Smiling with pride, the Queen and Prince Philip may have been required to keep their distance from newlyweds Princess Beatrice and Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi – but a Royal relationship has rarely been closer.
Beatrice married on Friday wearing both a tiara and vintage dress generously lent to her by her grandmother, deeply conscious that the 31-year-old was missing out on a traditional large wedding.
But there was no sign of her father Princess Andrew in any of the photographs of the released by the Palace.
Despite the Duke of York walking her down the aisle at the intimate ceremony, a decision was taken not to include him in the images made public.
Andrew stepped down from public life in November after becoming embroiled in a scandal over his late paedophile friend, disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein.
Beatrice’s hastily arranged ceremony was attended only by close friends and family following the cancellation of a larger wedding in May due to lockdown.
Read more Queen reveals her delight at attending Princess Beatrice’s wedding with Prince Philip by her side as Prince Andrew’s daughter marries Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi in a surprise secret ceremony at Windsor Castle with TWENTY guests
Princess Beatrice marries Italian property developer Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi in secret ceremony at Windsor Castle attended by the Queen and 20 guests – weeks after their May wedding was postponed due a to Covid-19
The princess was adamant her beloved grandparents should have the opportunity to see her exchange her vows with Edo, 37 – Government guidelines permitting – so chose the Chapel of All Saints on the Windsor estate, where the Queen, 94, often attends services.
It was the first Royal wedding behind closed doors for 235 years and the first ‘public’ engagement for the Duke of Edinburgh in a year. The 99-year-old last appeared at Lady Gabriella Windsor’s wedding last May.
The wedding bridged three Royal generations – with Princess Beatrice becoming a stepmother to Edo’s son Wolfie, four, who acted as both best man and page boy alongside his two young cousins. Beatrice’s sister Eugenie, 30, was maid of honour.
A small party was held afterwards at Royal Lodge, Prince Andrew and Sarah, Duchess of York’s Windsor home, with many of the 20 guests staying overnight – some in glamping pods outdoors.
The photographs were released yesterday to ensure that they did not overshadow the ceremony on Friday to confer a knighthood on Captain Tom Moore, the former Army officer who raised £33 million for charity in a sponsored walk leading up to his 100th birthday in April.
The Queen lent Princess Beatrice the tiara that she wore at her own wedding and a vintage gown first worn to a glitzy film premiere almost 60 years ago.
In an astonishing double display of generosity, unmatched for any previous Royal bride, the monarch made every effort to ensure that her granddaughter’s wedding to Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi was an occasion for the couple to remember.
It was an acknowledgement not only that lockdown had denied Beatrice the wedding-day fanfare enjoyed by her sister Eugenie and cousins William and Harry, but also of the distress of seeing her father’s reputation wrecked by his links to paedophile Jeffrey Epstein.
Some have speculated that concerns over social distancing is why the wedding was held in secret so as to avoid crowds of well-wishers gathering nearby and potentially breaching government guidelines.
Family friends insisted the secretive nature of the wedding was not down to Andrew, who is noticeably absent from the official photographs, and his 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.
However, 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 would be there.
‘Or perhaps because of the problems with her father they didn’t want to go overboard with publicity in case anyone criticised them.’
The wedding may have lacked pomp and pizzazz but it had intimacy, with 20 guests witnessing the couple exchange their vows.
Edo’s four-year-old son Wolfie served as both best man and page boy, while his niece Coco Yeomans, five, was a bridesmaid alongside her pageboy brother Freddie, three.
The party-loving Yorks ensured a high-spirited reception, featuring speciality cocktails, bespoke catering, an exquisitely decorated Indian-style tent, a bouncy castle and glamping pods for overnight guests. Beatrice was said to be ‘thrilled and super-excited’, telling a friend: ‘It’s been such a whirlwind.’