Five Royal Number Fives
Come in Number Five.....in a time when the world seems to sometimes lose the run of itself, some things can always be relied on. Among them are royal baby rumours. This week, it's Crown Princess Mary who is the subject of tummy gazers around the world as gossip mags speculate that she may be expecting. It doesn't take a genius to work out that a) there ain't no royal pregnancy until we get a formal announcement and b) if it were true it would take Mary and Fred into a very exclusive modern club, royals with large families. For five is a magic number when it comes to royal babies right now. We've got quite a few trios and enough quartets of kids around for it not to seem unusual. But five is something else. Here are five modern royals who are number five in their family pecking order.
Prince Sebastian of Luxembourg
The only European ruler, at present, to have five children is Grand Duke Henri of Luxembourg. He and wife, Maria Teresa, welcomed their fifth child on April 16th 1992 - Henri's 37th birthday. That baby is Sebastien Henri Marie Guillaume of Luxembourg, sixth in line to his country's throne and currently at Sandhurst. He is almost fourteen years younger than his eldest sibling, Hereditary Grand Duke Guilluame, with two other brothers, Felix and Louis, and a sister, Alexandra, also ahead of him on the arrivals list. They're used to big families in Luxembourg - Guillaume's wife, Hereditary Grand Duchess Stephanie, is the youngest of eight children.
Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh
The Duke of Edinburgh is now the patriarch of the House of Windsor but he began life as the baby of an extensive royal family. Back when huge regal nurseries were the norm, a little prince called Philip was born in Corfu to Prince Andrew of Greece and his wife, Princess Alice. Philip was their fifth child and only son, joining big sisters Margarita, Theodora, Cecilie and Sophie. The only boy of this royal group would, of course, go on to become Britain's longest serving consort through his marriage to Elizabeth II.
King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden
Like Prince Philip, King Carl XVI Gustaf also brought up the rear in a royal quintet. Carl Gustaf Folke Hubertus was born on April 30th 1946 at the Haga Palace, the fifth child and only son of Prince Gustaf Adolf of Sweden and his wife, Princess Sybilla. He joined the Haga princesses in the royal nursery with big sisters Margaretha, Birgitta, Desiree and Christina looking after their little brother from an early age. The children lost their father when Carl Gustaf was just nine months old and the baby of this family became his country's king on September 15th 1973 on the death of his grandfather, King Gustaf VI Adolf.
Princess Laetitia Maria of Belgium
Finding royal baby number five in a royal family in the 21st century is pretty hard work but Belgium's royals provided us with one back in 2003. Princess Astrid, daughter of King Albert II and sister of King Philippe, welcomed her fifth child with husband, Archduke Lorenz of Austria-Este, on April 23rd that year. Laetitia Maria Nora Anna Joachim Zita was born in Brussels and joined brothers Amadeo and Joachim and sisters, Maria Laura and Luisa Maria, in this particular royal nursery. Laetitia Maria is now eleventh in line to the Belgian throne.
Should Mary and Fred ever welcome baby number five to their family then they can get some advice on juggling so many children from some close relatives. Frederik's maternal aunt, Anne-Marie of Greece, is a mum of five and her youngest is Prince Philppos who was born on April 26th 1986 at St Mary's Hospital, Paddington, to complete a family which also includes daughters Alexia and Tatiana and sons, Pavlos and Nikolaos. And there's another family link as Pavlos, Frederik's first cousin, also has five children- Maria Olympia, Konstantinos, Achileas, Odysseas and Arisides. But are we about to get another royal number five....