Letter to my grandchildren

Three sitting babies
Image by Owen Buggy
Virgin Galactic
Richard Branson's signature
Published on 21 August 2015

In response to #ChallengeRichard, Aaryn Schuster Tweeted me: “Family is the most important thing, take some time to write your wife, kids and grand kids a heartfelt letter.”

I couldn’t agree more! I love my family. They bring me so much joy and happiness, and keep me striving to make a difference. I can’t write to them all in one letter, as it would go on forever, so I’ve decided to begin with a letter to my grandchildren. 

Richard with Sam and his daughter, Eva
Image by Virgin.com

Dear Artie, Etta and Eva-Deia,

I’ve had so many memorable and defining life moments. But there are a few that stand out above the rest. Becoming a grandfather, three times over in just two months, was definitely one of these moments.

I’m sure you’ve heard about how excited I was to become your grandfather. I nicknamed myself grand-dude, and shouted about it to the world. When we welcomed you to our family, my heart swelled with love, and my thoughts flashed forward to all the adventures we are going to have together. I was instantly besotted, and thrilled beyond words.

It’s been such an incredible privilege and pleasure to watch you all grow, and develop your own unique personalities, and I’m very much looking forward to holding your hands and helping you navigate this marvellous world. I want you to know that I will always be here for you, and in doing so, would like to share with you some of my most valuable life lessons. Use them as a guide, and you will find lasting happiness, success and fulfilment.

My golden rule in life is to have fun. Life is not a dress rehearsal, so don’t waste your precious time doing things that don’t light your fire. Do what you enjoy, and enjoy what you do. Trust me; great things will follow.   

Don’t let your head always rule your heart. Life’s more fun when you say yes – so dream big and say yes to your heart’s desires. Dreaming is one of our greatest gifts – so look at the world with wide-eyed enthusiasm, and believe you are more powerful than the problems that confront you.

Never betray your dreams for the sake of fitting in. Instead be passionate about them. Passion will help you stay the course, and inspire others to believe in you and your dreams too. The world’s greatest innovations have been driven by passionate people – those not willing to give up on their dreams. Passionate people spur change that moves the world forward.

Holly Branson, Freddie Andrewes and two of their children, twins Etta and Artie.
Image by Rebecca Wedding Photography

Remember to treat others like you would like to be treated. Always be nice, always be caring. Give people the benefit of the doubt. And don’t hesitate to give out second chances. It’s incredible how much people lift and rise to the challenge when you believe in them and trust them. 

Be open with everyone around you, especially your parents. They will always be there for you, willing to share in your adventures, support your decisions and love you unreservedly.

Above all, love and know that you are loved. One of my favourite bands, The Beatles sang a song called: All You Need Is Love. And while that song is almost 50 years older than you are, the message still rings true today. Love is the greatest gift you can ever give or receive. You were born into a family that loves you wholeheartedly – never forget that.

Love always,

Your grand-dude

Richard, Joan, Sam, Bellie and Holly Branson, Freddie Andrewes and children Etta, Artie and Eva-Deia sitting together outside smiling at the camera
Image by Rebecca Wedding Photography

That ticks off challenge number four of my #ChallengeRichard quest. Don’t forget to keep sending in your challenges.