Princess Beatrice and Eugenie: This is the real reason why they are Princesses and not Ladies

The Queen has many grandchildren. One thing you may have noticed is that not all of them have the same titles, but why is that?

Princess Beatrice and Eugenie: This is the real reason why they are Princesses and not Ladies
© Chris Jackson/Getty
Princess Beatrice and Eugenie: This is the real reason why they are Princesses and not Ladies

The Queen has a very large family, she has four children and 8 grandchildren. One thing you may have noticed is that not all of the Queen’s grandchildren have the same titles and there is a specific reason why that is.

Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie

You may have noticed that despite not being working Royals, Beatrice and Eugenie use Princess titles. This is due to a change in the ways things were done.

Before, under the 1917 Letters Patent, which was issued by the Queen’s grandfather, King George V, only the children of the Sovereign, the Sovereign's grandchildren through the monarch's sons, and the eldest son of the eldest son of the Prince of Wales is entitled to a Prince or Princess title in the Royal Family.

Through their father, Beatrice and Eugenie were entitled to the Princess title at birth. Even though they aren’t working Royals, when they were born they were expected to be. However, after a series of scandals in the late 1990s, the York daughters never became working Royals.

According to Royal historian Marlene Koenig:

This has been my view for many, many years. I think if there were no scandals in the 1990s, Charles and Diana, Andrew and Sarah, and to a lesser extent Anne and Mark.
It is possible that say Andrew and Sarah had remained a happily married couple, I do think those girls would be working royals.
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Jack Brooksbank, Princess Eugenie, Princess Beatrice and Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi at Prince Philip's memorial Samir Hussein/Getty

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The Monarchy was slimmed down

In the 90s, there was a group called the Way Ahead Group that was made up of senior royals, advisors and some government officials according to Koenig. Already in the 90s, they were talking about slimming down the Royal Family.

It was decided during that time that Beatrice and Eugenie would not be working Royals and their current titles and their future children’s titles were discussed.

According to Koenig:

There was also talk they would lose their royal titles and be styled as daughters of a Duke - Lady Beatrice and Lady Eugenie. That was vetoed, I think because they were born.

When this decision was made, Prince Edward married Sophie Rhys-Jones. Along with the new reform, the Earl of Wessex and his wife decided they wouldn’t give their children Louise and James Princess and Prince titles and let them choose once they turn 18.

This means that Prince Edward’s children are known as Lady Louise and James, Viscount Severn. Lady Louise is now 18 and can now choose if she would like to become Princess Louise.

Princess Beatrice welcomes a baby girl into the royal family Princess Beatrice welcomes a baby girl into the royal family