She may soon be a Royal bride but there will be no carriage ride or procession for Princess Beatrice at her wedding – and no reception at Windsor Castle either.
Beatrice is ripping up the Royal rule book and has uttered that most unspeakable of words – ‘venue’ – during talks with her parents about where to marry next year.
Dispensing with the age-old aristocratic diktat that ‘one should never marry at a castle that is not one’s own’, Beatrice has told her parents she isn’t interested in a big showy event at Windsor of the kind enjoyed by her younger sister Princess Eugenie a year ago, and is instead looking for a low-key venue to host the reception.
Bizarrely, this could mean she ends up renting somewhere posh that doesn’t belong to the Family.
Buckingham Palace announced Princess Beatrice’s engagement to property tycoon Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi towards the end of last month
Princess Beatrice and fiance property tycoon Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi released a series of down-to-earth photographs to mark their engagement
Thoughtful Bea also hopes that a lack of pomp won’t rub Edoardo’s ex-fiance Dara Huang’s nose in the occasion too much (Dara is pictured left and right). As I revealed last week, Dara has been invited with her two-year-old son Wolfie, who is to be Edo’s best man
Beatrice is in the happy position of being able to opt out of Royal protocol as she has dropped to ninth in line to the throne since the birth in May of Prince Harry’s son Archie.
She didn’t have to ask the Queen for permission to marry her fiance, Italian property tycoon Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi, and she is not obliged to endure the pomp of a procession.
Nor will she have to face the embarrassment of potentially getting turned down by the BBC for TV coverage of the event, as Eugenie was. With no procession, there will be no pressure to have the occasion broadcast.
A low-key affair will also cut costs – Eugenie came under fire after it emerged her wedding cost the taxpayer about £2 million to police.
Beatrice is said to be relieved that she can get on with a quieter, private wedding, possibly in a marquee at her parents’ home, the relatively modest Royal Lodge at Windsor. She has insisted to friends that she genuinely hasn’t yet decided where it will be, but hopes a smaller venue will keep things a little more casual.
Thoughtful Bea also hopes that a lack of pomp won’t rub Edoardo’s ex-fiance Dara Huang’s nose in the occasion too much. As I revealed last week, Dara has been invited with her two-year-old son Wolfie, who is to be Edo’s best man.
One of Beatrice’s friends told me last week: ‘Beatrice has said she and Edo are looking at alternative venues because she wants something different. The wedding will not be in Italy and from what they are saying it won’t be in St George’s Chapel, Windsor, either.
‘There have been three big Royal weddings there in the past year or so and I’m not sure that’s what Bea wants. Edo has a child, there’s the situation with his ex, and Beatrice might just feel something more low-key might be more fitting.’
Princess Beatrice in August also become a full-time ‘stepmother’ to Edoardo’s two-year-old son (pictured with Eduardo) while Dara was working overseas
Beatrice is said to be relieved that she can get on with a quieter, private wedding, possibly in a marquee at her parents’ home, the relatively modest Royal Lodge at Windsor (pictured, Bea and Edo in May)
A highly-successful architect with her own design company and international clients, Dara also has to travel a great deal.
Princess Beatrice in August become a full-time ‘stepmother’ to Edoardo’s two-year-old son while Dara was working overseas.
Edo, 34, moved in with Bea, 31, ensuring there’s plenty of free child care on hand for his toddler Christopher Woolf, known as Wolfie.
Architect Dara, 37, was said to be thrilled with the arrangement and told Bea’s sister Eugenie as much when she bumped into her at a party recently.
A close friend tells me: ‘Dara thinks Beatrice is wonderful with Wolfie. She’s a natural.’
Beatrice, who has known Edoardo for several years, is said to have begun dating the millionaire after meeting him again at Eugenie’s wedding in October last year.
He is the son of former Olympic skier Count Alessandro Mapelli Mozzi and Nikki Shale, is a count himself, and has been a friend of the York children for some time before getting engaged to Beatrice.
He was educated at the prestigious Radley school in Oxfordshire before studying for a Master’s in politics at Edinburgh.
His mother is Nikki Shale, who split with his count father when he was young.
The couple, who will tie the knot in 2020, shared a series of down-to-earth photographs after their engagement taken by sister Princess Eugenie in the grounds of Windsor Great Park.
Beatrice’s mother Sarah, better known as ‘Fergie’, said she and her husband Andrew are overjoyed at the news (the couple are pictured together in July)
In stark contrast, Princess Eugenie and husband Jack Brookbank’s official engagement pictures back in January 2018 were taken in the Picture Gallery at Buckingham Palace by Press Association photographer, Jonathan Brady.
The Queen’s granddaughter and Edoardo released a statement regarding their 11-month whirlwind romance and said: ‘We are extremely happy to be able to share the news of our recent engagement.
‘We are both so excited to be embarking on this life adventure together and can’t wait to actually be married.
Beatrice’s mother Sarah, better known as ‘Fergie’, said she and her husband Andrew are overjoyed at the news.
She wrote: ‘I know what mother feels so I have tears of joy. I am so proud of this sensational news. Andrew and I are just the luckiest people ever to have two great son-in-laws.’
Princess Eugenie may have been waiting generously for her sister Beatrice to reveal her engagement to Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi before making an announcement of her own.
Whispers reach me that, almost a year after their wedding, Eugenie and her husband Jack Brooksbank are ready to start a family but haven’t talked about it because of a genuine wish not to upstage Bea.
In the Royal Family, timing is everything. Eugenie had to wait to marry Jack until after her cousin Prince Harry had tied the knot.
Alas, Eugenie’s big day was reportedly overshadowed when Harry and Meghan revealed to some family and friends at the nuptials that they were expecting their first child.
This might explain why Beatrice’s engagement news was timed – or should I say mistimed – at the beginning of Harry and Meghan’s African tour.