Jayne Dawson: Perfect baby pictures – but it will be downhill from here

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Those photos released at the weekend of Prince George and Princess Charlotte were just adorable.

Who could resist a cute toddler and now big brother pictured planting a smacker on his new sis?

And she was smiling away, even though she was only two weeks old at the time, an age when it is not yet possible for babies to smile. Or so I thought. But maybe that was just my children. Or perhaps royal babies are born with special, crowd-pleasing skills now.

They were lovely pictures anyway, giving the impression that a strong bond has already developed between the siblings. We shouldn’t be fooled though. If someone had come along at that very moment and offered George, say, an organic, sugar free biccy, he would have had no qualms about dropping Charlotte on her head to free up a plump little hand to grab the treat - because that’s what toddlers are like, and that’s what brothers and sisters are like.

Those photographs made me wonder what the relationship between these two will be as they grow older, because relationships with siblings are always complicated, even when they are not complicated by royal issues.

Between me and my two sisters there are seven years and eleven years respectively, so I was more Little Mother than Big Sister. A terrible Little Mother, as it goes, one who would, for instance, take her baby sister with her to the hairdressers - and then leave her outside in her pram for as long as it took to have the best restyle a Bramley salon in the early ‘70s could offer.

My sister claims to remember such incidents and it has caused resentment, but it’s eclipsed by the simmering resentment between my sisters, dating from the time the older of the two took exception to the way the younger one breathed while sleeping in the bedroom they shared, and so attempted to stab her with a fork.

These amusing - yes I’m going with amusing - little incidents tend to colour our adult relationships with our siblings.

If I’m being searingly honest, I think the many times my daughter used her brother’s plastic Roman helmet as an emergency potty to some extent dictates the way they interact today. There is an edge that wouldn’t be there otherwise.

But many siblings have strained or unusual relationships, don’t they?

My own husband has a brother with whom he only ever discusses two topics: football, and allotment-grown vegetables. I’m sure they won’t mind me telling you. Family births, deaths, marriages, crises and tragedies have all occurred and been negotiated through talk of Leeds United and carrots. You might call it dysfunctional behaviour, but I prefer to call it British.

Anyway, it’s okay because celebrities have dysfunctional sibling relationships too, and it doesn’t stop them being famous and successful.

Liam and Noel Gallagher haven’t a nice word to say about each other, but they have definitely made a few pounds.

And the Andrews sisters – the most successful female recording group in pop history since you ask 
– made great harmonies on stage 
but life was a lot more discordant off it.

And what about Anne and Mary Boleyn? They made the, frankly, basic error of both bedding the same man, and falling out over him big style.

Since the man was Henry VIII they would have been better staying friends and both running a mile from him, but that’s royals for you. You could say Anne won the battle, since she married him, but Mary won the war – because she didn’t get her head chopped off for her troubles.

I hope the sibling relationship turns out better for present day royals George and Charlotte – it would be difficult for it to turn 
out worse – but it will probably never be as perfect again as that moment captured in those baby pictures .

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