THROUGH THICK & THIN
YOU South Africa|7 October 2021
Beatrice and Eugenie are standing strong in the storm brought on by their father’s alleged involvement in an underage sex scandal
MAXINE PETERS

THEY’VE been by each other’s side all their lives – holding their mother’s hands in matching mini denim dresses as tiny tots and sticking close to each other at royal galas, weddings, horseraces and parties as they grew up.

So when princesses Beatrice and Eugenie became mothers within seven months of each other, it was easy to imagine their delight. They’d be raising their babies together – Beatrice’s new daughter a just younger cousin to Eugenie’s son, August.

Beatrice (33) was front and centre when her younger sister married Jack Brooksbank in October 2018 and Eugenie (31) returned the favour when her big sis wed Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi in July last year.

Now the “normal” royals, who were each other’s first playmate and remain each other’s greatest protector, will be looking forward to mommy dates and being shoulders to cry on as they navigate the pitfalls of parenthood.

But there’s an undeniable elephant in this room of cosiness and camaraderie. The spectre of disgrace hanging over their father’s head refuses to go away – and try as the princesses might to put a brave face on things, they haven’t been left unscathed.

Prince Andrew’s legal woes are mounting and his reputation is more in tatters than ever.

His refusal to help American authorities in their investigation into late paedophile Jeffrey Epstein’s sex ring has caused anger on both sides of the Atlantic.

Now the 61-year-old prince is being sued by Virginia Roberts Giuffre, the most high-profile of Epstein’s victims, who claims Andrew had sex with her three times when she was 17.

The duke played a cat-and-mouse game with authorities for weeks before his lawyers finally acknowledged he’d been served with legal papers.

You have to feel for his daughters, royal commentator Camilla Tominey says. “By all accounts they’re really lovely, very grounded, down-to-earth girls trying to get on with the rest of their lives.

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