Prince Harry has very publicly let it be known that he always felt ‘spare’ – while his brother Prince William was the ‘heir’ to the British throne.
The Duke of Sussex’s tell-all memoir, called Spare, even alleged how his father King Charles referred to him by the nickname after Princess Diana gave birth to him in 1984. But, in these social media dominated times, many are wondering who in fact fares better – the heirs or the spares?
For, while they might never wear the crown or hold the highest of titles, there is much on offer for those on the fringes of Royal families. While hard-working senior Royals like Princess Anne travel up and down their countries to embark on hundreds of royal engagements a year, there is no such expectation on the spares.
And with social media platforms such as TikTok increasingly providing a pathway to fame and wealth, here are some of Europe’s young royals who are taking advantage of the opportunity.
Leah Behn: @notleahhhbeauty
Leah is the 17-year-old second daughter of Princess Märtha Louise of Norway. While her cousin Princess Ingrid Alexandra of Norway will one day be Queen, it is not thought Leah will have an official royal role.
This has left her free to become a beauty influencer on TikTok, where she left her 125,000 followers gripped by her make-up tutorial on recreating Natalie Portman’s Black Swan look. As she said: “I don’t want to have a boring office job.”
Her account also features dancing from her mother, Princess Märtha Louise, as well as her mother’s boyfriend, the American businessman and alternative therapist Shaman Durek.
Pablo Urdangarin: @pablito.urdangito
Pablo, 21, is the son of King Felipe VI’s sister, Infanta Cristina. The corruption scandal surrounding her husband Iñaki Urdangarin – who was jailed for five years for embezzling 6 million euros of public funds – saw her stripped of her royal duties and she now lives abroad.
But Pablo has been described by the Spanish press as the royal family’s new ‘golden boy’. He plays handball for FC Barcelona, a talent he inherited from his father Iñaki, but when he’s not on the court, he’s posting viral videos on TikTok – where he has almost 80,000 followers. One, showing him bopping his head to music while pouting, has been viewed almost a million times.
Countess Eloise of Orange-Nassau: @everyprofilenameistaken
Eloise van Oranje, 21, is the niece of King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands. She has racked up an impressive TikTok following above 200,000 by offering glimpses into her jet-set lifestyle – including outfit of the day posts and unboxing videos, which see her opening shopping deliveries.
After her grandmother Queen Beatrix abdicated in favour of her eldest son, Willem-Alexander, in 2013, Eloise and her siblings stopped being official working royals. However, she is still technically fifth in line to the throne and has used that to the benefit of her online career – becoming known as the ‘Countfluencer’.
Princesses Maria Carolina and Maria Chiara of Bourbon Two Sicilies: @carolinadebourbon, @chiaradebourbon
The Royal House of Bourbon Two Sicilies is an ancient branch of the Spanish royal family which ruled parts of southern Italy for more than 100 years in the 18th and 19th centuries. Its descendants still carry the name today – including Princesses Maria Carolina and Maria Chiara.
The sisters entered the world of TikTok during the Covid-19 lockdown of 2020. They began sharing dance routines, outfits of the day and style hacks.
But their social media influencing has been put on the back burner now their studies have started back up again – with Carolina jointly enrolled at Harvard and the International University of Monte Carlo. She toldTatlerin future, she would consider using TikTok to share ‘important messages such as fighting against gender inequality, racism or climate change’.
Ludovica Sannazzaro: @thecastlediary
Ludovica – the 19 year old daughter of Count Giuseppe and Countess Letizia Sannazzaro – has amassed more than 1m TikTok followers by making fun of the problems that come with living in a 12th century Italian castle. Her viral videos have showed what life is really like in the castle – from patchy wi-fi to how cold it can be.
Ludovica grew up in Castello Sannazzaro, near Monferrato in the Piedmont region of northern Italy. The performing arts student, who studies in New York City, had to move back to Italy during the Covid lockdown and this is when she started to share videos about living in the castle on her TikTok account, The Castle Diary.
Her account has proved to be helpful for her parents’ business too – as they rent out rooms in the castle.
Zita d’Hauteville: @zitadh
Zita, daughter of Parisian nobles Count Eric and Countess Isabelle d’Hauteville, was famous on Instagram before she went onto TikTok in 2021. The 26-year-old, who works at Google, shares clips of her luxurious travels and her life as a French It girl – along with posts about her adorable miniature Berger Australian Shepherd pup, Ovni.
Prince Achileas of Greece: @princeachileas
Prince Achileas, 21, is the third of Prince Pavlos and Princess Marie-Chantal of Greece’s five children. He entered the world of TikTok in 2020 and has amassed more than 14,000 followers by lip-syncing quotes from Keeping up with the Kardashians and dancing to Megan Thee Stallion songs.
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