History has an uncanny way of repeating itself.
And in this case, it’s an event that has only ever occurred twice in Britain’s long history.
Below are two pictures taken over a century apart, each one with 4 generations of British royalty.
The photo on the left, taken in 1894, was the christening of Prince Edward Albert of York, who went on to become King Edward VIII, the current Queen’s uncle. He is pictured here with his father (the eventual King George V), grandfather (later King Edward VII), and great-grandmother, Queen Victoria.
The photo on the right, taken in October 2013, was the christening of Prince George, third in line to the British throne. He is pictured here with his father, Prince William, grandfather, Prince Charles, and great-grandmother, the reigning Queen Elizabeth II.
There have only been two times in British history that there has been a reigning monarch (both women) with three generations of heirs to their throne (all male) waiting to lead Britain and its Commonwealth.
These are also the two longest-reigning monarchs in British history and the only two to have celebrated their diamond jubilees (60 years). Both are also the two oldest living monarchs of their country: Queen Victoria lived for 81 years and 243 days; Queen Elizabeth II is 87 years old and counting. Both were “accidental” monarchs. Queen Victoria succeeded her uncle, William IV, who had no legitimate heirs. Queen Elizabeth II became heir presumptive to the throne when her uncle (same one being christened in the photo above) famously abdicated in order to marry the twice-divorced American, Wallis Simpson. His brother, Elizabeth’s father, then acceded to the throne.
And let’s not leave out the men. Prince Charles is now the longest-serving heir to the British throne, having surpassed Edward VII, Queen Victoria’s heir, a few years ago. Edward was 59 when he acceded to the throne. Charles is already 64 years old….and counting.