Royal Family “overjoyed” at Princess Eugenie’s engagement, says Duke of York on visit to King’s Lynn
PUBLISHED: 12:33 22 January 2018 | UPDATED: 16:09 22 January 2018
The Royal Family is “overjoyed” for Princess Eugenie and her boyfriend Jack Brooksbank, who announced their engagement today.
The news was released by Buckingham Palace as the 27-year-old princess’s father, the Duke of York, was touring a business centre in King’s Lynn.
After meeting tenants at the King’s Lynn Innovation Centre, Prince Andrew said: “I’m absolutely delighted. I’m thrilled and overjoyed, it’s not just me it’s the rest of the family, we’re overjoyed for Eugenie and Jack, it’s exciting news.
“Jack is an absolutely outstanding young man and Eugenie and he have got to know each other over a number of years and I’m really thrilled for them.”
He said attention would turn to the planning of the wedding and “getting it all organised” but “we can’t fix a date yet, we’ve got to look at everyone’s diaries. It’s a bit more complicated than that.”
He added: “But today it’s their day. I’m just completely overjoyed for them and wish them every happiness.”
Eugenie proudly shows off her padparadscha sapphire and diamond engagement ring in a set of pictures taken in Buckingham Palace’s picture gallery.
Eugenie’s mother Sarah, Duchess of York, issued a series of tweets and in one echoed Prince Andrew’s words, writing “total joy”.
The Queen and Duke of Edinburgh also expressed their delight at the news, wishing their granddaughter and her fiancé “all the best”.
Prime Minister Theresa May said in a tweet: “My very best wishes to Princess Eugenie and Jack Brooksbank on their engagement - congratulations to the happy couple.”
In one picture released to mark the announcement Eugenie, wearing a colourful dress by Erdem and shoes by Jimmy Choo, and her fiancé gaze into each other’s eyes.
Mr Brooksbank’s parents said in a short statement: “We could not be more delighted with the news of the engagement. We are completely over the moon and very excited for them both.”
Princess Eugenie and her fiancé will marry at the same wedding venue as Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.
The Queen’s granddaughter will wed Mr Brooksbank in St George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle in the autumn next year.
The pair became engaged in Nicaragua earlier this month, the palace revealed.
Princess Eugenie is the second daughter of Prince Andrew and Sarah, Duchess of York. She is currently eighth in line to the throne.
She began dating Mr Brooksbank, 29, around seven years ago after they met while skiing in the Swiss resort of Verbier.
The Stowe-educated socialite is the manager of Mayfair hotspot Mahiki.
The Duke of York met the owners of one of King’s Lynn’s newest nightspots when he toured the KLIC today.
“He was asking is there a decline in the pub trade,” said Elise Rout, who runs craft ale bar the Nip and Growler with partner Claire Biggs. “I aid that a lot of the larger corporate company-owned pubs are closing, a lot of people are realising you can move away from that.”
The Prince also met Sidekick Digital, a small business specialising in new technology, where staff were impressed by his knowledge.
“He seemed to understand a lot about the business,” said director Jason Thorarinsson.
The KLIC, opened by Norfolk and Waveney Enterprise Services (Nwes) in June 2016, is home to 15 tenants, four co-workers, and 10 virtual tenants, each benefiting not only from the excellent facilities offered by the state-of-the-art building, but also on-site business advice, access to business funding, and events and networking opportunities.
Nwes chief executive, Kevin Horne said: “We welcome the opportunity to showcase some of the local businesses supported through Nwes, and again highlight how we ensure start-up and growing businesses in the local area are given every opportunity to flourish.”
West Norfolk mayor Carol Bower said the Duke spoke positively about
business development in West Norfolk.
“He was offering advice which can’t be anything but good,” she said. “One word of advice he gave was the best thing for longevity is socialising and mixing with people.
“Also for the success of a business is interacting with people and using them as a sounding board.”
After spending over an hour in the building, on Nar Ouse Way, the Duke paid tribute to the range of skills and advice available at the centre.