Engagements are in the London air!

As our KC brides, newly engaged during the holidays, venture into their own wedding planning, news from the palace this week was that Princess Eugenie was also engaged.

Princess Eugenie

It prompted a quick reminisce of her parents, particularly her mother.

Sarah Ferguson and Prince Andrew engagement photo and ruby ring

As the bride of Prince Andrew, at Westminster Abbey, in 1986, Sarah Ferguson’s duchess satin gown featured a 17’ monogrammed train. It started a trend of initial monograms that were purchased and added to American trains as well. Prince William was a page boy.

Duke and Duchess of York wedding portrait

The Duke and Duchess of York Recessional

Prince William as page boy
Prince William as a Page Boy

I’ve had the occasion to be in the company of the future MOB twice here in KC. The first time, she had just launched her first children’s book, “Budgie” and accepted an invite to open the Plaza toy store, F.A.O. Schwarz. Though I didn’t make the cut for the Private Preview Party, my family was “right time/right place” at the edge of the red carpet when her limo pulled up. Can you imagine? She looked at my daughter in my arms and said “Hello beautiful.”

The more personal moment came when some years later, she was here as the spokesmodel for Weight Watchers (the role Oprah holds now). There was a drawing for people allowed to hear her speak at the Ritz-Carlton (now Inter-Continental). My name was drawn. Through “connections” I was told that she was bringing her daughters Beatrice and Eugenie with her and they would love to spend the day with “American girls who loved American Dolls.” They asked if I would be interested in hosting. (Full disclosure, as the father of three daughters …we had plenty of these dolls.) I agreed that the princesses to come to our home in Leawood for the afternoon.

Sarah Ferguson Weight Watchers in KC.JPG

At the last minute, the Queen wanted all grandchildren present for “holiday” at Sandringham and the non-noble Nolte’s got booted.However, later that day, the Duchess of York and I did personally meet as she learned that I was to have been the “host Dad.” She was very kind and we talked about our girls.

Sarah Ferguson with MN in Kansas City
I can’t imagine her life as she and Prince Andrew still share a home and neither have re-married, but she is no longer a member of the royal family. Her daughter’s wedding at St. George’s Chapel (same venue as Prince Charles, Prince Edward and Prince Harry) will be an opportunity for her to be in a rightful spotlight position.

Duchess of York in yellow gown

BTW: I thought the picture of her daughter’s blush padparadscha sapphire engagement ring (and I love colored gem stones) was the most beautifully styled, with her hand laid atop that of her fiancé.

Princess Eugenie engagement ring


I sense a real joy about this couple. Congrats Eugenie. Your American Doll Anglophiles wish you well! MJN