When the 28-year-old daughter of Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson exchanges her wedding vows with Jack Brooksbank on Friday at St. George’s Chapel, she’ll omit the promise to “obey” her new husband, according to the ceremony’s Order of Service.
After Jack, 32, says his vows, Eugenie will tell her groom, “I, Eugenie Victoria Helena, take thee, Jack Christopher Stamp, to my wedded husband, to have and to hold from this day forward, for better, for worse: for richer, for poorer; in sickness and in health; to love and to cherish, till death us do part, according to God’s holy law; and thereto I give thee my troth.”
The decision follows in the footsteps of recent royal brides Kate Middleton and Meghan Markle, who also excluded the vow to obey their husbands. Eugenie’s mother did promise to obey Prince Andrew in their vows – but some say she turned to give her groom a wink as she repeated the phrase. (Watch the video and judge for yourself!)
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Princess Diana was the first to break royal precedent when she didn’t promise to “obey” Prince Charles at their 1981 wedding. A long line of royal brides before her included the phrase in their wedding vows, as prescribed in the Anglican Book of Common Prayer dating from 1662. But Diana, choosing to follow the ritual of the Church of England, instead promised only to “love him, comfort him, honor and keep him, in sickness and in health.”
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One extremely famous royal who did vow obedience? Queen Elizabeth, during her 1947 wedding to Prince Philip — the first of its kind to be broadcast live on the radio. At the Westminster Abbey ceremony, the then-future Queen vowed “to love, to cherish, and to obey” her husband in front of 2,000 guests and 200 million people listening around the world.
The phrasing caused a touch of controversy, as many thought the future monarch should not be obliged to obey anybody — even her husband.