The Real Reason Princess Eugenie Does Not Want a Title for Her Son
"It is a constant source of concern for the entire family," said an insider.
It may seem like a royal title is a gift no one could turn down, but Princess Eugenie and her husband Jack Brooksbank plan to challenge that notion. According to Palace insiders, the new parents, who welcomed their first child on Feb. 9, have decided they will not accept a title for their newborn son if offered one by Queen Elizabeth. "If the Queen does put forward a title for the baby as her gift, Eugenie and Jack are in agreement they won't accept it," a source told Best Life. Their reason for declining? "They want to protect their son from all the royal drama." Read on to find out more about what could come of this, and for another update from behind Palace curtains, check out The One Thing Prince Harry Wants Back From the Royal Family.
Eugenie and Jack's son is 11th in line to the throne.
The new royal baby, whose name has yet to be announced, is the first grandchild of Prince Andrew and Sarah, Duchess of York, and the ninth great grandchild of Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip. He is 11th in line to the throne behind Prince Charles, Prince William and his children Prince George, Princess Charlotte, and Prince Louis, followed by Prince Harry and his son Archie Mountbatten-Windsor, Prince Andrew, Princess Beatrice, and Princess Eugenie. Prince Edward, the Queen's youngest son, slips down to 12th in line as a result of the birth.
Despite the new baby's place in the line of succession, Eugenie and Jack are determined to distance themselves from the drama of recent years and give their son "a normal life," said a friend of the couple's. And for more on other royals trying to keep their children grounded, check out 8 Things Kate and William Have Done to Give Their Kids a "Normal Life."
The scandal surrounding Eugenie's father has "shaken" her and made her more determined to stay "out of the public eye."
The Daily Mail is reporting that a family friend said both Eugenie and her older sister Beatrice "have been shaken by the negative media attention received by their father, Prince Andrew, over the [Jeffrey] Epstein scandal and are keen to keep their own families out of the public eye."
Andrew, who was forced to resign from his senior royal role when his friendship with the convicted sex offender came to light, has waged a decades-long campaign to have his daughters receive the same recognition as their cousins, William and Harry. But all of that was shelved when news of the prince's ties to Epstein broke. Charles, who has been outspoken about a more "slimmed down" monarchy, remains furious at his younger brother for his involvement with Epstein. according to multiple sources. And for more royal news sent right to your inbox, sign up for our daily newsletter.
Princess Eugenie's and Princess Beatrice's roles were already reduced and they are not considered senior royals.
Neither Eugenie nor her sister Beatrice—who married Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi last year and is stepmother to his four-year-old son, Wolfie—is supported by the public purse nor do they receive police protection, unless on select public engagements. It was once believed that Eugenie and Beatrice might have taken on some of the royal duties left behind by Harry and Duchess Meghan, but that proved not to be the case. Instead, William and Duchess Catherine, as well as Edward and Sophie, Countess of Wessex, assumed those royal responsibilities. And for more on the Sussexes, check out The One Thing Meghan and Harry Are Really Looking Forward to in 2021.
Unlike her father, Eugenie has never sought the limelight—and doesn't want it for her son.
It was Andrew who campaigned for Eugenie's 2018 wedding to be televised with the same fanfare as Harry and Meghan's nuptials and when turned down by the BBC, he brokered a deal himself for parts of the wedding to be televised on ITV. Now that the prince has stepped down from his role as a senior role in the wake of the revelations from the Epstein scandal and his disastrous BBC interview that followed, it appears his daughters have convinced him that keeping a low profile is best.
"There is no way Eugenie wants her child drawn into the mess over Andrew's relationship with Epstein," said a royal source. "While it's rarely spoken about, it is a constant source of concern for the entire family."
Another insider revealed, "While Eugenie is an HRH, she knows full well the responsibilities and the burdens that come with a title and does not want that for her son. She and Jack have careers outside the Royal family and try to live their life under the royal radar as much as possible. A title for their son would only help to undermine that."
There is precedent for Baby Brooksbank to forego having a royal title.
Queen Elizabeth is very close to Eugenie and could, if she so chose, bestow the new royal baby with a title as a sign of love and support. Her Majesty has done this before in 2012 when she issued a Letters Patent declaring that all of William and Kate's children would be referred to as prince or princess.
Eugenie and Jack's child won't be a prince or princess, however. Their son will carry his father's surname, Brooksbank, following the Letters Patent issued by King George V in 1917, which limited the title of prince or princess to only "the grandchildren of the sons of any such Sovereign in the direct male line (save for the eldest living son of the eldest son of the Prince of Wales)." And for more on the line of succession, check out Can the Monarchy Survive Without Queen Elizabeth?
Diane Clehane is a New York-based journalist and author of Imagining Diana and Diana: The Secrets of Her Style.