Twisted compliments: Princess Eugenie addresses backhanded comments about her looks

Princess Eugenie speaks openly about backhanded comments she gets about her appearance. Source: Getty Images.

Life in the spotlight for the British Royal Family isn’t easy but one member of the Firm is getting real about the pressures she faces and the lengths she will go to in order to ensure balance between her private and public life.

Princess Eugenie, daughter to Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson and granddaughter to the late Queen Elizabeth II, has spoken out about the backhanded comments she receives from people on her appearance.

Speaking to White Wine Question Time podcaster Kate Thornton, the 33-year-old royal who is 11th in line to the throne describes the reaction when the public sees a “terrifyingly ugly photo of us coming out of a bar” or “action shots” that were “not the nicest photos”.

She explains that she has had people approach her sometimes and say: “Oh you’re much better looking in real life.”

Eugenie confesses to wondering whether or not that’s a compliment or not.

“Agh. Is that a compliment? I dunno,” she admitted.

Putting it all down to just another part of growing up she said, “Beatrice and I, like many of our cousins, have had a really awkward phases.”

“I’m proud of my incredibly strange looks from the past,” she added.

The mother of two, who is married to English businessman Jack Brooksbank, opened up about why she started her own personal Instagram account in 2018 and the pressures she faces when she posts about herself on such a public platform.

“I want people to know me because I think there has been so much misinformation and it’s so easy to judge something when you read it in the paper,” Eugenie told Thornton.

She did admit that posting on Instagram was “the most stressful thing in the world”.

“Oh my God, I get so nervous,” she explained.

“Before I post I have to text about five people asking if it’s okay, have I got a spelling mistake, am I gonna get in trouble?”

She also describes a time when she misspelt “you’re”, writing “your” instead and had her followers pointing out the typo. Since then she says she has been really particular with her spelling.

The royal speaks candidly about constantly finding a balance between what to post and how much to post about her family members and children.

Eugenie said. “I am constantly finding a balance. It is really thought out in terms of: ‘Should I do this? Should I not?’”

While she is circumspect about what she posts, Eugenie didn’t miss the opportunity to pay tribute to her late grandmother on the one-year anniversary of her death.

Taking to Instagram she posted a never before seen image of her and the Queen.

“Thinking of you today. Missing you so much but remembering what a life of service, love and dedication to everyone and to your family, who loved you so very much,” she wrote.

“Forever grateful to you. And always in my heart.”


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Besides sharing images of her family, the Princess also uses the platform to advocate for the Anti-Slavery Collective, a group she co-founded with Julia de Boinville that brings change-makers together to raise awareness for modern slavery.

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