Welcome to the world, little Lilibet Diana! While this precious bundle will almost certainly never ascend to the throne, she demonstrates the lasting power and appeal of the British royal family.
But remember, as my books Nannyland and The Long-Lost Jules make clear, the family’s “lasting power and appeal” is also dogged by some rather majestic scandals…
A few fun facts:
– Camilla Parker Bowles, wife to Prince Charles, stepmother to William and Harry and step-greatmum to young George, Charlotte, Louis, Archie and Lili, was herself descended from a great royal mistress. Yes, her ancestor Alice Keppel was famously the favorite mistress of King Edward VII! Camilla reportedly commented to a young Prince Charles, “My great-great-grandmother and your great-great-grandfather were lovers” – and as the world knows, Charles and Camilla followed in their forebears’ footsteps.
– King Henry VIII had countless mistresses, two of them being Mary Boleyn and her much-more-famous younger sister Anne. Mary was fortunate enough to lose the King’s favor and escape into an apparent love-match far from Court. Anne was unfortunate enough to win the King’s hand in marriage – only to be beheaded at his command for the sin of not bearing him a son.
– But in a weird twist of fate, Queen Elizabeth II is a direct descendant of Mary Boleyn through Mary’s daughter Katherine Carey and, eventually, Elizabeth’s mother Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon, the beloved Queen Mum.
– And Princes William and Harry are descended from Mary Boleyn not only through their father, but also through their mother’s Spencer family. So the Boleyn bloodline is alive and well, and continues through baby Lilibet!