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The creator of The Crown has said he thinks the Queen was a better mother to Prince Andrew and Prince Edward than her other children.
Season four of The Crown brought the two younger princes into the spotlight a little more, including a particular episode in which the Queen and Philip discuss which of their children is their favourite.
Speaking on the show’s official podcast, Peter Morgan, creator and writer, said he subscribes to one view from an historian that the Queen was a better mother to her younger sons than to Prince Charles and Princess Anne.
He said: “One particular historian had this view that the first two children, Charles and Anne, were very much, she had the children but she was preoccupied with trying to find her feet and do her job.
“Then there came a point where she got a little more confident, and that the second two children, Andrew and Edward, came at a time when she was much more ready to be a mother.
“I’m sure they had a better time of it as children. I think it’s telling that her closest relationship is with Sophie Wessex and Prince Edward.”
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He added: “I thought it was interesting to see her motherhood divided into two teams. She was much more relaxed as a mother with the second too.
“Anne didn’t really need that much mothering from what I see of her as a character, and Charles unfortunately needs a lot of love.
“She was probably unable to give it and his need for it might have made her ability run even further.”
He said when he heard the theory “it instantly chimed” and he thought it was “a smart observation”.
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Charles and Anne were born early on in the Queen’s marriage to Prince Philip, before she acceded to the throne, but when both of them were carrying out royal duties.
They were left at home with nannies during the Queen’s extensive royal tours.
However, Andrew then came along in 1960, and is about 12 years younger than his older brother Charles.
Edward is another four years younger.
In the programme, the Queen is alarmed by Margaret Thatcher’s admission that her son Mark is her favourite, but Philip, played by Tobias Menzies, is less surprised by the idea of favourites.
He readily admits to their daughter Anne being his favourite, while the Queen embarks on a quest to find out more about the four children and work out who is her favourite.
There is some indication the real life Queen may have had a different bond with her two younger sons. Andrew was seen with the Queen in January at church in Sandringham, shortly after the announcement of the deal she struck with Prince Harry and Meghan, allowing them to step back from their senior royal roles.
And Edward and his wife Sophie live close by to the Queen in Bagshot Park, with Sophie previously admitting she and the children are able to see the monarch frequently.
Anne defended her mother in 2002 as part of a series of documentaries on the Royal Family during the Queen’s Golden Jubilee.
She said: “We as children may have not been too demanding in the sense that we understand what the limitations were in time and the responsibilities placed on her as monarch in the things she had to do and the travels she had to make.
"But I don't believe any of us for a second thought she didn't care for us in exactly the same way as any other mother did.”
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