In the past, "they got hammered in the press, and it was a little unfair," says stylist Charlie Anderson

By Monique Jessen
June 26, 2018 10:01 AM
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Turning heads at Royal Ascot last week for their chic attire and stylish hats were the royal family’s reigning sister act: Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie.

While they could have the pick of any stylists in the industry, they turn to someone much closer to home when it comes to their fashion choices: their mom, Sarah Ferguson, the Duchess of York.

“She loves fashion and has strong opinions on what the girls should wear,” Charlie Anderson, former stylist to Beatrice, 29, and Eugenie, 28, tells PEOPLE, adding, “The Duchess looked amazing at Ascot, as did both of the girls.”

Royal Ascot 2018 - Day 3 - Ladies Day
Princess Beatrice (left) and Princess Eugenie (right) at Royal Ascot on June 21, 2018.
| Credit: David Sims/WENN

But the sisters’ style hasn’t always drawn praise. Following the 2011 wedding of Kate Middleton and Prince William, “Fergie,” as she is popularly known, asked then-fashion editor Anderson to work with her daughters, both of whom were heavily criticized for their outfit choices at the royal wedding — in particular Beatrice’s Philip Treacy “Pretzel” hat (which she later auctioned for charity). “They got hammered in the press and it was a little unfair,” says Anderson, who worked with the royal siblings for one year after the wedding to help “turn around” their image.

The Royal Wedding
Beatrice (left) and Eugenie at William and Kate’s wedding in 2011.
| Credit: Getty

These days, “I think they are mostly getting it right,” says Anderson, who is now a full-time yoga teacher. “I think they have got more daring, although they have both always been quite daring and they seem to be getting to know themselves better — plus remember, they do have to adhere to certain rules especially when they are with the Queen, like wearing tights.”

Royal Ascot, Day One, UK - 19 Jun 2018
Beatrice (left) and Eugenie at Royal Ascot on June 19, 2018.
| Credit: Tim Rooke/REX/Shutterstock
Royal Ascot, Day Four, UK - 22 Jun 2018
Beatrice and Sarah, Duchess of York, at Royal Ascot on June 22, 2018.

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While Beatrice has been opting for edgy New York label Jonathan Simkai (whose clothes feature in the new Ocean’s 8 film), chic contemporary label The Fold (worn by Princess Kate) and luxury couture label Claire Mischevani, Eugenie leans toward of-the-moment Brit labels Osman and Erdem.

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Eugenie, who is set to wed fiancé Jack Brooksbank in October, “tends to like more fitted, 1960s shapes, where as Beatrice likes flounce and floral pieces,” says Anderson. “I think Beatrice has a good eye; she’s been wearing some fabulous pieces over the last few years — she makes daring choices, whereas I think Eugenie is a little more refined in her choices.”

Neither royal hesitates to borrow clothes rather than buy. “I dressed them in borrowed labels like couture Elie Saab, but we borrowed across the board — it was never about what things cost, it was just what worked for them,” says Anderson.

As for the recent royal wedding of first cousin Prince Harry, Beatrice more than surpassed her previous royal wedding look, says Anderson:. “I really loved the Stephen Jones headband that she wore — it was quite edgy because it wasn’t a ‘hat hat,’ but I loved it.”