‘Of all the gifts great and small, a sisterly love is the greatest of them all.’ So, the saying goes and for many of us, me included, this rings true.
Well Known Sisterly Love
Queen Elizabeth and Princess Margaret shared a special sister bond and now lay forever together in the family vault at Windsor. So great was the love of Margaret for her big sister that she opted for cremation so there would be room in the vault for Elizabeth and Philip one day. Though they had a few issues when Margaret wanted to marry a commoner, they put this aside to maintain their special bond through life. After all it can not be easy being the younger sister of a queen.
History abounds with famous sisters. The Bronte sisters, Anne, Charlotte and Emily shared a love of writing.
Anne Landers and Dear Abby were advice columnists who married at a double wedding and wore matching outfits.
Historical sisters, like Rachel and Leah. They were sisters by marriage only. While Rachel was childless, Leah felt she had the upper hand and made life unbearable for Rachel. When Rachel finally had two boys, they were King David’s favourites. Leah lost again, even though she had given birth to 10 boys.
Mary and Anne Boleyn wanted the same man, Henry the Eighth. Not a good choice in retrospect. Anne married him and lost her head, literally in 1536. She lives on as one of Britain’s most famous ghosts while Mary sleeps on peacefully in her grave.
The Olsen twins, Mary Kate and Ashley made their acting debut while babies. They share an even more special sister bond, that of twins. Venus and Serena Williams are sisters at a unique competitive level, that of gold medals. They mostly leave their rivalry on the courts. Then there’s the Kardashian sisters competing for the best curves.
Who can forget the fictional March sisters of Little Women? They got along just fine for four sisters with different temperaments. But not all sisters have happy relationships. No one can be more annoying than a little sister trying to take the limelight or steal your boyfriend. Jealousy is a big issue that often ignites a lifelong rivalry.
In the case of movie star sisters, Joan Fontaine and Olivia de Havilland, the enmity was fierce. They competed at star level and never softened their fierce jealousy of each other, particularly following their mother’s death.
Lesser Known Sisterly Love
Zsa Zsa and Eva Gabor were two sisters out of a trio of Hungarian born sisters. Magda is lesser known though she married actor, George Sanders, her little sister’s cast-off husband. Zsa Zsa the middle sister competed with Eva for men, money and beauty. Though the sisters married multiple times, Zsa Zsa was the only one to have a child. The Gabor sister act was an act to follow in the 1940s and 50s. They were always in the news.
The Andrews Sisters, Patty, Maxene and Laverne were another sister trio, a singing group famous for ‘Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy’ and other swing hits during WWII. They rated as best-selling of all female vocal groups because of their harmony achieved by their three different voices united in song. Despite singing beautifully together and selling 75 million records, they had been fighting since 1937 though they stayed as an act until 1967 when Laverne died.
I am a younger sister and have always looked up to my big sister and listened to her advice. I even made her a present-day character in my first novel, Whispers Through Time which tells the story of two sisters, my grandmother and great aunt who emigrated to Australia in 1912.
They had a special bond through life, though their lives took different directions. One married an itinerant worker and the other a rich doctor, but they stayed connected through their shared ordeals during World War One and Two.
Birth Order of Sisters
The order we are born can affect our personalities. Birth Order Theory suggests the first born of sisters is a leader, responsible and conservative. A middle sister is often more laid back but has a sense of things being unfair because of a perception that the parents favour first and youngest sisters. There may be some truth in this, as the youngest of three sisters is often spoilt, a bit naughty and gets away with it, and more inclined to be a wild child with unconservative tendencies.
Take time out to spare a thought for those who have no sister, or have lost a sister. My co-author was the only girl with four older brothers. They always claimed she was the spoilt one. Not true, though the parenting of a girl after four boys would have been quite a challenge as there were 17 years between the oldest boy and the birth of a girl.
Do you have some sister stories to share? Are you a spoilt youngest or a responsible eldest? Share your thoughts with us below.
Joni Scott is an Australian author with two published novels: Whispers through Time and The last Hotel. She co-hosts a women’s blog; https://whisperingencouragement.com/ and has her own website; https://joniscottauthor.com.