Royal Blood May Help Keep Beatrice and Eugenie From Being Scrutinized so Harshly

Princess Beatrice of York and Princess Eugenie of York have one thing Meghan, Duchess of Sussex and their mother, Sarah, Duchess of York don’t when it comes to their places within the British royal family: royal blood. Having been royal since birth, the sisters, who are 31 and 29-years-old respectively, have an advantage when it comes to harsh scrutiny. 

Unlike their mother and the Duchess of Sussex who said in Oct. 2019 she was “not OK” amidst intense scrutiny, Beatrice and Eugenie didn’t enter the family as outsiders. And, as a result, they haven’t had to start from zero with members of the family or the public, slowly building a rapport as they go along. Instead, they’ve had their entire lives to get used to the customs of royal life and build relationships with those inside the walls of Buckingham Palace as well as the public. 

They grew up largely out of the spotlight

Although they’ve attended royal engagements since a young age, and continue to do so, Beatrice and Eugenie haven’t had all eyes on them all the time. 

Being the daughters of Sarah and Prince Andrew, Duke of York, the third child of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, Beatrice and Eugenie have been afforded the luxury of more privacy than their cousins, Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex. Especially as children, Beatrice and Eugenie were able to grow, make mistakes, and explore the world largely outside the royal spotlight’s glare. 

Their standing in the line of succession to the throne also gives them a bit of breathing room as they’re not at the top of the list to one day lead the monarchy. Behind their father, Beatrice is ninth in line to the throne while Eugenie is tenth, according to the royal family’s official website.

Though Beatrice and Eugenie are royal by blood, they’re still scrutinized

Just because they have royal blood doesn’t mean Eugenie and Beatrice haven’t experienced any scrutiny in their lives because of their royal status. As children, they had to deal with their parents’ separation in 1992 followed by their high-profile divorce in 1996. While they were still young at the time, the experience likely took a toll on them despite Andrew and Sarah having a close relationship to this day. 

Princess Beatrice of York and Princess Eugenie of York during Trooping The Colour on June 8, 2019
Princess Beatrice of York and Princess Eugenie of York during Trooping The Colour on June 8, 2019 | Mark Cuthbert/UK Press via Getty Images

Again, in 2010, they had to deal with their parents’ triumphs and failures being played out on a global stage. A source identified as a friend of Beatrice’s told a journalist, according to Express, the then-21-year-old felt “so ashamed” of her mother after the Duchess of York had been caught on camera agreeing to provide interview access to Andrew for a large sum of money.

Devastated at what her mother had done, Beatrice reportedly didn’t leave her home at the Royal Lodge and spent days crying. The scandal is said to have led to Sarah being excluded from the guest list at the 2011 royal wedding of William and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge. 

Beatrice and Eugenie have been scrutinized for their appearance and clothing choices — their outfits to William and Catherine’s wedding went viral after they were compared to those worn by Cinderella’s stepsisters’ — but they also haven’t been under the public’s glare as much as if they were outsiders marrying into the royal family. 

Princess Eugenie of York and Princess Beatrice of York at the royal wedding of Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge on April 29, 2011
Princess Eugenie of York and Princess Beatrice of York at the royal wedding of Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge on April 29, 2011 | Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images

Then, of course, came Andrew’s Nov. 2019 BBC interview about his friendship with Jeffrey Epstein that almost immediately had been deemed a disaster. A short time later, Andrew announced he’d be stepping down from his royal duties.

Despite Beatrice and Eugenie dealing with scrutiny, the majority of it has had to do with their parents, not themselves directly.

One of the more recent examples of scrutiny involving Eugenie and Beatrice came in the summer of 2019. They were photographed walking hand-in-hand with Beatrice’s fiancé, Edoardo “Edo” Mapelli Mozzi, whom she is scheduled to wed on May 29, 2020.

It seems no matter a person’s standing within the royal family, whether they are first or fifteenth in the line of succession, they are subjected to at least some level of scrutiny.