There’s another royal wedding on the horizon, making it a very celebratory time for the famous British family. Princess Eugenie is eighth in line for the throne as one of Queen Elizabeth‘s granddaughters — and now, her and her long-time partner, Jack, are engaged. But Eugenie isn’t the only one making headlines. Her mother, the infamous Sarah Ferguson, Duchess of York, is causing a stir yet again.
Sarah’s multiple scandals over the years have put her at odds with the royal family. Here are the reasons why we’re betting she won’t be welcomed with open arms by all at the wedding. We’ll also take a look at how Princess Eugenie’s wedding will stack up against Meghan Markle’s wedding.
1. Sarah Ferguson married Prince Andrew in 1986
Sarah was never as refined as Princess Diana and Prince Andrew was never as famous as Prince Charles — so together, they were a mismatch made in heaven. Interestingly enough, Sarah and Andrew met at a party thanks to Diana, Hello! reports. And after a whirlwind romance, the couple married in 1986.
They have two children together — daughters Beatrice and, of course, the engaged Eugenie. And though they divorced in 1996, Sarah and Andrew still have a close bond. She even lived in Andrew’s home for many years after their separation.
Next: Photos of this affair will haunt Sarah for the rest of her life.
2. Photographs showed her having an affair with her financial adviser in 1992
Prince Andrew’s demanding job certainly put a rift in his relationship with Sarah. But in 1992, it seems Sarah didn’t mind seeing her marriage crumble after all. People reports that photos surfaced of Sarah and her American financial adviser, John Bryan, together on the French Riviera.
Over 40 shots were taken, many of which involved inappropriate kissing and touching. And the most infamous of them all is John Bryan sucking on Sarah’s toes. The incident embarrassed the royal family and outraged the queen.
Next: Sarah’s also known for having extreme money troubles.
3. And she’s been millions of dollars in debt, much to the dismay of the royals
Sarah’s money problems are well established at this point. LearnVest explains her spending habits include owning expensive furniture, clothing, and multiple cell phones — and she’s known for making horrible investments as well. The Guardian reports she owed nearly $2 million at one point, which deeply concerned the queen.
Even worse than her debt is the way she tried to solve the issue. In 2010, she promised a reporter access to Prince Andrew in exchange for over hundreds of thousands of dollars. She was exposed, of course, which horrified the royal family even more.
Next: Sarah and this ultra famous royal had a complex relationship.
4. She changed Princess Diana forever — which wasn’t always welcome
As far as Princess Diana and Sarah are concerned, the two couldn’t be more different. The prim and proper ways of the princess were a sharp contrast in comparison to Sarah’s fun-loving, independent nature. And the Los Angeles Times explains Diana experienced a serious change in her attitude whilst hanging around with the brash duchess.
This new side of Diana wasn’t welcomed by everyone, however. It worried the queen and made other royals nervous. And Vanity Fair notes others close to the family thought Diana and Sarah would eventually get competitive with one another.
Next: This is the one person who absolutely does not want to see Sarah at Eugenie’s wedding.
5. Prince Philip thinks Sarah is a total embarrassment
Some royals can’t get over Sarah’s extramarital affairs in the ’90s — and Prince Philip is one of them. The queen’s husband saw Prince Andrew and Sarah in 2015 at the queen’s favorite annual racing event, the Royal Ascot. And when Philip spotted Sarah in the crowd, he reportedly looked furious, says The Daily Beast.
The publication notes Philip blames Sarah for ruining the royals’ reputation over 20 years ago, and he condemns her for trying to sell access to Andrew. He’s even called her “odd and pointless” in the past. It seems Eugenie’s wedding may showcase the tension between them.
Next: Sarah didn’t get an invite to this high-profile royal wedding.
6. Sarah also didn’t get an invite to Kate and William’s wedding
Kate Middleton and Prince William made major headlines when they announced their engagement — but one ex-royal didn’t make the guest list. Daily Mail Online reports 1,900 invitations were sent out, and Sarah didn’t receive one.
Sarah tried to play it off by saying she wouldn’t be able to make the wedding anyway. According to friends, Sarah had “private plans overseas” to attend to and never expected an invite.
Next: This one person still makes Sarah nervous after all these years.
7. And she’s still intimidated by the queen
The queen and Sarah have known each other for decades at this point. But as Sarah says, “I always get really nervous before meeting the boss,” People reports. She also notes that the queen puts her at ease once she’s finally in her presence.
Though Queen Elizabeth and Sarah have had their ups and downs over the years, it seems the monarch is still accepting and respectful of the ex-royal. Prince Philip, however, is a whole different story. As for tension at the wedding, we’ll see how it all pans out.
Next: How will everything compare to Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s royal wedding?
8. The engagement dresses
- Princess Eugenie’s Erdem dress price: $5,175
- Meghan Markle’s Parosh dress price: $531
The Royal Family released Princess Eugenie and Jack Brooksbank’s engagement portraits on Jan. 22, 2018. The happy couple stands in a well-decorated room in Buckingham Palace featuring a red wall and gold-framed paintings in the background.
For her engagement portrait, Princess Eugenie wore an eye-catching floral Erdem dress that cost $5,175. On the other hand, for Meghan Markle’s engagement portrait in December 2017, Markle opted for an elegant, dark green Parosh dress that cost $531.50. While Eugenie’s dress cost quite a bit more than Markle’s, her choice of the bright, floral pattern set her engagement dress apart from the dark-colored choices of both Markle and Kate Middleton.
Next: The engagement rings
9. The engagement rings
- Price of Princess Eugenie’s ring: $140,000
- Price of Meghan Markle’s ring: $70,000
In her engagement portraits, Princess Eugenie proudly shows her engagement ring – a padparadscha sapphire surrounded by diamonds. This type of sapphire is a rare, pink-orange jewel that usually comes from Sri Lanka. Her ring’s main stone is oval-shaped, and the jewels are set in a gold band. Eugenie’s ring resembles that of her mother, Sarah Ferguson, whose ring featured a red ruby as the central stone.
Markle’s engagement ring was designed by Prince Harry and custom made with a main diamond from Botswana and two smaller stones from Princess Diana’s collection. It’s set in yellow gold because that’s Markle’s favorite, Prince Harry said during the couple’s interview with the BBC.
One report estimated Eugenie’s ring to be valued at $140,000 – double the estimated value of Markle’s. However, Markle’s ring is surely thought of as priceless with its connection to Prince Harry’s beloved late mother.
Next: The chapel
10. The wedding ceremonies
- Both ceremonies will take place at St. George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle.
Like Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, Princess Eugenie and Jack Brooksbank will be married at St. George’s Chapel inside Windsor Castle in 2018. The chapel has hosted royal weddings for centuries. Prince Harry and Princess Eugenie were both baptized in the chapel, Harry in 1984 and Eugenie in 1990. Another couple who tied the knot at St. George’s was Prince Charles and Camilla Parker Bowles in 2005. (Prince William and Kate Middleton were married at Westminster Abbey.)
Next: The wedding dates
11. The wedding dates
- Both weddings will take place in 2018, one in spring the other in fall.
While Princess Eugenie’s engagement announcement did not list an exact date, it did say the nuptials will take place in autumn of 2018. The date has been announced to be Oct. 12, 2018. As we all now know, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s wedding took place on Saturday, May 19, 2018.
While you might assume Eugenie and her fiancé will also opt for a Saturday wedding, it’s interesting to note that a number of other prominent royal weddings took place during the week (Oct. 12 is a Friday). Prince William and Kate Middleton wed on a Friday in 2011, while Prince Charles and Lady Diana wed on a Wednesday in 1981. When Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip married back in 1947, they opted for a Thursday wedding.
Next: Will the events be bank holidays?
12. Bank holidays
- Neither wedding will likely give the British public a day off work.
Princess Eugenie’s wedding to Brooksbank will not likely be a bank holiday, despite falling on a weekday. Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s May 19 wedding fell on a Saturday and was not marked with a bank holiday.
In contrast, the U.K. celebrated a bank holiday in 2011 for the wedding of Harry’s older brother William to Kate Middleton. The day saw big celebrations and throngs of people lining the streets to witness the couple making their way to Westminster Abbey. The government also declared a bank holiday for the wedding of Prince Charles to Lady Diana Spencer in 1981. If either couple’s wedding day was declared a bank holiday, the estimated cost to the British economy would have been $3 billion in lost productivity.
Next: Will anyone get a new royal title?
13. Royal titles
- Brooksbank and Markle won’t officially become a prince and princess.
Princess Eugenie will keep her royal title of Princess of York when she gets married. She will have the option to take her fiancé’s surname and become “Her Royal Highness The Princess Eugenie, Mrs. Jack Brooksbank.” She could choose to relinquish her royal title on marriage, but this is unlikely. As for Brooksbank, while he won’t become a prince, he could be offered a title from Queen Elizabeth — but it’s uncertain whether this will happen.
As for Meghan Markle, according to a royal expert, she did not become a princess upon marrying Prince Harry, much the same way Kate Middleton isn’t referred to as “Princess Kate.” This is because a commoner can’t become royal through marriage. However, as was speculated, Prince Harry received the title “Duke of Sussex” — making Markle the Duchess of Sussex.
Next: Will Eugenie or Harry ever take the throne?
14. Places in line to the throne
- Prince Harry’s place in line to the throne: 6th
- Princess Eugenie’s place in line to the throne: 9th
Princess Eugenie, a granddaughter of Queen Elizabeth, is currently ninth in line to the throne, following the birth of Prince Louis. As such, Eugenie’s chances of one day sitting on the throne are pretty slim. Prince Harry, on the other hand, is a bit higher up in the order. He’s currently sixth in line to the throne.
If Eugenie or Harry do ever make it to the throne, it would not mean their spouses would be a king or a queen, based on the rule that commoners don’t become royalty through marriage.
Additional reporting by Karen Bennett and Becca Bleznak.
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