The cousin crew! Many of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip’s grandchildren grew up together.
The late regent’s only daughter, Princess Anne, was the first royal to expand her brood. The Princess Royal and then-husband Captain Mark Phillips welcomed son Peter Phillips in November 1977 and daughter Zara Tindall (née Phillips) in May 1981. Less than one year after Zara’s arrival, King Charles III and his then-wife Princess Diana welcomed their first child, son Prince William. The king — who ascended the throne in September 2022 after his mother’s passing — and Diana later welcomed second son Prince Harry in September 1984.
The Prince of Wales and the Duke of Sussex have since remained close to their eldest cousins, frequently sitting together at various family functions. Zara’s husband, Mike Tindall, later let it slip that the group keeps in touch thanks to a special WhatsApp group.
“It’s just what you do to try and set up get-togethers and we are going to something that is the same,” the retired rugby pro — who shares three children with the Olympic equestrian — told Good Morning Britain in August 2019. “If you are going to go, ‘Are you going to take the kids?’ Quite a lot of people have family WhatsApp groups. I don’t think it’s a new revelation.”
The royal cousin count grew in August 1988 and March 1990, respectively, when Charles’ younger brother Prince Andrew welcomed daughters Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie with ex-wife Sarah Ferguson.
Harry, for his part, has long shared a special bond with Eugenie. In fact, it was the Anti-Slavery Collective founder and her now-husband, Jack Brooksbank, that were the first members of the royal family to meet the Spare author’s future wife, Meghan Markle.
“[Harry] said, ‘Well, if it’s gonna come out tomorrow, let’s go and have fun tonight!’” the Duchess of Sussex — who married Harry in May 2018 months before Eugenie and Brooksbank’s own nuptials — recalled in the Harry & Meghan docuseries of her early romance with the military veteran. “And we were like, ‘Well, this might be our last shot to just go out and have fun in the world.’”
Harry and Meghan both borrowed post-apocalyptic costumes for the Halloween bash with the art director and Brooksbank and had “silly fun” hours before news broke of the couple’s relationship.
The Archewell cofounders — who welcomed son Prince Archie in 2019 and daughter Princess Lilibet in 2021 — eventually took a step back from their duties as senior working royals in 2020, moving to California with their children. The royal drama soon caused friction between Harry and William, though Eugenie always remained in the Invictus Games founder’s corner.
“Princess Eugenie is a peacemaker,” royal expert Jonathan Sacerdoti exclusively told Us Weekly in April 2022. “Eugenie may have been the person to suggest the meeting [between Harry and the queen earlier this month] … or to try and help arrange it, make the contact.”
Sacerdoti added at the time: “She’s obviously maintained these good relations with Harry and Meghan, visiting them in California when she was out there and publicly being seen with them. She’s also said to be close to the queen as well, and that would put her in the perfect position to broker that sort of meeting.”
Harry — who welcomed Eugenie to his new home in California to watch Super Bowl LVI live from the SoFi Stadium — later reunited with his brother and cousins at the late queen’s state funeral in September 2022. The Duke of Cornwall, for his part, led his sibling and cousins, including Prince Edward’s children Lady Louise Mountbatten-Windsor and James, Earl of Wessex, into Westminster Hall for a special vigil around Her Majesty’s casket.
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Scroll below to revisit the royal cousins’ sweetest moments together: