When I heard the news that Princess Eugenie was marrying Jack Brooksbank, my immediate reaction was one of “Who?” The name Eugenie vaguely rang a bell and through a combination of guesswork and, ultimately, consultation with Mr Google, I discovered she was the daughter of the well known business ‘envoy’ Prince Andrew and his former wife, the television personality and popular author, Sarah Ferguson. It was a marriage made in apathy. And in the spirit of apathy, the BBC declined to show the non event live on television fearing a ratings disaster. Instead, on 12th October we can expect plenty of “And we’ll be right back after the break when Eugenie should have completed her long walk from the car to the altar”.
Eugenie, it turns out, is only ninth in line to the throne, so unless something highly unfortunate happens, it is unlikely she will ever see the inside of Buckingham Palace, except for family piss ups and to wave at the crowd when someone more important in the royal family gets married. Given her relatively lowly position in the throne rankings, it is hardly a surprise that the BBC elected not to squander a large fortune on what is, essentially, the marriage of a minor royal to a nightclub manager.
Ah, but you may well ask. How come Prince Harry got top billing on the Beeb when he got married to Meghan Markle? After all, he’s only seventh in line to the throne and like Eugenie, his dad’s an absolute twat as well. I think I have the answer here. Millions of people actually like Prince Harry, even people like me who wouldn’t open the curtains if the Queen arrived next door for a cup of tea and a slice of cake. I know there is a bit of showbiz, a lot of nostalgia and public interest on the grounds that Harry’s mum was Princess Diana, who tragically died in 1997 when Harry was but a toddler. That alone has earned him a special place in the hearts of our nation. His national service, his wonderful work with the Invictus Games, for mental health, coming across as a relatively normal kind of bloke and marrying a beautiful and charismatic American woman have endeared him to quite a lot of people. So, what about Eugenie?
It’s not her fault that her dad Prince Andrew is the least charming of the Queen’s children, in what is admittedly a competitive field and it was plainly not her fault that Sarah Ferguson’s Hooray Henrietta image, together with a predilection for sunbathing topless and sucking her boyfriend’s toes (we’ve all done it), is what most people think when they hear her name mentioned. Eugenie carries out the usual royal charity functions but in a far quieter setting, away from a media and public that is largely disinterested.
Apparently, the royals are footing the bill for this marriage although we, the great unwashed, are contributing a trifling £2 million in security costs. I will not add that this is happening at a time when social care is in crisis due to underfunding, over a million people use food banks and levels of homelessness are increasing. That Magic Money tree seems to appear when the royals fancy a beano. Funny that.
I mean, good luck to Jack and Eugenie with their big day. I hope they have the best day of their lives and all that. I am sure I will find something else to do on that day. Anything, actually, to avoid those fateful words, “And now over to (and I am guessing here) Piers Morgan who will present live coverage the royal wedding, sponsored by Bet 365, at Windsor.”