It was the ultimate socially distanced wedding of the summer. Princess Beatrice and Italian property developer Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi tied the knot in a private and surprise ceremony at the Royal Chapel of All Saints at Royal Lodge in Windsor on Friday July 17, 2020. (The couple who announced their engagement last September had originally planned to marry on May 29. They rescheduled the event due to the coronavirus pandemic.)
The small group of attendees, who assembled at 11am for the ceremony, included Queen Elizabeth, Prince Philip, the bride’s sister, Princess Eugenie, and her husband James Brooksbank among other close family members. The bride’s father, Prince Andrew, walked her down the aisle. The bride’s mother, Sarah Ferguson, did one of the readings during the ceremony. Music was played, but no hymns were sung in accordance with pandemic etiquette that dictates the virus can be spread while singing indoors.
The bride wore a historic vintage dress by Norman Hartnell that belonged to the Queen. Her majesty had worn the Peau De Soie taffeta ivory gown, trimmed with ivory Duchess satin and featuring a diamante geometric pattern on the bodice to the April 1966 opening of Parliament. Puff three-quarter length sleeves were added to the dress for Beatrice to wear to her church wedding.
The pièce de résistance of the bride’s ensemble was a dazzling diamond tiara, known as Queen Mary’s Fringe Tiara. It was another historic piece on loan from Queen Elizabeth.
The jewel was commissioned by Queen Mary, consort of George V, in 1919. It was made by the master craftsmen at E. Wolff & Co. for Garrard & Co. Most of the gems came out of a tiara that was purchased by Queen Victoria in 1893 as a wedding present for Mary.
According to The Queen’s Diamonds by Sir Hugh Roberts, the Surveyor Emeritus of The Queen’s Works of Art, the fringe tiara is composed of 47 graduated brilliant and rose-cut diamonds that are set in tapering bars, divided by 46 narrow spikes, set lozenge-fashion with nine graduated brilliant cut diamonds at the center, tapering down to five at either side.
The Russian style kokoshnik or fringe style is one of the most popular tiara silhouettes ever. Queen Mary owned two in this mode. The chic Duchess of Kent also had one.
The tiara has been a favorite of royal brides in the House of Windsor for decades. Queen Elizabeth wore it for her wedding in 1947 when there was a bit of a jewelry mishap. The piece, that can be converted into a necklace, popped off its frame shortly before the ceremony and had to be quickly repaired.
Queen Mary’s Fringe tiara was also worn by Princess Anne to her chic 1973 wedding to Captain Mark Phillips.
The designer of the wedding bands was the only other official jewelry detail of Beatrice and Edoardo’s nuptials revealed at press time. For the jewels, the couple returned to British jewelry designer Shaun Leane who made Beatrice’s round-brilliant cut diamond and platinum engagement ring.
A second set of photographs of the happy couple was released by the royal family two days after the wedding. One shows Beatrice also wore several somewhat casual gold chain bracelets. They look like everyday pieces she pulled out of her jewelry box. The individuality of the choice felt like a throwback to previous eras when luminaries were less formally styled. I appreciate the personal gesture as much as the recycling of the gown and borrowed jewels.