A young Princess Elizabeth runs around on board a ship
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The Queen and Princess Margaret were each other’s only siblings and were the children of the second-born son, Prince Albert of York. Similarly, Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie are each other’s only siblings and were born of the second son of Queen Elizabeth, Prince Andrew. When Beatrice was born, she was fifth in line to the throne and remained the highest female in the line of succession until the birth of Princess Charlotte in 2015.
Also, when the Queen was born, she was only third in line to the throne, behind her uncle, the future King Edward VIII, and then Elizabeth’s father.
However, when her uncle abdicated the throne in 1936, Prince Albert unexpectedly became King George VI, making Elizabeth the heir presumptive.
Elizabeth was just 10 years old at the time, but before this, she and her sister Margaret, just four years apart, had a very happy and close childhood.
By the time Beatrice and Eugenie were born, many royal commentators noticed the striking similarities between the closeness of the two pairs of sisters, born just two generations apart.
Body language expert Judi James spoke exclusively to Express.co.uk about the direct parallels between the pairs of sisters, whether they all had similar childhoods, and whether their unions were brought stronger due to similar reasons.
Judi said: “Having always been so close to her own sister and her mother it is unsurprising that The Queen has very strong bonds of empathy and understanding with her grand-daughters Beatrice and Eugenie.
“Like the young Elizabeth and Margaret, Fergie’s girls have always been brought up to form a very close team of two, with each appearing to offer the other support and friendship throughout their lives.
“Both sets of sisters were the children of second sons, although in Elizabeth and Margaret’s case their father leap-frogged to the role of King when his older brother abdicated.
“This hierarchical change did produce some differences in the sister’s body language signals, many of which were taught rather than spontaneous.
“Elizabeth’s power and poise signals were always expected to be superior as she was inducted into the future role she was expected to inherit.
“She even sits at a higher level than her mother in this formal group photo, placing one arm on her mother’s shoulder to hint at a more protective role.
“Her pose with Margaret in the royal office shows Elizabeth inspecting a script or document with a businesslike frown that is well beyond her actual age while Margaret has a more playful and childlike facial expression.
“Elizabeth was brought up taking a slightly maternal role with her younger sister and this even led to friction when she had to set rules and regulations for Margaret according to royal protocol.
“The Queen Mother’s role seemed to be to instil a sense of duty and regal responsibility in her girls, but in particular her elder daughter.
“It was clear from their body language though that Elizabeth and Margaret’s relationship was mutually protective with both enjoying the sense of security that comes from a close sister who has your back when the chips are down.
“Beatrice and Eugenie seem to enjoy a similar relationship that must have helped keep them strong in the face of all the splits and scandals that have affected their family.
“With no royal pecking order to comply with though, it always looks as though it’s the younger sister, Eugenie, who has adopted the slightly more maternal role with her sister.
“She married first and she tends to look calmer and more adult than the spontaneous and excitable-looking Beatrice.
“Like Elizabeth and Margaret, Fergie’s girls were often dressed alike as small children to emphasise their bonds and outlook on life.
“The Queen Mother’s role modelling was all about royal protocol but Fergie’s seems to have been more about freedom of expression and having fun as well as royal duty.
“The ‘trio’ effect of Fergie and her daughters will often look more like three friends sharing life and even partying together but with Elizabeth and Margaret the sense of duty and hierarchy underlies a lot of their poses.”
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