A sheepish Prince Andrew was spotted driving out of Windsor just 25 hours after walking his daughter Princess Beatrice down the aisle in the first ‘secret’ royal wedding for 234 years.
The shamed royal looked abashed as he drove off the grounds in a Range Rover while wearing a rugby jersey emblazoned with the motto of the British chivalric Order of the Garter.
It read, ‘Honi soit qui mal y pense’, a French maxim which translates as, ‘May he be shamed who thinks badly of it’.
A sheepish Prince Andrew was spotted driving out of Windsor just 25 hours after walking his daughter Princess Beatrice down the aisle in the first ‘secret’ royal wedding for 234 years
The disgraced royal looked abashed as he drove off the grounds in a Range Rover while wearing a rugby jersey emblazoned with the motto of the British chivalric Order of the Garter
Andrew is currently being called to help the FBI with their investigation of Ghislaine Maxwell – the girlfriend of Jeffrey Epstein who is suspected of procuring young women for him.
However, the royal put his troubles over the Epstein scandal to one side yesterday so he could give the princess away in a remarkable private ceremony.
The clandestine nature of the hastily arranged nuptials meant the Queen’s beleaguered son was spared appearing in public.
Princess Beatrice (pictured right), 31, got married to Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi (left), 37, on Friday in the first ‘secret’ royal wedding for 235 years
Prince Andrew (pictured) walked his daughter down the aisle during the private ceremony at the All Saints Royal Chapel near Windsor Castle
Beatrice, 31, wed her fiance Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi, 37, known as Edo, at All Saints Church on the Queen’s Windsor estate in an intimate ceremony, with just 15 family and friends.
The couple had planned a much bigger event in London for May but had to cancel due to lockdown.
Her grandparents, the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh, were the only royals present beside Beatrice and her immediate family including her mother, Sarah, Duchess of York, and younger sister, Princess Eugenie.
The monarch shared her delight with Captain Sir Tom Moore, who she knighted at Windsor Castle hours after the nuptials, telling him: ‘My granddaughter got married this morning. Both Philip and I managed to get there – very nice.’
Edo’s son Wolfie, four, was his ‘mini best man’ as Beatrice became the first ‘blood princess’ to become a stepmother. The last royal believed to have married in secret was George IV, who wed his mistress Maria Fitzherbert in 1785 in a furtive ceremony in her Mayfair drawing room.
Details of Beatrice’s wedding were briefly confirmed by Buckingham Palace yesterday. But the Daily Mail can also reveal that:
- Only members of the family’s ‘inner circle’ were told about the wedding and were sworn to secrecy;
- The bride and her mother organised the wedding in just two weeks after government restrictions were relaxed, so that her grandparents could attend before relocating to Balmoral for the summer;
- Beatrice walked from her father’s home Royal Lodge – where she had stayed the night before the wedding – to the nearby church and had only a single bridesmaid;
- Wolfie’s mother, Dara Huang, is not believed to have been present;
- The bride wore the wedding dress she had planned to show off back in May;
- Guests, including the Queen, stood socially-distanced in the church and had an outdoors reception at Royal Lodge.
Family friends insisted the secretive nature of the wedding was not down to Andrew’s issues over the Epstein scandal.
The FBI wants to question him over his close friendship with the convicted paedophile, who killed himself while awaiting trial on further charges last summer.
Pressure on Andrew, 60, intensified 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 they did not want to overshadow Sir Tom’s knighting at Windsor.
But Dario Mapelli Mozzi, Edo’s cousin once removed, told the Mail: ‘We heard it was postponed to next year but that was clearly to keep it secret. Maybe they did it now to be sure that the Queen could be there.
Pressure on the disgraced Andrew (pictured left with Beatrice) intensified following the arrest in the US of his close friend, Epstein’s ex-girlfriend, Ghislaine Maxwell. The groom’s cousin blamed the Prince’s ‘problems’ for the clandestine wedding
‘Or perhaps because of the problems with her father they didn’t want to go overboard with publicity in case anyone criticised them.’
Edo was previously engaged to architect Miss Huang for three years. They are said to have broken up just weeks before he and Beatrice started dating.
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, to whom he is extremely close.
Alby is a son by Nikki’s second marriage, to the late Tory grandee Christopher Shale, and is also the Duchess of York’s godson.
The couple had planned a much bigger event in London for May but had to cancel due to lockdown. Her grandparents, the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh, were the only royals present beside Beatrice and her immediate family including her mother and sister
It is understood Edo’s father, Nikki’s first husband, the Olympic skier Count Alessandro Mapelli Mozzi, who holds British and Italian citizenship, was invited, but it is not clear whether he went. A source said they thought it ‘unlikely’ and 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 as to why you didn’t invite the others and there are just too many of them’.
An insider said that while it wasn’t the first time that the Queen and her husband have seen members of their family it was still the first family ‘event’ the elderly couple have attended in months.
Beatrice and Edo had planned to wed at the Chapel Royal at St James’s Palace on May 29 in front of 150 guests, followed by a reception in the garden at Buckingham Palace.
The couple, who spent lockdown together at the home of Edo’s mother and her husband in Oxfordshire, decided to just ‘sit back’ and wait to see how things went.
George IV was last to marry in secret in 1785
The last royal to marry in secret is believed to have been George IV, while he was still Prince of Wales.
The future monarch wed his Catholic mistress Maria Fitzherbert in a secret ceremony performed in the drawing room of her Mayfair home in 1785.
It was technically invalid as George had not sought his father George III’s consent, as required of any heir to the throne by the Royal Marriage Act of 1772.
Marriage to a Roman Catholic would also have excluded him from succeeding to the throne.
Rumours of the marriage scandalised society but the couple remained together until 1795, when George agreed to marry a Protestant, Princess Caroline of Brunswick.
He had run up huge debts and was forced into the marriage in exchange for a financial bail-out 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 wife of my heart and soul’.
He became Prince Regent in 1811 after George III was deemed unfit to rule because of his mental instability.
His marriage with Princess Caroline was such a failure he tried unsuccessfully to divorce her after he became king in 1820. He died a decade later.
He is said to have given instructions that he should be buried with a tiny portrait of Mrs Fitzherbert tied around his neck.
She kept a corresponding portrait of him in a locket which is said to 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 did not want to have to wait too long to tie the knot – even if it had meant it was just the two of them – and that if they could have a small wedding then the Queen, 94 and Philip, 99, had to be there.
When the Government announced that from July 4 weddings with up to 30 socially-distanced guests would be permitted, Beatrice and Edo – with her doting mother taking charge of the arrangements – sprang into action.
The 190-year-old All Saints Chapel, also called The Royal Chapel of All Saints or Queen Victoria’s Chapel, is Grade II listed. The Queen regularly attends Sunday service when she is in the area, as did her mother before her.
It has the bonus of being completely private – cut off from any members of the public and press – which meant that Andrew who has been keeping a low profile due to the Epstein scandal, would not have to be seen in public.
News of Beatrice’s wedding began to break only after a photographer spotted Philip and the Queen, resplendent in a turquoise coat and hat with flowers, being driven in their official car from Windsor Castle up the Long Walk and through the Great Park to the church.
Both the ceremony and a reception at Andrew’s home afterward were organised with strict social distancing in mind. Covid-19 guidelines say wedding ceremonies must be kept as short as possible with no food or drink and singing and playing of instruments to be avoided, so the family congregated in the garden.
The Queen was one of the first to leave the party at 11.45am in order to honour Captain Tom at the castle.
The newly-weds decided not to release the traditional wedding photograph until today to avoid overshadowing the knighthood ceremony.
One close family friend said Wolfie was a star turn, adding: ‘Wolfie has spent a lot of time with them and although Beatrice is, of course, hugely respectful that she is his step-mother and Dara is a wonderful mother, she does love Wolfie very deeply. Beatrice is a very sweet, very sensitive young woman.’
Another friend said the past year had been a ‘tremendously difficult one for the family’ due to the scrutiny over Andrew’s friendship with Epstein.
‘Those children have been so devastated by it all, so it was really nice to have this wedding away from the public eye,’ they said.
‘They were all there and Sarah kept the show on the road. Very, very few people were given any information about it.’
From opulence to obscurity: What a difference a year makes for royal weddings…
By Rebecca English for the Daily Mail
Harry and Meghan, 2018
The crowds were unprecedented, with more than 50,000 people an hour pouring into the Berkshire town of Windsor and packing the streets and the Long Walk in the Great Park.
TV crews from America, Britain and around the world paid thousands for vantage points.
And the atmosphere was electric as Prince Harry and Meghan Markle married in May 2018 in the grand St George’s Chapel in the Castle.
There, hundreds of guests — including George and Amal Clooney and Oprah Winfrey, along with the Royals.
In Britain alone, 13 million watched on TV. The Prince and the Hollywood star — we all thought it was a new dawn for the Royal Family but, sadly, it was not to be.
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle married in May 2018 in the grand St George’s Chapel in the Castle at Windsor
In Britain alone, 13 million watched on TV as the Duke and Duchess of Sussex rode in a carriage down The Long Walk towards Windsor Castle
Jack Brooksbank and Eugenie, 2018
Just a few months after Harry and Meghan’s big day, a packed St George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle hosted its second Royal Wedding of the year.
Eugenie, younger daughter of Prince Andrew and the Duchess of York, married Jack Brooksbank, the European brand manager for Casamigos Tequila, a company founded by George Clooney.
Thousands of members of the public lined the streets of Windsor to catch a glimpse or the couple whose bridesmaids and pageboys included Princess Charlotte and Prince George.
Members of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra provided the music, while the guests included Kate Moss and Naomi Campbell.
Brooksbank drove his wife to the reception at Royal Lodge in a Aston Martin DB10, one of the eight made for the 007 movie Spectre.
Princess Eugenie of York and her husband Jack Brooksbank leave after their wedding at St George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle on October 12, 2018
Princess Eugenie’s mother Sarah Ferguson at their wedding in Windsor in October 2018
Edo and Beatrice, 2020
Hit by the double whammy of Covid-19 and the scandal engulfing her father, Princess Beatrice’s wedding to Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi was as low-key as you could imagine.
The venue — originally planned to be the Chapel Royal, St James’s Palace, in London — was the relatively humble Royal Chapel of All Saints in the grounds of her parents’ home of Royal Lodge, in Windsor Great Park.
It is usually used as the parish church for Royal Household staff. Closed off entirely to the public, the event was attended by only about 15 guests, but among them joyfully was the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh.
At least the bride’s father Prince Andrew looked more than happy after the ceremony.
The venue — originally planned to be the Chapel Royal, St James’s Palace, in London — was the relatively humble Royal Chapel of All Saints in the grounds of her parents’ home of Royal Lodge, in Windsor Great Park
Britain’s Princess Beatrice of York and Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi arrive for the wedding ceremony of the Prince Napoleon Countess Arco-Zunneberg at the Saint-Louis-des-Invalides cathedral at the Invalides National Hotel in Paris on 19 October 2019
Closed off entirely to the public, the event was attended by only about 15 guests, but among them joyfully was the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh (pictured)
Prince Andrew’s fall is complete: RICHARD KAY tells how the Duke of York is so diminished he dare not even be seen giving his own daughter away
By Richard Kay for the Daily Mail
There is nothing quite as romantic as the phrase ‘summer bride’ and so it is hard to believe that Princess Beatrice was yesterday married in a ceremony of such secrecy that – so far – not even a photograph has been issued to mark it.
No royal wedding in living memory has been co-ordinated with such an absence of public joy and celebration.
Even Princess Anne, the least sentimental of the Queen’s children, posed briefly for the cameras on a freezing December day at Balmoral when she wed for a second time.
Disastrous: Prince Andrew speaks with Emily Maitlis who interviewed him for BBC Newsnight
Deprived of even that, Beatrice’s big day will be remembered instead for the two long shadows cast over a royal nuptials blighted by misfortune. And the tragedy for the Princess is that neither were of her making.
One was Covid-19, which has thwarted the plans of so many people up and down the land. The other was the downfall of her father Prince Andrew, once a national hero, now a figure so diminished by the ongoing Jeffrey Epstein scandal that he dare not even be seen giving his own daughter away.
Whatever spin the Royal Family handlers put on yesterday’s modest event, it will inevitably be seen as Andrew’s ultimate disgrace that Beatrice was obliged to marry in this way.
Her wedding plans have been dogged by his spectacular fall. Even before the coronavirus pandemic, it was widely expected to be held in private and in the absence of television cameras following the fallout from Andrew’s disastrous Newsnight interview last November.
It was even unclear if the Duke of York would walk his daughter up the aisle – as he did at the Windsor wedding of Princess Eugenie two years ago in October.
Scarcely a week has gone by since that interview without more revelations about friendships that plumbed fresh depths of tawdriness and heaped yet more embarrassment on the royals.
There is nothing quite as romantic as the phrase ‘summer bride’ and so it is hard to believe that Princess Beatrice was yesterday married to Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi in a ceremony of such secrecy that – so far – not even a photograph has been issued to mark it
The arrest of his friend Ghislaine Maxwell this month, accused of procuring girls for Epstein, must have been the final blow in banishing any remaining chance that Beatrice and her fiancé Edo Mapelli Mozzi could have a ‘normal’ wedding.
Their plans to marry in front of 1,560 guests in the Chapel Royal at St James’s Palace, followed by an outdoor reception in the grounds of Buckingham Palace, had long since been swept away by the corona crisis.
In its place, then, was a ceremony tucked far from public view and conducted with none of the blessings that are normally part and parcel of a royal marriage – a wedding like no other royal wedding.
In another twist, Beatrice became a stepmother by marriage to her husband’s young son Christopher, known as Wolfie, from a previous relationship.
Certainly there was nothing grandiose or extravagant about the simple ceremony in the little All Saints church in the grounds of Windsor Great Park. It is more often the venue for much sadder royal events.
It was where gamekeepers kept vigil around the coffin of the Queen Mother after her death in 2002 and it is often the scene of the funerals of Windsor estate staff and royal friends. Weddings are almost unheard of.
But All Saints is also the Queen’s parish church, where she worships most Sundays when she is at Windsor.
And of course she has been in residence at the Castle ever since lockdown. Yesterday she was wearing the same unshakeable smile she has worn for all her adult life – and displaying that same remarkable fortitude – as she and Prince Philip arrived by car for what must have been the most unusual of family gatherings.
‘Her thoughts would have been for her granddaughter,’ says one of the Queen’s friends.
The arrest of his friend Ghislaine Maxwell this month, accused of procuring girls for Epstein, must have been the final blow in banishing any remaining chance that Beatrice and her fiancé Edo Mapelli Mozzi could have a ‘normal’ wedding
‘She knows it is not Beatrice’s fault that so much has impacted on her and she will have wanted to support her.’
The church is also close to Royal Lodge, where Prince Andrew and his ex-wife the Duchess of York live and where Beatrice is believed to have spent her last night as a single woman.
If it was chosen for mere privacy it couldn’t have been bettered. But secrecy was the order of the day. So scant were the details of the service – thought to have been led by Canon Martin Poll, a former Royal Navy chaplain – that it was not even clear how many people were actually present.
One report said 20, another suggested the numbers may have been no more than eight.
Perhaps most bizarre of all was the announcement from the Palace that no photographs of the event would be released for 24 hours.
This was because it was decreed that nothing should upstage the knighthood the Queen was bestowing on the nation’s favourite charity fundraiser, the extraordinary Captain Tom Moore.
This, surely, was the flimsiest of arguments. Because if this was truly the case, wouldn’t it have been more sensible to postpone one or the other ceremonies? Certainly there was pressure on the Queen’s timetable.
Due to the restrictions on travel because of Covid-19, the wedding had to be held before the Queen leaves for Balmoral at the end of the month.
And it has been only since July 4 that weddings with up to 30 guests have been permitted.
Princess Beatrice with sister Princess Eugenie and parents Sarah Ferguson and Prince Andrew
In a brusque statement that spoke of the sadness of the service, the Palace said: ‘The small ceremony was attended by the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh and close family.
The wedding took place in accordance with all relevant Government guidelines.’ There was no mention of the bride’s father let alone the presence – if indeed there were any – of bridesmaids or pageboys.
Such lack of information can hardly be to avoid overshadowing Captain Tom. Indeed, the only conclusion can be that it was rather to avoid drawing attention to Prince Andrew.
Surely no other royal wedding has been blighted quite like Beatrice’s. Even the Duke of Windsor, who had more reason than anyone to hide his wedding away after abandoning the throne for the divorcee Wallis Simpson, celebrated his marriage in France with friends and photographers in attendance.
Of course nothing, not even the apparent meagreness of the event, will take away any of Beatrice and Edo’s happiness.
There are plans for a much larger ‘second’ ceremony in Italy and the fact is that Beatrice, only too well aware of the criticism of the lavish scale of her sister’s wedding, wanted a less formal service.
But for Andrew, so used to being the centre of royal attention, the humiliation must now be complete.
Rarely chastised as a child, he grew up, says one courtier, ‘with a pompous level of self-importance’ based on being second in line to the throne. He felt it when he was pushed down in the line of succession.
The Queen has always tried to help in this respect, by making sure he has a ‘role’, not always, as we know, with much success.
Andrew has always been the son who pointedly bows and kisses her hand whenever he visits her at Buckingham Palace, and he is the son who, in her eyes, saved the treasures of Windsor Castle when flames were licking across it in 1992.
The Prince was on leave from the Navy, and he organised staff into a human chain to rescue its priceless paintings, furniture and artefacts.
To the Queen, Andrew could do no wrong. Only a few months ago, royals and their advisors looked towards Beatrice’s wedding as being the moment when Andrew’s public rehabilitation might, possibly, begin. Yesterday showed that it is as far away now as ever.