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Inside King Charles III’s Bond With Brother Prince Edward: Royal Ups and Downs Over the Years

King Charles III and Prince Edwards Brotherly Bond Inside Royal Family Members Ups and Downs
Prince Edward and King Charles III Tim Graham Photo Library via Getty Images

King Charles III’s relationship with his brother Prince Edward has changed over the years.

The late Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip welcomed their firstborn, Charles, in November 1948. The couple subsequently welcomed daughter Anne in August 1950, along with sons Andrew and Edward in February 1960 and March 1964, respectively.

Philip died in April 2021, followed by the queen in September 2022. Charles took over as king, with some of his siblings assisting with senior royal duties. While Andrew was stripped of his royal titles in 2019 following a sexual assault scandal (he has denied the accusations, and the case was eventually settled out of court), both Anne and Edward have stepped up to help their older brother.

Charles went public with his cancer diagnosis in February 2024, revealing that he would be taking a step back from public-facing duties while undergoing treatment. His siblings, however, started showing their faces in his place.

Inside King Charles Relationships With His Siblings Princess Anne Prince Andrew and Prince Edward 785

Related: Where King Charles’ Stands With His Siblings Anne, Andrew and Edward

Edward, for one, was given a new role in April 2024, alongside his wife, Duchess Sophie. Us Weekly reported at the time that Edward and Sophie were the new “chosen couple” to represent the royal family at some events with Charles and Princess Kate Middleton both sidelined. (Kate went public with her cancer diagnosis in March 2024.)

Keep scrolling to see how Charles and Edward’s relationship has evolved over the years:

King Charles III and Prince Edwards Brotherly Bond Inside Royal Family Members Ups and Downs
King Charles III and his youngest brother Prince Edward go for a spin in their go-kart on the grounds of Windsor Castle in May 1969 near Windsor, Berkshire, England. Anwar Hussein Collection/Getty Images

Their Early Days

The brothers are 16 years apart in age, making their childhoods different to begin with. Charles preparing for his role as king also influenced the way they were raised. It’s been reported over the years that Elizabeth and Philip reared their two eldest children with a less tender approach compared to the two youngest.

That being said, it has also been reported that Charles and Edward had a close bond throughout their teenage years.

Playing Best Man

Despite the rumored differences in their upbringing, Charles did have Edward (and Andrew) serve as best man when marrying the late Princess Diana in 1981.

King Charles III and Prince Edwards Brotherly Bond Inside Royal Family Members Ups and Downs
King Charles III (center left) and Prince Edward. Derek Hudson/Getty Images

From Friend to Wife

Charles was close friends with Duchess Sophie before she and Edward tied the knot in 1999.

A Brotherly Feud

There was a reported rough patch between Charles and Edward in the early aughts. When Prince William was studying at university in 2001 a crew member from Edward’s production company, Ardent Productions, allegedly tried to film the young royal. The following year, Edward stepped down from his role at the company. (Ardent Productions eventually folded in June 2009.)

Prince Edward Through the Years

Related: Prince Edward Through the Years

Grieving Together

Not much has been shared about their relationship since the suspected rift, but both Charles and Edward were present when their mother, Queen Elizabeth II, died in September 2022.

King Charles III and Prince Edwards Brotherly Bond Inside Royal Family Members Ups and Downs
Prince Edward At Polo At Smiths Lawn Windsor With His Brother King Charles III. Tim Graham Photo Library via Getty Images

A Slimmed-Down Monarchy

Once Charles assumed his role as King of England, he bestowed the title Duke of Edinburgh on his youngest brother. With Charles’ hopes for a “slimmed-down monarchy,” it seemed that Edward wouldn’t have a significant role within the royal family.

Edward initially secured his senior working royal status when Prince Harry and wife Meghan Markle cut ties with the royal family in 2020.

Back Into the Royal Fold

Once Charles fell ill, Edward and Sophie assumed more responsibilities within the royal family. In April 2024, the couple made history by leading their first major royal event at Buckingham Palace on behalf of the king.

Edward has since been given a new title as a member of the esteemed Order of the Thistle. His title is the Commodore in Chief of the Royal Fleet Auxiliary. The honor was given by way of Charles.

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