The British Royal Family — we all love them, we all want to be them, and we all get just the tiniest bit confused when trying to remember them all.
Thanks to Princess Diana’s everlasting legacy, Prince William and Prince Harry are two staple figures in not only British pop culture, but American pop culture, as well. After all, William’s 2011 wedding to Kate Middleton and Harry’s 2018 wedding to American actress Meghan Markle were two of the most publicized weddings in all of modern history. But these charming princes aren’t the only royals in town.
You might recognize sisters Princess Beatrice of York and Princess Eugenie of York as the silly hat-donning wedding guests that totally stole the show, for better or for worse, at William and Kate’s wedding. However, there’s so much more to these two princesses than their unique tastes in fascinators. Here’s the untold truth behind this pair of real-life Disney princesses.
Princess Eugenie had a major spine surgery when she was 12
Remember those scoliosis checks in grade school? According to the American Association of Neurological Surgeons, scoliosis affects two to three percent of the population, or an estimated six to nine million people in the United States alone. Pretty scary stuff, especially considering the fact that the spinal disorder usually appears in children as young as 10 years old. However, when you’re a kid, scoliosis exams are a welcome excuse to miss a few minutes of class.
For a young Princess Eugenie, scoliosis proved to be more than a difficult word to spell; instead, it was a real and present problem for the princess, who was diagnosed with the disorder at the tender age of 12. Upon diagnosis, Princess Eugenie was informed she’d need corrective surgery — a moment she remembers to this day. “I can still vividly remember how nervous I felt in the days and weeks before the operation,” she recalled to the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital.
Luckily, the eight hour surgery went off without a hitch — and the princess still has the titanium rods in her back to prove it!
Princess Beatrice takes after her late aunt
Princess Diana is arguably the most famous and celebrated of modern royals. Not only was the late princess known to be a royal trendsetter in terms of fashion, she forever changed the public perception of how a princess is supposed to behave. Moreover, Princess Diana is famous for the sheer amount of charity work she carried out within the relatively short period she spent as a public figure before her life was tragically cut short in a fateful car accident on August 31, 1997.
It seems that Princess Beatrice is taking after her beloved late aunt in more ways than one. According to The Duke of York’s website, the princess is “a Patron of a number of [organizations] and focuses the majority of her charitable work around children’s welfare, and education.” Like Diana (who was a champion for bereaved children) this princess has a soft spot for kids. Additionally, Princess Beatrice has been the only royal in recent years to attend the Met Gala since Princess Diana famously stole the show in 1996.
No, Princess Beatrice didn't cut Ed Sheeran with a sword
In a January 2017 appearance on The Graham Norton Show (via People), singer Ed Sheeran seemed to confirm rumors that Princess Beatrice had slashed his face with a sword at a party. The confirmation came after months of speculation after Sheeran was spotted with a mysterious facial laceration in late 2016. British tabloid The Sun was one of the first to break the cause behind Sheeran’s wound, reporting that Princess Beatrice had accidentally slashed the singer’s face while pretending to knight another famous British songbird, James Blunt. The tabloid reported that Sheeran was “the perfect gentleman” about the incident, though he did have to be rushed to the hospital to stitch up his famous mug.
“I have no idea how [the story] came out as there weren’t a lot of people there that night,” Sheeran said on The Graham Norton Show. “I remember telling my dad about it and he didn’t believe me.”
According to Blunt, Sheeran’s dad might be on to something. “Ed was drunk, messing around, and he cut himself,” Blunt told ShortList (via E! News). “We made a fancy story up, people fell for it. It was very embarrassing.”
The sisters aren't working royals
Princess Eugenie and Princess Beatrice aren’t considered “working royals” like Kate Middleton or the newest addition to the royal family, Meghan Markle. But the two princesses do work for a living. Confused yet? We’re here to help.
According to James Brookes, Director of Broadcasting and Communications at Royal Central, a “working royal” is defined as a royal individual who carries out engagements on behalf of the Queen. Instead of assisting their royal grandmother with her duties, Princess Eugenie and Princess Beatrice have carved out more normal careers for themselves in their respective industries. According to a 2016 Harper’s Bazaar profile, Princess Eugenie works as an associate director at the London-based contemporary-art gallery Hauser & Wirth. “I’ve loved art since I was very little,” the princess told the publication. “I knew I definitely wouldn’t be a painter, but I knew this was the industry for me.”
Eugenie’s sister, Princess Beatrice, is a career girl, as well. According to her LinkedIn profile (princesses — they’re just like us), “Bea York” is the Vice President of Partnerships and Strategy for Afiniti.com.
About those hats
Hats off to these girls!
The wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton was truly one for the ages. The ceremony was nothing short of a real-life fairytale, and we’re still not over William adorably sneaking an extra kiss to his blushing bride. But even though it was their (highly-anticipated) wedding day, William and Kate weren’t the only royals making a buzz on their big day.
Princesses Eugenie and Beatrice made quite the splash at William and Kate’s wedding with their choice of headwear. Of course, royal functions are known for their fancy hats (formally called fascinators), but Eugenie and Beatrice’s hats were truly some for the royal history books — and media fodder. Princess Eugenie’s fascinator seemed to resemble a peacock’s colorful tail, while Princess Beatrice’s drew comparisons to both a pretzel and an octopus. The memes were aplenty — some folks even likening the princesses to Cinderella’s ugly stepsisters. Ouch.
They helped to create the first-ever "Royal Graffiti"
You’ve probably never thought you’d see the words “royal” and “graffiti” together, but here we are — and for a good cause, to boot!
In 2016, Princess Eugenie and Princess Beatrice (along with their mother, Sarah “Fergie” Ferguson) teamed up with contemporary British artist, Teddy M, to create “Royal Love” — the first piece of “royal graffiti.” The collaboration was an effort to benefit the U.K. charity Children in Crisis, an organization which aims to make improvements in education for some of the world’s most impoverished children by training special groups of teachers for their unique situations.
In an interview with People, Teddy M recalled how he laid a blue canvas on the lawn of the Royal Lodge and asked Princess Eugenie, Princess Beatrice, and Fergie to “add their thoughts and feelings about the heart and word ‘love.'” The princesses took it from there. “I loved how they then used paint markers to add their own graffiti,” the artist told People.
Princess Eugenie is set to have her own royal wedding in 2018
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle wed on Saturday, May 19, 2018 at St. George’s Chapel in what was certainly the most publicized wedding since that of Prince William and Kate Middleton. But Harry’s isn’t the only royal wedding set to take place in 2018. Princess Eugenie will have a royal wedding of her own in October 2018 — so get those fascinators ready!
On January 22, 2018 — only months after Harry’s November engagement announcement — Buckingham Palace announced that Princess Eugenie was engaged to be married to Jack Brooksbank, her beau of seven years. Like Kate Middleton’s beautiful ring, Princess Eugenie’s engagement ring features a sapphire as its centerpiece instead of a traditional white diamond. However, Princess Eugenie’s sapphire is no ordinary one — it’s a Padparadscha sapphire. Mined in Sri Lanka and names after the striking color of a lotus blossom, the Natural Sapphire Company states that these sapphires are “among the rarest gems on the planet.” A one-of-a-kind gem for a one-of-a-kind princess.
It's all about the climb for Princess Beatrice
Princess Beatrice wants you to know that she isn’t just your run-of-the-mill princess, thank you very much. “I don’t see myself as a stereotypical princess,” Beatrice told The Telegraph in a 2005 interview, “so people often expect one thing when they first meet me and I give them another.”
So what all does not being a stereotypical princess entail? Well, for one thing, don’t expect to find Princess Beatrice patiently waiting in her tower for her Prince Charming to come to her rescue. Instead, you can find this princess outside — climbing and conquering mountains for charity.
According to her profile on The Duke of York’s website, Princess Beatrice climbed Mount Blanc in 2012 as a part of a fundraising project for The Big Change — a charity she, along with six of her friends, founded. Four years later in 2016, Princess Beatrice conquered another mountain in a fundraising effort for The Big Change. “After swimming 3,300m biking 140km, running a half marathon and hiking up mount Etna, I finally made it,” she captioned a photo posted to her official Twitter.
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