Royal playmates ready and waiting for Baby Sussex

A gaggle of royal youngsters will be waiting to welcome the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s baby to their gang.

Harry and Meghan’s child will be a first cousin of Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis.

The Sussexes’ baby boy or girl is likely to spend Christmases at Sandringham with the Cambridge youngsters, join them on the Palace balcony for Trooping the Colour, and maybe even head to Scotland for summers together at Balmoral.

Charlotte, described by the Duchess of Cambridge as being feisty, is known for her confidence in front of the cameras, while future king George, who loves all things to do with helicopters and the police, is more shy in public.

George and Charlotte
Prince George and Princess Charlotte at the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle (Jane Barlow/PA)

Baby Louis is, according to Kate, growing fast, and will only be around a year older than Harry and Meghan’s youngster.

Harry and older brother the Duke of Cambridge greatly value their friendships with their own cousins, especially Peter Phillips and Zara Tindall.

Zara and Harry
Zara Phillips and Prince Harry watching a Six Nations match at Twickenham, London (David Davies/PA)

Zara was asked by William and Kate to be a godmother to George in 2013.

The princes used to spend summer holidays with the Princess Royal’s children on the Queen’s Balmoral estate in the Scottish Highlands, and also play together at Sandringham.

Royal cousins
Five-year-old William and Harry, three, ring the bell of a vintage fire engine with Peter Phillips as the royal cousins played at being firemen in the grounds of Sandringham House (Ron Bell/PA)

William once recalled how shenanigans with the Phillips children prompted a huge telling off by the Queen.

“We were on a quad bike in Balmoral and we were chasing Zara around who was on a go-cart.

“Peter and I managed to herd Zara into a lamppost and the lamppost came down and nearly squashed her,” he told Sky News.

“I remember my grandmother being the first person out and running across the lawn in her kilt.

“She came charging over and gave us the most almighty bollocking.”

Harry, Zara, Peter and William
Harry, Zara and Peter Phillips, and William on board Britannia for the annual trip to Balmoral via the Western Isles in 1997 (John Stillwell/PA)

Both Peter and Zara were holidaying at Balmoral with Harry and William when Diana, Princess of Wales died tragically in a car crash in Paris.

The brothers have poignantly told how they rushed what would turn out to be their final call to the princess so they could get back to playing with their cousins.

In the wake of Diana’s death, Peter is said to have helped the Queen comfort a bereaved William and Harry.

The brothers’ other cousins include Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie of York.

It was Eugenie who first introduced Harry to actress Cressida Bonas, whom he dated for two years.

Harry and Eugenie
Harry and Eugenie watching The Eventing at Greenwich Park during the 2012 Olympics (Owen Humphreys/PA)

Harry and William would also spend ski-ing holidays with the Yorks in the 1990s.

The Waleses and the Yorks
Harry and William with their cousins Eugenie and Beatrice during a ski-ing holiday in Klosters, Switzerland (Martin Keene/PA)

Baby Sussex will have an important bond with his or her cousins, growing up together with the shared experience of the upsides and downsides of being part of one of the world’s most famous families.

The royals at the Olympics
Eugenie, Beatrice, the Duchess of Cambridge, Harry, the Duke of Cambridge, Mike Tindall and Peter Phillips at the Olympic Games (Andrew Milligan/PA)

The youngster will also have a host of second cousins – all great-grandchildren of the Queen.

The Queen surrounded by her two youngest grandchildren and her five great-grandchildren

— The Royal Family (@RoyalFamily) April 20, 2016

Days will be spent at the polo with Peter and Autumn Phillips’ fun-loving children Savannah and Isla, and Zara and Mike Tindall’s cheeky daughter Mia and her younger sister Lena.

Young royals
Savannah and Isla Phillips at the Gatcombe Horse Trials (Steve Parsons/PA)
Mike and Mia Tindall
Mike Tindall with his daughter Mia (Andrew Matthews/PA)

At Eugenie’s wedding, it was Savannah – the oldest of the Queen’s great-grandchildren – who had pageboy George trying to stifle his laughter when she entertained him by pretending to play the trumpet in St George’s Chapel.

Royal Wedding
Savannah Phillips and Prince George at the wedding of Princess Eugenie to Jack Brooksbank at St George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle (Yui Mok/PA)

Savannah, Isla, George and Charlotte are often seen side by side on the palace balcony for the celebration of the Queen’s official birthday.

Trooping the Colour
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge with Princess Charlotte, Savannah Phillips, Prince George and Isla Phillips on the balcony of Buckingham Palace in June (Yui Mok/PA)

Harry too used to join Peter and Zara on the famous frontage of the monarch’s London residence as a child.

Trooping the Colour 1985
Harry, in the Princess of Wales’s arms, with Zara Phillips (bottom left), William and Peter Phillips watching the Trooping flypast in 1985 (Ron Bell/PA)
Trooping the Colour 1987
The royals on the Palace balcony including (front) Lady Gabriella Windsor, Peter Phillips, Prince William and Zara Phillips, and Prince Harry next to Diana in 1987 (PA)

Peter Phillips has joked about the chaos caused by the younger generations of royals.

“We had a lot of fun and there was a lot of space for kids to run around in and it wasn’t just us, it was the Waleses (William and Harry) Freddie and Ella Windsor and the Gloucesters,” he told ITV’s Good Morning Britain.

“So there was quite a gang of us growing up in that age and it was a lot of fun.

“We caused quite a bit of mayhem and chaos but fortunately I don’t think we broke too much.”