There’s going to be another royal wedding this year! In the latter half of 2018 – a good few months after Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have gotten hitched – Princess Eugenie will wed wine merchant Jack Brooksbank. And as Eugenie is currently eighth in line to the British throne, the October 12 wedding will likely be a lavish affair. Before the big day, though, the Palace has whet our appetites by releasing some cute engagement photos of the young couple.
Princess Eugenie is arguably one of the lesser-known members of the royal family – perhaps because she has never been involved in any major scandals or had any serious feuds with her relatives come to light. Her status is a difficult one, however. Indeed, she and her sister Beatrice are considered almost “spare” princesses – granted wealth and privileges, but still seen by some as being on the periphery of the royal family.
In fact, Eugenie is expected to – gasp! – work for a living. And, to that end, she’s the associate director of the Hauser & Wirth art gallery in London. But Eugenie does have roles as a princess, too. She’s a patron of the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital, for instance, having previously had back surgery there herself. Eugenie, her sister and her mother Sarah Ferguson are also patrons of the Teenage Cancer Trust.
Eugenie and Beatrice’s jobs and finances have reportedly been a point of contention within the Royal Family, though. Prince Andrew, the father of the girls, apparently wants them to be given taxpayer-funded roles of the sort that Princes William and Harry currently enjoy; Andrew’s brother Prince Charles disagrees with this sentiment, however. So, it remains to be seen if the sisters will ever be bumped up to “full-time” royals.
Having said that, though, any such rancor seems to have been put to one side in the wake of Eugenie’s wedding announcement. In fact, news of the upcoming nuptials was greeted largely positively, with the Queen, Prince Philip and U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May among those sending their congratulations to the princess and her new fiancé.
And along with the announcement, which was made on January 22, 2018, came the engagement photos. What’s more, these snaps – like those celebrating Harry and Meghan’s upcoming wedding – seem to be a little less formal than royal engagement photographs of yesteryear. In them, the pair are seen holding hands, looking into each other’s eyes and generally seeming happy and excited.
And Eugenie and Jack’s love story is a sweet one right from the outset. Jack met Eugenie in 2010 while the pair were on separate skiing vacations in Verbier, Switzerland. At that time, the groom-to-be was working as a waiter as, despite having being born into wealth, he had decided not to go to university, instead choosing a career in hospitality. And, by all accounts, the pair liked each other instantly.
Indeed, when Eugenie and Jack gave an interview to the BBC’s The One Show in January 2018, the princess described their meeting as “love at first sight.” She added, “We have the same passions and drive for life. It’s so nice that we get to share this moment with everyone, and you get to meet Jack.”
But while Jack may have started off as a waiter, he certainly isn’t one any longer. He’s since become manager of the London nightclub Mahiki, after which he established his own wine business, Jack Brooksbank Ltd. So, hopefully he should be able to keep Eugenie in the manner to which she is accustomed.
And the engagement ring is nothing to sniff at, either. It’s a pink padparadscha sapphire surrounded by diamonds, which is similar to the one that Prince Andrew gave to Sarah Ferguson back in the 1980s. There have even been reports that Eugenie’s new jewelry is more valuable than the ring that Prince Harry gifted Meghan.
Jack would explain on The One Show, “I found a ring in a jewelers and then proposed to Eugenie without it. And [when we] came back, we designed the diamonds around this padparadscha sapphire.” Then he added, adorably, “And what’s amazing about it is that it changes color from every different angle that you look at it, which is what I think of Eugenie. That she changes color and is just so amazing.”
In that same interview, meanwhile, the couple would reveal the details of the proposal. It turns out that Jack produced the ring when the couple were holidaying in Nicaragua – and while the sun was setting in front of a lake and volcano, no less. “The lake was so beautiful,” Eugenie recalled. “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 seven years.”
Eugenie continued of the proposal, “I was over the moon. [It was a] complete surprise. But it was the perfect moment, we couldn’t be happier.” And her husband-to-be was unsurprisingly in complete agreement with that assessment of their relationship. He revealed, “I love Eugenie so much, and we are just so happy and over the moon for what is to come.”
In addition, Eugenie would mention during the BBC interview that her grandmother, the Queen, had known about the engagement before it was announced. “She was very happy, as was my grandfather,” she said. But happiest of all about the upcoming wedding, it appeared, is Eugenie’s mother. That’s judging by the photos – and the accompanying messages – that Sarah Ferguson would post of the happy couple on Twitter.
One of Ferguson’s photos, for example, was overlaid with the words, “A total embrace of goodness and joy. We love Jack and I am so excited to have a son, a brother and a best friend. Eugenie is one of the finest people I know, and so together it will be pure harmony.” Another snap showed the couple on a boat and was captioned, “They float with laughter and love… although a boat helps!”
Now that the engagement announcement has been made, though, Eugenie and Jack must surely be turning their thoughts to the wedding. Perhaps they’re even considering one thorny issue that has arisen as a result of the news: will Jack receive a royal title of his own?
That decision has been the subject of some conjecture. Indeed, in December 2016, Prince Andrew was even led to release a statement about the matter through Buckingham Palace. This followed multiple reports that he had been fighting with his family about the royal status of his daughters. In particular, the media had alleged that one of the prince’s demands had been for any future sons-in-law to receive royal titles; Andrew would later assert, however, that this particular claim had been “a complete fabrication.”
Nevertheless, some royal commentators have suggested that Jack might possibly be granted an earldom by the Queen. After all, he can claim to share the royal blood of both King Edward III of England and King James II of Scotland. And through the line of the second Earl of Leicester, Jack and Eugenie are actually third cousins once removed.
When the wedding finally takes place, though, it will almost certainly be a quieter affair than Harry and Meghan’s nuptials. After that, the couple are likely to reside in Kensington Palace’s Ivy Cottage in London. And, hopefully, from then on, they’ll enjoy spending the rest of their lives together.