24 MARCH 2008

While her sister Beatrice chose to host a lavish fancy dress party at Windsor Castle to mark turning 18, Princess Eugenie had something a little more action-packed but lower key in mind to celebrate her special day.

The raven-haired royal chose to spend her March 23 milestone birthday on the slopes of upmarket Swiss ski resort Verbier with a group of her closest pals, including - of course - her mother the Duchess of York, and her big sister Beatrice, whom she describes as "my best friends in the world".

It's understood her grandmother, The Queen, offered Eugenie the chance to throw a party similar to Beatrice's 2006 bash, but the birthday girl settled on the intimate holiday instead.

Her choice of celebration highlights one of the differences between Eugenie and her royal sibling. In an interview with a society magazine to celebrate her coming of age, Eugenie commented on how, though they get on fantastically, in many respects they are like "chalk and cheese". "I like just throwing on a pair of jeans and generally being more understated," she confessed, while revealing her elder sibling "is more 'Let's do the glamour'."

Photo: ©
The Queen's granddaughter eschewed a lavish party in a royal residence in favour of a skiing holiday in the Swiss resort of Verbier with a group of her closest pals, including her mum, the Duchess of York, and big sister BeatricePhoto: © Big Click on photo to enlarge