The 1 Reason Sarah Ferguson Might Not Want Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie to Take Over for Meghan Markle and Prince Harry

Sarah, Duchess of York might have reservations about the idea of her daughters possibly replacing Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex as senior royals. Ahead, find out why Sarah might not want her children to take on more responsibilities within the British royal family. 

Prince Harry and Meghan announced their decision to step down as senior royals and work toward becoming financially independent on Jan. 8. There remain many unanswered questions surrounding their departure, one of them being who — if anyone — will take their places as working royals. 

Enter Princess Beatrice of York and her younger sister Princess Eugenie of York. 

The Duchess of York’s children she shares with ex-husband Prince Andrew, Duke of York are 31 and 29-years-old respectively, living their lives as members of the British royal family who have day jobs and lives outside palace walls. Currently ninth and tenth in the British royal family’s line of succession, Beatrice and Eugenie have been afforded, relatively speaking, normal lives compared to their cousins Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, second in line to the throne, and Prince Harry, sixth. 

Eugenie and Beatrice’s names have been suggested as those who might take on more responsibilities  — and, as a result, be in the royal spotlight regularly — in the wake of Prince Harry and Meghan’s departure. Ideally, Eugenie and Beatrice would be able to smoothly transition to full-time royals taking over for the Duke and Duchess of Sussex as the new faces of young British royalty. But the Duchess of York might have reservations considering what she’s experienced since officially joining the British royal family in 1986. 

Sarah Ferguson ‘can relate’ to Meghan Markle

Sarah knows firsthand how much scrutiny comes with being a high-ranking member of the British royal family. That isn’t to say Eugenie and Beatrice haven’t been under a microscope because they certainly have at times but their mother has experienced the high highs and low lows of royal life in an experience not unlike that of Meghan’s, the Duchess of York said in a Dec. 2019 interview with Vogue Arabia

“I know what Meghan is going through,” Sarah, 60, told the publication. “It must be hard for Meghan, and I can relate to her.”

The Duchess of York weathered a number of scandals including the incident in 1992 — the year she and Prince Andrew separated before their 1996 divorce — when photographs were taken of her appearing to get her toes sucked by her financial advisor, John Bryan, who later said he’d actually been kissing her toes. The Duchess of York quickly fell out of favor with the royal family and only in recent years has been accepted back in the royal fold. 

Princess Beatrice,  Sarah Ferguson, and Princess Eugenie on April 26, 2017
Princess Beatrice of York, Sarah, Duchess of York, and Princess Eugenie of York on April 26, 2017 | David M Benett/Dave Benett/Getty Images for The Ned London

Because of her personal experience, she might not want Eugenie and Beatrice to take on more responsibility and potentially open themselves up to more scandal and scrutiny that comes with being a royal who often spends time in the public eye. 

Sarah knows how quickly the tides can change. 

“I have been in Meghan’s shoes, and I still am,” the Duchess of York told the publication. “There’s always a twist of negativity and it just gets so sad and tiring; it’s hard and mean. I abhor bullying and I feel desperately sorry for the pain they must be going through because I’ve been through it.”

Understandably, Sarah might not want her daughters to experience “bullying” and the “twist of negativity” and possibly discouraged Eugenie and Beatrice from taking on more within the royal family. That is if Queen Elizabeth II did in fact give them the opportunity to do so. Whether she did or not, we know royal life has its own set of unique challenges.