One of the great royal love stories is not a romantic love story at all. It’s the story of the steadfast, enduring, supportive love between Queen Elizabeth and her sister Princess Margaret. The two women were born princesses to the second son and his wife, the Duke and Duchess of York, with no real expectation of ascending to the throne. Then came the
abdication of King Edward VIII, their father became King George VI, and one of those princesses became Queen Elizabeth. And so began one of the most enduring relationships in the royal family. The sovereign and her best friend, her sister.
Queen Elizabeth and Princess Margaret really set the barre high for that sisterly bond for the rest of the royal family. The two women worked together side-by-side for decades, weathered scandals, divorces, and illnesses together. When Princess Margaret died in 2002, Queen Elizabeth lost the ying to her yang. As their
father King George VI once said, “Lilibet is my pride, Margaret is my joy.”
Such is the way with siblings often enough. Different but the same in many ways that matter. And that bond appears to be carried out through decades of royals with their sisters, their built-in best friends.
Always By Her Side
When Queen Elizabeth was still Princess Elizabeth in 1940, she was given the responsibility of delivering a
war time radio broadcast to the people of the United Kingdom. She was reportedly so nervous that the only way she could do it was to have her younger sister sit by her side. Still Best Friends Tim Graham/Corbis Entertainment/Getty Images
Years after that war time broadcast, the two sisters still loved each other enough that they bent the stiff royal rules for a kiss on the cheek at the Royal College of Music.
His First Pal PA Images/PA Images/Getty Images
Prince Charles looked to be having a great time in 1956 with his little sister at a polo match. She was his first friend.
Skiing Sister Keystone-France/Gamma-Keystone/Getty Images
Prince Charles is another heir to the throne who reportedly relies on
his sister Princess Anne for counsel and support. The two are only two years apart in age, and have always shared a close bond. As evidenced on their ski holiday with dad Prince Philip in the French Alps in 1968. Lady Di Laughing Princess Diana with her sister Lady Sarah McCorquodale.
Female senior members of the royal family usually have a lady-in-waiting, someone who is incredibly close to the royal in question. When Princess Diana married Prince Charles, she chose her older sister Lady Sarah McCorquodale as her lady-in-waiting, because who is closer than your sister?
Zara & Peter, Great Pals Tim Graham/Tim Graham Photo Library/Getty Images
Princess Anne’s two children, Zara and Peter Phillips, seem to enjoy a pretty relaxed relationship. Especially when they were let loose at the 1984 Windsor Horse Trials to have fun on the play equipment.
Good Friends Mark Cuthbert/UK Press/Getty Images
Zara Tindall and Peter Phillips are both married parents with busy lives, but they still find time to hang out one on one now and then. Like at the 2015 Chelsea Flower Show.
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Princess Diana watched lawn tennis with her other sister, Lady Jane Fellowes, while she was pregnant. It’s nice to have someone you can just hang out with, you know?
Heiresses Apparent Julian Parker/UK Press/Getty Images
The similarities between Princesses Eugenie and Beatrice to Queen Elizabeth and Princess Margaret are kind of astounding. Both daughters of the Duke of York, both prone to wearing identical outfits. Both super adorable.
Who Has More Fun Than These Two? Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images
Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie were having more fun than anyone at Ladies’ Day at Ascot in 2013.
A Future Duchess With Her Ride Or Die Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images
Kate Middleton and her younger sister Pippa enjoyed a night at the roller disco in 2008 when the future Duchess of Cambridge was still in her dating years with Prince William. This is the kind of fun sisters were made for.
She’s Got Her Back Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images
When Pippa Middleton married financier James Matthews in 2017, her sister Kate was there for her. Sure, she’s a future Queen Consort and mother to the future King, but that doesn’t mean she’s above fluffing her sister’s veil on her wedding day. That’s what the sisterly bond is all about.
Sisters-In-Law Making It Work Karwai Tang/WireImage/Getty Images
Before Meghan Markle and Prince Harry stepped away from their senior royal roles and moved to California, the Duchess of Sussex had a sweet moment or two with her sister-in-law Kate Middleton. Like when they were the most stylish women at Wimbledon in 2018. Someday... maybe we’ll see it again.
Lady Louise & Her Little Brother Anwar Hussein/WireImage/Getty Images
Prince Edward and his wife Sophie, the Countess of Wessex, are parents to Lady Louise and James, Viscount Severn, Queen Elizabeth’s youngest grandchildren. While the brother and sister are not often seen in public, when they are they always seem like such typical siblings. Like when they’re hanging around waiting for their mom to finish a bike ride in 2016.
Younger Brothers, Ugh WPA Pool/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images
During a 2020 beach clean up in Portsmouth, James was teasing his sister with something at the end of a stick. Even royal brothers menace their sisters. Typical.
The Next Generation Chris Jackson/Chris Jackson Collection/Getty Images
Prince George and his little sister Princess Charlotte looked ready to party with their parents Kate Middleton and Prince William at a 2016 event in Victoria, Canada.
Princess Charlotte Holds Her Own Samir Hussein/WireImage/Getty Images
As the middle child and only daughter in the Cambridge family, Princess Charlotte could have found it difficult to find her voice. I doubt it though. During a 2019 polo match, she was dancing around while her brothers got snacks, looking like a confident little queen.
Two Sisters Horsing Around Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images
Autumn and Peter Phillips’ daughter Savannah was seen giving her little sister Isla a piggyback ride at the 2019 Festival of British Eventing. Those matching shortalls though.
The Tindall Sisters Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images
Mike and Zara Tindall have three children together, including adorable sisters Mia and Lena. The two girls were still pretty little at the 2019 International Horse Trials, but their dad looked like he had things in hand.
The Gang’s All Here WPA Pool/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images
At Princess Eugenie’s wedding in 2018, several royal sisters (and one royal brother) were in the wedding party. Princess Charlotte posed with Savannah and Isla Phillips while Prince George photo-bombed in the background. This family is going to be a lot of fun in about 10 years.