Princess Beatrice made a ‘last minute request’ to borrow the Queen’s gown for her surprise wedding, a source has revealed.
The Queen’s granddaughter, 31, affectionately known as ‘Bea’, borrowed a Norman Hartnell gown from Her Majesty, 94, to wed Italian property developer Edo Mapelli Mozzi, 36, in a surprise service in the grounds of the Royal Lodge in Windsor on Friday.
But now insiders have explained how Princess Beatrice hadn’t always been planning to borrow the gown, adding that she made the request after having a ‘last-minute change of heart’ about her original wedding dress.
A source told People magazine: ‘Beatrice made a request [to borrow one from the Queen], and that was kindly granted—and it looked amazing! It was touching for both of them.’
Meanwhile another friend revealed how Princess Beatrice often speaks about the Queen with fondness.
They said it was ‘clear’ there was a ‘strong bond’ between the two royals, making the borrowed dress ‘perfect’.
Princess Beatrice and Edo tied the knot in a private, intimate service at the Royal Chapel of All Saints, near her parents’ Windsor home.
The Queen’s dresser Angela Kelly had just three weeks to help remodel and refit the 1960s Norman Hartnell evening gown to serve as a wedding dress.
The Queen, the Duke of Edinburgh, 99, the bride’s parents Prince Andrew and the Duchess of York and Princess Eugenie were among the ‘close family’ in attendance.
Social-distancing restrictions and current government guidelines allowing a maximum of 30 people at a wedding meant the couple were unable to invite any of their famous friends, including singer Ellie Goulding, Karlie Kloss and Cressida Bonas.
It remains to be seen whether they will hold a celebration at a later date, but some of their inner-circle couldn’t wait to share their delight and posted gushing tributes on Instagram over the weekend, including Valentino co-founder Giancarlo Giammetti and Sarah Ferguson’s assistant Antonia Marshall.
Beatrice and Edo, were due to tie the knot at the Chapel Royal of St James’s Palace, in London, on 29 May.
But their ceremony was postponed due to Covid-19 and no new date was given by the palace at the time.
Sarah Ferguson and Edo’s mum Nicola Williams-Ellis leapt into action as soon as the Government hinted last month that weddings would soon be permitted again.
During lockdown, Beatrice spent time with Edo and her future mother-in-law in the £2 million Cotswold house Nicola shares with sculptor husband David, Edo’s stepfather.
However, reports from The Telegraph suggest that Beatrice then isolated with the Duke and the family at their home in ‘for some time’ ahead of the wedding, so that her embattled father Prince Andrew could walk her down the aisle.
The young couple were ‘desperately sad’ that plans for a wedding at St James’s Chapel Royal and a reception at Buckingham Palace had to be cancelled, and resolved to marry ‘whenever possible’.
But they had only three weeks to organise caterers and florists, while Canon Paul Wright, sub-dean of the Chapel Royal, and Canon Martin Poll, the Queen’s domestic chaplain, who officiated on Friday, hurriedly arranged the special wedding licence from the Archbishop of Canterbury.
More details of the secret ceremony have emerged in the last week, including the bride’s charming decision to wear the Queen’s wedding tiara on her own big day.
It also emerged that Edo’s son Christopher, known as Wolfie, served as best man and usher at the intimate service.
Guests were sworn to secrecy, with overnight accommodation provided at Royal Lodge, Andrew and Fergie’s grand Windsor home.
Edo’s sister Natalia, 38, and her husband Tod Yeomans, 36, arrived with their two children Coco and Freddie on Thursday afternoon for a quick rehearsal.
Edo’s father, Olympic skier Count Alessandro Mapelli Mozzi, flew in from France, and maid of honour Eugenie, 30, joined the ‘rehearsal dinner’ with husband Jack Brooksbank.
The secluded Chapel of All Saints is opposite Royal Lodge, so Prince Andrew walked the bride to the church and down the aisle. The Queen and Prince Philip had slipped in a through a side entrance, thus maintaining social distancing.
The church was decorated with pink and white delphiniums, roses, waxflower and hydrangeas from Windsor Great Park.
Beatrice carried a bouquet of trailing jasmine, pale pink and cream sweet peas, royal porcelain ivory spray roses, pink O’Hara garden roses, pink waxflower, baby pink astilbe and sprigs of myrtle. During the 30-minute service,
Sarah Ferguson and Mrs Williams-Ellis read the bride andgroom’s favourite poems: I Carry You In My Heart by E E Cummings and Shakespeare’s Sonnet 116.
There was no singing, but a selection of music was played together with the National Anthem.
Later, wedding photographs were taken, including four released to the media. None feature Prince Andrew.