The Truth About Princess Eugenie's Marriage

While you might know all about Prince Harry and his wife, Meghan Markle, and Prince William and wife Kate Middleton, some of Queen Elizabeth's other grandchildren live quieter lives. Princess Eugenie and her husband, Jack Brooksbank, don't carry out any royal duties, per Express, and are often out of the spotlight, but they have a beautiful love story.

They first met through friends while on a trip when Eugenie was in her early 20s, and over the years, the pair have made it work. Despite Eugenie still being at college when they first started dating, while Brooksbank was already working, their relationship remained strong. They stayed together even when she lived in New York for two years (via Daily Mail).

He proved a hit with other members of the royal family, as per People, and the pair got engaged in January 2018, with a wedding later that same year. But just how much do you know about the royal couple? Here's what to know about Princess Eugenie's marriage.

Princess Eugenie and Jack Brooksbank have had different career paths

Princess Eugenie is the second daughter of Prince Andrew, Duke of York, and Sarah Ferguson, making her 12th in line to the throne, while her older sister, Princess Beatrice, is 10th in line (via Two years after Eugenie was born, her parents separated and then divorced in 1996, though the family has stayed close.

When she met her husband, Jack Brooksbank, she was studying art history and English literature at Newcastle University, per Hello! magazine. She graduated in 2012 and went on to work for online auction firm Paddle8, as noted by Harper's Bazaar. Two years later, she moved back to London and now holds down a job as a director at the Hauser & Wirth art gallery.

Brooksbank comes from a different background. He grew up in London with dad George, a chartered accountant, mum Nicola, and brother Thomas. After attending Stowe School in Buckingham, he decided not to go to college, instead working in bars and restaurants (via The Telegraph). He later became a brand ambassador for Casamigos tequila, a drinks company co-founded by George Clooney, but he reportedly took on a role at his father's accountancy firm in the summer of 2021, just months before his father died (via Daily Mail).

They met on holiday and quickly made an impression on each other

Princess Eugenie and Jack Brooksbank first met during a skiing holiday, when she was 20 and he was 24. In an interview with "This Morning" before their wedding, Brooksbank said, "We were skiing at a friend's place out in Switzerland, and I saw you first. And we just stared at each other." In response, Eugenie said she noticed his "silly hat" as he came over to shake his hand. She added, "I was all butterflies and nervous." 

She said the first sign that he might be the one came later that night when she called her mom, Sarah Ferguson, to tell her about him. She said, "I remember being like, 'I really, really like this guy and I really want him to like me too.'"

In a previous interview with BBC's "The One Show" after they got engaged, Eugenie said they realized they share "the same passions and drive for life," and Brooksbank described it as "love at first sight."

It wasn't long before they went public with their romance

The year after they met, Eugenie and Jack Brooksbank were spotted in public together for the first time at horse racing event Royal Ascot in 2011. At the time, she was still at university and Brooksbank was working as a waiter. As her grandparents, the queen and the Duke of Edinburgh, moved past in their horse-drawn carriage, Eugenie was snapped curtsying and waving, while Brooksbank removed his top hat and bowed. Later in the day, Eugenie was spotted whispering in Brookbank's ear, as noted by the Daily Mail.

A year later, they were photographed on the red carpet at the U.K. premiere of Batman movie "The Dark Knight Rises," alongside Eugenie's cousin Prince Harry, according to Hello! magazine. Eugenie wore a casual dress and black jacket, while Brooksbank wore a suit without a tie, showing their more laidback side.

They were in a long-distance relationship for two years

Three years after they met, Princess Eugenie and Jack Brooksbank were forced to go long-distance after she got a job in New York and he chose to stay in London. Eugenie followed her dream of working in the art world after securing a role at auction house Paddle8, based in Little Italy. At the time, Brooksbank was working at glamorous London nightclub Mahiki in Mayfair, according to the Daily Mail. He told the publication that they were still finding ways to connect despite being 3,500 miles apart, saying, "We spend a lot of time on Skype. It's great. We are still very much together."

Two years later, Eugenie moved back to London, and the pair were able to spend more time together. In an interview with Harper's Bazaar, she said he is often the first person she speaks to every day before work and said they love watching "The Walking Dead" together.

The proposal was incredibly romantic

After seven years together, Princess Eugenie and Jack Brooksbank got engaged in January 2018 near a volcano during a Nicaraguan sunset. The moment took Eugenie by "complete surprise," as per the BBC, but she was delighted to say yes. "The lake was so beautiful. The light was just a special light I had never seen," she said in the interview. "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 ... It was the perfect moment, we couldn't be happier."

During the same interview, Brooksbank said he chose a ring he liked but, wanting Eugenie's input for the final design, he proposed without it. Instead he waited until they returned to add diamonds around a pink-orange padparadscha sapphire. After telling their parents, siblings, and Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip, they announced their plans to marry on January 22, 2018.

They are actually third cousins once removed

After news of Princess Eugenie and Jack Brooksbank's engagement broke, people were quick to work out that the two are actually distantly related to each other. With 19th-century aristocrat Thomas William Coke, the 2nd Earl of Leicester, in common, they are third cousins once removed, according to Insider. Through his first marriage, Coke is Eugenie's mother's great-great-great-grandfather, but Coke is also Jack Brooksbank's great-great-grandfather, through his second marriage.

It is not uncommon for the royal family to marry people to whom they have some relation, especially as they tend to socialize within aristocratic circles and, historically, marrying outside the nobility was frowned upon. Queen Elizabeth II and her late husband, Prince Philip, were even more closely related — they were third cousins and both directly related to Queen Victoria (via Independent). 

Although other recent royal marriages, like Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's union, have broken this expectation, Jack Brooksbank has some family links to the aristocracy.

Jack Brooksbank's in-laws like him

After the announcement of their engagement, Prince Andrew, the Duke of York, and Sarah Ferguson released statements to celebrate their daughter's news, giving a little insight into what they both thought of Jack Brooksbank. Posting on Twitter, Fergie said, "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." Prince Andrew said at the time (via The Guardian), "Jack is an absolutely outstanding young man and Eugenie and he have got to know each other over a number of years, and I'm really thrilled for them." He later added, "I'm just completely overjoyed for them and wish them every happiness."

Brooksbank is believed to have connected with the queen in 2016 during a weekend at Balmoral Castle, as per Express, and Eugenie told the BBC that her grandparents were "very happy" when they revealed they were engaged.

They were a little nervous ahead of their big day

With less than a year between their engagement and their wedding day, the pair had to plan quickly. Princess Eugenie told BBC's "The One Show" they were going to start planning the day after the engagement was announced. 

Despite the quick turnaround, they wanted to ensure the wedding reflected their values and interests. Jack Brooksbank told the Daily Mail that he was in charge of the drinks and would be serving Casamigos, the tequila brand for which he is a brand ambassador. After working with eco charity Project Zero, Eugenie told Vogue, "It's been eye-opening. My whole house is anti-plastic now — and Jack and I want our wedding to be like that as well."

Although there was a lot to plan, Eugenie's sister, Princess Beatrice, told Vogue that the bride-to-be was pretty laidback. "Euge is amazing," Beatrice said. "She's a very modern bride." Eugenie agreed that she was able to put things into perspective. She said, "I'm not stressed at all. It's nerve-wracking because you want it to be perfect but then you realize that you're going to be with the person you love forever and nothing else really matters." 

Days before the wedding, in an interview with "This Morning," Eugenie said the nerves were "creeping up," but both Eugenie and Brooksbank were sure about their marriage.

They enjoyed a beautiful wedding day

Princess Eugenie and Jack Brooksbank married on October 12, 2018, in St. George's Chapel at Windsor Castle — the same venue where Prince Harry and Meghan Markle wed. And the couple's wedding was watched by 800 guests, according to the Independent. Eugenie wore the Greville Emerald Kokoshnik Tiara that she borrowed from her grandmother and a dress by designers Peter Pilotto and Christopher De Vos with a low back, revealing scars she has from surgery for scoliosis (via Daily Mail). Princess Eugenie later explained, as shared by, "I had always wanted a low back, part of it was showing my scar. I believe scars tell a story about your past and your future and it's a way of getting rid of a taboo."

The grand ceremony was followed by a star-studded reception at Prince Andrew's home, the Royal Lodge, with guests including Demi Moore, Ayda Field, and Robbie Williams (​​via Hello!). The bride changed into another gown for the evening, designed by Zac Posen. The blush silk chiffon dress included a White Rose of York embroidered on the cape, per

After the wedding, Eugenie posted on Instagram, "Jack and I would like to thank everyone who was involved in making our day so special and for all the wonderful wishes as we start married life laughing together."

Their first baby, a boy named August, arrived in February 2021

In September 2020, Princess Eugenie announced the news that she and husband Jack Brooksbank were expecting their first child. On Instagram, she posted a picture of two tiny ​​bear slippers with the caption, "Jack and I are so excited for early 2021." A statement from Buckingham Palace, as per The Guardian, said, "Her Royal Highness Princess Eugenie and Mr. Jack Brooksbank are very pleased to announce that they are expecting a baby in early 2021. The Duke of York and Sarah, Duchess of York, Mr. and Mrs. George Brooksbank, The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh are delighted with the news." 

The couple welcomed their son, August Philip Hawke Brooksbank — ​​born at 8:55 GMT on February 9, 2021 — at the London's Portland Hospital. He weighed 8 lbs, 1 oz (via BBC). Posting on Instagram, Eugenie said their hearts are "full of love for this little human," and she thanked the hospital employees who had treated her for their care. 

August comes from Augustus, which was the middle name of the baby's great-great-great-great-great-grandfather Prince Albert, Queen Victoria's consort. Philip was, of course, the name of August's great-grandfather, the Duke of Edinburgh, and Hawke is from Edward Hawke, who was Brooksbank's great-great-great-great-grandfather, according to The Telegraph

They reportedly want their son to have an 'ordinary life'

As baby August, who turned 1 in 2022, is descended from royalty through the female line, he is not entitled to a title unless the queen decides to give one as a gift, but a family friend told Vanity Fair that's not what Princess Eugenie and Jack Brooksbank want. The friend said, "Even if the Queen offered them a title as a gift, it's not Eugenie or Jack's desire for their child to have a title. Eugenie knows that a title can be a curse as well as a blessing and she and Jack want their child to live an ordinary life and eventually work to earn a living. Titles really don't matter to Jack and Eugenie, they just want a happy healthy child." 

Although August will be slightly more removed from royal life, Eugenie still has big dreams for him. In an interview with "Finding Solutions" on CNBC, Eugenie said, "I think my child hopefully will be one of those people who will continue to see the world as a place that can be changed."

The new family is believed to be living in Frogmore Cottage in Windsor. Notably, the property was previously home to the Duke and Duchess of Sussex (via Daily Mail).