People Don’t Believe Twin Girls Are Related—Here’s How They Look Today

Unbreakable Bonds: The Remarkable Story of Lucy and Maria Aylmer, Twins Defying Genetics

A Double Take at Birth

When Donna Aylmer discovered she was expecting twins in 1997, her joy knew no bounds. Yet, upon their birth, she and her husband Vince found themselves in utter disbelief. The reason? Their identical twin girls, Lucy and Maria, looked nothing alike. Lucy was born with red hair, blue eyes, and fair, freckled skin, while Maria was a beauty with brown skin, brown eyes, and dark ha

“When the midwife handed us both to her, she was just speechless,” recalls Lucy.

The twins were born in Gloucester, England, to mixed-race parents—Donna is half-Jamaican and Vince is white. The BBC notes that there is a 1 in 500 chance that twins born to multiracial couples could have different racial appearances. Lucy and Maria are fraternal twins, each conceived from a different sperm and carrying distinct genetic traits from their parents. Donna’s genes carried the possibility for both light and dark characteristics, and each twin inherited a different set.

Identity and Complexion: Family Traits

Lucy explains that their three older siblings have complexion tones similar to Maria’s. However, Lucy takes after her grandmother, who has a fair “English rose” complexion.

“No one ever believes we are twins. Even when we dress alike, we still don’t look like sisters, let alone twins,” says Lucy.

In their 24 years of life, the sisters have often had to show their birth certificates to prove they are related. They stopped dressing alike at age seven, partially because people thought Lucy was adopted. Maria, the extrovert of the two, went on to study law and psychology, while the introverted Lucy studied art and design.

“Maria loves telling people at college that she has a white twin, and I’m very proud of having a black twin,” Lucy proudly declares.

Acceptance and the Bond of Sisterhood

Growing up, Maria envied Lucy’s red hair and Lucy faced names like “ghost.” Yet, they’ve come to accept and celebrate their differences. Their bond has only strengthened as they’ve matured.

“If I have children one day, they may look like Lucy,” says Maria, underlining the sisters’ deep-rooted connection.

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