Meet India Hicks, Prince Charles’ cousin and Princess Diana’s bridesmaid who insists she’s ‘not a royal’, but calls Queen Elizabeth an ‘outstanding example’ ahead of her platinum jubilee
“My mother would always make clear to me, ‘You are not a member of the royal family,’” says India Hicks.
That statement might sound surprising, considering that Hicks, 54, is a second cousin and goddaughter to the Prince of Wales. Her mother, Lady Pamela, is a first cousin to the late Prince Philip and former lady-in-waiting to Queen Elizabeth.
It came as no surprise when Hicks was asked to be a bridesmaid at Prince Charles and Princess Diana’s wedding in 1981, when she was 12 years old.
After all, she was close to Charles, and the Hicks family often holidayed with him in the Bahamas when she was growing up. These breaks were one of the only times when Charles “wasn’t bothered by anybody”, said Hicks in a fresh interview.
Despite this, Hicks insists she is “absolutely not” a royal.
1. Hicks’ father wanted her to marry a duke
Hicks says that her father, the late British designer David Hicks, had a list of possible marriage candidates for her, all of whom were dukes with “vast estates”.
“I understood his intentions, but I wasn’t the right girl for that list. I was probably always destined to lead a life that was a little less obvious than other girls of my generation and upbringing,” she said.
2. Hicks travelled for a year before university in Boston
Hicks went off backpacking after finishing high school, before attending the New England School of Photography in Boston where she graduated in 1990.
After stints living in Paris and New York, she moved to the Bahamas in 1996, where she still lives with her husband and five children, one of whom is adopted. She only married David Flint Wood in 2021, though they have known each other since childhood and been together for more than 20 years.
3. She is ambassador for Prince Charles’ charity, The Prince’s Trust
The prince launched the organisation in 1976 to help young people find opportunities through employment, education and enterprise.
“He is a really considerate godfather,” Hicks said of Charles. “And I think sometimes, the work he does, doesn’t get the recognition it deserves. It’s extraordinary to think that everything we are doing, he was doing 30 or 40 years ago.”
She cites especially Charles’ recycling, rewilding and “being green before anybody else”.
Besides the Prince’s Trust, Hicks supports a number of other local and international NGOs and has raised money for the fight against cancer after the death of her adopted son’s biological mother.
4. She admires the dedication of the prince and the queen
“The Prince of Wales, like his mother, does not take his role lightly. The understanding is that you were born into that position, it may not be that you necessarily like that position, but you work damn hard your entire life for it,” she said.
“And as we have seen, there are other members who haven’t quite taken the same approach. But I think obviously the queen has set an outstanding example: she’s 70 years on the throne this Sunday [February 6], and my God has she worked every day for that,” Hicks added.
- Her mum was Lady Pamela, first cousin to Prince Philip and former lady-in-waiting to Queen Elizabeth, while her father was the late British designer David Hicks
- Opening up ahead of the February 6 jubilee, Hicks today lives in the Bahamas and is goddaughter to the Prince of Wales and an ambassador for his charity, The Prince’s Trust