The spirited, art-loving young royal juggles her family obligations with a very modern career. By Laura Brown.
Photographed by Alex Bramall. Styled by Hayley Caine.
Eugenie of York is sitting in the TV room of her family home, Royal Lodge, in Windsor Great Park. It’s the definition of “comfy cosy”, with family pictures scattered around and Norfolk terriers wandering in and out. Eugenie, 26, the younger daughter of Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson, has just completed a shoot for Harper’s BAZAAR. During the week, however, she lives in London and works as an associate director at the contemporaryart gallery, Hauser & Wirth. Before returning to London in 2015, she spent two years in New York with the online auction house Paddle8. Art is in Eugenie’s bones as much as the monarchy.
6:45AM I read my personal e-mails when I wake up. My mum always says, “What’s the point of rolling straight out of bed and looking at your e-mails? It can ruin the first few hours of your morning. If you just wait…” But I really can’t! I go to the park from 7 to 8AM. I do circuits, which I love because they’re quick: Burpees, squat jumps, lunges, the whole lot. I can’t run for a long time. Or I go with my best friend to this amazing, women-only gym called Grace Belgravia. If I need to pick up groceries, I go to Waitrose, right next to my gym. In the morning class, I can smell the fresh croissants coming in and I’m like, “Don’t do this to me!”
8:15AM I come home, have a shower, get dressed. My first conversation is often with Mum, “Good morning, what are you doing today?” Or it’s with my boyfriend, Jack. Sometimes I don’t speak until I get in to work. Or it’s my doggie Jack—yes, my boyfriend and my dog have the same name, total accident!—if you can call that a conversation. [Laughs]
8:45AM I do my makeup in the car. I use Charlotte Tilbury and Bobbi Brown—Charlotte’s mascara and Bobbi Brown’s bronzer.
9:00AM I start at work. The Hauser & Wirth London office is on Savile Row. I work with colleagues in London as well as our galleries in LA, New York, Somerset in the UK, and Zurich. Part of my job is planning special projects, supporting the artists in the gallery—Mike Kelley, Philip Guston, and, most recently, Lygia Pape—and managing events. I’ve loved art since I was very little. I knew I definitely wouldn’t be a painter, but I knew this was the industry for me. I love being able to share my passion for art with people. If someone doesn’t understand something, you have the ability to suggest, “Maybe you can look at it this way.” A seminal moment for me, at age 16, was when I saw a Jean-Michel Basquiat show in New York. Basquiat is my hero.
10:00AM I wear a dress and boots to work. I’ve started wearing high heels, which is so grown-up. But they’re painful by the end of the day. I look at people wearing heels in movies and I’m like, “How do they do that?” For clothes, I love Sandro and Maje. Zara is great for work, and bits from Topshop. My favourite is my lace bomber jacket from Essentiel Antwerp. And I live in my Rag & Bone ankle boots.
11:00 A.M. I read The NewYork Times’ arts section, Artnet, Financial Times, and Contemporary Art Daily. I also follow some incredible Instagram accounts, like other galleries’, Christie’s, Sotheby’s, also Klaus Biesenbach from MoMA PS1.
1:00PM For lunch, I walk over to the Detox Kitchen, which is right across Regent Street in Kingly Court. They do the best food, all healthy. I try to not eat at my desk because it’s good to go outside, especially in the summer, and it’s always fun to explore Soho. During the day I drink everything from green tea to coffee, Diet Coke to fizzy water.
3:00PM We usually have team meetings in the afternoon to discuss plans for events such as the next Venice Biennale, where Phyllida Barlow is representing the UK and Mark Bradford, the US.
5:00PM In the evenings, I often have engagements related to my family or a charity I support. Hauser & Wirth is very accommodating and understanding of my sense of duty. So I’ll work until 5PM, then leave to do the engagement. My sister, Bea, and I have charities we’re patrons of. We also try to support Granny and Grandpa in any way we can because that is what family is for.
6:00PM I love trying new looks. I don’t want to be pigeonholed. You wear the same thing twice? Great. If you don’t, great! And if that means wearing a green Sandro dress, great. I wore that to Granny’s birthday parade, with a Vivien Sheriff hat. I also wore this amazing red Eponine dress for Granny’s 90th birthday service at St. Paul’s.
8:00PM I like to go out for dinner when I can. I collect restaurant cards. (I also collect airplane tickets—since I was 16. One day, I’m going to turn them into wallpaper and paste it into my cupboard.) Two of my favourite restaurants in London are Bocca di Lupo and the Palomar in Soho. For dinner, when I’m being good, I cook my own food. When I’m being really bad, it’s Basilico pizza. My favorite drink is vodka soda with loads of lime.
10:00PM When I get home depends on whether there’s an art opening, or if I have an event or a dinner. If I’m home, I cook and watch TV. At the moment I’m watching How to Get Away with Murder—Viola Davis, she’s insanely good—and Outlander, my favourite. When I’m with Jack, we watch The Walking Dead, which we’re obsessed with. Maybe Game of Thrones is our next thing. I don’t watch reality shows, but I love cooking programmes. Indulgences? Chips, Diet Coke, nuts! Cashew nuts with mustard are the best. Netflix.
11:00PM I wash my face with Jo Malone’s Eucalyptus & Mint cleanser. My bedroom is full of photos my parents have taken. I’ve got a lot of art that needs to be put on the walls. And there are shoes everywhere.
12:00AM Sadly, my bedtime is late. What can’t I live without? My family. Especially my mum. I wouldn’t be able to make tough decisions without her. And my sister. My father as well. He’s the rock. And I couldn‘t live without my doggies. What might people be surprised to learn? That I have a full-time job. And I have metal rods in my back. I was born with scoliosis and had an operation when I was 12.