Great-Granny Queen Doted on Her 12 Great-Grandkids — One of Them Got Her 'Emotional Investment,' Said Expert
Late Queen Elizabeth II was a mother of four kids. Because of her reign, she was barely present in her kids' lives but made up for it through her grandchildren and great-great-grandchildren.
Queen Elizabeth II became a mom for the first time at age 22. She gave birth to her eldest child, King Charles III, in November 1948.
She and her husband, Prince Philip, welcomed their second child, daughter Princess Anne in August 1950. Both royal siblings were reasonably young when their mother became the Queen of England in February 1952.
Queen Elizabeth with her husband, Prince Philip and children Prince Charles, Prince Andrew, Prince Edward and Princess Anne during the Royal Family's annual summer holiday at Balmoral Castle on August 22, 1972 in Balmoral, Scotland | Source: Getty Images
The monarch later had two more children – giving birth to her second son, Prince Andrew, in February 1960, followed by the couple's youngest son, Prince Edward, in March 1964 – a few weeks before she turned 38.
For King Charles and his sister Princess Anne, their mother was often away from home for extended periods because of work – and they were left home.
Though Her Majesty loved her brood, her firstborn was quoted by author Jonathan Dimbleby in his 1994 biography saying that it was "inevitably the nursery staff" who taught him how to play and who witnessed his first steps.
Moreover, when his parents were not traveling, they would see him and his siblings after breakfast and dinnertime. A newsreel announcer said at the time that the Queen put her duties before her kids:
"Motherly love must await the privacy of Clarence House."
In addition, per Sally Bedell Smith's biography, "Elizabeth The Queen," the royal brood spent most of their time in the "nursery complex on the second floor of Buckingham Palace".
Smith revealed that Princess Anne and her brother King Charles would go downstairs following breakfast for a brief playtime with their parents and did not see them again until the end of the day when they would have a "final romp".
The royal biographer disclosed Her Majesty had always wanted a big family but made it come second because she wanted to establish "herself as an effective monarch".
Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip joined at Clarence House by Prince Charles, (L) Prince Edward, (R) Princess Anne (C) and Prince Andrew (L) during a dinner to mark the forthcoming Diamond Wedding Anniversary of The Queen and The Duke on November 18, 2007 in London, United Kingdom | Source: Getty Images
However, when she had her fourth child, the dynamics began to change as she became "a more relaxed and consistently engaged mother with her second set of children".
Critics mentioned that the royal matriarch seemed more present after having her last two kids because she was trying to make up for lost time with her first two, whom she had no time for.
Still, that did not mean that the royal put throne duties on hold; the Queen had strict nannies to care for her children, meaning she was absent in some way or another.
Queen Elizabeth Had Doting & Unique Relationships with 12 Great-Grandkids
However, things changed for the better when Her Majesty had eight grandkids and twelve great-grandkids. Her eldest grandchild, Peter Phillips, married Autumn Phillips and welcomed the Queen's eldest great-grandchild, Savannah Phillips.
The young royal was born in December 2010 and is the first grandchild of Princess Anne and her former husband, Mark Phillips.
The monarch's second great-grandchild is Isla Phillips, whom Peter and Autumn welcomed in March 2012. She is the second grandkid of Mark and Princess Anne.
The royal matriarch's third great-grandchild is Prince William and Kate Middleton's first son, Prince George, born in July 2013. The young prince is named after the Queen's father, King George IV, and is the first grandchild of King Charles and his ex-wife, Princess Diana.
The sovereign's granddaughter, Zara Tindall, and her husband, Mike Tindall, welcomed their first child, daughter Mia Tindall in January 2014. She is the third grandchild of Princess Anne and Mark.
The Queen's fifth great-grandchild is the Prince and Princess of Wales's second child, daughter Princess Charlotte, born in May 2015. She is the second grandchild of the People's Princess and King Charles.
Her Majesty's sixth great-grandchild is Middleton and Prince William's youngest child, Prince Louis, born in April 2018. He is the third grandchild of King Charles and Princess Diana.
The monarch's seventh great-grandchild is Lena Tindall, whom Zara and Mike welcomed in January 2018. She is the fourth grandchild of Princess Anne and Mark.
The Queen's eighth great-grandchild is Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor, whom Prince Harry and Meghan Markle had in May 2019. He is the fourth grandchild of Princess Diana and King Charles.
Bridesmaids Princess Charlotte, Savannah Phillips, Maud Windsor, page boy Prince George, bridesmaids Isla Phillips, Theodora Williams, Mia Tindall and page boy Louis de Givenchy pictured leaving after the royal wedding of Princess Eugenie of York to Jack Brooksbank at St. George's Chapel on October 12, 2018 in Windsor, England | Source: Getty Images
Her Majesty's ninth great-grandchild is August Philip Hawke Brooksbank, whom Princess Eugenie and her spouse welcomed in February 2021. He is the first grandchild of Prince Andrew and his former wife, Sarah Ferguson.
The monarch's tenth great-grandchild is Lucas Philip Tindall, whom Zara and Mike welcomed in March 2021. He is the fifth grandchild of Princess Anne and Mark.
The Queen's eleventh great-grandchild is Lilibet 'Lili Diana Mountbatten-Windsor, whom the Duke and Duchess of Sussex welcomed in June 2021. She was named after her grandmother and great-grandmother and is the fifth grandchild of King Charles and Princess Diana.
Her Majesty's youngest great-grandchild is Sienna Elizabeth Mapelli Mozzi, born to Princess Beatrice and her husband, Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi, in September 2021. She is the second grandchild of the Duke and Duchess of York.
According to The Sun, the Queen doted on her great-grandchildren and taught them how to ride horses, not forgetting to allow them to enjoy themselves in a pool at Buckingham Palace.
She also became close to her grandchildren, Prince Edward and Sophia, Countess of Wessex's brood, Lady Lousie, and her brother James, Viscount Severn – who visited her frequently at Windsor Castle. A former courtier revealed the monarch was "fond" of her grandkids and great-grandkids:
"The Queen is extremely fond of her family and loves having them around her, particularly the grandchildren and great-grandchildren as they get a little older."
Kate Middleton photographed pushing her daughter Princess Charlotte in her pram as Queen Elizabeth II looks on as they leave the Church of St Mary Magdalene on the Sandringham Estate for the Christening of Princess Charlotte on July 5, 2015 in King's Lynn, England | Source: Getty Images
While she relished teaching Peter, Zara, Princes William, and Hary to ride horses when they were four or five, she also ensured Prince George got to learn how to.
During the Easter holidays, the royal matriarch hosted a family party at Windsor Castle and had over nine great-grandchildren, Sienna, Lucas, Lena, Mia, Louis, Charlotte, and George.
The royal brood got chocolate eggs after the older ones went to church with their parents. The Queen reportedly loved leaving gifts in their rooms when they stayed over, which showed how much she adored them. She also allowed Middleton to teach her kids how to swim using the Buckingham Palace swimming pool.
Queen Elizabeth II pictured with Prince Louis, Kate Middleton and Princess Charlotte during Trooping the Color on June 2, 2022 in London, England | Source: Getty Images
In February 2022, body language expert Judi James revealed to Express how Her Majesty "looked her happiest" when surrounded by her great-grandkids:
"The Queen has often looked at her happiest when surrounded by her great-grandchildren, and even in more formal poses, she appears relaxed and quietly playful. Her bonds with all of them appear typically doting."
James explained that the latest royal generation seemed to be a source of "joy" for the royal matriarch, adding despite being the head of state, she was an ordinary doting great-grandma.
The Monarch's Bonding with One Great-Grandkids Was Destiny
Out of all the great-grandkids, the Queen was emotionally invested in one, Prince George, as he would become King one day. The young prince is the second in line to the British throne.
His mother once revealed his nickname for his great-grandma in a 2016 interview to mark Her Majesty's 90th birthday. The Princess of Wales shared her then- two-and-a-half son called the Queen "Gan-Gan."
Prince George and his great-grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II and nanny, Maria Teresa Turrion Borrallo leave the Church of St Mary Magdalene on the Sandringham Estate for the Christening of Princess Charlotte on July 5, 2015 in King's Lynn, England | Source: Getty Images
The young royal learns history, French, and ballet at school. He was also a page boy at one of the royal weddings and is a big fan of "The Lion King."
Prince George has been photographed several times alongside the Queen for portraits of the heirs, the recent one being in December 2020.
Queen Elizabeth II and Prince George pictured standing on the balcony of Buckingham Palace following the Platinum Pageant on June 5, 2022 in London, England | Source: Getty Images
James said that the monarch had a special relationship with Prince George, just like the ones she had with his father and grandfather:
"Queen's bonding with George is based on empathy and destiny."
She explained that Her Majesty knew very well what would bestow upon her heirs and her bond with Prince George showed an indication of a "shared sense of duty alongside the more usual signs of a very loving great-granny."
In addition, royal historian Robert Lacey stated that the young royal was already on his journey to becoming King after he was assigned to deliver meals to the less fortunate amid the ongoing pandemic, including picking up litter –more "like his environmentally conscious father".
Prince William's told his eldest son during his seventh birthday celebration in 2020 about his future role in the monarchy. It is believed that he and his wife, Middleton, went into more detail about what the young prince's forthcoming title would entail.