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Princess Beatrice couldn’t have picked a sunnier day for her surprise wedding to Italian fiancé Count Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi.
In an extraordinary precedent for the royals, news of the nuptials was only announced after the couple had tied the knot in private. It is the first ‘secret’ royal wedding in 235 years.
But OK! has learned that the secrecy, along with the many special personal touches are proof of the bride’s close bond with her grandmother Her Majesty the Queen.
Beatrice, 31, and millionaire property developer Edoardo, 37, known as Edo, tied the knot at 11am on Friday 17 July, in an intimate family event at the Royal Chapel of All Saints.
Queen loans Princess Beatrice stunning diamanté encrusted gown and tiara for royal wedding in Windsor
Princess Beatrice's stunning wedding dress mirrors the gown her mother Sarah Ferguson wore in 1986
The venue, which was adorned with flowers, is close to Royal Lodge in Windsor Great Park where Beatrice’s parents Prince Andrew and Sarah, Duchess of York live. It is also where the Queen sometimes goes for private prayers and she gave Beatrice special permission to marry there.
The bride looked stunning in a vintage dress by Norman Hartnell that was on loan from the Queen. Made from Peau De Soie taffeta in shades of ivory, the romantic gown is trimmed with duchess satin and encrusted with diamanté. The Queen’s dressmaker Angela Kelly and royal bridal designer Stewart Parvin remodelled it especially for Beatrice.
She was also wearing the Queen Mary diamond fringe tiara which was worn by her grandmother on her own wedding day in 1947.
A statement from Buckingham Palace confirmed that “the couple decided to hold a small private ceremony with their parents and siblings following the postponement of their wedding in May.”
As a result, the wedding party consisted of the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh, the bride’s parents Sarah and Andrew, who walked his daughter down the aisle, and the groom’s father and mother, former Olympic skier Count Alessandro Mapelli Mozzi and Nikki Williams-Ellis.
Princess Eugenie and husband Jack Brooksbank also attended. Edoardo’s four-year-old son Christopher, nicknamed Wolfie, from his previous relationship with architect Dara Huang, was best man and page boy.
Royal expert Ingrid Seward tells OK! that the poignant tributes to the Queen speak volumes about Beatrice’s relationship with “Granny”. She also says the decision to hold a scaled-down ceremony near the castle, where the Queen and Philip have been isolating, would have been taken to ensure they could both attend.
“Beatrice is an extremely sweet, down-to-earth girl and she’s very close to both her grandparents, so she would have chosen a date that fitted in with the Queen’s diary. Presumably it was the first day that Her Majesty could attend an event since lockdown began.
“She was knighting Captain Tom Moore that afternoon. She would have told Beatrice, ‘Of course I want to be there, but there really can’t be many other people present.’”
The Queen, 94, who wore a pale aqua dress coat and matching hat, was seen leaving the ceremony with Philip, 99, at 11.45am. She later shared her delight when she told Sir Tom, “My granddaughter got married this morning. Both Philip and I managed to get there – very nice.”
At the wedding, Beatrice carried a bouquet of jasmine, pink and cream sweet peas, royal porcelain ivory spray roses, pink O’Hara roses, wax flower and astilbe. In keeping with royal tradition, sprigs of myrtle were included in the bouquet, which was created by Patrice Van Helden, co-owner of RVH Floral Design.
The ceremony was officiated by the Reverend Canon Paul Wright, sub-dean of the Chapel Royal and the Reverend Canon Martin Poll, domestic chaplain to the Queen. Two of the couple’s favourite poems were read by their mothers – Shakespeare’s Sonnet 116 and I Carry Your Heart With Me by E E Cummings.
All social distancing measures were adhered to and, in accordance with government guidelines, no hymns were sung, but a selection of music was played including the National Anthem.
Beatrice, who spent the eve of her wedding with her mother at Royal Lodge, wore a ring designed by Shaun Leane. Her new husband sported a vintage gold band by Josh Collins.
The blushing bride, who can now add the title Contessa or Nobile Donna (noble woman) to her name, was due to marry Edoardo at the Chapel Royal of St James’s Palace, London, in front of 150 guests. A lavish reception was to be held in the garden of Buckingham Palace, attended by celebrities including Ellie Goulding and James Blunt.
“I don’t think Beatrice ever wanted a big fancy royal wedding. She’s had big fancy royal parties in the past but she has slowed down and she has found true happiness at last,” says Ingrid. “I think she wanted her wedding to be kept very low key, partly to protect her father from more criticism.”
Referring to Andrew’s links to the court case involving his former friend Ghislaine Maxwell and his removal from royal duties in November, Ingrid explains, “If Beatrice had waited to have a public wedding, she would have risked having unsupportive members of the public potentially screaming obscenities at her father. It would be horrible. It would have ruined her day.”
Beatrice is said to have known Edoardo for years due to her parents’ close friendship with Edoardo’s late stepfather Christopher Shale. The couple reportedly struck up a romance a month before Eugenie’s wedding in 2018 and announced their engagement in September last year, with a series of photos taken by Eugenie in Italy. The 3.5 carat engagement ring was estimated to have cost £60,000.
In a joint statement at the time, the loved-up pair said, “We are both so excited to be embarking on this life adventure together and can’t wait to actually be married. We share so many similar interests and values and we know that this will stand us in great stead for the years ahead, full of love and happiness.”
Beatrice’s mother echoed the sentiments, revealing, “I have tears of joy.” She described Edoardo as “a loyal young man”.
The marriage also makes Beatrice the first princess to become a stepmum. “She’s 31 so she probably envisages starting a family in the next year,” adds Ingrid.
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One thing is for sure, despite the low-key event, there’s sure to be more festivities in the pipeline. “Fergie is the ultimate party girl,” says Ingrid. “I’d think there will have been a post-wedding dinner with lots of champagne, but they’re bound to throw a big party next year.”
We can’t wait!
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