Princess Beatrice of York’s heels may have been her “something old” on her wedding day.
The princess wed Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi in a private ceremony on Friday at the Royal Lodge in Berkshire, England. For her footwear, the Contessa reached into the depths of her closet — choosing heels that she’s not only worn before, but that she’s worn to a wedding before.
Beatrice opted for glistening ankle-strap pumps with a V-cut topline from Valentino. She sported the same pumps for Prince William and Kate Middleton’s wedding in 2011. That day, she went for an all-over champagne look in a Valentino Couture spring ’11 coat with a now-infamous bow-adorned hat from Philip Treacy. Beatrice also sported the same heels at the 2014 wedding of Prince Amedeo.
Expert and author historian (and must-follow Instagram user) Vincent Meylan wrote the history of the headpiece in a post on Sunday and prefaced it with this: “Princess Beatrice of York’s secret wedding at Windsor yesterday turned out to be more royal than them all.” And Fred Leighton’s creative director and expert Rebecca Selva texted me with enthusiasm and exclamation marks the second the images were released: “Could there have been a more perfectly beautiful—and royal—family wedding! This wedding was about family: celebrating love, honoring family and respecting tradition, with a great sensitivity to and awareness of the times we are living!”
The question then becomes, as Queen Elizabeth herself chose Queen Mary’s fringe tiara for her granddaughter, a bride forced to scale down her much anticipated nuptials due to a pandemic compounded by a looming family scandal—did her Majesty choose with these intentions? Did the Queen know a jewel with so much family history and provenance would signal solidarity and strength and endurance? Of course she did. How could she not?
Her namesake, the Virgin Queen herself, used pearls as power. See the legendary Armada portrait of Elizabeth I fresh from her victory over an invading Spanish Armada, portrayed in the portrait laden with the white pearls of wisdom and chastity. Pearls proved an effective and enduring signifier of her reign—she had proven victorious at sea and was draped in treasures from it.
And anyone who doubts the Queen’s clever use of jewelry to control the narrative might remember that royal power is bestowed and sealed with a collection of jewels. Almost every ritual in the anointment of a sovereign is marked with gold or precious stones: the Coronation Ring placed on the fourth finger by the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Sovereign’s Orb, and the Sceptre with the Cross.
The Orb—a gold sphere with diamonds, pearls, and other gemstones and topped with a golden cross, consecrates the role of Defender of the Faith. The Sceptre, symbolizing that the monarch has temporal authority under God, is set with the second largest diamond in the world. And at the end of the ceremony, the Imperial State Crown, a jewel whose historic stones contain multitudes is placed on the monarch’s head. It is jewelry, for lack of a better term, that seals the deal.
And we need not even go that far back. In early April, at the height of the pandemic, Queen Elizabeth came on screen to calm the world and reassure her public that they would indeed “meet again” while wearing a diamond and turquoise brooch that belonged to Queen Mary, who had seen the country and the King through the horrors of the First World War. Also note: in legend, turquoise been celebrated as a stone of healing and love and protection, worn for centuries as amulet and talisman, and thought to enhance powers of leadership. Her Majesty wears the emerald version of the Vladimir tiara on official visits to Ireland and a maple leaf brooch for Canada.
Like any grandmother, she wanted to make sure that though Princess Beatrice’s wedding might be diminished due to circumstances, the bride herself—in a vintage dress made for the Queen by couturier Norman Hartnell, the designer behind both Queen Elizabeth and Princess Margaret's own wedding gowns— would not be. And she knew what a tiara could say to the world. The Queen Mary Fringe tiara began as a necklace given to Queen Mary by Queen Victoria—one of England’s most beloved Queens and one half of its most enduring and love filled marriages. Mary, as was her way, transformed it into a tiara and wore it often. She was stern, but strong.
Princess Beatrice has finally married Italian property developer Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi in secret at Windsor Castle.
The couple were due to tie the knot at the Chapel Royal of St James's Palace at the end of May but were forced to cancel the nuptials due to the Coronavirus pandemic. A reception was planned to take place in Beatrice’s grandmother Queen Elizabeth’s gardens at Buckingham Palace.
At the time of announcing the cancelation, the couple did not provide a new date for their ceremony, presumably to keep it as low-key an affair as possible.
The Daily Mail’s royal correspondent Rebecca English tweeted on Friday July 17 that the pair exchanged vows at All Saints Chapel in Windsor Great Park in an intimate ceremony, ‘with strict social distancing measures in place’.
Beatrice recently became not only a new wife, but also a new stepmom.
Her new stepson is Christopher Woolf, nicknamed "Wolfie," the four-year-old shared by the princess's new husband, Italian property developer Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi, and his ex, architect and designer Dara Haung. Wolfie, born in 2016, played an important role in Edoardo and Beatrice's surprise Windsor nuptials last week serving as both the best man and page boy.
Per People, this would be the first time since Duchess Camilla and Prince Charles nuptials in 2005 that a member of the British royal family has become a stepmother. Princess Beatrice is also the first grandchild of Queen Elizabeth II to have the title of stepmother as well.
"Beatrice is a wonderful and very hands-on stepmom," a source told the outlet.
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Reportedly, Beatrice has "embraced [Wolfie] as part of her life from the outset," even before her wedding to Mapelli Mozzi.
"Edo is easily one of the best dads, he is so involved, and Beatrice is already showing that she’s a fantastic step-mummy," added another source. "They’ve been on family vacations together [with his son]. They are really happy."
Princess Beatrice and Mapelli Mozzi married on July 17th in a small-scale ceremony near Windsor Castle. The couple were originally set to wed in May with a much larger affair at the Buckingham Palace Gardens, but scrapped their original plans due to government guidelines amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Princess Beatrice's royal wedding to Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi may have been incredibly different to the grand, and very public, nuptials of fellow royal brides, but the intimate event sounds nothing short of perfect.
Following a small ceremony at The Royal Chapel of All Saints at Royal Lodge in Windsor, which was attended by Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip, guests accompanied the couple to an outdoor wedding reception in the grounds of Royal Lodge. Beatrice's parents, Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson, live at Royal Lodge. While the ceremony was reportedly attended by approximately 20 people, People reported that the reception's guest list was "closer to around 30 people."
Of the intimate celebration, a source told People, "A few more people were there than the wedding, but it was still very small and intimate. It was all outdoors and under a tent with the same matching floral design and theme as the wedding."
People also reported that, as live music is currently banned due to the coronavirus pandemic, "the couple streamed music from an iPhone to speakers set up outside." Meanwhile, everyone stayed in "special 'glamping' pods that were erected on the grounds about 100 yards from the church and partied into the night."