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Feuding sisters

Feuding sisters
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Families fight – that’s just what they do. Usually, when a family has a rift within it, it’s kept within the home and dealt with internally. That is, of course, only when the family isn’t famous. For those in the public eye, every little problem is broadcast to the world.

While all families have a few skeletons in the closet (and sometimes you only learn unbelievable family secrets after someone dies), famous families seem to have more than their fair share. For these famous female siblings, their dirty laundry was flaunted for the whole world. No one can drive you crazy like family!

Anne and Mary Boleyn

Anne and Mary Boleyn
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Both Mary Boleyn and her younger sister, Anne, had affairs with King Henry VIII, but only one married him. That sister wasn’t Mary – she was married off to one of the King’s friends in 1521. That left Anne, and well, lucky her…it wasn’t long before Henry grew tired of her and her inability to produce a living male heir. Henry set his sights on his next wife and had Anne imprisoned on trumped-up charges. In 1536, he had her beheaded.

Discover 12 things your birth order reveals about you. 

Queen Mary and Queen Elizabeth

Queen Mary and Queen Elizabeth
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Before Anne, Henry VIII had been married to Catherine of Aragon, who’d borne him a daughter named Mary. Henry divorced Catherine to marry Anne Boleyn, but we know how that turned out (see above). Anne did give Henry a daughter, Elizabeth, before she died. Mary eventually became Queen in 1553. Fearing Elizabeth was more popular than she, Mary had Elizabeth imprisoned and banished; however, Elizabeth was the victor overall when Mary died childless in 1558, leaving Elizabeth to ascend the throne and become one of the most famous Queens in all of history.

Check out these rarely-seen photos of royal siblings.

Venus and Serena Williams

Venus and Serena Williams
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It’s only natural Venus and Serena would be famous for their sisterly rivalry, which has been played out in some 30 professional tennis matches since 1998, most recently in 2018. Serena leads Venus in terms of wins and number of weeks ranked as the number one female tennis player in the world. But there are no hard feelings from Venus apparently; the Williams sisters leave their rivalry on the clay (or grass).

These inspiring quotes about family really hit home. 

Lee Radziwell and Jackie Kennedy

Lee Radziwell and Jackie Kennedy
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The two daughters of Janet and Jack Bouvier were beautiful, wealthy, and though very loving as sisters, were highly competitive with one another, especially when it came to rich men. Although Lee eventually became a princess (having married a Polish prince), she couldn’t possibly “win” once Jackie married John F. Kennedy in 1953, in the union that created “Camelot”.

Catherine and Pippa Middleton

Catherine and Pippa Middleton
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Like the Bouvier sisters, the Middleton sisters have always been loving but rivalrous. When Catherine married Prince William, it was clear that she’d “won.” Or was it? On the day of the wedding, while the new Duchess of Cambridge was undeniably a truly lovely bride, her sister, Pippa caught more attention for her gorgeous figure in her fitted, white bridesmaid’s dress. If this makes you think of your sister, try these family quotes that hit too close to home.

See what a body language expert has to say about these iconic pictures of Kate Middleton and Prince William. 

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Joan Fontaine and Olivia de Havilland

Joan Fontaine and Olivia de Havilland
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Olivia and Joan, born in 1916 and 1917, respectively, both became major Hollywood stars, and stories of their professional rivalry followed them throughout their lives. Theirs wasn’t just a professional rivalry, however; Olivia had resented Joan from birth, and their fights sometimes became physical (Joan claimed Olivia broke her collarbone in 1933). Joan died in 2013 while Olivia is still alive, now 103 – but their rivalry will live on forever.

Perhaps they should have tried these 12 proven steps to truly forgive anyone for anything. 

Zsa Zsa and Eva Gabor

Zsa Zsa and Eva Gabor
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Eva Gabor was famous for portraying the pampered socialite married to a farmer on television’s Green Acres. Both of her older sisters, Zsa Zsa and Magda, were in the entertainment industry too, but it was the rivalry between Zsa Zsa and Eva that was most famous. In 1990, the Los Angeles Times even went so far as to playfully tally up their “wins”: Eva was skinnier. Zsa Zsa had more marriages. Eva sold wigs. Zsa Zsa sold costume jewelry and skin cream. Ultimately, even though Eva was the more successful actress, ironically, people often confused the two Gabor sisters.

The Andrews Sisters

The Andrews Sisters
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No one can compete with the Andrews Sisters trio in terms of their being the best-selling female vocal group of all time. But boy, did they compete with one another. Their fighting included a period of two years when Maxene and LaVerne wouldn’t speak to Patty. After LaVerne died, Maxene and Patty continued to sing together, but they never really stopped feuding. The AV Club reports that when asked about the sisters’ feud, Patty’s reply was that there’d only ever been one disagreement. “It started in 1937 and it’s still going!”

The Brontë sisters

The Brontë sisters
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There were three Brontë sisters, but many know only about Charlotte, author of Jane Eyre and Emily, author of Wuthering Heights. The lesser-known Anne may have been a better storyteller, but something derailed her career, and some believe it was Charlotte. “Charlotte had always underestimated and patronised” Anne according to Penguin Publishing Group, and Charlotte may have taken the idea for Jane Eyre from Anne’s Agnes Grey. Not that Anne was entirely blameless; it’s been said she used her book, The Tenant of Wildfell Hall, to critique both Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights.

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– The Reader’s Digest team