Buckingham Palace has announced the engagement of Princess Eugenie to socialite Jack Brooksbank, her boyfriend of six years. The couple met while skiing in the Swiss Alps. Eugenie, 27, is the younger daughter of Sarah Ferguson and Prince Andrew. The royal family made the big announcement Jan. 22, 2018 after the couple got engaged in Nicaragua earlier in the month. A Buckingham Palace spokesman said Princess Eugenie’s grandparents, Queen Elizabeth and the Duke of Edinburgh, were “very pleased and wish the couple all the best.”
With two eagerly-anticipated royal weddings coming up so soon – and so close together – many comparisons can be made between the two events as far as prices, outfits, ceremonies, holidays, royal titles, and more. Read on to see how the wedding of Princess Eugenie to Jack Brooksbank stacks up to that of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.
1. 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
2. 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
3. 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
4. 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. Kensington Palace announced that Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s wedding will take 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. 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?
5. Bank holidays
- Neither wedding will likely give the British public a day off work.
Although an official date has not yet been announced, Princess Eugenie’s wedding to Brooksbank will not likely be a bank holiday. Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s May 19 wedding falls on a Saturday and officially will not be 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 is 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?
6. 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 wouldn’t 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, it is speculated Prince Harry would receive the title “Duke of Sussex” – in which case Markle could become Duchess of Sussex.
Next: Will Eugenie or Harry ever take the throne?
7. Places in line to the throne
- Prince Harry’s place in line to the throne: 5th
- Princess Eugenie’s place in line to the throne: 8th
Princess Eugenie, granddaughter of Queen Elizabeth, is currently eighth in line to the throne – but she will move down to ninth after the spring birth of William and Kate’s third baby. 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 fifth in line to the throne, but will move down to sixth after the birth of William and Kate’s third child.
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.
Next: Who will have official royal duties?
8. Royal duties
- Princess Eugenie does not carry out official royal public duties.
- Prince Harry represents the queen at charitable events.
While Princess Eugenie does not carry out royal public duties and receives no allowance from the Privy Purse, she has attended public engagements connected with charities supported by her mother, Sarah Ferguson. These include Teenage Cancer Trust, Children in Crisis, and Elephant Family. She became involved with the fight to stop human trafficking after a visit to India with her mother. There, they met with young women who had escaped from sex slavery and were learning trades and other ways to support themselves. We’ll likely see the princess and her new husband continuing to support charitable causes once they are married, although they won’t officially represent The Crown.
Prince Harry, on the other hand, spends his time supporting charitable activities publicly, in support of the queen. Causes he has championed include supporting servicemen transitioning back to civilian life, as well as supporting wounded and sick servicemen and women. He has also supported AIDS charities and research. Soon after becoming engaged, he and Meghan Markle visited a youth project and a World AIDS Day Charity fair in England. Given both Harry’s and Meghan’s penchant for charitable work, we’ll likely see many more such appearances from the couple.
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