Beatrice and Eugenie aren’t ‘frumpy’ – they’re fashion icons and they are reinventing royal style – The Independent

If Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie were film characters they’d be Thelma and Louise. Forget Royal tea parties with china and tablecloths, you can imagine going on a wild trip with this dynamic duo: Beatrice drives the car, Eugenie pours the prosecco.

I like Bea and Gee. For a start, they both have jobs – quite an achievement in the Royal Family, which notoriously creates benefit scroungers and women who use their connections to launch ‘careers’ in the arts. So, being a fan of the pair, I was distressed to see them criticised last week for the terrible crime of wearing adventurous outfits to a garden party at Buckingham Palace. 

I thought their colourful creations were rather fun, but others weren’t so sure. Bore of the year Sarah Vine, of the Daily Mail, was first to lay into the princesses, suggesting their outfits were frumpy. Other newspapers couldn’t wait to join in.

Dropping the F-word isn’t nice, and in this case it isn’t particularly fair, either. For years, Beatrice and Eugenie have been raising the style stakes in the Royal Family. And thank goodness they have, because elsewhere it’s all got a bit boring. It’s time there was some life injected into the Royal wardrobe, and I’m certain Beatrice and Eugenie are the fashion messiahs we’ve been waiting for. 

It was at the Royal Wedding in 2011, that I first became convinced: Eugenie wore the most fabulous Vivienne Westwood dress, while Beatrice sported a bold Philip Treacy fascinator. Compared to the bland lot that trailed in afterwards to witness the proceedings, this dynamic duo showed real imagination and flair. 

There have been other outfits I’ve equally enjoyed: Eugenie’s sequined number at the premiere of The Young Victoria in 2009; Beatrice’s striking blue dress at the same event. 

What I admire most is their fearlessness when it comes to trying out new styles. Like Princess Diana three decades before, they see clothing as something to have fun with. 

Still, poor Beatrice and Eugenie get an awfully hard time of it from the press. They’re not skinny-minis, and so their outfits may not sit on them as neatly as the slender Duchess of Cambridge. When newspapers say “frumpy”, I suspect it’s really code for ‘fatty’, because we still can’t handle the sight of adult women with perfectly normal bodies in the public eye. Each time the princesses try to experiment, we bash them – when we should celebrate healthy women sporting high fashion.

Perhaps the worst criticisms the two received were in the aftermath of the Royal Wedding, when – just like this week – they were ticked off for rising above their aesthetic station and getting it “wrong”. 

I think they got it right: they were the only attendees whose outfits were talked about in great detail, and the only guests who seemed to understand that fashion should not just ‘look nice’, it should entertain. Since Beatrice sported her dramatic Treacy creation, I’ve seen many young women trying them out. 

Whatever the press may say about her, Bea has already become a fashion icon. She seems like a delightfully nice person, too – having donated her fascinator to Ebay after the event to raise money for charity.

I hope having lost this memorable item of her wardrobe she will replace it with an even more imaginative choice; that she and her sister will continue to make bold choices. Forget the haters, Beatrice and Eugenie – you’re fashion royalty.


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