Cape Town - She was a 20-year-old student at Newcastle University when she first laid eyes on the 24-year-old nightclub manager.
Princess Eugenie (28) and Jack Brooksbank (32) were introduced through friends at the Swiss ski resort and it was love at first sight.
For a while distance separated them after Eugenie moved to New York briefly in 2013 for her career but they kept the relationship going despite the thousands of kilometres and time difference between them.
“He’s not a jet-setty type,” says a friend of Jack, but adds the couple communicated via Skype and were supported by lots of their “lovely friends”.
It seems the efforts and sacrifices were worth it because eight years later the sweethearts are set to pledge their eternal love to each other.
But who is the man the Duke and Duchess of York’s youngest daughter will walk down the aisle with?
We take a look.
Not as common as you’d think
Although the Brooksbanks aren’t aristocratic per se, they’re by no means an ordinary working-class family.
Jack’s father George (68) is an accountant and company director who was educated at the uber-posh Eton, where Eugenie’s cousins Prince William and Harry also studied.
George and wife Nicola (64) ensured their boys Jack and Thomas received top education. Jack attended Stowe school in Buckinghamshire, the alma mater of Virgin mogul Richard Branson.
One term at the upper-class school costs about R252 000, People magazine reports.
A royal history
According to Town & Country, Jack is a descendant of the Brooksbank baronets (a title just below a baron).
His family tree is filled with earls, baronets, knights and even a few kings.
In fact, Jack’s royal roots run so deep he’s distantly related to his bride-to-be, something highly desirable in blue-blooded circles.
His great-great-grandfather Viscount Thomas Coke is the great-great-grandfather of Eugenie’s mother Sarah.
No tertiary education
Despite his impressive formative education, Jack skipped university and dived straight into a career in hospitality.
He kick-started his career at Chelsea’s Admiral Codrington pub before he moved on to the Markham Inn, The Sun writes.
It was there he met Prince Harry and club baron Guy Pelly, who then hired him to manage the world-famous exclusive night spot Mahiki.
But he left the popular London club in 2010 to start his own merchant business. He’s also currently the UK ambassador for Casamigos, Rande Gerber’s tequila brand.
His future in-laws love him already
Prince Andrew gushed about Jack after the engagement was announced, referring to him as an “absolutely outstanding young man”.
“I’m really thrilled for them,” he said. “I’m just completely overjoyed for them and wish them every happiness”.
And Sarah Ferguson is ecstatic about Jack’s career choice.
“The good news is Jack also works as the European Manager for Casamigos Tequila, so I’m perfect,” she said. “He’ll just hand me the tequila and say, ‘Come on, mother-in-law, down it.’”
Queen Elizabeth is chuffed too, adds Eugenie.
“She wished us well, which was amazing. It was nice that she was so happy for us,” Eugenie told the BBC’s Matt Baker.
His family reckons he’s hit the jackpot
Joanna Newton didn’t mince her words when she spoke of her grandson’s engagement to a member of England’s most famous family.
While she was “thrilled about it”, she also added she never expected ordinary old Jack to win over a princess.
“He’s a charming boy and all but not the most intelligent and I’d never have thought this would happen,” she told The Sun.
“I’d call him ordinary. I wouldn’t say there’s anything special about him. He’s a good-looking, nice chap and I think it says a lot about Eugenie that it’s him she wants and it’s lovely.”
A modest net worth
Eugenie has a substantial net worth of £3.6m (about R69m) thanks to trust funds set up for her by the Queen Mother and her parents respectively.
Jack is worth a fraction of that. Express reports he’s worth £14 390 (about R279 000).