Here's Everything You Need to Know About Queen Elizabeth's 4 Children

Queen Elizabeth became a mother at age 22 when she gave birth to Prince Charles.

On November 20, 2020, Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip celebrated 73 years of marriage. Sadly, Philip died at the age of 99 on April 9, 2021. In a statement that day, the palace said: “It is with deep sorrow that Her Majesty The Queen announces the death of her beloved husband, His Royal Highness The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. His Royal Highness passed away peacefully this morning at Windsor Castle."

The monarch, who fell in love with Philip when she was just 13 years old, is the longest-serving monarch in British history, head of state in 16 countries, and we're eternally fascinated by the lives of her grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

But when it comes to Queen Elizabeth's children, what can we say about them? If your answer is "nothing" or "not a lot" then you've come to the right place. Read on to find out everything you need to know and the life they built together.

How many children does Queen Elizabeth II have?

The queen has four children with her late husband Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh.

Who are Queen Elizabeth's children?

From oldest to youngest, we've got now-King Charles (73), Princess Anne (71), Prince Andrew (62), and Prince Edward (57.)

Related: The Sweet Symbolism of the Queen's Heart-Shaped Diamond in Prince Philip's 99th Birthday Pic 

What age was Elizabeth when she became a mother?

Princess Elizabeth was 22 years old when she had Prince Charles in 1948—four years before she became queen in 1952. She had a home birth at Buckingham Palace and was in labor for an eye-watering 30 hours. As was tradition back in the day, Elizabeth was administered a "twilight sleep" for the birth, which consisted of a cocktail of drugs to put her under while the baby underwent a forceps birth. Not pleasant and, as studies later revealed, extremely unsafe. Although the queen went on to have three more home births, by the time she had Edward, twilight sleep had thankfully gone out of fashion.

What is the queen's attitude to motherhood?

Well, who knows. As ever with the queen, we can only try to guess what's going on in her mind. However, it's safe to say that attitudes toward parenting have changed a lot since the Elizabeth was a young mother. Would we perhaps see the queen attempting to implement more of a work-life balance if she were raising her children this decade instead of in the '50s and '60s? Duty to her work was the queen's No. 1 priority, which resulted in a scene like the monarch solemnly shaking 4-year-old Prince Charles' hand after she hadn't seen him for five months while touring the Commonwealth. Only the queen can look back and say what she might have done differently, but we do know that in 2012 she agreed that being a mom is "the only job which matters."

Related: Prince Harry Repays $3M of Taxpayers' Money That Funded Frogmore Cottage Renovations 

Who is the queen's favorite child?

There's an unfortunate answer to that question, which we'll get to in a bit. For now, we'll take a closer look at the royal children in detail.

Queen Elizabeth children

King Charles

Poor old Charles. At 73, he's been waiting a literal lifetime for his chance to don the crown and be really, truly, regal. While his mother went on to break Queen Victoria's record as longest-serving monarch, the former Prince of Wales bears the unfortunate title of longest-serving heir apparent.

Born on Nov. 14, 1948, Charles spent 70 years as first in line to the throne. It sounds like he had quite a lonely childhood—even before Elizabeth unexpectedly became monarch after the sudden death of her father, she would spend long stretches of time visiting Prince Philip in Malta. And after the coronation, her schedule meant that Charles was raised mostly by nannies. His teenage years were spent at a remote and freezing cold boarding school in Scotland.

In 1981, Charles made the wrong kind of history when he married Lady Diana Spencer in the "wedding of the century" at St Paul's Cathedral. The ceremony was watched by an estimated 750 million people worldwide. At the time of their marriage, Charles was 31 and Diana was only 20. Diana would go on to be universally adored, meaning that Charles often felt overshadowed by her fame and popularity. Before their separation, the couple had two children:Prince William and Prince Harry. Prince William is next in line to the throne after his dad, and his son Prince George, 9, will be king someday after him.

Related: See Where the Cambridges and the Sussexes Fit in the Royal Line of Succession

Princess Diana died in a car crash in 1997 after being pursued by paparazzi through Paris. In 2005, Charles finally married Camilla Parker-Bowles, whom he was in love with before being encouraged to court Diana Spencer by the royal family. It's thought that the queen may have deliberately split up Charles and Camilla by sending her son on assignment overseas. Camilla had dated several men before Charles, and wasn't from a titled family. Perhaps by the time Charles and Camilla could finally wed, the queen recognized her mistake in pushing her son toward the young, inexperienced, and naive Lady Diana, which resulted in a very unhappy marriage indeed. In any case, she gave Charles her blessing.

Before acceding the throne, King Charles had settled into his role as grandfather to Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis—his contentedness with life was clear to see in the family photoshoot that marked his 70th birthday!

Anne, Princess Royal

Princess Anne is 72 and is the queen's only daughter. She was born on Aug. 15, 1950. Because the Succession to the Crown Act was only enacted in 2013 (meaning that Princess Charlotte is next in line to the throne after her brother George), as a girl Anne got a rough deal because sons took precedence over daughters. The act has not changed Anne's place in line to the throne, so she's still 16th in line—after her brothers, and their children, and their children—despite being the queen's second child.

But it's likely that Anne prefers to remain behind the scenes in any case. She's known as the hardest-working member of the royal family (500+ engagements fill up her yearly schedule) and has inherited her mother's practical nature. While Charles has described the queen as "detached" when it came to parenting, Anne's outlook is matter-of-fact. She once described an early acceptance of her mother's busy schedule, and went on to say, “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."

Related: William and Harry To Set Aside Differences for Unveiling of Princess Diana Statue on Her 60th Birthday

Truthfully, we love Anne. She's glamorous and passionate about her interests in life—namely, horses, a love she shares with both her mother and her daughter, Zara Tindall, an Olympic silver medalist. Zara is Anne's child from a previous marriage to Captain Mark Phillips, with whom she also has a son, Peter. After Anne and Mark divorced in 1992, she went on to marry Sir Timothy Laurence. Anyway, back to the horses. Anne is famously much more into equestrianism than other aspects of being a princess (tiaras, etc.) and rode the queen's horse Goodwill at the 1976 Montreal Olympic Games. Though she very much seemed to enjoy dressing up for the gorgeous sequence of portraits that marked her 70th birthday.

Prince Andrew, Duke of York

Prince Andrew was born 10 years after his sister Princess Anne, on Feb. 19, 1960. By this time, the queen had softened a lot in her attitude to mothering. She was able to make a lot more time in her schedule for her younger son than she had for Charles and Anne. It is likely due to this shift in her life that Andrew was able to make room in her heart, and the two became close. Andrew is often described as the queen's favorite child, but this brought its own problems.

Andrew married Sarah Ferguson in 1986 and the couple have two daughters, Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie. Andrew and Sarah, also known as Fergie, divorced in 1996, but have gone on to remain friends.

There's an ongoing scandal with Andrew at its center, one that despite his mother's love saw him required to step back from his official royal duties and asked to vacate his office at Buckingham Palace. The prince was friends with the late sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, and took part in a disastrous BBC interview in 2019 in which he said he had no regrets about the friendship because, in his words, "the people that I met and the opportunities that I was given to learn either by him or because of him were actually very useful."

It was the fallout from this interview that forced the queen to order the suspension of her son's royal duties. Earlier this year, Queen Elizabeth stripped Prince Andrew of his military titles and patronages. And more recently Prince Andrew settled his lawsuit with Virginia Roberts Giuffre, the woman who accused Andrew of sexual abuse and claims that Epstein paid her $15,000 to have sex with the prince. Andrew is currently still ninth in line to the throne, behind Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's 3-year-old son Archie and daughter, Lilli, who turned 1 in June.

Related: More Pictures Released of Princess Beatrice's Wedding—And Details of Her Unconventional Wedding Ring! 

Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex

Prince Edward is the baby of the family, and similarly benefitted from Queen Elizabeth's more hands-on mothering approach that she adopted after Andrew was born. When she gave birth to Edward on March 10, 1964, the queen was 37 and had learned a lot from her years both as monarch and mother. She and Prince Philip are said to be very fond of Edward and his wife Sophie, who Edward married in 1999. No divorces this time around!

Edward doesn't come up too often on the radar. He has two children, Lady Louise Windsor and James, Viscount Severn. He has been taking on many of the duties that belonged to the 99-year-old Prince Philip, and it's rumored that Edward will inherit the title of Duke of Edinburgh after Charles becomes king.

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