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Opinion: What kind of role should Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie have?

There are currently 23 official members of the British Royal Family who hold royal titles. However, there are only two members out of 23 who don’t have their profiles on the official royal website, and these are Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie.

Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie are daughters of Prince Andrew, Duke of York, The Queen’s second son and as such, they are Princesses of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland with the style of Royal Highness. The York sisters are currently eighth and ninth in the line of succession to the throne of the United Kingdom and other 15 Commonwealth Realms. Other than Princes William and Harry, they are Her Majesty’s only grandchildren to have royal titles.

The Princesses, together with their father, are the first people in the line of succession who are not descendants of the Prince of Wales. The Duke of York is currently eligible to act as Counsellor of State, and there is a chance, even if very remote, that Princess Beatrice can one day be eligible to serve as Counsellor as well.

Counsellors of State are members of the Royal Family who The Queen may appoint to exercise her powers in Her Majesty’s absence, and by law only the monarch’s consort and the first four people in the line of succession who are of age can act as such.

Despite all that, the Princesses rarely get the media’s attention for the right reasons. It’s easy to find photos of Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie exiting London’s clubs after social meetings or to just remember them for the clothes, or more precisely hats, they wore to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s 2011 wedding.

However, they do much more than that. Each of them carries out the occasional charitable engagement with some organisations they are affiliated with, even though they have jobs. They can also be found at receptions held by The Queen at the official royal residences and Buckingham Palace’s Garden Parties every summer.

The Princesses are not, however, working royals. Not being working royals means that their engagements won’t be listed in the Court Circular or receive any publicity on the Royal Family’s social media accounts. So, most of their work goes by unnoticed. For example, Princess Beatrice attended the National Parade of Queen’s Scouts on Sunday, 22 April, an event participated in every year by a different member of the Royal Family and always listed on the Court Circular, but since the royal in attendance this year was Princess Beatrice, her attendance at the event was only disclosed through the Duke of York’s social media accounts.

At a time when the British Monarchy, as an institution, tries to modernise itself, having younger royals representing them would be a great change. Out of 14 working royals in Britain, only three are below the age of 50 and eight are above the age of 65. All of them have obviously done a great work through the decades they have been involved with many charities and represented The Queen at state events, but the public interest in them has fallen.

Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie of York shouldn’t necessarily become full time working royals, but if the work they do, like for instance Princess Eugenie’s work to combat human trafficking, were to receive proper recognition, the public might have a better image of them.

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