Celebrity Then And Now
Posted by Jake Frost
Celebrity Then And Now
Publication: Stanton Daily. Posted by Jake Frost
March 23, 1190
Currently Known For:
Princess of York
Member of the British royal family
“Whenever Granny walks into a room, everyone stands up, stops, and just kind of watches her because, obviously, it’s huge when she walks into a room. And I find that incredible. I kind of go, ‘Ah.’” The sixth grandchild of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, Eugenie Victoria Helena was born on March 23, 1990 to Prince Andrew, Duke of York, and Sarah, Duchess of York. Officially named seven days after her birth, she was the first royal baby to have a public christening and was baptized on December 23, 1990 at St. Mary Magdalene Church in Sandringham.
Raised alongside her older sister, Beatrice Elizabeth Mary, Eugenie enjoyed a normal childhood despite her parents divorcing when she was six years old. Although the divorce caught widespread media attention, Prince Andrew and Sarah vowed to keep things amicable and agreed to joint custody of their daughters. This meant Eugenie and Beatrice enjoyed the best of both worlds as they frequently traveled with their parents, ultimately leading Eugenie to describe her parents as “the best divorced couple” she knew. Living up to the praise, Sarah and Prince Andrew were both by Eugenie’s bedside in 2002 when, at 12 years old, she underwent back surgery to correct her scoliosis.
“When I was 12, I had an operation at the Royal National Orthopedic Hospital, and they corrected the curving in my spine,” Eugenie said. “I’ve got two 12-inch rods and eight screws going up my back keeping me straight, and they fuse together with my spine, so now I can’t really live without them.”
Making a full recovery, Eugenie returned to St. George’s School near Windsor Castle until 2003 when she enrolled at Marlborough College in Wiltshire. With a strong interest in art, she pursued her degree but quickly realized she didn’t want to be an artist. “Doing art at Marlborough where I went to school was really quite tough,” she said, “and I knew that it wasn’t the direction I wanted to go. I’d rather show art and give people the joy of seeing it.” To reevaluate her interests, Eugenie took a gap year and returned to Newcastle University in 2009 where she studied art history, English literature, and politics. In 2012, she earned her degree in English literature and art history.
After graduation, Eugenie moved to New York City where she worked as a benefit auctions manager for the online auction firm, Paddle8. However, after two years, Eugenie returned to London in July 2015 where she took a job as an associate art gallery director with the Hauser & Wirth gallery. Still in the role today, Eugenie has a few different priorities as she plans a royal wedding for October 2018 to Jack Brooksbank. So, what’s the couple’s love story and the details behind their royal engagement?
Eugenie and Jack first met in 2011 when the Princess was on a skiing trip with friends in Verbier, Switzerland. At the time, Jack had taken time off from his job managing the London nightclub Mahiki to work in Switzerland when his friends introduced him to Eugenie. From that moment, it was love at first sight for both of them as Eugenie told People magazine. “We met when I was 20, he was 24,” she said. “We fell in love. We have the same passions and drive for life.” So, who exactly is Jack Brooksbank?
One of two sons born to an accountant and company director, Jack attended the private Stowe school in Buckinghamshire, England but skipped university to enter a career in hospitality. He quickly landed a management position with the popular London nightclub Mahiki and worked briefly in Switzerland before returning to London to accept a position as the United Kingdom ambassador for George Clooney and Rande Gerber’s tequila brand, Casamigos. As for his dream career, he hopes to one day open a chain of hostelries saying, “I have fond memories of Sunday roasts in pubs with log fires, and it’s something I want to recreate.”
Jack and Eugenie have been dating steadily over the last seven years and, as a result, they each have close ties with their families—Jack with the Royal Family and Eugenie with the Brooksbanks. “They’re really wonderful people,” Eugenie said of Jack’s parents and his brother, Thomas. “Seven years, you get to know people pretty well. They’re already sort of parents and brother.” For Jack, joining the Royal Family is especially meaningful and led him to ask Prince Andrew for his blessing prior to popping the big question. Luckily, Prince Andrew and Sarah were both on board and happily gave their consent.
“Jack is an absolutely outstanding young man and Eugenie and he have got to know each other over a number of years, and I’m really thrilled for them. I’m just completely overjoyed for them and wish them every happiness,” Prince Andrew said. “We love Jack and I am so excited to have a son,” Sarah said as she shared her enthusiasm on Twitter. Believe it or not, even Eugenie’s grandmother, Queen Elizabeth, knew of the engagement before her granddaughter! “Granny actually knew right at the beginning. She was very happy as was my grandfather,” Eugenie told People magazine.
How exactly did Jack propose? Jack popped the question at sunset next to a lake in Nicaragua in January 2018. Ironically, he proposed without a ring and later explained that he picked out a pink sapphire stone but “didn’t want to do anything until Eugenie had signed off on it.” Although the couple had been together for seven years, the proposal still came as a shock to Eugenie who said, “I was over the moon. It was a complete surprise. But, it was the perfect moment. We couldn’t be happier! The lake was so beautiful. The light was just a special light I had never seen. I actually said, ‘This is an incredible moment,’ and then he popped the question, which was really surprising even though we have been together for seven years.”
Doing their best to keep the news secret until the couple had enough time to share the excitement with their family, they returned to the United Kingdom and designed Eugenie’s engagement ring together. The official announcement came on January 22, 2018 with the wedding scheduled for October 12, 2018 at St. George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle, the same chapel where Prince Charles and Camilla Parker-Bowles’ marriage was blessed after their civil ceremony.
Happily planning her upcoming nuptials, the 28-year-old Eugenie continues to work as a director at the Hauser & Wirth art gallery while doing more in the public spotlight and pursuing her passion for helping others with similar spinal conditions. Over the last few years, she’s worked with the Hospital’s Redevelopment Appeal and the Royal National Orthopedic Hospital. In 2017, she joined her mother at the second anniversary of the Teenage Cancer Trust unit at Alder Hey Children’s Hospital but is the first to admit that she’s not your typical princess, unlike her sister, Beatrice. “How do I play the princess thing? I don’t, really,” she admits. “I don’t like talking about it much and find it annoying when people say things like, ‘Oh, you’re the princess.’ One of my best friends jokingly says, ‘Hi, Princess,’ and I say, ‘Shut up.’ It is one of the things that bugs me most in the world.”
Redefining what it means to be a princess and making her life more accessible to the public through her job at the gallery, Eugenie wouldn’t have it any other way. “I’ve loved art since I was very little,” she says. “I knew I definitely wouldn’t be a painter, but I knew this was the industry for me. I love being able to share my passion for art with people.” Beyond her work at the gallery, Eugenie stays involved in various charities and makes plenty of public appearances alongside her sister as co-patrons of the Teenage Cancer Trust. Eugenie herself has taken on roles as the Patron of the Coronet Theater, the European School of Osteopathy, and the Elephant Family. She’s also recently moved into the three-bedroom Ivy Cottage apartment on the grounds of Kensington Palace where she’s neighbors with her cousins, Prince Harry and Prince William. Once Prince Harry ties the knot with Meghan Markle in May 2018 and Princess Eugenie weds Jack in October 2018, Kensington Palace will be complete with young royals looking to redefine what it means to be royalty!