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March 17, 2014 12:00 PM

Castles, horse-drawn carriages and titles aside, sometimes being a modern princess means waiting in line for your pizza or starting your career as a lowly intern. For Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie of York, neither their lineage (as daughters of Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson), their status (sixth and seventh in line to the British throne), or their wealth has them resting on their royal laurels. “The Queen wants these girls to be independent and have lives of their own,” says New York society publicist R. Couri Hay, who knows members of the royal family. “They are sweet and polite. They aren’t eager for attention. They are living low-key lives.”

With no official duties, Beatrice, 25, is working for Sony Europe in London while Eugenie, 23, last year moved to New York City to work as a benefits auction manager at the auction house Paddle8. (Royal connections, of course, never hurt: The business is owned by the younger brother of an Etonian pal of Prince William.) “She and Beatrice are both doers,” says a source close to the family.

Fiercely protective of their trouble-prone mom, the two have shared a special bond since their parents’ 1996 divorce, friends say. A $3 million joint trust fund from the split, plus another reported seven-figure inheritance from the Queen Mother, have made them wealthy women. Bea, who pals say is the more sensitive of the two, is a regular on the black-tie charity circuit with businessman boyfriend Dave Clark, 31, while Eugenie, in a long-distance relationship with London bar manager Jack Brooksbank, 27, took a front-row seat at New York’s fashion week.

Still, Eugenie is taking in all the city has to offer, including the margherita pizza at Sal’s in Little Italy. “She loves it,” says owner Vincenzo Trillo. “She’s very friendly, very nice. You couldn’t tell she’s a princess.”

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