Princess Beatrice Becoming a Working Royal Is “Out of the Question” Because of Queen Elizabeth’s Decision Regarding Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, Royal Correspondent Says

“It is full time or nothing.”

Princess Beatrice
(Image credit: Getty Images)

As he hosted a Buckingham Palace garden party on behalf of his father, King Charles, on Tuesday, Prince William was flanked by two-thirds of his royal cousins—Princess Beatrice, Princess Eugenie, Peter Phillips, and Zara Tindall—as he braved the rain to greet the crowd of 8,000 guests assembled. (Beatrice and Eugenie are the daughters of Prince Andrew; Peter and Zara are the children of Princess Anne.)

Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie exit a garden party in London on a rainy day while wearing nice dresses

The York sisters were a bright addition to Tuesday's rainy garden party at Buckingham Palace.

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Eugenie herself took to Instagram to share how she felt about being part of the moment, writing “Come rain or shine, I was delighted to support my family yesterday to meet some special individuals at the Buckingham Palace Garden Party who have gone above and beyond to support their local communities and the country,” she wrote alongside photos of her family mingling with guests at the event. Per Us Weekly, Eugenie wore a white satin tea dress by Ulla Johnson and silver studded Valentino heels; Rebecca English of The Daily Mail reported that her older sister, Beatrice, wore a pink dress by Beulah.

“So much has been said about family disunity in recent years that it’s sometimes easy to forget how well our senior royals get on with each other,” English wrote. “They are remarkably close, in fact.” Though none of the four cousins are working royals, the group—which also included Zara’s husband, Mike Tindall—“added a welcome pop of youthful glamor not seen in the institution for a little while,” English continued, adding that “The presence of the younger royals gave Tuesday’s event a unique family vibe, as well as an insight into the easy relationship that William enjoys with his cousins. It’s a warmth that goes all the way back to fun family summers at Balmoral, Christmases at Sandringham—and now finds expression in the very modern medium of shared family WhatsApp groups.” The garden party provided “the much-needed vitality that the younger generation brings” to the monarchy, English wrote.

Even before Tuesday’s garden party, buzz had been swirling around Beatrice in particular, with the possibility being spoken of that she could, at least temporarily, take on working royal duties in light of the odd year that has been 2024 in the royal family. All four cousins have children and careers outside of the royal family; for Peter and Zara, working for the Firm has never been an option, as their mother, Anne, chose to not accept titles for them—a move that Zara has applauded. “The Phillips children were always destined to grow up away from the main royal spotlight, perhaps fortunately so,” English wrote. As such, they’ll never be working royals. 

Zara Tindall

Zara is the daughter of Princess Anne and Mark Phillips.

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Peter Phillips

She and her older brother, Peter, were not given royal titles, as decided on by their mother.

(Image credit: Getty Images)

But what of Beatrice and Eugenie? “The unfortunate truth, however, is that none of them will be asked to support the working royals on a more permanent basis, however badly they are needed,” English continued. “And for that they must thank the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.”

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry enter the invictus games in beige outfits including a white tank top and belted khaki pants

Harry and Meghan's request to be part-time royals was denied by the late Queen.

(Image credit: Getty Images)

When Prince Harry and Meghan Markle stepped back as working members of the royal family in January 2020, they wanted to take part in a part-time royal setup, but the late Queen Elizabeth turned them down “very firmly,” English wrote, and they were told “that their preferred option of being ‘half-in, half-out’ royals while pursuing lucrative commercial careers was simply unacceptable.” She added “Seeking commercial deals while acting on behalf of, or representing, the British head of state would also have been a clear conflict of interest, and Her Majesty knew that all too well.” As such, “here is the consequence: there can be no relaxation of the rules for any of the younger royals,” English wrote. “It is full time or nothing. The occasional garden party aside, more substantial roles for William’s cousins are out of the question—for now, at least.”

Beatrice and Eugenie both have full-time jobs of their own—Beatrice is Vice President of Strategic Partnerships at the U.S. tech company Afiniti, while Eugenie is a director at an art gallery, Hauser & Wirth, in London.

Rachel Burchfield
Senior Celebrity and Royals Editor

Rachel Burchfield is a writer, editor, and podcaster whose primary interests are fashion and beauty, society and culture, and, most especially, the British Royal Family and other royal families around the world. She serves as Marie Claire’s Senior Celebrity and Royals Editor and has also contributed to publications like Allure, Cosmopolitan, Elle, Glamour, Harper’s Bazaar, InStyle, People, Vanity Fair, Vogue, and W, among others. Before taking on her current role with Marie Claire, Rachel served as its Weekend Editor and later Royals Editor. She is the cohost of Podcast Royal, a show that was named a top five royal podcast by The New York Times. A voracious reader and lover of books, Rachel also hosts I’d Rather Be Reading, which spotlights the best current nonfiction books hitting the market and interviews the authors of them. Rachel frequently appears as a media commentator, and she or her work has appeared on outlets like NBC’s Today Show, ABC’s Good Morning America, CNN, and more.