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Right royal friendships! A look at royal friendships across the globe


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Royal life can be difficult, and royals have often felt isolated because of their position. However, there is one person that will understand your life as a royal – other royals. There have been many royal friendships across the centuries, with cousins and friends coming together to support one another. 

George V of Great Britain and Nicholas II of Russia 

Although George and Nicholas were first cousins (their mothers were sisters), they were also close friends. Pictures of the two cousins are often mistaken for another, and when standing together, they were nearly identical twins. The different trajectories of their monarchies took them apart, but they were incredibly close in their youth. They would often see each other at family vacations where many of Europe’s related royals would summer together in Denmark. Nicholas would also stay at Marlborough House when he was in London, the home of George’s parents (the Prince and Princess of Wales). The question of George’s role in Nicholas’s execution is still questioned regularly (could he have saved them and kept his own monarchy?), but their friendship was still strong. 

By Unknown – 1, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=49254593

Queen Mathilde of Belgium and Queen Máxima of the Netherlands

Both Mathilde and Máxima are popular European royals, and their friendship only makes them more popular. Although there are often rumours of royal feuds and fights, Mathilde, married to King Philippe of Belgium, and Máxima, married to King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands, quickly became fast friends, with their friendship stronger than ever. They visit each other on personal trips regularly and also perform official duties together frequently. Máxima visited Mathilde in the hospital after giving birth to Princess Elisabeth, and Mathilde is goddaughter to Máxima’s second daughter, Princess Alexia. Their husbands are also friends, and the two couples always seem to enjoy each other’s company, no matter what the meeting is for. 

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Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden and Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark 

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Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden and Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark knew each from a young age; the Scandinavian royal families are quite close with each other. They have both attended each other’s wedding, and the two couples now visit each other frequently. On a September 2019 trip to Sweden, Victoria and her husband Prince Daniel spent an evening at Frederik and Crown Princess Mary’s home at Amalienborg Palace, before meeting the couple again at a diplomatic dinner the following evening. 

You can read more about Crown Princess Victoria’s thoughts on their friendship here

Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and Prince Seeiso of Lesotho 

There may be an 18 year age gap between Harry and Seeiso, but the two are close friends after meeting in 2004. Seeiso is the youngest brother of the King of Lesotho; his mother, the late Queen of Lesotho and Diana, Princess of Wales, worked together on different HIV- and AIDS-related projects. In 2006, Harry and Seeiso formed a charity together, Sentebale. Sentebale provides support to HIV-positive children living in Lesotho and Botswana, and the two princes regularly collaborate on different efforts to support their charity. Harry plays in their charity polo game every year to raise funds, and in 2019 hosted a concert at Hampton Court Palace to raise funds. Seeiso was the only foreign royal to be invited to Harry’s 2018 wedding to Meghan Markle. 

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Queen Elizabeth II and Queen Margrethe of Denmark 

Life as a reigning monarch can be a lonely life, and especially so for reigning female monarchs. It should come as no surprise that Elizabeth and Margrethe are friends, as they are currently the only two reigning female monarchs. Their friendship has spanned decades, though. They are actually third cousins and met regularly at different family and official events. Margrethe has stated in several interviews that she and Elizabeth are very close and that she visits Buckingham Palace as often as she can. And they both are known for their love of dogs, with Margrethe owning several dachshunds over the years, and Elizabeth famous for her love of corgis. 

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Historian and blogger at AnHistorianAboutTown.com