Royal fact-check

Prince Harry's Secret Sister? Fact-Checking THAT Story You See Online

Prince Harry Secret Sister: Fact Check

If you spend any time online, you've probably seen Royal Family articles on, well, strange topics, some of them making outlandish claims in the headlines. Perhaps the oddest one out there is the claim that Prince Harry has a "secret sister" who has been kept out of the spotlight. What's that all about? Let's take a closer look.

We've all seen the articles — you know, the Royal Family ones with outrageous headlines that are too tempting not to click.

The Queen said some horrible thing about baby Archie. Duchess Meghan left the Royal Family because of this awful moment captured in a picture. But perhaps the strangest of them all is the rumour that Prince Harry has a sister whose existence has been kept a secret for devious reasons.

Prince Harry's secret sister: Fact check

The "secret sister" claim appears in different variations around the web, some singling her out as only Prince Harry's sibling, while others promise to have both Harry and Prince William speaking out about her. In some cases, the visual even shows Princess Diana holding a newborn child, Prince Harry appearing concerned next to a portrait of unidentified children, or Diana holding... none other than Harry himself with William (in the photoshoot seen below).

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Prince Harry's Secret Sister: Photoshoot used in variations of the article.

However, if you click these links, what you will most often find is an article with a different title and pictures than the preview. Typically, the "Prince Harry's sister" headlines will become a slideshow about him talking about his step-mother, Duchess Camilla, which ultimately transitions to mentioning his real step-sister, Laura Lopes, the daughter born to Camilla and her first husband, Andrew Parker Bowles.

To read the full story, you must click through a slideshow of up to and over 100 pages, each of which gives a small piece of conventional royal history, from Prince Charles and Diana's marriage through the remarriage to Camilla after Diana's tragic death. Sometimes you'll get history on the relationship between the pair of step-siblings, other times not.

Prince Harry does have a step-sister, but not a "secret one"

So, yes, Prince Harry — and Prince William too — does have a sister, albeit a step-sister, but she's not a secret. Nor is Buckingham Palace keeping quiet about her or shutting her away indoors. She's a 43-year-old art curator who lives a public life.

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Prince Harry's real step-sister, Laura Lopes, with her mother Duchess Camilla.

Alternatively, there is a stranger-yet version of the story that suggests Charles and Diana had sperm and eggs "harvested" on orders from the Queen before they had Prince William in 1982. This "IVF baby" story was promoted in recent years by American tabloid Globe—famous for its silly headlines—claiming that the woman, named Sarah, believes she has the right to the throne ahead of William, has spoken to Duchess Kate, and has travelled to the UK for a showdown with her brother. There's unsurprisingly no evidence to support any of this.

All in all, each of these stories reads as exploitation, sometimes using misleading pictures or leaning on a shred of truth — such as the fact that Harry and William do have a step-sister, which some people may not know. If you would like to get to know Prince Harry's real (but not-so-secret) step-sister, learn more about Laura Lopes and her brother Tom here.