Monday 17 December 2018

Britain's royal bride-to-be Princess Eugenie: A caring and fun-loving royal with a cheeky side

Princess Eugenie of York (R) and Princess Beatrice of York (L) are seen in the Parade Ring as she attends Royal Ascot 2017 at Ascot Racecourse on June 22, 2017 in Ascot, England. (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)
Princess Eugenie of York (R) and Princess Beatrice of York (L) are seen in the Parade Ring as she attends Royal Ascot 2017 at Ascot Racecourse on June 22, 2017 in Ascot, England. (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)
Princess Eugenie and and her partner Jack Brooksbank arrive at St Mark's church in Englefield, Berkshire, for the wedding of the Duchess of Cambridge's sister Pippa Middleton to her millionaire groom James Matthews at an event dubbed the society wedding of the year.
Eugenie and Jack pictured at the wedding of the Duchess of Cambridge’s sister Pippa Middleton and James Matthews (Justin Tallis/PA)
Princess Eugenie and her fiance Jack Brooksbank outside St Mary the Virgin Church in Frensham, Surrey, after attending the wedding of Charlie van Straubenzee and Daisy Jenks (Joe Giddens/PA)
Prince Edward, Duke of Wessex and Princess Eugenie arrive during a day of DofE presentations at Buckingham Palace on May 24, 2018 in London, England
Princess Eugenie shows her engagement ring (Jonathan Brady/PA)
Princess Beatrice, left, Princess Eugenie and Jack Brooksbank were among the guests at the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s wedding (Jonathan Brady/PA)

Laura Elston

Princess Eugenie - the Queen's granddaughter - is the spirited, art-loving royal who is proving to be a relaxed royal bride.

Keen to make her nuptials stress-free, the youngest daughter of the Duke of York and Sarah, Duchess of York has been taking the arrangements in her stride.

"I'm not stressed at all," she told British Vogue. "It's very nerve-wracking because you want it to be perfect but then you realise that you're going to be with the person you love forever and nothing else really matters."

Eugenie, 28, is the younger sister of Princess Beatrice, and their mother, formerly Sarah "Fergie" Ferguson, has been vocal about her pride in her girls over the years.

Princess Eugenie and Jack Brooksbank (Ian West/PA)
Princess Eugenie and Jack Brooksbank (Ian West/PA)

Princess Eugenie Victoria Helena of York was born on March 23 1990 at the exclusive Portland Hospital in London

In a week-long name game, Andrew and the duchess kept the nation guessing as to what they would call their daughter.

Their unusual choice generated much surprise and was inspired by the Victorian era.

Eugenie was born sixth in line to the throne, but has shifted down to ninth place following the arrival of the three Cambridge children.

She became the first royal baby to have a public christening when in 1990 she was baptised during morning service at the church of St Mary Magdalene, Sandringham.

Two years after she was born, Andrew and Sarah announced they were to separate.

They divorced in May 1996 and had joint custody of Eugenie and Beatrice.

Eugenie's first proper day at Winkfield Montessori School, Berkshire, at the age of two in 1992 sent the media into a frenzy - but more because of her mother.

Princess Eugenie shows her engagement ring (Jonathan Brady/PA)
Princess Eugenie shows her engagement ring (Jonathan Brady/PA)

Photographers were waiting to catch a glimpse of the duchess who had been hiding away after causing a furore when she was snapped topless with her financial adviser John Bryan.

Eugenie began her school education at Upton House School and Coworth Park School, both in Berkshire, and then enrolled as a day girl at St George's in Windsor in 2001.

When she was 12, she underwent a successful operation to straighten her spine, having been born with the rare condition of scoliosis.

She is now patron of the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital.

In September 2003, the princess, both academic and sporty, started at posh Wiltshire private school Marlborough College.

The Duchess of Cambridge, then Kate Middleton, also studied at Marlborough but had left by the time Eugenie arrived.

Eugenie's teenage years were relatively well-protected from the media and she was said to be considerate and cheeky.

Princess Eugenie and her fiance Jack Brooksbank outside St Mary the Virgin Church in Frensham, Surrey, after attending the wedding of Charlie van Straubenzee and Daisy Jenks (Joe Giddens/PA)
Princess Eugenie and her fiance Jack Brooksbank outside St Mary the Virgin Church in Frensham, Surrey, after attending the wedding of Charlie van Straubenzee and Daisy Jenks (Joe Giddens/PA)

Keen to live as normal a life as possible despite her royal heritage, Eugenie avoided a public photocall when she started at Marlborough, choosing not to have the cameras there.

She was described as having "great energy", being a "lot of fun" and less shy than her sister.

She was also head of the poetry society at school.

At the time of her 18th birthday, she said of her parents: "They are the best divorced couple I know. They just always went out of their way to make us feel loved and secure."

She has also admitted to bickering with sister "Bea" from time to time.

"Like all sisters we have silly arguments about unimportant stuff, but we do love each other to death," she said.

The princess took A-levels in art, English literature and history of art.

As an 18-year-old, Eugenie was reprimanded by her public school after she was involved in "high jinks" towards the end of her school term.

It was claimed she was caught frolicking naked in the grounds of the boarding school.

Princess Eugenie with her mum Sarah Ferguson, dad Prince Andrew and sister Beatrice
Princess Eugenie with her mum Sarah Ferguson, dad Prince Andrew and sister Beatrice

It was reported that a senior staff member was woken by playful shrieks and found about a dozen young women dancing around without any clothes in the college grounds.

A gap year trip after her A-levels, in which she got two As and a B, took her to to Thailand and South Africa, among other destinations.

But it sparked criticism because of the funding of her police protection during her travels which was said to have cost about £100,000.

At one point, Eugenie and two friends had to be whisked to safety by bodyguards when one friend was targeted by muggers in Cambodia.

She chose Newcastle for university, joined in with freshers week, lived in £96-a-week halls and then in a student house with seven female friends, and managed to complete her degree under the radar.

She graduated with a 2:1 in combined studies of English, history of art and politics, and is now is a director at the contemporary art gallery Hauser & Wirth in London.

The princess is passionate about art, and cites Jean-Michel Basquiat, the pioneering prodigy of the 1980s New York art scene, as a hero.

She is also patron of several charities including the Elephant Family, the Teenage Cancer Trust, the Coronet Theatre and The European School of Osteopathy.

In 2016, she called on the public to support a social media campaign targeting modern slavery after she privately visited a London safe house run by the Salvation Army for slave victims.

Eugenie posed for fashion magazine Harper's Bazaar, and shared the secrets of a day in her life, revealing she shops at Waitrose, does her make-up in the car, finds heels tricky to walk in and likes to watch zombie drama The Walking Dead.

She listed chips, Diet Coke and cashew nuts as her indulgences, and vodka with soda and lime as her favourite tipple.

Her romance with Stowe-educated Jack Brooksbank, a brand manager for George Clooney's tequila firm, began after they fell in love at first sight on a ski trip.

Eugenie is close to both her parents, calling them Mumsy and Papa.

She recently launched her own Instagram account, delighting royal fans with snaps from her past.

In one she poked fun at an image of her as a youngster "stifling a yawn on the steps of St Paul's in a full pink suit".

A regular at Ascot and Trooping the Colour, Eugenie also puts in appearances at royal garden parties and major celebrations and jubilees.

But she is not a full-time working royal and taxpayers no longer fund police protection for Eugenie and Beatrice - a cost that was the source of criticism for many years.

The bill is now paid by their father from his private income.

Andrew issued a rare statement in 2016 saying there was "no truth" in rumours of a rift between him and the Prince of Wales over his daughters' participation as members of the royal family.

The duke said: "It is a complete fabrication to suggest I have asked for any future husbands of the princesses to have titles.

"There is no truth to the story that there could be a split between the Prince of Wales and I over my daughters' participation as members of the royal family and any continued speculation is pointless."

Andrew's response came after reports claimed he would seek to persuade the Queen or Charles to make any future son-in-laws earls.

Press Association

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