Princess Beatrice’s royal wedding plans on hold over coronavirus: Buckingham Palace cancels reception and could hold small private ceremony instead
- Beatrice and Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi were due to marry at St James’s Palace
- Queen was then expected to host reception in Buckingham Palace’s gardens
- But Buckingham Palace officials revealed today reception has been cancelled
- Couple could now host private marriage with ‘small group of family and friends’
- Coronavirus symptoms: what are they and should you see a doctor?
Princess Beatrice has put her royal wedding plans with fiancé Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi for May 29 on hold over the coronavirus pandemic.
The couple were due to marry at St James’s Palace in London, before Beatrice’s grandmother the Queen hosted a private reception in Buckingham Palace’s gardens.
But royal officials revealed today that this reception has been cancelled – and the couple could now host a private marriage with a ‘small group of family and friends’.
Princess Beatrice and Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi in their engagement photograph released on September 26, which was taken in Italy by Beatrice’s sister, Princess Eugenie
Some 150 guests had been due at the ceremony for the wedding of Beatrice – Prince Andrew’s eldest daughter – which was set to be one of the social events of 2020.
London-born millionaire property tycoon Mr Mapelli Mozzi, 37, has dual British and Italian citizenship. Italy – the worst-hit European country by the virus – is in lockdown.
Buckingham Palace said the couple were aware of the need to avoid taking any unnecessary risks and had reviewed their plans in light of government advice.
The wedding day has now been changed after the Government advised Britons to avoid social gatherings to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
Princess Beatrice and her fiancé Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi, pictured on August 31 last year
Beatrice, 31, who is ninth-in-line to the throne and a cousin of Princes William and Harry, became engaged to Mr Mozzi in Italy last September.
It continues a torrid six months for Beatrice, whose father Prince Andrew stepped down from his royal duties in the wake of a car crash BBC interview last November.
Andrew was grilled over his friendship with paedophile Jeffrey Epstein, but he has denied sleeping with a 17-year-old who claims she was forced to have sex with him.
It also comes after Beatrice’s Harry and his wife Meghan caused fury when they announced that they would step down as senior royals on March 31.
Mr Mozzi and Beatrice after the Christmas Day 2019 morning church service at Sandringham
Beatrice’s sister Princess Eugenie married wine merchant Jack Brooksbank at St George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle in October 2018 in a star-studded wedding.
But Beatrice’s wedding was always set to be a much more private affair than the wedding of her younger sister – and could now be a far smaller occasion too.
A Buckingham Palace spokesman said today: ‘Princess Beatrice and Mr Mapelli Mozzi are very much looking forward to getting married but are equally aware of the need to avoid undertaking any unnecessary risks in the current circumstances.’
‘In line with government advice for the UK and beyond, the couple are reviewing their arrangements for May 29.
The couple were due to marry at the Chapel Royal at St James’s Palace in London (file image)
‘They are particularly conscious of government advice in relation to both the wellbeing of older family members and large gatherings of people. Therefore, the planned reception in the Buckingham Palace Gardens will not take place.
‘The couple will carefully consider government advice before deciding whether a private marriage might take place amongst a small group of family and friends.’
The Queen was seen today at a private audience at Buckingham Palace for her last official engagement before decamping to Windsor for weeks of self-isolation.
The 93-year-old greeted Captain Angus Essenhigh, the new Commanding Officer of HMS Queen Elizabeth, and his predecessor Commodore Steven Moorhouse.
The Queen greets Captain Angus Essenhigh (left), new HMS Queen Elizabeth Commanding Officer, and his predecessor Commodore Steven Moorhouse, at Buckingham Palace today
There were bows from the captain and the commodore but no handshakes as they met and spoke with the monarch in the audience room of the Queen’s London home.
Tomorrow, the Queen will decamp to Windsor Castle, her Berkshire royal residence, as she socially distances herself amid the coronavirus pandemic hitting the UK.
The Queen’s garden parties at Buckingham Palace have also been called off and the Palace of Holyroodhouse garden party in Edinburgh in July is now under review.
The monarch will be based at her favourite home with a reduced household and will be following appropriate advice, a source said.
Beatrice’s sister Princess Eugenie married wine merchant Jack Brooksbank at St George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle in October 2018 in a star-studded wedding
Prime Minister Boris Johnson has called on all people in the UK, particularly the over 70s, to avoid all non-essential contact and travel to control the spread of the virus.
Elizabeth II is due to celebrate her 94th birthday next month, and the risk of more severe symptoms from the coronavirus is greater for the elderly.
She is not the only royal affected by the Government’s new advice. Heir to the throne the Prince of Wales is 71 and the Duchess of Cornwall is 72.
Other working royals include the Queen’s cousins the Duke of Gloucester, 75, the Duke of Kent, 84, and Princess Alexandra, 83.
Beatrice with her parents the Duke of York and Sarah, Duchess of York after her graduation ceremony at Goldsmiths College in London in September 2011
The Duke of Edinburgh, 98, has already been spending most of his time in the sanctuary of Wood Farm, a cottage on the Sandringham estate.
The palace said further announcements would be made on Trooping the Colour, the 75th anniversary of VE Day and a state visit by the Emperor and Empress of Japan.
Emperor Naruhito and Empress Masakois are due to stay with the Queen at Windsor Castle in May, but the high-profile occasion is expected to be postponed.
Meanwhile schools in Scotland and Wales are set to close in response to the coronavirus pandemic, with those in England widely expected to follow suit.
The Welsh Government said all schools will close for an early Easter break by Friday at the latest, while Scotland said schools will also close by the end of the week.
In other developments, a third patient in Scotland diagnosed with Covid-19 has died and the FTSE 100 continued its downward slump with a 5 per cent fall this morning.
In Norfolk, a baby has tested positive for Covid-19 at the James Paget University Hospital in Gorleston, the second reported UK case among infants.
The youngest person to die in the UK to date is Craig Ruston, 45, who had motor neurone disease and died after his chest infection was diagnosed as coronavirus.
Meanwhile filming on EastEnders and BBC Studios dramas including Casualty, Doctors, Holby City, Pobol y Cwm and River City was postponed until further notice.
And Sainsbury’s became the latest supermarket to announce measures to help the elderly and vulnerable as store shelves became severely depleted.
In further developments, pubs and restaurants were told they will be allowed to be turned into takeaways to help provide food for people in self-isolation.
And global confirmed cases of coronavirus have topped 200,000 worldwide, according to Johns Hopkins University. There have been 71 deaths in the UK.
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