, the three other children believe their mother to have been caring and warm toward them while growing up. They remember that her favorite day of the week was when the nanny had the night off.

The most adorable nicknames

Many kids have pet names for their grandparents. They usually start from a young age because grandma or grandma are difficult words for toddlers to pronounce. Most of Elizabeth II’s grandchildren choose to call her “Granny”, but there are two nicknames that are far more eccentric than that.

The most adorable nicknames

Apparently, William called the Queen “Gary” growing up because he could not say “Granny” yet. More recently, Kate has said that her son George calls her “Gan Gan”. It really doesn’t get much cuter than that.

She could have not been queen

A far less known fact about Queen Elizabeth is that she was not born as the first in line to rule the United Kingdom. In fact, she was third. By the time she was ten, her grandfather had passed away, moving her up to second in line.

She could have not been queen

After her uncle took over the throne, he renounced his titled within a year, so Elizabeth’s father became King. This left her next in line. Upon her father’s death, Elizabeth became Queen at the age of 25 in 1952.

Strong independent woman

Elizabeth is proud to rule over Britain because she loves her country. She loves it so much, that she begged her father to allow her to defend it. When World War II broke out, the princess was only 14 years old, so she was too young to join the military.

Strong independent woman

Finally when she turned 18, she joined the women’s Auxiliary Territorial Service. This makes her the only female member of royalty to serve in the armed forces and the only living head of state to have actively served in WWII.

Multiple birthdays

Because the Queen can basically do whatever she wants, she chooses to celebrate her birthday not once, but twice every year.

Multiple birthdays

The reason behind this is because April (her real birthday) is considered too cold to be able to properly celebrate, so she often celebrates on a Saturday in either the month of June or May. She is not the first or the only monarch to do this and it is practically tradition for those who are not born in the warmer months of the year.

End of a marriage

The Queen was believed to be “upset” after hearing the recent news that Autumn wants to split from Peter after nearly 12 years of marriage. As was Peter, who some sources claimed was “devastated” as he “didn’t see this coming.”

End of a marriage

A family friend, however, called the split amicable and “something of a conscious uncoupling” saying that things hadn’t been going well between them for months. As for when the divorce will happen is still unclear, although insiders say that the royal couple isn’t planning on rushing a quick divorce.

Another granddaughter to the rescue

Some were worried the divorce would have a more dramatic impact on the Royal Family, with Autumn taking daughters Savannah and Isla back to her home country Canada (that country does seem to have a tendency to split the Royal family apart..)

Another granddaughter to the rescue

But luckily for the Queen, her eldest granddaughter Zara stepped in as a mediator. Apparently her and her sister-in-law Autumn are on very good terms, so she was the perfect candidate to reach her.

Under the same roof

Part of the reason the two women are so close, is the fact they live under the same roof with their families. They both live on Princess Anne’s estate Gatcombe Park, and their daughters are great friends.

Under the same roof

It must surely be a little awkward for Autumn to still share a home with her ex, and according to sources she initially felt the need to move to Canada to be with her own family. But Zara reassured her she is very much part of the Royal Family too – despite the split.

Another flight to Canada?

As of right now, Autumn and Peter have decided to stay in the same country, to be able to better co-parent their children. A very noble move, which prioritizes their daughters rather than themselves. But many suspect their children do have Canadian citizenship, and could just as easily live there.

Another flight to Canada?

It might be just an unfortunate coincidence, but many have noted Autumn’s decision to split from Peter, and strong desire to move back to Canada, came not long after another favorite grandchild’s wife made it clear she prefers moving there…

Not such a big deal

Autumn and Peter had apparently struggled for some time before the announcement of their split, but perhaps she finally found the courage to make her move once the Royal Family (and the world) were distracted by a much bigger crisis: Megxit.

Not such a big deal

The Queen has certainly had a pretty eventful 2020 (already) when it comes to her grandchildren! Compared to having Harry and Meghan quit royal life, Autumn and Peter quietly divorcing while (hopefully) both staying in Britain, is perhaps not such a big deal to her in comparison.

Favorites may change…

One thing is for sure; the Queen might be wise and patient, but she’s also only human in the end. And all the drama and shenanigans surrounding her grandchildren, might lead to some changes when it comes to her favorites.

Favorites may change…

Her sweet, joking relationship with Harry will almost certainly change – since he won’t even be in England most of the time. And regarding Peter, it remains to be seen if the divorce from Autumn will affect his bond with the royals, and granny dearest.