The Timeline: Political siblings

The Gracchi, 2nd century BC

Fraternal amity is not a condition necessarily associated with the Roman Empire in its latter days, though the Gracchus brothers do seem to have held each other in high regard. Both tribunes of the Republic and both possessed of "eloquence sufficient to make the less creditable plausible", as Plutarch has it, their campaign on behalf of Rome's down-trodden alienated the senatorial elite and led to their end. Tiberius was slain with a foot stool by a Senator with a gripe. His brother Gaius committed suicide on the point of his personal slave's sword.

Elizabeth I and Mary I, 16th century AD

Although the Middle Ages are packed with tales of political intrigue among families, few relationships were as difficult as that of Elizabeth I and Mary I. Alike in dignity, they were opposed in matters of the cloth. Mary failed to fully impose Catholicism on England and when Protestants rose against her, she suspected her sister's involvement and imprisoned her. "Much suspected of me, nothing proved can be," Elizabeth carved into the window frame of her prison. And she was right, nothing was proved and the crown was hers four years later.

John and Robert Kennedy, 1960s

Equal in intellect and sexual stamina, Robert and John Kennedy were a close political and fraternal pairing. They wrought a cultural and political renaissance at the top of American politics, as they sought to share both power and Marilyn Monroe, amicably. Though adept at dodging their respective wives, they could not dodge the assassin's bullet. Robert fell within five years of his brother.

Jimmy and Billy Carter, 1970s

Although Jimmy Carter's brother Billy was not a politician, he certainly had a political effect. Billy, who boasted that he could drink 20 to 25 beers, was a problem for his brother. President Carter was able to laugh off his brother's habit of urinating in public and holding press conferences on the forecourt of his petrol station, but had trouble explaining why his brother had accepted a $200,000 loan from the Libyan Government and had to register as an agent of a rogue nation. "I think I helped him as much as I hurt him", Billy commented. History does not relate President Carter's response.

Lech and Jaroslaw Kaczynski, 2006

The government of Poland became a family affair in 2006, when President Lech Kaczynski appointed his twin brother Jaroslaw as Prime Minister. Famous as child actors, they became more famous for their right wing nationalism. Like many a sibling politician, Lech met a tragic end: dying in a plane crash over the Russian city of Smolensk. Jaroslaw is poised to succeed Lech in the forthcoming elections.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Sport
England's women celebrate after their 3rd place play-off win against Germany
Women's World CupFara Williams converts penalty to secure victory and bronze medals
Arts and Entertainment
Ricardo by Edward Sutcliffe, 2014
artPortraits of LA cricketers from notorious suburb go on display
News
newsHillary Clinton comments on viral Humans of New York photo of gay teenager
Arts and Entertainment
The gang rape scene in the Royal Opera’s production of Gioachino Rossini’s Guillaume Tell has caused huge controversy
music
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Sales Administrator - Spanish Speaking

£17000 - £21000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Administrator - German Speaking

£17000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Administrator - Japanese Speaking

£17000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: If you are fluent in Japanese a...

Recruitment Genius: Graphic Designer - Immediate Start

£16000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...

Day In a Page

The Greek referendum exposes a gaping hole at the heart of the European Union – its distinct lack of any genuine popular legitimacy

Gaping hole at the heart of the European Union

Treatment of Greece has shown up a lack of genuine legitimacy
Number of young homeless in Britain 'more than three times the official figures'

'Everything changed when I went to the hostel'

Number of young homeless people in Britain is 'more than three times the official figures'
Compton Cricket Club

Compton Cricket Club

Portraits of LA cricketers from notorious suburb to be displayed in London
London now the global money-laundering centre for the drug trade, says crime expert

Wlecome to London, drug money-laundering centre for the world

'Mexico is its heart and London is its head'
The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court that helps a winner keep on winning

The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court

It helps a winner keep on winning
Is this the future of flying: battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks?

Is this the future of flying?

Battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks
Isis are barbarians – but the Caliphate is a dream at the heart of all Muslim traditions

Isis are barbarians

but the Caliphate is an ancient Muslim ideal
The Brink's-Mat curse strikes again: three tons of stolen gold that brought only grief

Curse of Brink's Mat strikes again

Death of John 'Goldfinger' Palmer the latest killing related to 1983 heist
Greece debt crisis: 'The ministers talk to us about miracles' – why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum

'The ministers talk to us about miracles'

Why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum
Call of the wild: How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate

Call of the wild

How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate
Greece debt crisis: What happened to democracy when it’s a case of 'Vote Yes or else'?

'The economic collapse has happened. What is at risk now is democracy...'

If it doesn’t work in Europe, how is it supposed to work in India or the Middle East, asks Robert Fisk
The science of swearing: What lies behind the use of four-letter words?

The science of swearing

What lies behind the use of four-letter words?
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won't have him back

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won’t have him back
Africa on the menu: Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the continent

Africa on the menu

Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the hot new continent
Donna Karan is stepping down after 30 years - so who will fill the DKNY creator's boots?

Who will fill Donna Karan's boots?

The designer is stepping down as Chief Designer of DKNY after 30 years. Alexander Fury looks back at the career of 'America's Chanel'