Eugenie and her husband Jack Brooksbank have confirmed they are expecting a baby in early 2021. Buckingham Palace released the news on their behalf this morning, with the couple said to be “very pleased”. A post from the Royal Family’s account on Twitter confirmed the news and added the Queen and husband Duke of Edinburgh are “delighted”.
Meanwhile, Princess Eugenie teased a photo on her Instagram account of two tiny, furry slippers, and wrote: “Jack and I are so excited for early 2021.”
Eugenie and Jack wedded just under two years ago.
She is tenth in line to the throne.
Despite her royal prestige – a granddaughter of the Queen – Eugenie’s children will arrive into the world as commoners.
Carolyn Harris, royal author and historian, explained the reason was due to Jack’s commoner status.
She told Town & Country in 2018: “Princess Eugenie’s children will not have titles unless the Queen decides to bestow an earldom on Jack Brooksbank.”
There has been no known consideration of Jack receiving an earldom, so he will therefore likely remain as a commoner, as will his children.
In the UK, titles pass down through the male line.
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Thus, if a child’s father doesn’t have a title, neither will the child.
This is despite the child’s mother being a Princess.
The protocol is steeped in history, according to royal expert Marlene Koeing.
She told Harper’s Bazaar shortly before Eugenie’s 2018 wedding how the rules can be found in the policy of King George V.
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She explained: “In 1917, King George V issued a Letters Patent that limited who was royal and who was not, limiting the number of generations of His/Her Royal Highness and the title Prince or Princess.
“Children of the sovereign and grandchildren of the sovereign in the male line are HRH and Prince or Princess of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.”
Eugenie’s children could still technically have a title bestowed upon them.
This is if the Queen decides to offer her and Jack’s child a title.
However, the married couple do not have to accept should they wish their son or daughter to maintain an element of anonymity.
The children of the Queen’s only daughter, Princess Anne, do not have titles, as Anne and her ex-husband, Captain Mark Phillips, rejected the Queen’s offer to give their children titles.
Their children are therefore Mark Phillips and Zara Phillips (now Zara Tindall).
Additionally, Prince Edward, the Queen’s youngest child, wanted his children to be styled as the children of an earl, rather than as Prince or Princess.
Their child will take Jack’s second name.