A Channel 5 documentary into Princess Eugenie and Beatrice’s lives has made the claim that their parents divorce has had a ‘long-lasting’ impact of them.
Beatrice and Eugenie: Pampered Princesses? which airs this Saturday on Channel 5, takes a look at Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson’s split in 1992 and their subsequent divorce for years later, and how it affected their young daughters Beatrice, now 32, and Eugenie, 30.
Royal author Tom Quinn claimed in the documentary that their parents’ split had subtle but long-lasting repercussions for the princesses, who were then four and two.
The Daily Mail’s Richard Kay also claimed that Sarah Ferguson’s living situation after her separation from Andrew, which saw her renting a number of places after leaving Sunminghill Park, where she used to live with her husband, could have been ‘destabilising’ for her daughters.
The documentary also explored how their parents’ indiscretions have the princesses throughout the years as they tried to move on with their lives.
Tom Quinn claimed Beatrice and Eugenie (pictured in 2019), had ‘very odd’ childhood, with their parents remaining friends, but dating other people after their split
Speaking of the Duke and Duchess of York’s divorce, Tom Quinn, who wrote Kensington Palace, an Intimate Memoir said Beatrice and Eugenie had an unconventional upbringing.
‘Beatrice and Eugenie had a very odd childhood, where their parents were, on the face of it, remained friends but they were seeing other people from quite early on,’ he said.
‘And I think that was quite probably damaging in a subtle but kind of long-lasting way,’ he added.
Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson split in 1992, during the Queen’s ‘Annus Horribilis,’ which led to their official divorce in 1996. They remained amicable after their separation.
Royal commentator Richard Kay said the Duchess of York’s living situation after her split from Prince Andrew must have been ‘destabilising’ for the young girls (pictured: Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferugson with Eugenie and Beatrice in Verbier)
Meanwhile, Richard Kay reflected on Sarah Ferguson’s living situation.
‘At this stage, they were no longer living at Sunninghill, their mother had a rented home not far away,’ he said.
‘She had a series of rented houses in Surrey and Berkshire that she sort of moved to with alarming regularity, which in itself must have been destablising for the girls,’ he added.
The documentary also looked back on how the incident known as ‘toegate,’ which saw pictures of a topless Fergie having her toes kissed by Texan millionaire John Bryan published in the press.
The pictures, which were released as Eugenie and Beatrice where with their father at Balmoral visiting the Queen, are believed to be the reason why Sarah Ferguson was shunned by the royal family.
Ingrid Seward explained in the documentary that Fergie has to go pick up her daughters at Balmoral and apologise to the Queen, whom she had never seen ‘this angry.’
Royal experts claimed the split between Prince Andrew, now 60, and Sarah Ferguson, 61, had a long-lasting effect on their daughters Princess Beatrice, 32 and Princess Eugenie, 30 (pictured: Sarah Ferguson and Prince Andrew at Royal Ascot in 2019)
Royal commentator Wesley Kerr Obe said in the documentary that family affairs became a very difficult time for the sisters.
‘Christmas at Sandringham is a big family occasion and suddenly, Sarah Ferguson was not there,’ he said.
‘That must have been very hard to understand when they were young girls, you know “Why isn’t Mummy allowed in the big house anymore?”,’ he added.
Richard Kay explained the strange set-up Andrew and Fergie had worked out around Christmas day.
‘She was banished to a farm house on the Sandringham estate. The girls obviously spent time with her and slept there,’ he explained.
‘And on Christmas day, Andrew would collect them and take them to church and they’d go back to Sandringham house for lunch with their grandpa and the rest of the royal family.
‘Meanwhile, Fergie was having her Turkey Twizzler, or whatever she was doing all on her own,’ he added.
Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson split in 1992, and officially divorced in 1996. They remained amicable after their separation (pictured in 1986)
After their parents’ divorces, the documentary looked into Eugenie and Beatrice’s lives as young women.
The show claimed that the parents’ indiscretions, which earned them strong criticism in the press, had ‘tarred’ the princesses as well.
‘The whole family are seen as a weak target because the parents part have done so many – mistakes is generous – that inevitably, the daughters are dragged in,’ Tom Quinn said.
‘I think there are times were the girls are being knocked because it’s turned into something of a national sport – particularly when it comes to their fashion sense,’ royal author Kate Nicholls said.
The show referenced the hat by Philip Tracey that Beatrice sported for her cousin Prince William’s wedding to Kate Middleton in 2011, which saw her ridiculed across the globe.
Beatrice and Eugenie: Pampered Princesses? airs on Saturday at 9:15pm on Channel 5.