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When Queen Elizabeth became a mother in 1948, she was just 22 years old—Charles was born almost exactly a year after she married Prince Philip of Greece and Denmark, although, controversially, Charles legally took Elizabeth’s Windsor surname and not his father’s (Mountbatten). He was just five weeks old when this photograph was taken.
Disembarking from a plane at Aberdeen, Princess Diana carries her younger son, Harry—bundled up in an adorable snow-white sweater, booties, and hat—as she arrives in Scotland’s chilly December air
Former school teacher Diana, known as a warm and caring mother above all else, oversaw the boys' early education and activities--here she is “instructing” them in piano. Harry has just finished playing a little Liszt
Though much has been made of Elizabeth and Philip’s various absences during Charles’s childhood, they had their share of fun—the trio is shown here in July of 1949, all having a laugh.
In July of 1981, Prince Charles married blushing virgin Diana Spencer, wedded just days after her 20th birthday. Di quickly became pregnant with their first child, Prince William. And because pregnancy is no excuse for missing royal functions, Diana is seen here in a pink shirtdress on the outskirts of the Guards Club in Windsor while Charles plays in a polo match
The Queen Mother outdoes even Diana in enthusiasm, though, with this rollicking smile, holding her great-grandson at his christening in August of 1982. As it happened, Prince William’s christening took place on her 82nd birthday.
When then princess Elizabeth was born in 1926, her father was still the Duke of York—with no hint he’d ever be king. After Edward VIII abdicated the throne in 1936, 10-year-old Elizabeth would become the next in line. She’s seen here at her christening, when she was about one month old
In a formal portrait when she was a bit older, Princess Elizabeth grabs onto the pearls she’s wearing with her formal baby gown. The Duchess of York looks intently over her shoulder
By 1951, Charles had a sibling—younger sister Princess Anne, who is amused by Prince Philip’s chin in this summertime family photo.
And in proof that parenting trends have changed over the years, Charles—in November 1950—watches a procession of visiting Netherlandish royals from a rail-less ledge.
Fewer than 30 years after showing Harry how to walk in K.P.’s apartment, Prince William stands proudly with his wife, pregnant with their own child. Their son or daughter is due sometime next year—let the feverish frenzy begin