How did Princess Beatrice get her name?

Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie in June, 2013
Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie

While they were married, Prince Andrew and Sarah “Fergie” Ferguson had two daughters. The first was named Beatrice (b. 1988). The second was named Eugenie (b. 1990).

Beatrice would have been Annabel if her grandmother hadn’t objected. “Her parents’ desire to name her Annabel was vetoed by Queen Elizabeth, aware that this was also the name of a night club favored by the Fergie Set.”

Annabel’s is a members-only restaurant/nightclub in London. A recent review at View London notes that “[i]t’s not as Sloaney as it used to be.”

And Eugenie’s name? You’re not pronouncing it correctly. It’s YOO-genny, said the princess in an interview several years ago. She explained, “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.’ But whatever. I am now used to every pronunciation.”

Probably doesn’t help that, right after Eugenie was born, Buckingham Palace “requested the name be pronounced “U-jay-nay,” with a French inflection.”

Which name do you prefer, Beatrice or Eugenie?


  • Farrell, Mary H.J., Jonathan Cooper, Terry Smith, Rosemary Thorpe-Tracey. “Bringing Baby Home.” People 16 Apr. 1990: 55-57.
  • “Fergie is returning home to baby-oh, dear! Now what will press say?” Chicago Tribune 26 Oct. 1988: 6.
  • Greig, Geordie. “Princess Eugenie: Little Princess Sunshine.” Telegraph 4 Mar. 2008.

Image: Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie by Carfax2 under CC BY-SA 3.0.

8 thoughts on “How did Princess Beatrice get her name?

  1. I don’t like the soft end of Beatrice (my second daughter’s middle name is Beatrix, which I of course prefer). I like Eugenie and other variations. I had an Efigenia in my class one year, from Angola, and it sat on my maybe list (she went by Efi) for a long time before I gave into my husband’s protests.

  2. Beatrice doesn’t work with my last name, but really I’ve never been that fond of it. (You can take away my name-nerd creditials now.)

    The Princess’ pronunciation of her name is interesting because I’ve always pronounced it yoo-JEEN-ee.

  3. I have always pronounced Eugenie as yoo-JEEN-ee as well. I quite like it actually. :) I like them both. They are familiar but not trendy/popular, and feminine but not overly so.
    Unfortunately Beatrice does not flow with my surname, and Eugenie may be a bit much for the playgrounds in my area. :(

  4. I remember when the princesses where born and named. As I recall, both names were among those of early descendants of Queen Victoria. I prefer Beatrice, but Eugenie is nice because it reminds me of “Janie”. I’ve never loved Eugene, but U-Janie is kind of cute — and sophisticated at the same time.

  5. Haha, late, late comment… But I prefer Beatrice. It sounds very simple, and sophisticated. Eugenie is a mouthful, and sounds like a name a set of hipster wannabe parents would name their child.

  6. My name is Eugenie (I go by Gigi) and I pronounce it yu-zhen-ie, and many people have trouble pronouncing it. When I was at school, everybody bugged my to teach them how to pronounce it which was really annoying because they all wanted to be the one person that could pronounce it.

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