Princess Eugenie looks shockingly similar to royal relative who rocked the monarchy with family secret

Princess Eugenie looks shockingly like an influential ancestor is - but nothing is as shocking as the grim secret she harbored

Princess Eugenie attends a National Service of Thanksgiving
(Image credit: Photo by Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images)

Princess Eugenie looks exactly like the Queen Mother and it's nigh on impossible to unsee the resemblance once the penny drops. The Princess may look just like her great-grandmother but the pair couldn't be less alike - especially in light of the controversial character the Queen Mother was and the terrible secret her family kept.

  • Princess Eugenie looks just like the Queen Mother in her younger years, but the hardworking young royal isn't as controversial a character.
  • The Queen Mother's divisive personality, lack of tact, and horrendous family history left a less-than-positive legacy.
  • In other royal news, Did Prince Charles actually breakdance?

Portrait of Lady Elizabeth Angela Marguerite Bowes-Lyon, later Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother (1900- 2002), London, England, March 3, 1927 / The bride Princess Eugenie of York with her father Prince Andrew, Duke of York arrives by car for her Royal wedding to Mr. Jack Brooksbank at St. George's Chapel on October 12, 2018 in Windsor, England.

(Image credit: Bain News Service/PhotoQuest/Getty Images and Samir Hussein/WireImage/Getty Images)

Although Princess Eugenie looks like her great-grandmother the Queen Mother, more than any of the Queen's grandchildren do, the Princess has - comparatively - a far more regular life. By regular, we mean she works and doesn't live under the same rigid code of conduct that the late Queen Mother did. In fact, Princess Eugenie broke royal protocol more than one occasion - which probably wouldn't have gone down well with the late royal.

Being a member of the Royal Family and having a professional life may have been seen as uncouth by the late royal, but there are many skeletons in her own closet that are seen as far worse in modern times. From her controversial sartorial choices during the war, to her rigid inability to forgive, and for many the worst of all - the Bowes-Lyon family's secret.

Le Roi George VI en uniforme de scout et la Reine Elizabeth lors de leur voyage en Australie / Princess Eugenie is seen on March 24, 2007 in London, England.

(Image credit: Mathieu Polak/Sygma/ Getty Images and Mark Milan/FilmMagic/Getty Images)

Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother was born Elizabeth Angela Marguerite Bowes-Lyon. She was the youngest daughter, the ninth of ten children, of Claude Bowes-Lyon, Lord Glamis (who became 14th Earl of Strathmore and Kinghorne) and Cecilia Cavendish-Bentinck. Born into the British nobility, she grew up in England and the Scottish family seat, Glamis Castle. Glamis Castle has been the ancestral seat to the Earls of Strathmore and Kinghorne since 1372 and is reputedly one of the most haunted castles in the UK and since the mid-19th century tales of the 'Monster of Glamis' have plagued the family.

“If you could even guess the nature of this castle’s secret, you would get down on your knees and thank God it was not yours.” These words, credited by the Smithsonian Magazine to Claude Bowes-Lyon, 13th Earl of Strathmore, refer to the alleged existence of a secret room in the castle. The room in question is said to have housed the 'monster' who was the rightful heir to the family title - but who was said to have been born with disfigurements the family wanted to keep secret. 

The Duchess of York aboard 'HMY Victoria and Albert', 1933. Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon (1900-2002), the future queen consort to King George VI, on board the royal yacht. She became Queen Mother on the birth of her daughter Princess Elizabeth (who became Queen Elizabeth II). 'HMY Victoria and Albert', launched in 1899, was a steamship used by the royal family, particularly for their trips to their summer home, Osborne House, on the Isle of Wight. Artist Kirk & Sons of Cowes / Princess Eugenie attends a service of thanksgiving to celebrate Queen Elizabeth II's and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh's Diamond Wedding Anniversary at Westminster Abbey on November 19, 2007 in London, England.

(Image credit: Kirk and Sons of Cowes/Heritage Images/Getty Images and Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images)

This legend has never been substantiated but another Bowes-Lyon family secret, which was exposed in 1987, proved they had treated some of their issue with complete disregard. 

The Queen’s cousins, Nerissa and Katherine Bowes-Lyon, were confined, in the Royal Earlswood Hospital for, "mentally disabled people," in 1941, according to Tatler. This is despite being listed as 'deceased' in Burke’s Peerage.

Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon, future Reine d'Angleterre, pose assise sur un fauteuil / Princess Eugenie attends day one of Royal Ascot at Ascot Racecourse on June 18, 2013 in Ascot, England.

(Image credit: Keystone-France/Gamma-Rapho/Getty Images and Chris Jackson/Getty Images for Ascot Racecourse)

After the shocking revelation of the cousins' existence, Tatler reports that a general manager for the East Surrey Health Authority told the Associated Press, "Both sisters had regular visits from their families up until the early 1960s when one of their closest relatives died… Since then, they have had few visitors. My understanding is that Katherine had no regular visitors."

Nerissa died aged 66 in 1986 and Katherine died aged 87 in 2014. The Independent reports that at the time, Buckingham Palace said the Queen was aware of the report but added, “We have no comment about it at all. It is a matter for the Bowes-Lyon family.”

Aoife Hanna
Junior News Editor

Aoife is an Irish journalist and writer with a background in creative writing, comedy, and TV production.

Formerly woman&home's junior news editor and a contributing writer at Bustle, her words can be found in the Metro, Huffpost, Delicious, Imperica and EVOKE.

Her poetry features in the Queer Life, Queer Love anthology.

Outside of work you might bump into her at a garden center, charity shop, yoga studio, lifting heavy weights, or (most likely) supping/eating some sort of delicious drink/meal.