Bill and Melinda Gates’ daughter Jennifer — who won’t inherit the family’s billions — has commented on her parent’s shock split.
Jennifer Gates, the eldest daughter of Bill and Melinda Gates, has described her parents’ divorce as a “challenging stretch of time” after their shock announcement.
She took to Instagram to share how she is dealing with the divorce news and to request privacy as they “navigate the next phases of our lives”.
“I’m still learning how to best support my own process and emotions as well as my family members at this time and am grateful for the space to do so,” she said on an Instagram story.
She added that the kind words and support from people “mean the world to her”.
Who are the Gates children?
The 25-year-old is the oldest of the former couple’s three children, who include her brother Rory, 21, and sister Phoebe, 18.
Their dad is the fourth richest person in the world, and is estimated to be worth $US130.5 billion ($A168 billion), according to Forbes.
The family was based in Seattle when the children were younger and reportedly weren’t allowed phones until they 14.
Jennifer is a horse lover, who has competed professionally in equestrian, and is now a medical student in New York City. She graduated with a degree in human biology from Stanford University in 2018.
In January 2020, she got engaged to Nayel Nassar, who is a professional Egyptian equestrian rider and also a Stanford graduate.
“I can’t wait to spend the rest of our lives learning, growing, laughing, and loving together,” she wrote on Instagram at the time of her engagement.
As a show jumper, Jennifer competed against other celebrity offspring, including Steve Jobs’ daughter Eve, Michael Bloomberg’s daughter Georgina, Bruce Springsteen’s daughter Jessica, and Steven Spielberg’s daughter Destry, according to the New York Post.
Meanwhile, Melinda has described her son Rory as compassionate, curious, intelligent, well read and deeply informed, as well as inheriting his parent’s obsessive love of puzzles, in a piece she penned for Time magazine for his 18th birthday. She also said he was a feminist and a great son and brother. Phoebe studied at The School of American Ballet.
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Why they won’t inherit family billions
In 2017 on a Reddit Ask Me Anything segment on the social network, the Microsoft co-founder said his children will inherit just $US10 million ($A13 million) each – equivalent to less than 1 per cent of his fortune.
“I definitely think leaving kids massive amounts of money is not a favour to them. Warren Buffett was part of an article in Fortune talking about this in 1986 before I met him and it made me think about it and decide he was right,” he said.
The Gates’ fortune includes properties in five states, a private jet, an art collection and a fleet of luxury cars.
The pair announced the decision to divorce in a joint statement they released on Twitter on Tuesday, revealing they had been battling to save the relationship for some time.
“After a great deal of thought and a lot of work on our relationship, we have made the decision to end our marriage,” the pair said.
“Over the last 27 years, we have raised three incredible children and built a foundation that works all over the world to enable all people to lead healthy, productive lives.
“We continue to share a belief in that mission and will continue our work together at the foundation, but we no longer believe we can grow together as a couple in this next phase of our lives.
“We ask for space and privacy for our family as we begin to navigate this new life.”