Prince Andrew is blamed for the first secret royal wedding in 235 years when daughter Beatrice gets married
Prince Andrew walked his daughter Beatrice down the aisle on Friday at the first ‘secret’ royal wedding in 235 years.
The disgraced king put aside his concerns about the Jeffrey Epstein scandal to give the princess away in a remarkable private ceremony.
The clandestine nature of the hastily arranged wedding meant that the queen’s beleaguered son was spared in public.
Princess Beatrice (photo right), 31, married Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi (left), 37, on Friday at the first ‘secret’ royal wedding in 235 years
Prince Andrew (pictured) walked down the aisle with his daughter during the private ceremony at the All Saints Royal Chapel at Windsor Castle
Beatrice, 31, married her fiancée Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi, 37, known as Edo, at All Saints Church on Queen’s Windsor estate in an intimate ceremony, with just 15 family and friends.
The couple had planned a much larger event in London in May, but had to cancel due to a lockdown.
Her grandparents, the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh, were the only royals besides Beatrice and her immediate family, including her mother, Sarah, Duchess of York, and younger sister, Princess Eugenie.
The monarch shared her joy with Captain Sir Tom Moore, whom she knighted in Windsor Castle hours after the wedding, telling him, “My granddaughter got married this morning. Both Philip and I got there – great fun. ‘
Edo’s son Wolfie, four, was his “mini-best man,” as Beatrice became the first “blood princess” to become a stepmother. The last royal king believed to have been secretly married was George IV, who married his mistress Maria Fitzherbert in 1785 at a secret ceremony in her salon in Mayfair.
Details of Beatrice’s wedding were briefly confirmed yesterday by Buckingham Palace. But the Daily Mail can also reveal that:
- Only members of the “inner circle” of the family were told about the wedding and sworn to secrecy;
- The bride and her mother organized the wedding just two weeks after government restrictions were eased so that her grandparents could attend before moving to Balmoral for the summer;
- Beatrice walked from her father’s royal lodge – where she had stayed the night before the wedding – to the nearby church and had only one bridesmaid;
- Wolfie’s mother, Dara Huang, is not believed to have been present;
- The bride wore the wedding dress she wanted to show in May;
- Guests, including the Queen, were socially distant in the church and had an outdoor reception at Royal Lodge.
Family friends insisted that the mysterious nature of the wedding was not due to Andrew’s troubles over the Epstein scandal.
The FBI wants to ask him questions about his close friendship with the convicted pedophile, who committed suicide pending trial of further charges last summer.
Pressure on Andrew, 60, increased following the arrest in the US of his close friend, Epstein’s ex-girlfriend, Ghislaine Maxwell.
But the sources said the secrecy was explained by Beatrice and Edo’s desire for a quiet private ceremony and the fact that they didn’t want to overshadow Sir Tom’s knights in Windsor.
But Dario Mapelli Mozzi, Edo’s cousin who was once removed, told the Mail, “We heard it was postponed until next year, but it was clear to keep it a secret. Maybe they’ve done it now to make sure the queen could be there.
Pressure on disgraced Andrew (pictured left with Beatrice) intensified after the arrest in the US of his close friend, Epstein’s ex-girlfriend, Ghislaine Maxwell. The groom’s cousin blamed the prince’s “problems” on the clandestine wedding
“Or maybe because of the problems with her father, they didn’t want to advertise too much in case someone criticized them.”
Edo was previously engaged to architect Miss Huang for three years. They are said to have split up just weeks before he and Beatrice dated.
The small guest list included Princess Eugenie’s husband Jack, Edo’s mother Nikki Williams-Ellis and stepfather David, as well as his half-brother, Alby Shale, with whom he is close.
Alby is a son from Nikki’s second marriage, to the late Tory grandee Christopher Shale, and is also the godson of the Duchess of York.
The couple had planned a much larger event in London in May, but had to cancel due to a lockdown. Her grandparents, the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh, were the only royals present alongside Beatrice and her immediate family, including her mother and sister
It is known that Edo’s father, Nikki’s first husband, Olympic skier Count Alessandro Mapelli Mozzi, who has British and Italian citizenship, was invited, but it is not clear whether he left. A source said they found it “unlikely” and that the pair are “not close.”
Sources said it was impossible to invite other members of the royal family “because if you invite one, questions will be asked why you didn’t invite the others and there are just too many.”
An insider said that while it was not the first time the Queen and her husband saw members of their family, it was still the first family event the elderly couple attended in months.
Beatrice and Edo planned to marry 150 guests at the Chapel Royal in St James’s Palace on May 29, followed by a reception in the garden of Buckingham Palace.
The couple, who were locked up together in Edo’s mother and her husband’s house in Oxfordshire, just decided to “sit back” and see how it went.
The ceremony took place at the Royal Chapel of All Saints (pictured) near Windsor Castle. The Queen regularly attends Sunday service when she is around
George IV was the last married secretly in 1785
The last royal king to secretly marry was presumably George IV while he was still Prince of Wales.
The future monarch married his Catholic mistress Maria Fitzherbert in 1785 at a secret ceremony in the parlor of her Mayfair home.
It was technically invalid because George had not sought the consent of his father George III, as required from any heir apparent to the throne by the Royal Marriage Act of 1772.
Marriage to a Roman Catholic would also have excluded him from the throne.
Rumors of the marriage discredited society, but the couple stayed together until 1795, when George agreed to marry a Protestant, Princess Caroline of Brunswick.
He had incurred huge debts and was forced into marriage in exchange for a financial bailout, but came to loathe his new wife. The couple had a daughter together, Princess Charlotte, but lived separately after her birth and George later described Mrs. Fitzherbert as ‘the woman of the heart and soul’.
He became Prince Regent in 1811 after George III was deemed unfit to rule because of his mental instability.
His marriage to Princess Caroline was such a failure that he tried unsuccessfully to divorce her after he became king in 1820. He died ten years later.
He is said to have given instructions to bury him with a small portrait of Mrs. Fitzherbert tied around his neck.
She kept an accompanying portrait of him in a medallion that would have been in her hand when she died in 1837.
George’s only child, Princess Charlotte, died in childbirth in 1817, so the crown passed to his brother, who became William IV.
Their only stipulation was that they didn’t want to wait too long to tie the knot – even if it meant they were two – and if they could have a small wedding, the Queen, 94 and Philip, 99, had to be there.
When the government announced that weddings of up to 30 socially distant guests would be allowed from July 4, Beatrice and Edo – with her devoted mother in charge of the arrangements – took action.
The 190-year-old All Saints Chapel, also known as The Royal Chapel of All Saints or Queen Victoria’s Chapel, is listed as a historic monument. The Queen regularly attends Sunday service when she is around, as does her mother before her.
It has the bonus of being completely private – shut off from all members of the public and the press – meaning Andrew, who has kept a low profile due to the Epstein scandal, shouldn’t have to be seen in public.
The news of Beatrice’s wedding began to break only after a photographer saw Philip and the Queen, resplendent in a turquoise jacket and hat with flowers, driving the Long Walk up and through the Great Park to church in their official car from Windsor Castle were driven.
Both the ceremony and a reception at Andrew’s home were organized with a view to a strict social distance. According to the Covid-19 guidelines, wedding ceremonies should be kept as short as possible, without eating or drinking, and singing and playing instruments to be avoided, so the family gathered in the yard.
The Queen was one of the first to leave the party at 11:45 a.m. to honor Captain Tom at the castle.
The newlyweds have decided to release the traditional wedding photo only today so as not to overshadow the knighthood ceremony.
A close friend of the family said that Wolfie was a star, adding: ‘Wolfie spent a lot of time with them and although Beatrice is of course very respectful that she is his stepmother and Dara is a great mother, she does love Wolfie very deep. Beatrice is a very sweet, very sensitive young woman. ‘
Another friend said that last year had been a “ tremendously difficult year for the family ” because of Andrew’s investigation into Andrew’s friendship with Epstein.
“Those kids are so devastated, so it was a lot of fun to keep this wedding away from the general public,” they said.
They were all there and Sarah held the show on the way. Very few people have been informed about it. ‘