Yet following the revelations concerning the Duke’s relationship with convicted paedophile Jeffrey Epstein – and his 2019 Newsnight interview – it is not known whether the Queen’s second, and some say favourite, son will ever resume royal duties, let alone his daughters. With both having recently married, however, after carving out careers of their own, there is a growing sense that both Eugenie and Beatrice are happy being out of the limelight.
Indeed, it wasn’t just because of coronavirus that Beatrice’s wedding to Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi last July ended up being a very low-key affair. There was also a desire to avoid any negative publicity from appearing to either splash the cash during a pandemic – or use it as an opportunity to attempt to rehabilitate Prince Andrew’s image. As such, both he and his ex-wife Sarah Ferguson, 61, were airbrushed from the official wedding photographs, which instead featured the happy couple outside the Royal Chapel of All Saints with the Queen, 94, and Duke of Edinburgh, 99.
The postponed nuptials came after Eugenie’s wedding to Jack at Windsor Castle in October 2018 attracted some criticism for featuring a carriage procession – seen as ostentatious by some.
Like Harry and Meghan’s wedding at the same venue five months earlier, the guest list was unexpectedly star-studded, including the likes of Naomi Campbell, Demi Moore, Liv Tyler, Robbie Williams, Stephen Fry, Kate Moss and James Blunt. Many could be forgiven for wondering how Eugenie and Jack, a former Stowe schoolboy and nightclub manager, had managed to amass such a celebrity circle. As the company’s PR firm was at pains to point out this week, he now works for a drinks company co-founded by George Clooney and Cindy Crawford’s husband Rande Gerber, which was sold for a rumoured $1 billion in 2017.
With Thames Valley Police handling the security for the big day, it is thought the cost to the taxpayer of the wedding was in the region of £2 million. A petition launched by Republic, the anti-monarchy campaign group, demanding public funding be withdrawn attracted around 50,000 signatures.
As royal author Phil Dampier points out: “Eugenie did have quite a lavish wedding, therefore the public are probably entitled to see proper pictures of her baby rather than an Instagram image of his fingers. It’s a difficult balance to strike when you have a royal couple seeking publicity on one hand, but privacy on the other.”
Ingrid Seward, editor-in-chief of Majesty magazine, takes a different view. “Eugenie’s had a really privileged life, she’s never, ever had to rough it. Exotic holidays, living in palaces – you name it. But I don’t necessarily think she is consciously backing away from royal tradition; I think it’s just the era that she’s in. The younger generation of royals does want to do things on social media. It’s arguably easier to control the narrative that way.”
The move also prevents any embarrassment caused by having to involve the Duke and Duchess of York in any imagery.
As Seward adds: “Maybe it’s just easier that they do it this way. She doesn’t want to embarrass their father. But, traditionally, there are rarely photographs of royal newborns with their grandparents. That comes when the official christening photographs are taken. Family never really get involved at this stage.
“Although there was a photograph of Archie with Meghan’s mother Doria, the Queen and Prince Philip, that was quite a rare thing.”
— to www.telegraph.co.uk