Inside Princess Eugenie's Royal Life Up Until Now

Princess Eugenie is the youngest daughter of Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson, who are otherwise known as the Duke and Duchess of York. In the deeply traditional world of the British royals where bloodlines can mean everything, this makes Eugenie the granddaughter of Queen Elizabeth II, a cousin to Prince William and Prince Harry, and a niece to the new monarch, King Charles III. At the time of her birth she was sixth in line to the throne, per the Los Angeles Times. She now holds the 11th position in the line of succession, falling directly behind Princess Beatrice's daughter. 

Though she has been part of the Firm from the moment she was born, Eugenie has never been a stereotypical princess; she has been called "relatable" time and time again. She told The Telegraph when she was 18 years old, "How do I play the princess thing? I don't, really. I don't like talking about it much." 

After Prince Andrew was stripped of his titles following sexual assault charges, it's now rumored that King Charles III will also revoke the title of princess from Beatrice and Eugenie. So whether her future entails a royal title remains to be seen, but for now, let's take a look at her life as a princess up until now.

She was born in 1990

Princess Eugenie's life started with a bang. Literally. On the night she was born at 7:58pm on March 23, 1990, gun salutes were fired in her honor at the Tower of London and at Hyde Park, per The Gazette. Not a bad way to be welcomed into the world.

A crowd and a host of cameras waited for Eugenie outside of Portland Hospital where her mother gave birth by Cesarean section. When the Duke and Duchess of York left the facility with the newborn in their arms, they were greeted with a sea of citizens and reporters, according to the Los Angeles Times. The baby's full name was then revealed to be Eugenie Victoria Helena, all names that honor her ancestors. Eugenie was the name of Queen Victoria's granddaughter, Victoria came from the famous monarch, and Helena was the name of Queen Victoria's third daughter.

Eugenie is the younger sister to Princess Beatrice. In 1988, the Duke and Duchess of York welcomed their firstborn into the world.

Her parents divorced when she was 6 years old

Only two years after Princess Eugenie's birth, her parents separated in 1992, per BBC. Though there were a number of rumors about what led to the split, a demanding naval career was apparently to blame for Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson's divorce. Reportedly, the couple only saw each other for about 40 days out of the year due to Andrew's obligations to the British Navy. "Two weeks after the wedding, the courtiers told Andrew, who thought he'd be stationed in London, 'You have to go to sea.' I spent my entire first pregnancy alone," Eugenie's mother, Sarah Ferguson, told Harper's Bazaar. Left alone, she wanted to seek a career but as a working royal, wasn't allowed. "I wanted to work; it's not right for a princess of the royal house to be commercial, so Andrew and I decided to make the divorce official so I could go off and get a job," she explained.

The split was reportedly amicable and they agreed on shared custody. Even today, Eugenie's royal parents have remained close friends and she has nothing but fond memories of her childhood. "They are the best divorced couple I know. I don't remember much of [the divorce] happening. They just always went out of their way to make us feel loved and secure," Eugenie told The Telegraph. Rather remarkable given the amount of scrutiny and attention their split received.

Princess Eugenie had back surgery when she was 12

When Princess Eugenie was only 12 years old, she required spinal surgery to fix her scoliosis, a curvature of the spine, per BBC. Eugenie remains thankful for the operation and has been a big supporter of the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital where the surgery was performed. "I wouldn't look the way I do, my back would be hunched over. I wouldn't be able to talk the way I do about it and help other children who come to me with the same problem...Children can see me and know that [the operation] works," she told reporters, per The Telegraph.

Eugenie has continued being open and honest about her childhood diagnosis and corrective surgery. When she walked down the aisle in 2018, she made a point of wearing a gown that did not cover up her scar. "For me, it's a way of communicating with people who are going through either similar situations with scoliosis or having a scar of their own that they are trying to deal with," she shared in an audio guide for a Windsor Castle exhibit, per People.

What's more, she's encouraged others to show their scars on International Scoliosis Awareness Day. In an Instagram post, she wrote, "Let's be proud of our scars!" and reposted others who shared theirs in a thread. She's also shared photos of her X-rays on Instagram, which show the metal rods and pins that keep her spine in place, per Hello! magazine.

Her royal schooling

Princess Eugenie began her education at Winkfield Montessori at preschool level in 1992, per The Royal Watcher. Looking back on her daughter's experience at the Montessori institution, Sarah Ferguson told Hello!, "[I]t suited Eugenie, absolutely down to a tee, because she's a very strong character, and I wonder whether her love of History of Art came from an early age."

In 1994, the young princess began attending Upton House School where her sister, Beatrice, went at the time. From 1995 to 2001, she headed off to boarding school at St. George's school before finishing her pre-college education at another boarding school, the pricey Marlborough College in Wiltshire (the tuition was roughly $26,000 a year at the time), which she graduated from in 2008, per Independent. Reportedly she did very well on her A-levels which is somewhat equivalent to American ACTs or SATs. So well, in fact, that her parents released an official statement saying, "We are delighted by Eugenie's achievements. She has worked extremely hard towards these justifiably fantastic results." Eugenie wasted no time in enrolling her son in her old school; according to the Daily Mail, she got him into Marlborough before he was even born. 

After she finished high school, Eugenie opted for a gap year before deciding on Newcastle University, per Hello!. Graduating in 2012, she received a degree in Art History and English Literature.

Eugenie has always been close with her sister Beatrice

There's no friend you can count on quite like the one you share parents with. At least such is the case with Princess Eugenie and her sister, Princess Beatrice. The siblings have always been close with each other. "We get on fantastically well, perhaps because we do and think different things. ... Like all sisters, we have silly arguments about unimportant stuff, but we do love each other to death," Eugenie explained in an interview with The Telegraph. They are also extremely close with their mother and the three even have a nickname: "the tripod."

At the end of the day, it isn't easy to always be under public scrutiny the way the princesses have for their entire lives. "We're each other's rocks. We're the only other person in each other's lives who can know exactly what the other one is going through," Eugenie told Vogue. Eugenie clearly looks up and admires her big sis and frequently displays her love for Beatrice on Instagram. On Beatrice's birthday in 2022, Eugenie wrote, "Happy Birthday to my special big sissy. Love you so much," followed by a series of celebratory emojis.

The sisters grew up alongside Prince William and Prince Harry, and as the Evening Standard noted, the cousins developed a bond at an early age. In recent years, there have been rumblings about Eugenie and Beatrice being at odds with William, as well as Eugenie's reported attempts to fix William and Harry's fractured relationship. 

She's had a career despite her royal status

After getting a degree in Art History, Princess Eugenie carved a career for herself in the gallery and art auction world. Eugenie in New York City for 2 years working at an online auction house called Paddle8, per Artlyst. She then left that job to take on the position of associate director at Hauser & Wirth, a contemporary art gallery in London. "I've loved art since I was very little. I knew I definitely wouldn't be a painter, but I knew this was the industry for me. I love being able to share my passion for art with people. ... That's what I find most thrilling about working in a gallery," she explained to Harper's Bazaar.

Typically official members of the royal family are not permitted to have full time careers, but since Eugenie is technically not a "working royal" and does not represent the monarchy full-time, she has more freedom to live a normal life. She is even permitted to have a personal Instagram, something other royals don't have, per Vogue. So why did she decide to offer a glimpse of her life to the public via social media? Eugenie and Beatrice told Vogue, "We want to show people who we are as working, young, royal women, but also not to be afraid of putting ourselves out there."

The princess married in 2018

Princess Eugenie met her match when she was only 20 years old. She was introduced to Jack Brooksbank, her future husband, during a skiing trip in Switzerland where they were staying with a mutual friend. He was 24. "Love at first sight," Brooksband told BBC. In the engagement interview, Eugenie explained, "We have the same passions and drive for life." Brooksbank has a background in the service industry, formerly managing a popular London nightclub before working for tequila brand Casamigos which was founded by George Clooney, per Newsweek. According to The Telegraph, he comes from a wealthy family and has an aristocratic heritage and is even allegedly a distant cousin of Eugenie.

Their wedding day was a typical royal enchanted affair, with 800 guests in an ancient chapel. And of course, Eugenie's big sister played a big role on her big day. Regarding Princess Beatrice acting as her maid of honor, Eugenie told TLC (via Town and Country), "I can't think of anyone I'd want by my side other than her."

What's more, Eugenie borrowed one of the queen's special tiaras. "I've never worn a tiara before in my life," Eugenie said in an audio guide for an exhibition at Windsor Castle, per People. "It was the most incredible thing to wear such a piece of history that my grandmother had lent me."

She gave birth to her first child in 2021

Princess Eugenie and husband Jack Brooksbank welcomed their first child in early 2021. Born at Portland Hospital, the same hospital Eugenie was born at, the new member of the royal family was a baby boy that weighed 8lbs 1oz, according to the official palace statement, per Hello! magazine. They named the newborn August Philip Hawke. August was taken from Prince Albert's middle name, Augustus, and Philip was an homage to Eugenie's grandfather, per Harper's Bazaar. The name Hawke was also taken from an ancestor. "He is named after his great grandfather and both of his great x5 grandfathers," Eugenie reportedly wrote in an Instagram story.

The couple unconventionally introduced the baby on Instagram, writing, "Our hearts are full of love for this little human, words can't express. We are excited to be able to share these photos with you." Augustus made his first public appearance in the summer of 2022, during the Platinum Jubilee celebrations for his great-grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II, per E! News.

It should come as no surprise, but Sarah Ferguson is one proud grandmother. As she wrote in a letter to her two daughters for Good Housekeeping, "Nothing gives me more pleasure than watching you be incredible mothers."

Eugenie was close to her grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II

Sadly, September 2022 brought waves of grief to the British royal family with the news of Queen Elizabeth II's death. Princess Eugenie had always been close with her grandmother, often accompanying her to Easter services and attending events with Her Majesty, despite the fact that she had no obligations as a non-working royal, per Town & Country. Her grandmother was also one of the first people she told about her engagement to Jack Brooksbank, when many other members of the family and the public were still in the dark. They clearly had a special grandmother-granddaughter relationship.

After Queen Elizabeth II died, Eugenie and Beatrice released a joint statement on Instagram accompanying a childhood photo of them with their grandmother. "We've not been able to put much into words since you left us all," the princesses lovingly wrote, "There have been tears and laughter, silences and chatter, hugs and loneliness, and a collective loss for you, our beloved Queen and our beloved Grannie." They also added, "For now dear Grannie, all we want to say is thank you. Thank you for making us laugh, for including us, for picking heather and raspberries, for marching soldiers, for our teas, for comfort, for joy. You, being you, will never know the impact you have had on our family and so many people around the world."