Unlike past major royal events, the funeral of Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, will be a subdued – and extremely small – event. In light of the pandemic and the duke’s own wishes, the funeral will take place entirely within the grounds of Windsor Castle. The service will have no congregational singing (which would be an infection risk); a four-person choir will handle all the music (via CNN). And the whole ceremony will be attended by only 30 mourners, all either family members or very close friends.
With that small of a guest list, the attendees have to be chosen with care. Many names and faces will be familiar to home viewers, such as the queen, Princes Charles, Andrew, Edward, William and Harry, and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge. Others will be less familiar: among them, Jack Brooksbank. He became a member of the royal family in October 2018 when he married Princess Eugenie, one of the two daughters of Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson. The two had met eight years earlier while skiing in Switzerland; Eugenie has said that it was “love at first sight” (via People). The couple’s relationship was tested when the princess moved to New York for two years to work, but thanks to 21st century technology, they made it work; frequent Skype sessions helped make the distance feel shorter.
Jack Brooksbank has a connection to an A-list actor
Jack Brooksbank is a wine merchant and the U.K. Brand Ambassador for the Casamigos tequila brand, which was co-founded by none other than George Clooney. Eugenie’s mother certainly approves. According to the Daily Mail, Fergie once admitted that she was “perfect” with his career: “He’ll just hand me the tequila and say, ‘Come on, mother-in-law, down it.'” His future ambition is to own a chain of traditional British pubs that offer hearty food, cozy fires, and a welcoming atmosphere (via Hello!).
In addition to his parents-in-law, Brooksbank has gotten to know another part of his wife’s family quite well. Eugenie is very close with her cousin Prince Harry and his wife, Meghan Markle – a bond that has remained strong despite the tension the prince caused by the infamous Oprah interview. In fact, when Harry flew in from California for the funeral, he made it a priority to visit the couple and see their new baby. The baby boy, born in early February, is named August Philip Hawke Brooksbank; Eugenie chose to honor her beloved grandfather through one of the middle names.
The one thing Brooksbank doesn’t have is a royal title; as a commoner, he wasn’t entitled to one. While it’s traditional for the monarch to give titles to royal sons and their spouses, it’s usually not done when a female royal marries. The fact that Eugenie is ninth in the line of succession, and a non-working royal at that, no doubt factored into the queen’s decision (via USA Today).
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