Here's Why Prince Charles and Prince Andrew Are Feuding Over Princess Eugenie's Wedding
Yes, Meghan and Harry are tied up in the dispute, too.
Planning a wedding often unearths long simmering family feuds and it turns out the British royals are no exception. According to palace insiders, with Princess Eugenie set to marry her longtime boyfriend Jack Brooksbank on October 12 at Windsor Castle, tensions between Eugenie's uncle, Prince Charles and her father, Prince Andrew, have reached the boiling point.
The squabble over the wedding is the latest in a rumored long running rift between the princes that is reportedly rooted in bad feelings harbored by Andrew about the perceived lesser status of his two daughters, Eugenie and Princess Beatrice, compared to the attention and privileges afforded Charles' sons, Princes William and Harry.
"That has always been a bone of contention between Charles and Andrew," said my source. "Eugenie's wedding has brought all of that to the fore."
Some insiders have also speculated that the Queen Elizabeth's surprisingly close relationship with Meghan Markle has also annoyed the Yorks.
As the son of the future king and the much loved Princess Diana, there was never any question that Harry's wedding to Meghan would be a lavish affair that would be televised around the world. Eugenie and Beatrice, although seventh and eighth in line for the throne, are not considering full-time "working royals." They do not receive funds from the Sovereign Grant—the annual cut of profits from the Crown Estate that bankrolls the Royal Household (and which replaced the Civil List in 2011). In fact, in order to pare down the expenses within the Royal Family, both Eugenie and Beatrice lost their 24-hour police protection in 2011 when the annual £500,000 ($800,000) cost was deemed too expensive.
The current estimated cost of Eugenie and Jack's wedding is said to be at £2 million. Initial reports put a £750,000 price tag on the festivities, but increased security measures that are likely to include armed police officers lining the route through Windsor (a truncated version of the one Harry and Meghan took on the way to their reception) have driven up the costs.
It has been reported in several British newspapers that Andrew believes Eugenie's wedding should receive the same level of media attention as Harry's got—with the taxpayer set to pick up the tab.
"The Duke of York feels Princess Eugenie deserves the same kind of lavish wedding that Prince Harry had when he married Meghan Markle," said one insider. "Prince Charles feels it is unnecessarily extravagant."
Charles has long been in favor of making the Royal Family leaner and more cost effective—even though he outspends the Queen, who, by comparison, is said to be far more thrifty.
Eugenie has raised some eyebrows in certain circles for borrowing heavily from Harry and Meghan's wedding playbook by copying many of the same elements including having her wedding at the same chapel (St. George's), inviting members of the public on to the grounds (she did it by lottery), taking a post-wedding carriage ride through Windsor (but a shorter distance) and even inviting the same celebrities (including George Clooney and his wife, human rights attorney Amal Clooney). The private dinner in the evening which will be attended by 400 guests will, however, not be held at Frogmore House as Prince Charles' fete for Harry and Meghan was, but hosted by the Queen and Andrew at his residence, the Royal Lodge in Windsor Great Park.
"It all seems very grand for a lesser royal," sniped one insider. "They've even invited 250 more guests than the Duke and Duchess of Sussex did for their wedding."
All things considered, Eugenie and Jack's wedding will still cost much less than Duke and Duchess of Sussex's ceremony, which came in at around £45 million.
Andrew is also reportedly furious that the BBC has declined to televise Eugenie's wedding. The network aired wall-to-wall coverage of Harry and Meghan's wedding followed by special programming all throughout that evening and the next day. BBC reported turned down the request to broadcast Eugenie and Jack's wedding because the powers that be felt there would not be high enough ratings to justify the high cost of doing so. According the Mail On Sunday, Andrew is now trying to get one of the other British channels to pick up the rights to the ceremony.
The Palace recently announced, "The media arrangements for Princess Eugenie's wedding have not been made public yet. We will do so in the next few weeks."
And for more titillating royals gossip, meet the 10 Royal Families Richer Than the British Royals,
Diane Clehane is a New York-based journalist and author of Imagining Diana and Diana: The Secrets of Her Style.
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