Princess Beatrice and the “new normal”

Princess Beatrice married Edoardo Mapello Mozzi in a private ceremony in Windsor. Her vintage Norman Hartnell dress was worn by Queen Elizabeth. The low-key wedding was a surprise, and a departure from the pomp & circumstance of the Royal Family, but still had all the class, heart and beauty we expect.

It’s no secret that I love the Royal Family. I’ve covered all the highest profile royal weddings including Beatrice’s sister, Eugenie’s fall nuptials in 2018 and of course, Meghan and Harry’s royal wedding. Princess Beatrice got married on July 17th, and while she didn’t have a carriage procession through Windsor, celebrity guests or a televised ceremony, the Royal Wedding couldn’t have been more 2020, and in the best way. It’s also a sign of things to come for the Royal family and other special events, which I can summarize with one word “genuine”. This means less flash, more class, and genuine thought put into celebrating what actually matters: love and family.

Queen Elizabeth and Prince Phillip stand socially distanced from the young bride and groom, Princess Beatrice of York and Edoardo Mapello Mozzi at their private ceremony in Windsor.Princess Beatrice and Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi wedding day

The Royal Family released a series of photographs from Princess Beatrice and Edoardo Mapello Mozzi’s private nuptials in Windsor on July 17, 2020. They tied the knot at All Saints Chapel in Windsor Great Park, and their reception was held at the Royal Lodge, Princess Beatrice’s family home. The reception was held outdoors, following social distance guidelines, with sofas, a jukebox and draft beer. Guests even stayed in glamping pods on the lawn – which again, feels very 2020 as more and more people are camping and enjoying the outdoors including the Royal entourage.

Beatrice has had a bit of a rough go with this wedding and 2020. Homophobic rumours swirling about the sexual orientation of her fiancé, her father’s shameful connection to Jeffrey Epstein, and most recently, the Coronavirus pandemic completely derailing their May wedding plans. While I’m not saying she’s a victim, she did get the short end of the stick, as many brides did this year too.

However, I have to give credit where credit is due. With the economy and society still reeling from the effects of Covid-19, the private ceremony adhered to all local health and social distancing regulations. The wedding announcement felt like a breath of fresh air, and photos of the bride and groom were even withheld a day so as not to overshadow a true hero, Captain Tom Moore who raised £32m for NHS Charities, and was knighted by Queen Elizabeth on July 17th as well (she even wore the same outfit). Millions weren’t wasted on security, and the couple still had a lovely ceremony, with some of the most jaw-droppingly gorgeous floral design I’ve ever seen. There was no pomp and circumstance or media circus around her father. Instead, a special day was shared with the public in a couple photos released on the Royal Family’s social media channels.

Even having no celebrity guests fits in with the current climate and how celebrity culture is waning…because does anyone care about seeing every British celebrity at a Royal Wedding dressed in funny hats?

Queen Elizabeth, Prince Phillip stand socially distanced from Princess Beatrice and Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi on their wedding day

But the most iconic photo for me was seeing Queen Elizabeth and Prince Phillip, socially distanced six feet away from the young bride and groom, outdoors, instead of a staged photo opp with toddler-age bridesmaids in flower crowns in a stiff sitting room inside Windsor Castle. I have to admit that these are the most dreamy, Pinterest-worthy wedding photos I’ve ever seen come from a Royal Wedding.

Princess Beatrice Wedding Dress

Another aspect of restraint was that Beatrice did not spend $100,000 on a new couture wedding gown. Instead, she wore a vintage Norman Hartnell beaded gown that was worn by the queen on a few occasions, including the opening of Parliament in 1967, the movie premiere of Lawrence of Arabia in 1962, and fittingly, a state dinner in Rome.

Princess Beatrice and Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi

This gorgeous Peau De Soie taffeta gown had sheer organza princess sleeves added (which is very on-trend), and reminds me of Audrey Hepburn’s dress in the 1956 movie, War and Peace. The crinoline was removed from the dress to allow more movement and a softer, less poufy silhouette. It also appears that Princess Beatrice’s wedding dress had a band of fabric added to the bottom, which was likely done to accommodate her height. The dress was reworked by Angela Kelly and Stuart Parvin, who expertly fitted the bodice to Beatrice.

Audrey Hepburn War and Peace white gown reminds me of Princess Beatrice's wedding dress borrowed from the Queen

Wearing a vintage dress from her grandmother was not only a sentimental gesture, but it’s less ostentatious and an exercise of restraint during these uncertain times. I will say that this dress is now my favourite Royal Wedding dress in recent memory, due to the beautiful beading, feminine princess sleeves and added value that it was worn by her grandmother, our Queen. Norman Hartnell was the royal dressmaker for Queen Elizabeth and the Queen Mother, and even designed Queen Elizabeth’s wedding and coronation gowns as well. I had the opportunity to view both these gowns together in the same room (which has never happened before) at Buckingham Palace in September 2016 for the Queen’s 90th birthday exhibition. They are awe-inspiring, and I hope they will be on display to the public again soon, with the addition of Princess Beatrice’s wedding gown as well!

Princess Beatrice's Wedding Dress - wearing the Queen Mary Spray Diamond Tiara as Queen Elizabeth wore on her wedding day.

In an even more touching connection to Queen Elizabeth, Princess Beatrice wore the Queen Mary Diamond fringe tiara, which was also worn by Queen Elizabeth on her wedding day. The tiara designed by Garrard & Co. is definitely serving major art deco vibes, and complements the geometric diamanté embellishment on her wedding gown. This tiara does come with a bit of a dramatic story. On Queen Elizabeth’s wedding day, the tiara actually snapped right before the ceremony. It was rushed off to the Garrard workshop by police escort for an emergency repair! I also think the honour of wearing this tiara is proof that Bea is the Queen’s favourite grandchild…

As for Princess Beatrice’s beauty look, she reminded me of Ariel with her red locks down in bouncy waves. It was very refreshing and youthful. Perhaps I’m biased because I’m ginger too, but I loved the more undone, natural beauty look.

Overall, I think Princess Beatrice’s wedding dress will start a huge trend with repurposing vintage wedding gowns. With some expert tailoring, it’s the most sustainable option too! The Princess sleeves are also a huge hit – and something you can wear this summer. So channel your own Princess Beatrice wedding look with a vintage princess-sleeved prairie dress!

All wedding photos of Princess Beatrice & Edoardo Mapello Mozzi by Benjamin Wheeler.

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