Why Princess Eugenie's Role in the Royal Family Is Very Different From Prince Harry's
Last week, a petition circulated the internet demanding that the royal family pay for the full cost of Princess Eugenie's upcoming wedding. Specifically, the campaign, which was started by anti-monarchist group Republic, took issue with the fact that taxpayers will foot the bill for the day's security measures.
Republic would like to see the entire British monarchy abolished in favor of a democratic republic in the UK, but the crux of the group's argument against the public funding of the second royal wedding of the year revolves around Eugenie's role in her family.
"Eugenie carries out no royal duties," the petition reads. "A royal wedding is a private, personal event, dressed up as a national occasion... Taxpayers should not be funding a private wedding, no matter who is getting married."
To outsiders, royal life may look like a blur of garden parties, balcony appearances
As Republic wrote in the petition, Eugenie does not carry out duties in the Queen's name, and neither does her sister Beatrice. Both women attend various family events such as Trooping the Colour and Christmas church services, but they have their own careers; Princess Eugenie works at an art gallery in London, while Beatrice works for a US-based company called Afiniti.
Beatrice and Eugenie on the royal balcony at
the 2018 Trooping the Colour parade.
The sisters also serve as patrons of a number of charities, but as royal historian Marlene Koenig pointed out, they are doing it on their own, not in service of the monarchy, and neither of the York Princesses has an individual profile on the royal family's website.
In fact, Koenig believes the slimming down of the royal family can, in some ways, be attributed to its scandals of the 1990s, and more specifically, the divorces of both Andrew and Charles, and the unsavory headlines the splits brought about.
"The sins of the parents have rested on the children," Koenig tells Town & Country. "I do believe that if their parents had never gotten divorced and were in a happily married state to this day, Beatrice and Eugenie would be working."
As it is, Prince Harry and Princess Eugenie will live very different lives—as will their respective spouses, Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, and Eugenie's fiancé Jack Brooksbank.
"Prince Harry's life will be filled with official engagements, as demonstrated by his role as a Commonwealth Youth Ambassador and his forthcoming tour of Australia, New Zealand, Fiji
"In contrast, Eugenie will continue to be a guest at royal weddings and other family occasions but will be expected to continue to pursue her own independent career rather than represent the monarch at official engagements."
Like Koenig, Harris too emphasized the streamlining of the royal family, a trend which will likely become even more severe under Prince Charles.
"Queen Elizabeth II involved her first cousins in royal duties. The Duke of Kent, The Duke of Gloucester, and Princess Alexandra have all represented the Queen for official engagements," Harris said.
"In subsequent reigns, however, we will see a more streamlined royal family focused on the monarch and consort [the monarch's spouse] and royal children and grandchildren in the direct line. The nieces, nephews, and cousins of subsequent monarchs will be expected to pursue independent careers instead of undertaking official engagements on behalf of the monarch."
But being a Princess with a day job isn't always easy. Princess Beatrice recently shared that it can be "hard to navigate."
"There is no precedent, there is no protocol,” she said in an interview with Vogue earlier this summer. “We are the first: we are young women trying to build careers and have personal lives, and we’re also princesses and doing all of this in the public eye.”
This story originally appeared on Townandcountrymag.com.
* Minor edits have been made by the Townandcountry.ph editors.