"There was a time when I said that the day I married Arthur was the best day of my life,” says a beaming Georgina Wilson-Burnand. “And it really was—until the day Archie was born. Now, it’s the second best.” Not so long ago, the ideas of marriage and motherhood were the farthest things on her mind. A car eer woman through and through (she had juggled university with work), Georgina had always thought they would come at a time in her life when she did not have so much on her plate and would be truly ready. Fate, however, had its own designs, and Georgina found herself caught in what she could only describe as a whirlwind.
This is not Georgina’s first rodeo with Philippine Tatler. The five-time cover girl first appeared on the cover as a fresh new face in March 2005. Until now, her most recent appearance was on the special three-cover July 2011 Glam Issue, an honour she shared with fellow it girls Celine Lopez and Heart Evangelista.
Born in Wichita, Kansas, Georgina spent most of her childhood years on a farm 30 minutes away from a small town in North Yorkshire, England. There, she would help tend to the animals and teach her younger siblings Jessica and Samuel how to make perfume from flowers. Her family moved to the Philippines when she was 11, and she was enrolled at the exclusive all-girl private school Assumption College as a fourth grader. “I was tall for my age and chubby; I stuck out like a sore thumb,” she recalls. “The other kids teased me about my English accent, so I worked quickly to lose it. At the time, I was putting a lot of effort into fitting in because I was so mindful that I was different.”
She grew up to be a woman of both beauty and brains (she has a bachelor’s degree in commerce with double majors in finance and accounting from the University of Sydney) with a strong work ethic. Other than being a model, VJ, and television show host, Wilson is also a capable businesswoman, helming the marketing end of the ever-popular eyewear brand Sunnies Studios Inc. Along with her cousins and close friends, she is her alded as one of Manila’s most sought-after it girls. Georgina pays the label little heed, but acknowledges the pressure that comes with it. Of this, she says, “As a public figure who is active on social media, there are expectations of us to not make mistakes and to be perfect—which isn’t always the case. I try not t o think too hard about things and make sure that I am myself and that I stick to my morals and values.”
A Real-Life Fairy Tale
Like a scene out of a r omantic comedy, Georgina first laid eyes on her beau, Swire Properties hotel representative in China and SOXKS.com co-founder Arthur Burnand, when they were both in attendance for the latter’s best friend’s wedding eight years ago.
“Arthur’s closest friend is my godfather’s son,” says Georgina. “I thought him to be quintessentially British—very proper and polite.” She admits that the initial meeting had been awkward; there were plans to set them up when she had been living in London, but none of it end ed up pushing through.
Arthur adds in earnest, “I thought she was so beautiful—a big star that had somehow miraculously ended up on my radar. I even told my friend, ‘I’m going to marry that girl someday,’ as a sort of joke at the time. And then I found out she had a boyfriend.”
The pair did not get to know each other until they met again in 2015 on a holiday in Australia. Her social media followers were quick to point out the presence of a blond-haired, blue-eyed mystery man on her Instagram posts, but Georgina chose to keep mum. “I knew at once that he w as the kind of man I dreamt I would marry—one that would be the best husband and father,” she says. “My friends thought I had gone crazy, but I was so, so sure. When they got to know him better, they saw where I was coming from. My cousin Belle [Daza] told me, ‘George, he truly is your soulmate.’”
Arthur popped the question when they were away visiting his parents in England...
Read more about Arthur's proposal to Georgina and eventually their married life with their son, Archie in the latest issue of Philippine Tatler. Available in all leading newsstands and bookstores, and downloadable via Magzter, Zinio, and Pressreader.
Photography by BJ Pascual | Styling by Monique Madsen | Words by MJ Jose