Princess Beatrice’s romance with her new boyfriend started at the wedding of her sister Eugenie, The Mail on Sunday can reveal.
We can also disclose for the first time that multi-millionaire Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi had been engaged for three-and-a-half years to his Chinese-American fiancee, and the couple continued to live together for weeks after he began a relationship with the Queen’s granddaughter at the October 12 nuptials.
The news that the 35-year-old, known as Edo, was engaged and living with Dara Huang as he romanced Beatrice, 30, was revealed by a close friend of Edo’s last night.
The friend said: ‘Edo and Dara were engaged for three-and-a-half years. He met Beatrice years ago when they were children, but he met her again at the wedding of Eugenie. Even after the romance began he continued to live at the family home with Dara and their child.’
Chinese-American architect Dara Huang, 34, pictured at her flat in Bayswater in London, was the fiancee of millionaire Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi before he began his romance with Beatrice
Dara, 37, who has a two-year-old son Christopher ‘Woolfie’ Woolf with Edo, has refused to comment on her fiance’s betrayal with Beatrice. The Princess is said to have proudly introduced him as ‘my boyfriend’ to her parents Prince Andrew and the Duchess of York.
Reports last week claimed that Edo and his fiancee split six months ago. ‘That is simply not true,’ the friend added.
Dara, a highly successful architect, only moved out of the family home in London at the end of last month. Reports claimed that she had been forced to sleep on friends’ sofas – something the friend dismissed as ‘totally false’.
The friend added: ‘There have been many reports about Dara and Edoardo’s relationship but they are wrong. Dara has not commented on anything and is refusing to speak to the press. She doesn’t want to say anything publicly at this stage. Her only concern is for the welfare of their son.’
Asked if Edo had cheated on his fiancee, the friend said: ‘The timing pretty much says it all.’
Dara, who has founded three companies and has 30 employees, spent last week’s Thanksgiving in America with her son, her mother Lily, 69, and father Po-Tein, 80.
While Princess Beatrice is undoubtedly a catch – she and Edo’s aristocratic family have moved in the same circles for years – Dara is equally impressive, albeit from far humbler roots. Her mother was born in China, while her father left Taiwan for the US and worked as a scientist for Nasa. Dara and her younger sister Erin were both born in the US.
She attended Harvard alongside Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, graduating with first-class Bachelors and Masters degrees in architecture.
She worked for British architect Lord Foster in London, helping to design the award-winning Tate Modern extension, before starting her own company Design Haus Liberty in 2013. It now has offices in London and Hong Kong.
Princess Beatrice waves from the steps of St George’s Chapel with her mother Sarah Ferguson, during the wedding of her sister Princess Eugenie and Jack Brooksbank in Windsor last month
Dara – considered one of the most innovative architects of her generation – travels the globe speaking at prestigious events such as the Art Basel exhibition.
She has spoken about her hard-earned success, saying: ‘I’m an immigrant, I’m a minority, I’m a businesswoman and a mother. I’m an entrepreneur and I’m self-made.’
She and Edo are believed to have met through mutual friends in London at around the start of 2015. She did not attend Princess Eugenie’s wedding last month to Jack Brooksbank at Windsor Castle.
Dara’s mother Lily claimed her daughter initially left their young son in Edo’s London flat along with the family nanny.
She added that Dara ‘now comes back early from her work and goes to see Wolfie so she can give him a bath before he goes to bed at seven or eight. It’s a terrible situation.
Survivor Dara cheated death in Mumbai attack
Friends of Dara Huang insist she is a survivor. Indeed she literally is: she survived a hail of bullets in the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks, something she dramatically recounted on her Facebook page, describing how she was caught in the crossfire while visiting the exclusive Taj Mahal Palace hotel.
In a haunting post, she wrote: ‘After finishing a tall glass of watermelon juice there was a huge boom that hit an aquarium in the back of the room.
‘Everyone turned around and simply thought ‘What was that?’ but not expecting anything serious. The next thing I knew consecutive shots rang non-stop across the room.
‘John [a friend] threw me to the floor screaming, ‘GET DOWN!’ My purse was on the seat next to me, but I didn’t even think for a second about it.
‘I was bent over trying to run out. John pushed me to the floor. I believed he saved my life. I still don’t understand how I made it out when I later read there were two gunmen walking in with large guns.
‘There was glass in my hands [and] the skin on my knees was rubbed off from hitting the floor – yet I couldn’t feel the pain. My heart and adrenaline were so high. I was just thinking, ‘This IS NOT really happening to me.’
‘As I picked myself up off the glass shards on the floor, I bolted down the road, my left hand dripping in blood. My shoes fell off, but I didn’t care, I just kept running.’
‘I love Edo. I love his family. Why has this happened? This has broken me to bits.
‘Before this, my daughter was happy. But I am a Christian. I told my daughter: ‘You have to bless people, you bless them, don’t be mad. Wish them good luck.’
Edo’s friend said that Dara is looking for a new home to lease in one of London’s most upmarket areas while trying to maintain a civil relationship with her former fiance for the sake of their son.
The friend added: ‘Dara is a strong and remarkable woman. She’ll never talk about this but she is determined to remain friends with Edo for the sake of their son.’ Last night, friends of Beatrice insisted that she would never break up a family.
A palace aide, who has known the princess all her life, said: ‘She would never allow herself to break into another couple’s happiness, especially if there was a small child involved.’
It is understood that Beatrice and Edo kept their relationship quiet until both were confident to ‘come out’ as a couple.
Yet her love life has been chequered to say the least.
In 2006 she became involved with her first serious boyfriend, Paolo Liuzzo, who caused scandalous headlines when it was revealed he faced assault and battery charges stemming from his involvement in the 2002 death of a man.
Liuzzo left her devastated when he ‘told all’ about their relationship when it ended a year later.
His embarrassing revelations included claims that the Duchess of York, Beatrice’s mother, carried out a mock ‘knighting’ ceremony, mimicking the Queen as she tapped him on each shoulder and said: ‘I name you Sir Fixit!’ The Princess then spent ten years with Dave Clark, a long-time employee of Richard Branson, who is now an Uber executive. The pair abruptly split in 2016 after she allegedly demanded that he make a commitment to marry her – and he apparently refused.
Clark moved on quickly, falling for New York advertising executive Lynn Anderson, whom he wed four months ago.
Most recently Beatrice has been linked with Wilfred Frost, son of the late presenter Sir David Frost.
Edo – the son of Count Alex Mapelli-Mozzi, who skied for Britain at the 1972 Olympics and socialite Nikki Shale – has been a fixture on the royal scene for years.
Dara Huang, left, and Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi, right, continued to live together for weeks after he began his romance with the Queen’s granddaughter at the October 12 nuptials
Edo and his sister Natalia, 32, were just toddlers when their parents divorced and their mother married Christopher Shale, a close friend and constituency manager of former Prime Minister David Cameron.
Shale died aged just 56 after collapsing at the Glastonbury music festival in 2011. His family were forced to deny widespread gossip that drugs were involved after he was found slumped in a toilet.
An inquest later found he died of a heart attack brought on by an ‘undiagnosed’ heart defect.
Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson together with Beatrice and Eugenie attended Shale’s memorial service in Oxfordshire.
Dara and Edo – who was educated at Radley School followed by Edinburgh University – are believed to have met in London through mutual friends in the beginning of 2015.
The pair’s social media accounts reflect a glamorous life of international travel until their son was born in 2016. While confidantes describe Dara as ‘the perfect fiancee and mother’, her ex was involved in one headline-making scandal in 2014 when he allegedly became embroiled in an altercation at the wedding of Prince Harry’s friend Charlie Gilkes.
Beatrice and Eugenie were among guests at the wedding, which resulted in Edo suffering ‘facial lacerations’.
Edo is pictured with his and Dara’s two-year-old son Woolfie. The Princess is said to have proudly introduced him as ‘my boyfriend’ to her parents, the Duke and Duchess of York
Alex Jevons, the boyfriend of newsreader Kirstie Allsopp’s youngest sister Natasha, was pictured with a black eye.
Natasha posted the picture and captioned it: ‘My man Alex Jevons, ya should see the other guy Edo Mapelli Mozzi. Sign of the best wedding ever. Now Jev has a lasting memory.’
Edo later said: ‘I think it was a dance move, or he fell over.’
The millionaire runs a property consultancy firm Banda, which specialises in locating and developing homes for a super wealthy clientele. Banda means ‘big shed’ in Swahili, the main language in Kenya, where his family have a coastal estate on Lamu.
He appears to have given up his party lifestyle, with a close friend saying: ‘For the past decade Edo’s worked non-stop to build up and make a success of his business.’
At her parent’s home last night Dara declined to comment.
One person, at least, is said to be delighted by Edo and Beatrice’s relationship. Fergie is reported to be ‘thrilled’ her daughter is going out with a young man she has known all her life. ‘How sweet it is that two families who have known each other for so many years can think that something permanent can come of this,’ a friend is reported to have said.
But whatever happens, the revelation Edo was engaged for so long to the mother of his son and betrayed her will not easily go away.