Princess Eugenie says that people think she’s better looking in real life than in photos

One of the most mysterious gifts a person can have is “being photogenic.” It’s a gift I do not have and that’s why I find it mysterious. I have a round face and in most photos, I just look puffy and gross. My current driver’s license photo is probably the worst photo I’ve ever taken. All my life, I’ve watched as pleasantly attractive people suddenly turn into supermodels in photos though, because of some quirk of cheekbones and angles. Well, now Princess Eugenie is talking about how she feels like she’s not photogenic either. People are apparently always telling her that she looks better in person than in photos. This was part of a larger conversation about social media and the stress of choosing which photos to post.

When it comes to social media, Princess Eugenie is just like us. The granddaughter of the late Queen Elizabeth appeared on an episode of U.K. TV personality Kate Thornton’s White Wine Question Time podcast this week, and as part of a wide-ranging conversation, opened up about Instagram and navigating life as a public figure.

“I do my own Instagram and I find it the most stressful thing in the world,” Eugenie said during the podcast. “Oh my God, I get so nervous. Before I post I have to text about 5 people asking if it’s okay, have I got a spelling mistake, am I gonna get in trouble?”

Although she admitted that was “very nervous” about starting an Instagram account in 2018, she later explained “I want people to know me,” and added that she felt there has been “so much misinformation.”

The royal also described how people might see a “terrifyingly ugly photo of us coming out of a bar” or “action shots” that she said are “not the nicest photos” and revealed that she has received comments about her appearance which she believes are related.

“I have people come up to me sometimes and say, ‘Oh you’re much better looking in real life,’ and you’re like, ‘Agh. Is that a compliment? I dunno.’” she revealed. “So I do get nervous, but I wanted people to see the real me. And to know that I have a sense of humor.”

[From People]

“Oh you’re much better looking in real life” – I can see how that would offend many people, but it really is just a quirk of photography. I don’t even think that Eugenie photographs badly – I’ve seen many candid and portrait photos where she looks lovely, but I’ll totally buy the idea that she’s better-looking in person. I also think that, in the royal family, it’s sort of shocking to think that most of them are not that photogenic (and that’s why they were so mad at Meghan). I’ve heard that about King Charles too, that he’s always been much better looking in person than in photos. What about Camilla? Has anyone seen her in person? Does she look better or worse in person?

Photos courtesy of Cover Images.

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76 Responses to “Princess Eugenie says that people think she’s better looking in real life than in photos”

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  1. Poor Eugenie. Sometimes there is a good picture of her but most of the time no. Maybe you’re right and she just doesn’t photograph well. As for Horsilla Im pretty sure she looks like a horse in person too. I haven’t seen her in person so don’t know if it’s a nag or a race horse my moneys on nag.

    • Clancy says:

      I can relate to not being photogenic. But sometimes I surprise myself in a good way. I think it’s important to think about lighting and angles. But yeah, some people just always photograph quite well.

      Obviously beauty can be somewhat subjective. I think she is average looking which is not a bad thing. The majority of people are average looking…hence the descriptor. I wouldn’t say “poor Eugenie”. We’re just so used to seeing “perfect” looking people…often surgically or digitally enhanced. I realize this is veering from her point about being photogenic, but it’s not like she doesn’t look fine. She’s fine. Lowercase f. Lol.

    • Mrs.Krabapple says:

      Please don’t insult racehorses. They work really hard, literally putting their lives on the line for their job. And some of them are quite attractive, relative to Camilla (

    • MoxyLady007 says:

      I used to be so photogenic. Knew my angles, my smiles, my poses without knowing I knew them. Now that selfies are a thing – not so much. Have a camera man follow me and I’m solid. Hand me an iPhone and i am like what the hell is happening.

      I think though – yet again – that this is easily fixable. How hard would it be for the RF to have basic training on posing, their different smiles, which to use for what occasion, angles, lighting etc.

      Like Will is the president of BAFTA or something right?

      Have a director, cinematographer, lighting expert, models, photographers, actors come in and give you tips on how to look and act engaged in person and in photos.

      So much of life is practicing and putting in the work. Even here. Meghan is stunningly beautiful. But she also worked to understand what makes her look her best, from clothes to lighting to expressions and posture. So that she can put her best foot forward and bring more bang for the buck to the places she’s striving to bring public attention to.

      I just can’t fathom being in that position – knowing you are going to be in that position for your whole life – and not being proactive in your looks and not making use of access to stylists and fashion consultants and photographers.

  2. Haylie says:

    Ma’am. Charles nor his Whorse look good in photos or in person. Both are ugly to the bone. Any other claim is a Rota lie.

  3. slippers4life says:

    Seeing her in that dress from the head to toe shot she looks absolutely stunning! She also looked stunning on her wedding day. She is beautiful. For me sometimes, in photos, she has a slight physical resemblance to her POS biological father and my best guess is that is what people are seeing in photos. She is a gorgeous woman and she is not her garbage dad.

    • Chloe says:

      Yeah i also really liked that dress she wore on the red carpet. I don’t think she photographs bad at all. There are unflattering pap shots of her out there but isn’t that the case for every female celeb? Even the most gorgeous ones. At least she gets to hear she look beautiful in real life. I’d rather have that than hear people’s disappointment because I don’t look anything like my photo’s due to all the photoshop.

    • Kristen from MA says:

      If you look closely, you’ll see that she strongly resembles the queen mother. It took me a while to see it, but now I find the resemblance striking.

  4. MF says:

    I don’t think Charles could possibly look worse in person than he does in photos.

    As for Eugenie, I think she’s quite pretty. It sucks that people have been weird and rude about her looks.

  5. MaryContrary says:

    My husband has seen Beatrice out in the wild, and he says she’s very pretty but smokes like a chimney . . .

    • MoxyLady007 says:

      Beatrice has really fascinating eyes. She really should play them up more.

      Eugenie is beautiful and lovely. I don’t see pictures of her where I think she looks badly. Sometimes I see pictures where she looks like herself if that makes sense. A strange angle etc. but when she looks like herself, she looks beautiful.

  6. Nicole says:

    I think Eugenie is quite pretty. Honestly IMO I think she’s much prettier than Beatrice.

    • MinorityReport says:

      Definitely the prettier of the two.

    • LaraK says:

      Beatrice’s eyes don’t photograph well – she has very large eyes, so she always looks bug-eyed in photos, like someone shot off fireworks under her.

      I always thought Eugénie looks lovely in photos. Not stunning, just pretty and sweet and kind.

      • VilleRose says:

        I’ve always thought the same about Beatrice’s eyes. She can’t help the way she looks of course, and I actually think her big eyes are gorgeous. But depending on the way she’s photographed she can look bug eyed and looks like she’s permanently surprised. She inherited her mom’s eyes, but Sarah Ferguson’s eyes have never looked disproportionate on her face like they do sometimes on Beatrice.

      • aftershocks says:

        ^^ That’s because the bug-eyed feature was passed down from Queen Victoria, combined with the large eyes Bea inherits from Fergie.

    • MoxyLady007 says:

      I think Bea has beautiful expressive eyes.

      I think perhaps she could take a class or two on both makeup and posing so that her lovely eyes get the love that they deserve.

      I must admit that – not really the yorks – but for people who’s whole job is to have their picture taken, they seem to be completely lacking in the understanding of the art of arranging one’s self to appear your best.

      Like an IG influencer could teach them so much.

      Cameras have been around for Charles whole life. How are they all so bad ag thjs

  7. Normades says:

    Yup some people are just photogenic and others not so much. Everyone loves to say that Sarah Jessica Parker is uggs but I’ve had several ny friends tell me irl she’s stunning.
    Another story long long ago I had dinner at Chateau Marmot in LA with 2 friends that work in the industry. We were sitting next to this woman who was of course pretty but nothing special in my eyes but by the way everyone was treating her I knew she was probably a big deal. I whispered to my friends “who is that?” It’s Megan Fox. Mind blown. My friend there who is a fancy HWood makeup artist said “there’s just some people that the camera loves”. Seriously in person I was not impressed.

    • Normades says:

      I have a friend that works with exclusive peeps traveling on AirFrance and she said most of these celebrities are not that beautiful irl. I asked her who’s the most beautiful person you ever saw and she said Eva Mendes.

    • MaryContrary says:

      A friend’s brother has done lighting on movies for 30 years-he says there are some people who are super plain in person and look great on camera. (Gwyneth being one of them-he worked on one of her films in her heyday, plus she was not nice.)

      • DoubleRigatoni says:

        Yep, saw that (Goop being plain in person but photogenic) mentioned a couple of times on Reddit, by posters who work in sectors where they get to see a lot of celebs in person. Jennifer Aniston, esp when she was younger, apparently looks really pretty in person – much more delicate. These posters weren’t fans but they were surprised. She is apparently really chill and nice – not over the top nice like Robin Williams. JSP hates people talking to her kids and some lady who tried talking to her twins in a friendly, casual way when they were younger got, “Please do not speak to my children.” Think this was in a lift in NYC.

    • GraceB says:

      I’ve heard the same thing about Grace Kelly! People used to say that she was actually quite plain in real life, but the camera loved her.

    • RMS says:

      20 years ago, I used to travel to Santa Monica for work monthly. I ate out constantly, and saw quite a few actors in the wild. The only one that made me drop my fork in awe was Michele Rodriguez (The female lead in Fast and Furious). She was exquisite without a drop of makeup on, just glowing and perfect and breathtaking. Halle Berry was another one – although it was when she started with the long hair, so I didn’t recognize her, but her body is completely banging. We all turned our heads and watched her walk to the bathroom awesome.

    • Elizabeth Phillips says:

      I’ve always thought Tamara Tunie was pretty on SVU, but I saw her in person at the Obies one year and seriously couldn’t stop staring, she was so gorgeous.

    • MoxyLady007 says:

      I have a friend who was an “it” girl in La for two years or so. She left when she got bored.

      But she was basically a living muse/ sometime model. She and her best friend were invited to every party, every after party, etc. On every guest list. She rarely speaks about it and is usually just like – ha it was wild.

      But she said that there are a few celebrities that are beyond stunning in person. One of them being Keanu reeves. We were talking at a time when he was really doing the scruffy beard thing etc and I was like – why?!?

      And she said that he was so beautiful that when he walked into a room everything stopped. It was like an angel had arrived. That he was so beautiful that he didn’t even seem human and that the way people were mesmerized by his face as if he were a Living piece of art would have driven her mad.

      She said she completely understood why he had the beard and that as wild as it sounded being that truly beautiful must have been very lonely. Because you are so different than other people. You are just foreign and almost alien.

      It was wild to hear.

  8. n2ny says:

    Eugenie seems like a contented, happy, chill person, and that’s the most beautiful look of all. She glows.

  9. Original penguin says:

    BeAtrice has an unfortunate resemblance to her father, it’s softer in Eugenie. Eugenie suffers from her figure not being fashionable to current tastes. She would never be a model but due to her birth family she is featured in the press in a similar way to the ‘beautiful people’ and of course she comes across at a disadvantage

  10. Snuffles says:

    I feel the same way. I look a million time better in person. I like what I see in the mirror. But when I take a photo, it magnifies every flaw like a fun house mirror.

    I also don’t know my angles or how to pose. I’ve been looking at a lot of Instagram pages that teach you how to pose and find the good light. And also about how camera lenses can drastically change things too.

    That said, during my time in Hollywood and occasionally seeing celebrities in person, it’s striking how different people look. For some people, like Gwyneth Paltrow, the camera makes them look better. Because she’s the mousiest thing I ever saw. Some, the camera doesn’t do their beauty justice. Jessica Alba and Eliza Dushku are STUNNING in person. And for some, what you see is what you get. I would put Ben Affleck and Sandra Oh in that category.

    • Teagirl says:

      Many many years ago I was in France, in Paris I think it was, and there was a movie shoot going on. I stopped and stared because there was the most stunningly beautiful person I have ever seen, bar none. I couldn’t help myself, I just stared because she was luminous. It wasn’t a glamour shot, she was wearing a raincoat and a head scarf, but OMG that face. I couldn’t stop looking. I’ve never forgotten it and I don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone more beautiful. I had no idea who she was but I found out later it was Catherine Deneuve.

    • Christine says:

      Agreed on Eliza Dushku. I saw her at a donut shop, of all places, and she was drop dead gorgeous, wearing sweats with no make-up, and her hair haphazardly tied up.

      She legitimately had probably just rolled out of bed, and she was more beautiful than anyone I have ever seen in real life.

    • AC says:

      I’ve seen Jake Gyllenhaal in person at a beach in the US Virgin Islands. Before that, in photos, I thought he’s just average. In person, he’s very handsome and has the most amazing blue eyes.
      Also saw Cameron Diaz on a flight back to the US from Heathrow. She was in London filming “The Holiday” . To me she looked the same (photos and in person).
      Kendall Jenner (whether you like them or not) is very pretty.

      • DoubleRigatoni says:

        Have never been able to stomach Jake G since that intern story came out. He was quite a messed up person, but yes, they have insane pressure.

  11. Sarah says:

    I also look significantly better in person. I don’t wear much makeup which doesn’t matter in real life but I look pretty washed out on camera.

  12. Jais says:

    I’ve always thought that Eugenie and Beatrice both are quite pretty.

  13. ecsmom says:

    While Meghan is photogenic, we are always hearing people say to her “you are even prettier in real life”.
    So that’s why someone saying you are better looking than your photographs seems like an insult. It’s implies you could still be ugly but not as ugly – just better. Saying “prettier” means the bar was already high and you have exceeded that.

    • Normades says:

      No I think it’s a compliment. I think we’re all better than our pictures and Meghan, gorgeous woman she is, is too. It just means we have personality and charisma which photos don’t capture

      • paintybox says:

        Unfortunately some people are not better than their pictures. My former SIL always looked gorgeous in photos but wasn’t very pretty irl – something about the way she photographed, her face looked 10 zillion times better. And I’ve known others who photograph really well even when they’re not looking that amazing even when the photo is being taken. Camera magic! (doesn’t work for me)

  14. Isa says:

    I can take a decent selfie, but I hardly ever look good in photos that other people take of me. My face looks lumpy in them.

    In that top photo Eugenie looks like Neve Campbell.

  15. C says:

    I look soooo much better in person than photos! (That’s my story and I’m sticking to it)

  16. Eurydice says:

    There’s something about the camera turning 3D into 2D that flattens out a person. Maybe that’s why they say the camera adds 10 lbs. I think people with more pronounced bone structure have better luck in photos.

  17. girl_ninja says:

    To me Eugenie’s face card is lovely, it’s the full body photos that don’t show up well. She has a lovely figure but some of her style choices don’t work well when photographed. Especially when she wears a gown with satin fabric. Even with Bea, depending on the angle of the photo she’ll look like a deer caught in headlights or a complete 10.

    Photography is weird. I know all my best angles at this point.

  18. Kathgal says:

    Me getting my passport photo done: My photos always look bad.
    Photographer : Everyone says that….(gasp) …oh my!!
    I have given up trying, nobody sees them anyhow. 🙂

  19. TarteAuCitron says:

    People tend to comment on my eyes if the lighting is good: the blue really pops a lot more, but they are regular blue IRL. I don’t trust people to take my pic ever. I can angle myself better in a selfie.

    My brother is very photogenic, but he dresses terribly and you wouldn’t notice him on the street. For some reason, he looks like a smouldering bald Daniel Craig on camera. Even his guy friends compliment him on it :))

  20. Becks1 says:

    I’m also someone who the camera is just not kind to – I think part of it is definitely my posture, but I have a puffy face and its just not camera friendly, lol. Even at my skinniest I don’t photograph well.

    someone on here explained it once about faces going from 3D to 2D and how some bone structures etc look better in 2D and vice versa – so thats why there are some who look really good on camera but plain in real life, and others who are really attractive in person but plain on camera.

  21. VilleRose says:

    Some people are naturally photogenic and some people aren’t. Eugenie is not naturally photogenic, but I think a lot of it is in how she styles herself. Her fashion is hit or miss and I find most pictures of her at formal events are very awkward because her outfits are awkward. So I totally believe she is better looking in person, but I can’t believe people tell that to her face! Eugenie is pretty and she looked so gorgeous on her wedding day, her wedding dress looked great on her and the emerald tiara she wore remains to this day my favorite tiara ever.

  22. Lala11_7 says:

    I am NOT photogenic…it was the bane of my existence growing up…Mama was a model & I would go on gigs with her…There are hardly ANY pictures of me from 1979 until now because the camera ALWAYS seems to make me look like an alien!😠 To get ONE good selfie…I have to take 50! I see my 2 sisters serving face so effortlessly on social media & it used to bother TF outta me…but as I’ve gotten older…it dosen’t bother me as much…though I STILL don’t turn the camera on myself…I didn’t get my Father’s adorable dimples ❤️ but I DID get his under eye bags…which plays HAVOC when the camera flashes 🤪

  23. Hana says:

    She has deep-set eyes and those often photograph poorly.

    I met MacKenzie Bezos, and she is much prettier in person. Her jawline photographs weird.

    I think I am average, but I look like a monster in photographs!

  24. North of Boston says:

    As another not-photogenic person, I totally get this. I can look okay in selfies and people say I’m lovely in person but in any picture taken by someone else my features are … not attractive from any angle.

    There’s this song, Evolve by Ani DiFranco that gives me a way to frame it so I don’t feel so gross anytime I see myself in photos:

    “… I walk like I’m on a mission
    cuz that’s the way I groove
    I got more and more to do
    I got less and less to prove

    It took me too long to realize
    that I don’t take good pictures
    cuz I have the kind of beauty
    that moves”

  25. LovelyRita says:

    That aquamarine color is stunning on Eugenia! The style (I’m being nice, it looks like an charmeuse straight jacket) overwhelms her. I want to take all that fabric and remake it into something fabulous. She should wear that color every day!

  26. equality says:

    She likely is lovelier in person because she seems to be cheerful, friendly and easy to talk to.

  27. AnneL says:

    One thing I hate about social media is the constant posting of pictures. I am content with my appearance but not always with how I photograph. It drives me crazy when people constantly want to take pictures at an event or gathering, and how they will sometimes post a pic of me without asking if I’m OK with how I look in it. Like, please don’t show the world how I look when I’m in the middle of a conversation or eating a cracker. Just don’t.

    Eugenie is lovely. It’s not surprising to learn that people think she looks better in person. I wouldn’t say she’s not photogenic, but she has nice eyes and a great smile that probably shine more when you’re in her presence. And she just seems like a good egg.

    • Wannabefarmer says:

      I feel your pain about picture taking, will avoid it like the plague not just b/c I dont like the way Iook but because I’m obsessive about my privacy, dont want pics of me on sm. Was just saying below I just took my first selfie this summer, and this was after having two long-term friends ask me for pics and when I said I dont have one, one gave me a ‘lecture’ about the importance of capturing memories (like I’ve forgotten what my greatgran looks like, wish I had a pic of her now). I realized she was right, some moments are worth capturing, SOME, not every freaking minute of one’s life. So for friends with whom I only see once a year, I’m now forcing myself to take a picture with them.

  28. Mrs.Krabapple says:

    It really shouldn’t matter what Eugenie looks like, but of course it does, which is part of what’s wrong with society. It’s also why the tabloids are always promoting Kate or trying to make one of the other royal women “happen”: because the “job” is purely decorative, no substance. And in the modern world, there is something off-putting about seeing a male being pampered, draped in fur, waited on hand and foot, and wearing obscene amounts of jewels — but it’s more acceptable if a women does it. So they need a woman to be the “face” of the monarchy, who can wear the jewels and designer clothes, and all the other fluff, without looking ridiculous the way a male would. Kate isn’t popular because she’s smart, or kind, or hard-working (she’s none of those things), it’s because she’s thin and wears jewelry.

  29. Remy says:

    Irl I’m attractive, but my pictures are awkward 70% of the time. What sucks even more though, I come from a family of very photogenic people (literal beauty queens and magazines covers), so I’m usually the one that mess up the group pic. lol.

  30. BeanieBean says:

    I recently moved states & had to get a new drivers license. I tell you, this photo was worse than my passport photo. How on earth can anything be worse than a passport photo?? The Washington State DMV somehow managed.

    • Lucky Charm says:

      @ BeanieBean, Ithink it’s in the state constitution that drivers license photos MUST be the worst.

  31. Sass says:

    Former professional lifestyle photographer here and I can promise you almost nobody photographs well. There is always an element of post processing involved however minimal. Cameras are the Devil and on the whole people tend to look better IRL than they do in photos unless they’ve been heavily shopped to the point of no recognition.

    I think Eugenie definitely photographs better than Bea. Bea is imo not very pretty. But again! That could be the photos.

    Also my mom forced me to do beauty pageants as a little kid and I got awarded Most Photogenic at age 5. I still have my sash, even though it is NOT TRUE 🤣

    • Wannabefarmer says:

      Meghan never takes a bad pic though!

      • paintybox says:

        It’s so true – I’ve literally never seen a bad pic of Meghan. Some photos of her might be less stunning than others or might look like casual candids, but she ALWAYS ALWAYS is above that bar set for beauty. She just never looks bad or weird. Queen!

    • Nic919 says:

      Eugenie doesn’t have Chris Jackson on speed dial ready to photoshop away the flaws. But she doesn’t look bad in photos. I am sure when people see Kate in real life, they wonder what happened. The Danish photographers really showed the difference in editing.

      Meghan tends to always photograph well and no other woman in that family can approach it without photoshop. It’s always hilarious how derangers have to photoshop Meghan’s photos to make her look worse.

    • Debbie says:

      You said that almost nobody photographs well but, respectfully, I must disagree. My cousin’s wife had a Division of Motor Vehicle photo (DMV, damn it!) and she looked so gorgeous that we passed the picture around the dinner table in admiration, and I’m a harsh critic in that I don’t sugarcoat things. It was such a great photograph that they enlarged it and framed it. Of course, she’s a very attractive woman (and the nicest person) but that’s not always a guaranty that one’s pictures will turn out well. I, on the other hand, oh what’s the phrase? I “look better in person.” So, I sympathize with Eugenie on this one.

  32. Wannabefarmer says:

    I so identify with you. I take horrible, horrible pictures. Rare is the occasion when I take a picture I like, even though people will say, you look great, I think they are just saying that because my ‘lenses’ say, ‘yuck’. I took my first selfie with a friend this summer, he looked fabulous, I look awful. Even the guy next to us said he was a photographer and we ‘looked great together’, nope, did not believe him. So maybe I’m like B, I look better in person.

    Triangle face with ridiculously high cheek bones that I’ve occasionally tried squash in (yeah I know, not possible) but which apparently people would die for? Meh, they can have it.

  33. DoubleRigatoni says:

    I’m not photogenic either (but attractive enough in person) and I’m secretly grateful as it makes me not one bit tempted by social media (also I’m the last year of Gen X so remember/prefer a life without social media). You gotta have the bone structure to photograph well.

    Reddit has lots of posters who work in industries where they see a lot of celebs in person. GOOP is said to be surprisingly plain in person but looks good on camera. They say a lot of celebs are actually even better looking but they can’t believe how much thinner they are – some look skeletal (Emma Stone, Alexa Chung, and Angie, no surprise). Beyonce and Kim K are TINY in person. From memory, Diana Agron, Jess Chastain, Sofia Vegara, and Halle Berry are among the women who are just so shockingly gorgeous in person you can’t take your eyes off them. Matt Smith looks weird on cam but he and Tom Hiddles are really handsome and manly in person.

    • DoubleRigatoni says:

      Oh, and Mads Mikkelsen is apparently really surprisingly handsome and charismatic in person too, and Avril Lavign (spellling?) looks like a porcelain doll in person.
      Those Reddit threads about meeting/seeing celebs IRL are always fun to read.
      Unrelated but there was some Reddit poster claiming they know a close Britney family member who was very loving towards Britney and he/she confided that no one knows how bipolar Britney is (or was at the time of the conversation). Since her book is out right now, I’ll mention this.

  34. Bread and Circuses says:

    If you shine a bright light at someone, it makes the imperfections in their skin disappear, but it also makes the shadows on their face diminish.

    That lack of shadows makes them look like a thumb. That’s why most drivers license photos are not flattering.

    Models have strong bone structure, so if you shine a bright light at them, they still have enough shadows to look really good.

    Casual photos, with no special lighting, still have a bit of that effect, because cameras do not capture the full variation of colour our eyes see, so people do still look slightly flattened in a photo.