With all the buzz that’s constantly going on around Prince William, Prince Harry, and the rest of the royals, it’s easy to forget there’s another pair of siblings in the mix thanks to their stepmom, Duchess Camilla. When she and Prince Charles tied the knot, William and Harry also welcomed a stepbrother, Tom Parker Bowles, and stepsister, Laura (Parker Bowles) Lopes, into the family.
They all gathered to celebrate their parents’ union on April 9, 2005, and were all smiles as they posed together for family photos.
But what do we really know about the royal step siblings? Obviously, they are from Camilla’s first marriage to Andrew Parker Bowles. Tom was born on December 18, 1974, followed by Laura four years later on January 1, 1978. Like William and Harry, Tom spent his youth attending Eton College, just a few years before the princes were enrolled so they likely never crossed paths. Laura attended a similar boarding school for girls called St. Mary’s Shaftesbury.
Now as adults, Tom has made a name for himself as an expert in the food and culinary world. He’s authored seven cookbooks and has a new set to release in just a few days (September 24), Christmas & Other Winter Feasts ($35, Amazon). In a 2006 interview with Telegraph, Tom claimed his mom was the inspiration behind his initial interest in cooking. The chat also revealed his nickname for Charles, who was his godfather before becoming his step-dad: “Sir.” We aren’t sure how much contact William and Harry had with Camilla’s children before their parents got married, but Charles was apparently a regular part of all their lives over the years.
As for Laura, she works as an art curator and managed a gallery for 10 years before branching off on her own. She hosts regular summer exhibitions at a gallery outside of London featuring a variety of artists (which you can take a peek at on her official website).
Interestingly enough, although neither Tom or Laura are anywhere near the line to the throne, they both still have connections to nobility. Tom is behind his father in line for the Earl of Macclesfield, a title that dates back to the 1600s. Laura, on the other hand, married Harry Lopes, the grandson of Baron Roborough. Lopes also has ties to the prestigious Astor family here in America.
Tom and Laura both have families of their own — Tom welcomed his daughter Lola on October 9, 2007 and son Freddy on February 28, 2010 with wife Sara Buys (who he married just five months after Charles and Camilla’s nuptials). Laura’s daughter Eliza was born on January 16, 2007, and was among the bridesmaids at William and Kate’s wedding. Laura also has fraternal twin boys, Gus and Louis, born on December 30, 2009. That means Charles has two grandsons named Louis!
Tom and Laura’s families are both based in London near the royal family, but they don’t seem to show up often for fancy events or get togethers. Sure, they might not have any fancy titles or access to crown jewels, but they’ve clearly got a lot of great things going on. Plus, they probably enjoy having significantly less of a spotlight on them compared to their step siblings.
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