When these twins were born, they were pretty much indistinguishable from each other. As they grew up, though, they developed one distinct difference that told them apart. And now, more than a decade after the twins’ birth, people struggle to accept that the pair are even related.
The twins’ parents, Amanda and Michael Biggs, hail from Birmingham in the U.K. Before the twins were born, this married couple had been keen to start a family for a number of years and eventually decided to undergo IVF treatment. Since Amanda has a fair complexion and her husband is of Jamaican origin, they knew that any babies they might conceive would be mixed race.
Both Amanda and Michael’s families have a history of multiple births, too. So it wasn’t a complete surprise that when Amanda fell pregnant she was told that she was expecting twins. And in 2006 she delivered daughters Marcia and Millie by Caesarean section at the Good Hope Hospital in Sutton Coldfield, Birmingham. When they were born, of course, the twins looked almost identical.
Soon, though, the children began to change before their parents’ eyes. “We never knew how different they were going to look,” Amanda told the Daily Mail in 2007. “People have said that it’s one of those unusual things to do with genes.” Yes, in a million-to-one miracle, these two peas in a pod would eventually develop one very obvious difference.
“Within a few months, the changes started to happen,” the twins’ dad, Michael, told SWNS. “Millie started to suddenly get darker, and we thought the same would happen to Marcia. The tops of her [Marcia’s] fingers and ears started to get darker, which we thought would be a sign of what was to come, but in the end, she just stayed the same.”
You see, Millie has inherited her father’s Jamaican genes, making her skin tone brown and her hair dark and curly. Sister Marcia, meanwhile, takes after her mother, with a fair appearance and blonde hair. Though surprised, neither of the girls’ parents were thrown by this odd difference. “We never worried about it, though, we just accepted it,” Michael said. “I thought to myself: ‘No problem – one black, one white.’”
Growing up, Marcia and Millie were as close as any other twins, something that obviously pleased their dad. “They get along so well with one another, they really do,” Michael told SWNS in 2017. “They’re always switching personalities. One moment one is quiet and the other is doing a lot of the talking, then after a few months or a year or so they switch back. It’s like one takes a break and the other takes over.”
Mom Amanda added, “They do absolutely everything together, and they’re always making videos of themselves singing and dancing.” She went on to explain that she has loved watching them develop as children. “They’re both very outgoing and positive, which is wonderful,” she said. “They’re great to be around because they always make you smile. I’ve devoted my whole life to looking after them, and I’ve treasured seeing them grow up together.”
The twins have changed as they’ve gotten older, both physically and mentally, too. “When they were younger, Millie was always quite shy, but as she’s grown up she’s become a real bossy-boots,” Amanda said. “She’s very organized and in control, often telling Marcia what to do.”
So, like all children, these unique little girls soon developed their own personalities and traits. “Millie is our little princess,” Amanda revealed. “She loves to have clothes related to princesses and lots of dolls. She’s obsessed with the color pink as well, just like you’d expect from a little feminine girl.”
Sister Marcia, on the other hand, is “a lot more of a tomboy,” as Amanda made clear. “A school friend was very good at gymnastics, and she’s picked it up from there and started to really enjoy doing that,” she explained. “Because she’s having extra gymnastics lessons, we wanted Millie to do something outside of school, too, so she’s going to do drama because she loves to perform.”
Of course, people often struggle to tell twins apart until they recognize their subtle differences and unique personalities. For one obvious reason, though, this doesn’t apply to Millie and Marcia. But despite the contrast in their skin tone, the twins still look very much alike. “Regardless of the color difference, people are able to tell that they’re twins because their features are so similar,” Michael said. “They’ve both got my nose, and I think that’s how people work it out.”
But the twins’ distinctive looks often cause a degree of puzzlement among members of the public, as Amanda explained to the The Sun. “When I told people they were twins, they would always be stunned,” she said in 2017. “I notice a lot of people doing double-takes. It does get a bit irritating sometimes, when you have people stopping you in the street all the time, but then I remember how beautiful they are and how lucky I am to have them, and the irritation goes away.”
In fact, it is not just passersby who find it hard to believe that Marcia and Millie are twins. People involved in their everyday lives have been thrown, too, such as when the girls attended elementary school in 2010. “People would get confused,” Amanda explained to SWNS. “I’d be picking them up after school, and the other parents would stop me and say, ‘Are they your daughters?’”
Michelle Gay, the twins’ head teacher at the time, was clearly mindful of the two special pupils in her charge as well. When the girls started at her school, for instance, she told the Daily Mail, “As Osborne Primary is an inclusive school where we celebrate and appreciate all differences, Millie and Marcia will be made to feel extremely welcome. While nurturing the special bond that exists between the girls as twins, we will also support each of them and anticipate their individual needs.”
But on September 7, 2017, the twins, aged 11, had their first day at King Solomon International Business School in Aston, U.K. And in a bid to smooth over any potential misunderstandings, Amanda approached the teachers to offer a few helpful pointers. “I’ve explained to the school that despite their differences, they are twins and hopefully that will help to overcome the awkwardness,” she said.
Luckily, the girls weren’t worried about their new surroundings. Quite the opposite, in fact. “They are both really excited to be moving up to secondary school because they love learning,” Amanda told SWNS. And Millie readily agreed, saying, “I think that it’s going to be fun to meet some new people and make lots of friends. It makes me laugh a lot when people don’t believe that we’re twins.”
Marcia echoed her mother and twin sister’s thoughts. “It’s going to be fun to go to a new school. The bit I’m most excited about is going to be the lessons,” she said. Meanwhile, in line with their differing personalities, the twins also enjoy contrasting school subjects. So while Millie excels at math, Marcia prefers to get to grips with English.
Regardless, though, Millie and Marcia’s parents are clearly over the moon with their amazing and talented twins. “They are both absolutely beautiful, and they make me proud every day. People are going to be amazed by them for the rest of their lives, and I think that’s fantastic,” Amanda said.
The fascinating closeness that many twins enjoy is something that is often examined. Some experts even believe that twins can share each other’s thoughts and feelings on some sort of subconscious level. Whether this is something that’s true of Marcia and Millie isn’t apparent, but it’s clear that they have the gift of a built-in buddy from birth. As Marcia puts it, “My best friend is Millie because she’s always been there.”