However, there are two other interesting siblings in the lineup: Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie.
The two are currently ninth and 10th in line to the throne, after their father, Prince Andrew, who is the Queen’s third child and eighth in line to the throne. Prince Andrew has been in the news recently for his ties to convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.
The two women, aged 31 and 29, respectively, use the titles Her Royal Highness Princess, but they’re not considered working members of the Royal Family.
“They don’t undertake public engagements representing the Queen,” said royal historian Carolyn Harris. “They both pursue independent careers, Beatrice in business and Eugenie at an art gallery.”
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They do attend royal events, but it’s “very rare” that they would ever represent the monarch in any official capacity, said Harris.
“They have charitable patronages, but they’re not listed in the court circular,” she said. This means they’re private charitable engagements that they undertake independent of the monarchy.
Below, Harris outlines everything you need to know about Beatrice and Eugenie, the Princesses of York.
Family life for Beatrice and Eugenie
Beatrice and Eugenie are the daughters of Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson, Duchess of York.
The pair divorced in 1996 but it was a “very amicable” split, according to Harris.
“They’ve lived in the same residence for long periods of time,” she said. “Both Beatrice and Eugenie have a close relationship with [them].”
Beatrice was engaged to Mapelli Mozzi in September 2019.
Neither sister has commented publicly on their father’s relation to Epstein, but there has been speculation that Beatrice delayed the announcement about her wedding plans due to negative press.
Harris said there’s also speculation that “the scrutiny surrounding her father … and around Harry and Meghan” could explain why she has yet to announce the date and venue of her upcoming nuptials.
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“We may well see a quieter royal wedding than Princess Eugenie had at St. George’s Chapel [in 2018],” said Harris.
“Certainly a public appearance by Prince Andrew is going to attract a lot of attention.”
Ferguson (also known as Fergie) had a famously controversial relationship with her sister-in-law, the late Princess Diana.
This could explain why Prince Harry and Princess Eugenie, who are quite close in age, are such close friends.
Prince Harry actually met one of his previous girlfriends, Cressida Bonas, through Princess Eugenie.
“Prince Harry invited their mother … the Duchess of York to his wedding, but she wasn’t invited to Prince William and Kate Middleton’s wedding,” said Harris.
“[Harry and Eugenie] have a closer relationship.”
Do they get paid?
Princess Eugenie and Princess Beatrice don’t receive any funding from the monarchy.
However, they do likely receive money from their father, Prince Andrew, said Harris, as well as from an “inheritance” provided by their great-grandmother, Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother.
“The Queen also has private funds through the Duchy of Lancaster, so there’s speculation that she uses some of that money to quietly subsidize some of the younger members of the Royal Family,” she said.
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In 2015, Prince Andrew and the Duchess of York purchased a luxury ski chalet in Switzerland, which led to “speculation” about where that money came from, said Harris.
“There’s certainly speculation that the Queen makes use of her private funds in order to assist,” she said.
However, Prince Andrew doesn’t have access to the same funding as his brother, Prince Charles, who is next in line to the throne.
“There was a lot of scrutiny over [Ferguson’s] fashion compared to Princess Diana’s fashions, the emphasis on Diana being more stylish and elegant,” said Harris.
They wouldn’t have had access to the same income that the heir to the throne and his family would have, said Harris.
What are their roles?
Princess Eugenie and Princess Beatrice are not currently working members of the Royal Family, but there have been rumours that they could be asked to step in for Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, who relinquished their royal titles at the beginning of January.
With both Prince Harry and Prince Andrew stepping back from royal duties, “there will be a shortage of adult members of the Royal Family,” which will have implications, said Harris.
“There are 16 Commonwealth realms who will receive fewer royal tours … and [there will be fewer] counselors of state … who are empowered to act for the monarch when the monarch is out of country,” she said.
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“There has been speculation about Beatrice and Eugenie being empowered to act as counsellors of state, being the other adult members of the Royal Family in the line of succession.”
However, Harris doesn’t think this will happen.
“What seems more likely is that we are simply going to see fewer public engagements,” she said. “The overall trend is towards streamlining the Royal Family, with fewer working members undertaking public engagements.”
With both Beatrice and Eugenie pursuing their own careers, Harris thinks it “unlikely” this would happen.
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