To kick off the year, The Duke of York opened up Millbank Academy Library in London. Before opening the library, Andrew met headteacher and students to talk about the new addition to their school.
By the end of the month, the world would find out that Princess Eugenie would wed her longtime boyfriend, Jack Brooksbank. Their entire family was elated for the couple. It was later announced they would marry at Windsor Castle in October. Following the news of their wedding, the newly engaged pair sat down for an interview and released a few photos to the public.
The Duke of York turned 58 on 19 February and had many warm wishes on social media. Also, Sarah, Duchess of York sent out a sweet message and a photo of a young Andrew. Fergie took some time to visit a refugee camp in Bangladesh, where her team delivered life-saving treatments. Later in the month, she tried to raise awareness for inherited heart disease. As an ambassador of the British Heart Foundation, Sarah and Beatrice went to a gala in support of the foundation. It was a fun night that raised money in support of the Miles Frost Fund.
This month saw Eugenie become an official Instagram member, which was celebrated by her mother. Since joining, she has shared intimate moments, and most recently some from her wedding to Jack Brooksbank. Eugenie and her older sibling, Princess Beatrice attended WE Day, which aims to support young children. During her speech, Eugenie thanked her sister for being there as she battled scoliosis, and remembered how she told her to live fearlessly.
The Queen recently appointed the Duke of York as Colonel of the Grenadier Guards. Andrew took over the appointment from the Duke of Edinburgh who held the role since 1975. The guards were formed in Flanders by King Charles II and have served ten kings and four queens. During the 18th century, the Grenadier Guards were involved in the War of Spanish Succession, the War of Austrian Succession and the Seven Years’ War.
In his capacity as Colonel in Chief, The Yorkshire Regiment, Prince Andrew was present at Medals Parade for the 2nd Battalion, Yorkshire Regiment at Richmond Castle. The Prince awarded soldiers from Catterick Garrison in North Yorkshire with Operational Service Medals at Richmond Castle. Soldiers in the 2nd battalion have served in Afghanistan and Iraq, making this visit quite special.
Princess Beatrice attended the National Review of The Queen’s Scouts at Windsor Castle, where she was joined by Bear Grylls, who is The Scout Association’s Chief Scout. The event is held annually, and scout from all over the commonwealth take part. In previous years, The Duchess of Cambridge and The Prince of Wales have taken part in the big day. Sarah, Duchess of York took to social media to praise her daughter for her work.
The Duke of York, Colonel, The Grenadier Guards attended The Grenadier Guards Regimental Remembrance Day on 20 May 2018. After reading a lesson at the memorial service, he laid a wreath before meeting with bereaved families. Later that week in Liverpool, as patron of the Royal College of Ophthalmologists, Andrew attended the 30 Annual General Meeting to speak about the value of eye doctors. Earlier in the month, The Duke of York was made an honorary member at Cambridge University, where he had the opportunity to meet with students.
Royal Ascot brought to York family together and saw Fergie ushered back into the fold. Fergie has attended The Queen’s favourite event for the past four years, but this year she sat in the royal box. After curtsying to The Queen, the family was seen chatting. Though divorced for 22 years, the couple has remained close, which was demonstrated when Fergie adjusted Andrew’s lapel during a conversation.
June wouldn’t be complete with the York family’s attendance at the Trooping of the Colour, which celebrates Her Majesty’s birthday. Although her official birthday is 21 April, the country celebrates it in June in the form of a parade. Princess Eugenie sat with the Countess of Wessex during the procession, while The Duke of York, Colonel, Grenadier Guards, rode during the Trooping the Colour. Prince Andrew was also front and centre as he flanked The Queen’s right side during the balcony appearance.
Both York sisters attended a conference in New York City about ending slavery, which was hosted by Eugenie. Beatrice was on hand to support her sister and her work as the director of the Anti-Slavery Collective. Sarah, Duchess of York later spoke out about around she was of her daughters for speaking out against modern day slavery. During the conference, she spoke candidly saying, “You may choose to look the other way but you can never say again that you did not know.”
The York family later gather with the rest of the royals to attend the RAF 100 celebrations at Buckingham Palace. Four generations have served in the RAF, making this an important celebration. The Queen gave her annual speech, which she recounted her father’s experience with the Air Force. Later, the Duke of York attended a reception for RAF veterans, service personnel and their families.
To mark Princess Beatrice’s 30th birthday, the family’s official media accounts shared thirty photos of The Queen’s grandchild. The pictures were captioned, “Wishing Princess Beatrice a very Happy 30th Birthday! To mark the occasion we’ve put together #30at30 photos of HRH.” Some of the photos were never before seen shots, even a few were of a young Beatrice. Younger sister Eugenie also shared a candid photo of her sister in celebration of her birthday.
Though their Vogue article didn’t get released until September, both Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie sat down for the interview in June. Vogue correspondent interviewed them at the Royal Lodge in Windsor. Both women were dressed just as anyone else on a Sunday morning, and describe themselves as quite normal.
During the interview, Eugenie mentions the dedication of The Queen, and how she’s the ultimate role model. She further continues by saying, “She’s been on the throne 65 years. The dedication that she and our grandfather have put towards this country is incredible.” It’s this dedication that helps them travel through the unknown. There are no other people like them, which is why they are so close. They are two princesses trying to work, lead normal lives, and still find their way without any real protocol.
The Duke of York had many engagements in September, which involved his Pitch@Palace foundation and a royal visit to Hungary. Upon his arrival to Hungary, Andrew open the International Civil Engineering 200 conference. He later commented that, “Engineering is possibly the most important industrial activity that we have on this planet, and every single thing that we interact with today has been engineered in some way or another.”
The month of October was quite a busy time for the York family. Behind the scenes, preparations for Eugenie’s wedding had been underway for months, but on 12 October, the world watched as she married Jack Brooksbank in St George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle just as The Duke and Duchess of Sussex had done in May.
Princess Eugenie walked down the aisle in Peter Pilotto and Christopher De Vos. For this wedding dress, Eugenie asked that it have a low back, which showed off her scar from her scoliosis surgery at age 12. Photos would later be released showing the bride in a beautifully cut Zac Posen dress worn for the couples reception. One fabulous moment that demonstrated how close Beatrice and Eugenie are, came when Princess Beatrice read a passage from F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby.
In the months leading up to the wedding, Fergie became more prominent in the royal circle, but her debut at her daughter’s wedding was beyond spectacular. It was great to see her back in action.
In November, Princess Beatrice took centre stage during the 2018 Web Summit panel in Lisbon, Portugal, where she talked about how social media can be used for philanthropy. Also, she highlighted cyber-bullying, and reminded listeners that “you’re not alone.” Beatrice later continue by saying, “You’d like to say don’t pay attention to it [online bullying]… but the best advice is to talk about it. Being a young girl, but now being 30 and a woman working full-time in technology, I feel very grateful for those experiences. But at that time it was very challenging.”
Prince Andrew kept busy on a work trip to Australia where he oversaw Pitch@Palace, which he successfully launched Down Under in 2017. Pitch@Palace was founded in 2014 and aims to accelerate the work of entrepenuaers. As Vice Admiral of the Royal Navy, Prince Andrew stopped in at HMAS Stirling on an Australian Naval base on Garden Island. While there, he also took a tour of the Submarine Training and Support Centre, and later met with personal deployed on HMAS Rankin.
The Duke of York always maintains a busy schedule, and December was no exception. Prince Andrew started off the month in Ho Chi Minh, where he strengthened bilateral ties between Vietnam and the United Kingdom. This trip was a significant milestone, since it’s the 45th anniversary of their diplomatic ties. Later in the month, Andrew had an engagement with The Queen at the Lincoln Inn, where they both signed the “Golden Book’. The significance of this book dates back to Charles II, and has been signed by every royal visitor since then.
As an ambassador of We Are Project Zero, Princess Eugenie attended an event this month that aimed to bring awareness to the use of plastic and its affects on marine life. She looked gorgeous as she stood in front of a float with the hashtag, #PassOnPlastic.
Princess Eugenie also had a first this holiday season, when she and husband Jack Brooksbank spent their first Christmas together at Sandringham with The Queen. Every year both Princesses Eugenie and Beatrice spend Christmas Day with their father’s side of the family. Their mother, Sarah, Duchess of York recently commented on how being without her daughters on Christmas brings her joy, as she knows that The Queen adores spending time with them.
There is not a year that goes by that the royal calendar isn’t filled with engagements, and surely 2019 will be no exception. The young royals shine so brightly, it’s hard not to take notice!