What Prince Andrew's Scandal Could Mean For Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie

Beatrice and Eugenie's royal roles could be all but eliminated as a result of the scandal.

Princess Eugenie, Princess Beatrice and Prince Andrew Duke of York at Trooping the Colour at Buckingham Palace in London.
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While Buckingham Palace is in full damage control mode after the announcement that Prince Andrew is "stepping down" from his public duties for the "foreseeable future" as a result of the fallout from his involvement with convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, sources say the prince's daughters, Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie, could see their royal roles all but eliminated as a result of the scandal. "It may be unfair," said one palace insider. "But the long shadow from Prince Andrew's disastrously bad judgment will inevitably fall over Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie. It's all very unfortunate."

Royal biographer Ingrid Seward said on Good Morning Britain today, "We all feel very sorry for Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie." And the BBC's former royal correspondent Peter Hunt wrote in a series of tweets that "Andrew's humiliation is complete," and "Princess Beatrice and Eugenie will now have to focus exclusively on their non-royal day jobs. Their father can no longer champion their part-time royal roles."

Unlike his sister, Princess Anne, Andrew has always pushed for his daughters to be fully recognized as princesses "by blood" and lobbied for more high-profile roles for them within the family. His feelings have been in direct opposition to those of his older brother, Prince Charles, who is reported to favor a more "streamlined" monarchy and is expected to "modernize the system" cutting all but the most senior royals from public duties when he becomes king.

"There is a tremendous amount of jealousy between Andrew and Charles," said my source. "Andrew has long felt that his daughters, granddaughters of the queen, have never gotten their due. Now, with this turn of events, Charles has every reason when he is king to freeze them out even further."

Unlike Prince William and Prince Harry, Beatrice and Eugenie are not "working royals" and do not have the same privileges and protection as their cousins. In 2011, despite fierce opposition from Andrew, the princesses lost their 24-hour police protection after public outcry over the £500,000 annual cost. They now only receive protection during official royal events. Andrew also campaigned for his daughters to become trade ambassadors after graduating from university, but the idea was also vetoed. Currently Beatrice is the vice president of partnerships and strategy at Afiniti, a software company. Eugenie, who once worked in New York City, is a director at the London art gallery, Hauser & Wirth.

While neither Beatrice nor Eugenie receive a salary from the Civil List, they are said to be financially secure. According to The Daily Mail, the princesses are believed to have trust funds, as well as a £1.4 million fund—said to have been set up their mother, Sarah Ferguson, following her divorce from Andrew—and their portion of a reported £18 million fund set up by the Queen Mother for her great-grandchildren.

Last year, I reported on the behind-the-scenes battles between Andrew and Charles when Andrew insisted that Eugenie's wedding to Jack Brooksbank be a grand affair at Windsor Castle on par with Harry's wedding to Meghan Markle. After the BBC declined to televise the wedding, Andrew personally worked to ensure that parts of the day were broadcast and secured a deal with ITV. The slightly scaled down affair drew criticism in the British media over the estimated £2.5 million security bill for the ceremony paid by taxpayers.

Beatrice became engaged to Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi earlier this year and is said to be planning a wedding for some time in 2020. "It will undoubtedly have to be a much more low-key affair than they had originally planned for," said my source.

There is also some concern that the blemish of Andrew's scandal could spill over into his daughters' charity work. While several organizations that had Andrew as their patron have already cut ties with the prince, Beatrice is currently an ambassador for the Street Child charity and works with the English National Ballet School, the Helen Arkell Dyslexia Centre, and The York Theatre Royal. Eugenie has been a longtime supporter of the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital, where she underwent back surgery when she was 12 years old. She is also involved with The European School of Osteopathy, the Tate Young Patrons, and the Big Cat Sanctuary. Additionally, both sisters are patrons of the Teenage Cancer Trust.

Regardless of what the future holds for them, Beatrice and Eugenie remain steadfastly loyal to their father, according to my source. "These girls have seen their mother and father embroiled in many unfortunate public scandals and have always stood by them. This is no different," the insider said. "Andrew may be a flawed man with bad judgment, but he's still their father and they love him." And for happier times for one of these princesses, check out 14 Fascinating Details About Princess Eugenie's Wedding You May Have Missed.

Diane Clehane is a New York-based journalist and author of Imagining Diana and Diana: The Secrets of Her Style.

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