With Princess Eugenie in the news because of her upcoming wedding, it’s time to ask ourselves a serious question: have we been pronouncing her name correctly all this time?
If you’ve been pronouncing it with a hard ‘g’, like YOU-GEE-NEE, then you’ve been saying it wrong. Similarly, if you’ve been saying it like “YOU-JAY-NEE”, you’ve also been saying it wrong.
The newly engaged royal’s name is pronounced with a soft ‘g’ – YOU-JHUN-NEE – and she revealed to The Sun that her mother, Sarah, Duchess of York, gave her a tip on how to correct the pronunciation when she was younger and people struggled with it.
“Whenever we used to meet foreign people who were struggling with it, my mum and I would help them by saying, ‘It’s like Use Your Knees.’”
She then added that when people mispronounce it, it doesn’t bother her. “I am now used to every pronunciation.”
Princess Eugenie’s name comes from Queen Victoria’s granddaughter, Victoria Eugenie of Battenburg, the daughter of her youngest, Princess Beatrice.
Victoria Eugenie later became the Queen of Spain in 1906. The Spanish Royal Family was exiled in 1931, and she died in Switzerland in 1969. From her, the present Spanish Royal Family is descended, and her godchildren include Prince Albert II of Monaco and the former Queen Fabiola of Belgium.
Princess Eugenie’s name is also unique in that she’s the first royal woman to have been given the name Victoria since Mary, Princess Royal, who was the only daughter of King George V and Queen Mary.
Queen Victoria had reportedly ordered that all female descendants bear the name Victoria somewhere in their name, but Princess Eugenie is only the second woman to use it.
Princess Eugenie’s second middle name, Helena, also comes from the Victorian era. It’s the name of one of Queen Victoria’s daughters, Princess Helena.
Princess Eugenie will marry her long-time beau, Jack Brooksbank, on Friday 12 October at St George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle.