Prince William, the eldest son of Prince Charles and the late Princess Diana, is a prominent member of the British royal family. He is second in line to the throne, after his father. William has a younger brother, Prince Harry, but does he also have a step sister?
Yes, it is true that Prince William has a step sister named Laura Lopes. She is the daughter of Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, from her first marriage.
Who is Prince William’s Step Sister Laura Lopes?
Prince William’s step sister is Laura Lopes, daughter of Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall. Here are some key facts about her:
- Full Name: Laura Rose Lopes
- Date of Birth: 1 January 1978
- Parents: Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall and Andrew Parker Bowles
- Siblings: Tom Parker Bowles
- Education: Oxford Brookes University
- Occupation: Art curator
- Spouse: Harry Lopes
- Children: Eliza Lopes, Gus Lopes, Louis Lopes
Laura’s mother Camilla married Prince Charles in 2005, becoming the Duchess of Cornwall. This made Laura and her brother Tom stepchildren of Charles. When Charles becomes King, Laura will gain the titles of stepsister to the King and a British princess.
Camilla’s First Marriage to Andrew Parker Bowles
To understand how Laura became Prince William’s stepsister, we need to look at her parents’ relationship history.
Laura’s parents are Camilla Shand and Andrew Parker Bowles. They met at a party in 1965 and soon started dating. Andrew was a British army officer who had dated Prince Charles’ sister Princess Anne. Camilla and Andrew married in 1973.
Camilla and Andrew went on to have two children together – Tom in 1974 and Laura in 1978. However, their marriage suffered from Andrew’s infidelity and eventually ended in divorce in 1995.
Relationship Between Charles and Camilla
During the 1970s, while married to Andrew, Camilla revived her acquaintance with Prince Charles. They had met briefly in 1971.
Charles and Camilla began an intimate relationship, even as both were married to other people. Their affair continued on and off over several decades.
In 1981, Charles married Lady Diana Spencer. He remained close with Camilla but kept the relationship discreet. After Charles and Diana divorced in 1996, Charles and Camilla’s relationship became public.
Camilla’s Marriage to Prince Charles
In 2005, Charles and Camilla finally married in a civil ceremony at Windsor Guildhall. As the wife of the Prince of Wales, Camilla received the title Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cornwall.
This marriage made Laura and Tom Parker Bowles stepchildren of Prince Charles. As Charles has no biological children with Camilla, Laura and Tom are his only stepchildren.
Laura attended her mother’s wedding to Charles and has been supportive of the relationship. She and her brother have a cordial relationship with their stepfather.
Laura’s Siblings – Tom Parker Bowles
Laura has one full sibling – her older brother Tom Parker Bowles. He was born in 1974 to parents Camilla and Andrew.
Tom is a food writer and food critic. He has published several cookbooks and often appears as a judge on food television shows. Tom has two children from his former marriage.
As Laura’s only full sibling, Tom shares the distinction of being a stepchild to Prince Charles and stepbrother to Princes William and Harry.
Laura’s Career and Family
Laura Lopes studied History of Art and Marketing at Oxford Brookes University. She pursued a career as an art curator.
In 2006, she married chartered accountant Harry Lopes in a ceremony attended by the royal family. The couple has three children:
- Daughter Eliza, born in 2008
- Son Gus, born in 2009
- Son Louis, born in 2012
Laura’s children with Harry Lopes are the step-grandchildren of Prince Charles and Camilla. They have the advantage of being part of the royal extended family while also living private lives.
Laura and Prince William’s Relationship
As step siblings, Prince William and Laura Lopes have gotten to know each other over the years through family gatherings. However, they do not have an especially close relationship.
There is a significant age gap between them – William was born in 1982 while Laura was born in 1978. They also move in different social circles.
William was initially hesitant about his father’s relationship with Camilla. However, he has come to accept Camilla as his stepmother. He maintains cordial ties with Laura and Tom.
Laura’s Royal Title
As the daughter of the Duchess of Cornwall, Laura carries the courtesy title of Lady Laura Lopes. Her full titled name is Laura Lopes, Lady of Llandaff.
This courtesy title gives her a certain social status, but she does not hold a peerage. Laura has avoided the spotlight and pursued her professional interests.
When Charles becomes King, Laura will obtain the higher privileges and titles of a King’s daughter. However, she is not expected to take on royal duties. Her life will remain relatively unchanged.
Public Interest in the Step Sister
There has been significant public interest in Prince William having a little-known stepsister.
Laura was thrust into the spotlight when her mother married into the royal family. Many were fascinated by the story of her mother’s long affair with Charles.
As an art curator, Laura has shunned fame and kept a low profile. She maintains a private life focused on family and her career.
Nonetheless, media attention remains on Laura as the stepdaughter of a future King. Her role in the royal family and relationship with William continue to draw public curiosity.
Comparison to Catherine Middleton
Prince William’s wife Catherine Middleton has been compared to her husband’s stepsister Laura Lopes. Some similarities and differences between them:
|Catherine Middleton||Laura Lopes|
|Same age – both born in 1978|
|Met husband at university|
|Married in their 20s|
|Have multiple young children|
|Live in London area|
|Very public role as member of royal family||Shuns spotlight and keeps low profile|
|Future Queen Consort||Stepsister of the future King|
While their lives have some parallels, Catherine has embraced public life as a working royal while Laura remains in the shadows.
Laura at Royal Weddings
Laura has made appearances at major royal weddings alongside her extended family:
- Wedding of Prince Charles and Camilla – Laura attended their civil ceremony with her brother Tom in 2005.
- Wedding of Prince William and Catherine Middleton – Laura was a guest at her stepbrother William’s wedding in 2011 along with her husband and children.
- Wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle – Laura attended her stepbrother Harry’s wedding ceremony and reception in 2018.
Laura maintains a public profile only at important family occasions like royal weddings. Otherwise, she leads a decidedly non-royal life.
Status of Camilla’s Children After Charles is King
When Prince Charles succeeds Queen Elizabeth II and becomes King, Laura’s status will elevate as the daughter of the Queen Consort Camilla.
However, Laura and Tom will remain non-working royals. They will likely receive enhanced security and privileges, but no royal duties or income.
The children of the monarch are typically given British princely titles. However, royal experts believe Charles may avoid this to prevent controversy and excessive scrutiny on Laura and her family.
Regardless, Laura will continue to play no role in official royal matters. Her personal life will see little change besides increased security presence.
Comparison to Other Step Siblings in Royal Families
Having royal step siblings is not uncommon among European monarchies. Here are some other interesting examples:
- Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden has a step sister, Sara Hellqvist, from her father’s second marriage.
- King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands has several younger step sisters from his mother’s third marriage.
- Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark has two step brothers, Pol and Josef, from his mother’s second marriage.
Like Laura Lopes, these other royal step siblings typically maintain private lives separate from royal duties and engagements.
Could Laura’s Children Inherit the Throne?
As Prince William’s step-nieces and nephews, Laura’s three children are unlikely to ever inherit the British throne.
They are not blood relations of the royal family. The line of succession is determined by blood lineage.
However, with changes in succession laws, there is a slim hypothetical chance Laura’s descendants could one day become monarch if the bloodline was exhausted. This is highly improbable, but no longer legally impossible.
Public Interest in Laura Likely to Grow
Currently, Laura Lopes leads a very private life and stays out of the media spotlight. However, public interest in her existence and status is likely to increase over time.
As Prince William becomes heir apparent and eventually King, curiosity will grow about Laura’s unique position as a stepsister to the monarch.
While Laura does not seek fame, media attention on her as a minor royal in a prominent extended family role will probably intensify in the future.
Prince William does indeed have an intriguing stepsister in Laura Lopes. As the daughter of Camilla and stepdaughter of future king Charles, her place in the royal family is assured but enigmatic.
Laura has cultivated a low profile as she focuses on family and career. Yet her life will always have a touch of royalty as the stepsister to kings William and Charles.
Though she shies from the spotlight, public fascination with the little-known Laura Lopes is sure to endure and grow stronger over time as her stepbrothers take the British throne.