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All About Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip's 4 Children

People logo People 8/12/2022 Jessica Sager


Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip welcomed four children together over the course of their 73-year marriage: King Charles III, Princess Anne, Prince Andrew and Prince Edward.

The Queen rarely spoke publicly about her family, though in her 1972 wedding anniversary speech, she said, "If I am asked what I think about family life after 25 years of marriage, I can answer with equal simplicity and conviction, I am for it."

On Sept. 8, 2022, Queen Elizabeth's four children, along with other royal family members, traveled to Balmoral Castle in Scotland amid doctors' "concerns" for her health.

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Shortly after, Buckingham Palace announced in an official statement that Queen Elizabeth died at the age of 96. "The Queen died peacefully at Balmoral this afternoon," the statement read.

The Queen was succeeded immediately by her eldest son, Charles, who will now be the monarch. King Charles issued a statement shortly after his mother's death that read, "The death of my beloved Mother, Her Majesty The Queen, is a moment of the greatest sadness for me and all members of my family."

From duty-focused Charles to hard-working Princess Anne, "sensitive" Edward and scandal-ridden Andrew, get to know all four of Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip's adult children.

RELATED: All About Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip's 8 Grandchildren

King Charles

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Born in Buckingham Palace on Nov. 14, 1948, King Charles is the Queen and Prince Philip's eldest son and was named heir to the British throne upon his birth. When he was 9 years old, he was named Prince of Wales and Earl of Chester.

King Charles studied archaeology, anthropology and history at Trinity College, University of Cambridge, becoming the first royal heir to earn a university degree. He then served in the British Royal Navy in his 20s, like his father before him, and later became a helicopter pilot. He retired from military service in 1976 as commander of the H.M.S. Bronington and later founded the charity The Prince's Trust.

He began his relationship with Diana Spencer in the summer of 1980, and in February 1981, the pair became engaged. They wed on July 29, 1981, and welcomed their first son, Prince William, the following year. In 1984, the couple welcomed their second son, Prince Harry.

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Both Charles and Diana admitted to infidelity in their marriage and the couple announced their separation in 1992 and finalized their divorce in August 1996. Diana tragically died in a car crash just one year later.

The royal then quietly dated Camilla Parker Bowles, whom he dated prior to marrying Diana, and they eventually wed on April 9, 2005.

King Charles is a dedicated philanthropist with a keen focus on environmentalism and the fight against global climate change, with his wife Camilla calling him a "workaholic." In his free time, he enjoys painting. Charles also has five grandchildren: Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis, by William and Kate Middleton, and Archie and Lilibet, by Harry and Meghan Markle.

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On May 10, 2022, Charles delivered the speech at the State Opening of Parliament for the first time on behalf of his mother, who could not attend. He also acknowledged his then-position as future king in jest, telling an audience that when he visited a T.K. Maxx, "I remember there were an enormous number of people who were trying to get in, as they were waiting for me to get out! Story of my life."

Charles became King Charles III after the death of Queen Elizabeth, and immediately inherited the responsibilities and privileges of a consecrated king, though he won't be allowed to publicly wear a crown until his coronation.

"He will be crowned probably in a year," Kate Williams, history professor at England's Reading University and author of Young Elizabeth: The Making of the Queen, told PEOPLE. "The coronation ceremony usually takes a year because it's seen as unseemly, really, to have a coronation ceremony straight after someone's death. It's a long period of mourning."

Princess Anne

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Princess Anne was born on Aug. 15, 1950, in London. Prince Philip once famously said of his only daughter, an avid equestrian, "If it doesn't fart or eat hay, she isn't interested." That lack of frivolity also extends to her fashion sense: Princess Anne is also known for recycling her wardrobe, sometimes wearing the same outfits more than 30 years apart.

As a display of just how small the royal circles are, Princess Anne dated Andrew Parker Bowles in 1970 before he married his first wife, Camilla. In 1973, Princess Anne married Olympic gold medalist Captain Mark Phillips — just four months after her split from Parker Bowles, with whom she remains friends today.

On March 20, 1974, Princess Anne was the target of a kidnapping plot. Would-be kidnapper Ian Ball swerved in front of Princess Anne's chauffeured Rolls Royce and fired six shots, injuring four people. Ball tried to get the princess to get out of the car, to which witnesses said she replied, "Not bloody likely!"

In 1978, Princess Anne recalled the events in a televised interview and downplayed her own bravery with wry humor. "He opened the door, and we had a sort of 'discussion' about where or where not we were going to go," she said of Ball. "I said I didn't think I wanted to go. I was scrupulously polite because I thought it was silly to be too rude at that stage."

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Princess Anne became the first British royal to ever become an Olympian, competing in the 1976 Montreal Olympic Games as an equestrian. She placed 24th overall, while Britain came in 9th place in the Games.

Anne and her first husband welcomed son Peter in 1977 — making her the first royal to give birth in a hospital — and daughter Zara in 1981 and opted not to give her children royal titles. The princess and Phillips separated in 1989 and divorced in April 1992 following infidelity on both sides. In December of that year, Princess Anne married Sir Timothy Laurence, with whom she'd had an affair during her first marriage.

The Queen's daughter remains one of the busiest royals, having attended over 500 events in 2018 alone. Anne has joked that she is the "boring old fuddy-duddy at the back saying, 'Don't forget the basics,' " to the next generation of royals.

Prince Andrew

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Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip's third child and second son, Prince Andrew, was born on Feb. 19, 1960. Like his brother Charles, Prince Andrew served in the British Royal Navy after completing his education and was eventually awarded Royal Air Force Wings by his father, Prince Philip.

In 1986, Prince Andrew married Sarah "Fergie" Ferguson and the Queen named him Duke of York. They welcomed daughters Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie before separating in 1992 and divorcing in 1996, though they remain close friends and still live together.

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Andrew is now infamous for his friendship with the late convicted sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein. In 2011, Prince Andrew stepped down after a decade as U.K. Special Representative for International Trade and Investment due to his dealings with Epstein.

In 2019, a survivor of Epstein's trafficking ring, Virginia Giuffre, accused Prince Andrew of sexual abuse and filed a civil lawsuit against him, alleging that she was forced to have sex with him three times between 1999 and 2002. Prince Andrew consistently denied any wrongdoing, most famously in a disastrous BBC interview that November. The palace stripped Andrew of his military titles and royal patronages in January 2022, and he and Giuffre reached an undisclosed settlement one month later.

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Though Prince Andrew can no longer use the "His Royal Highness" title or attend any public events as a royal, he does still attend family events.

Prince Edward

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Prince Edward is Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip's youngest child, born on March 10, 1964, in Buckingham Palace.

Though the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh's "most charming and sensitive son" largely flies under the radar, he made waves in 1987 when he resigned from the Royal Marines during early training — reportedly to his father's great chagrin.

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Prince Edward was close friends with model Romy Adlington at the time, who told reporters, "Edward has been put through a terrible ordeal and has no one to speak for him. As one of his closest friends, I want the public to know he is a normal human being who has to make an important decision. He doesn't have the same responsibility as his brothers [they are closer in the line of succession], yet he still can't go off and do what he wants. He has often asked me: 'What's it like to go for a walk alone in the park? How does it feel to be able to walk into a shop without everyone staring at you?' That's all he wants to be able to do."

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After leaving the Marines, Prince Edward worked for composer Andrew Lloyd Webber before launching his since-shuttered film production company Ardent Productions.

While relatively far down the line of royal succession, Prince Edward actually had a shot to become king — of Estonia. When the country became independent after the fall of the Soviet Union, Estonia's Royalist party reportedly approached him in 1994 about leading the nation. He politely declined.

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On June 19, 1999, Prince Edward married public relations executive Sophie Rhys-Jones in what was described as a "casual" royal wedding, and the couple became the Earl and Countess of Wessex. They share daughter Lady Louise and son James, Viscount Severn. The couple elected not to give their children HRH titles. Since the death of Prince Philip, Prince Edward has taken on many of the late Duke of Edinburgh's patronages and responsibilities.

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