Princess Beatrice is part of the new generation of royals breaking the mould when it comes to what a romantic relationship in the royal family looks like.
With the path forged by Meghan Markle, the previously divorced, biracial feminist, over the years the royals have become far more accepting of husbands-and-wives-to-be who have previously been married, or even have families of their own.
And that’s exactly the case with Princess Beatrice’s new fiancé, Italian count Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi.
Before he met Beatrice, Edoardo was engaged to another woman, the glamorous Chinese-American architect and designer, Dara Huang. They were engaged for the three-and-a-half years before they split around 2018.
The pair also have a two-year-old son, Christopher Woolf, nicknamed “Wolfie”, meaning Princess Beatrice will become a stepmother when the couple marry next year.
Dara, 37, is clearly exceptionally accomplished in her own right. She graduated from Harvard University with a BA and MA in Architecture and her Instagram account now features photos from her travels all around the world.
She lives in London and Hong Kong and runs her own architecture business, Design Haus Liberty.
It’s unclear how Dara and Edoardo first met, but the pair move in similar professional circles – Edoardo is a property tycoon, founder and CEO of Banda, a property development and interior design company.
And if you thought there was any bad blood between Dara and Beatrice, think again. These women are pure class.
Following the announcement of Beatrice and Edoardo’s engagement in September, Dara released a lovely statement congratulating the couple on their news.
“I wish the best for Edo and Beatrice and look forward to uniting our families,” she said in a statement to the Daily Mail.
Dara and Edoardo are reportedly on “amicable terms” and happily co-parent their son together.
“Dara and Edo are finding co-parenting to be a great way for one of them to be with Wolfie at all times, as they both have busy schedules,” a close family friend told The Daily Mail.
“Dara feels lucky that she and Edo are so amicable that splitting time with Wolfie hasn’t been an issue and he remains happy,” the source said.
“They take turns over who stays in the family house, keeping Wolfie in a consistent environment. Beatrice has been kind to allow them to do so.”
And the source revealed that little Wolfie will play a starring role in his father’s wedding, which Dara will also attend.
“Dara loves her son to bits and, like any mother, she is very protective. But in a very modern and grown-up way, she is totally happy that Beatrice will be developing a relationship with her son and is happy that he will attend the wedding as Edo’s best man,” the close friend revealed.
But Dara’s mother Lily, 69, recently revealed that the split between her daughter and Edoardo in 2018 was a shock.
“I love Edo. I love his family. Why has this happened? This has broken me to bits,” she told The Daily Mail.
It’s understood Dara and Edoardo have kept their family home for the sake of stability for their son, and they take turns caring for him at home.
But Dara’s mother claims the situation is far from ideal.
“She comes back early from her work and goes to see Wolfie so she can give him a bath before he goes to bed at seven or eight o’clock. It is a terrible situation,” she said.
Lily believes her daughter delayed telling her about the breakup.
“I think Dara was hiding it from me. She didn’t want me to be sad. I am shocked,” she added.
Beatrice and Edoardo have known each other since childhood – his parents are friends with the Duke and Duchess of York, Sarah Ferguson and Prince Andrew, but it’s believed there was no foul play involved when their relationship began.
A palace aide told the Daily Mail at the time: “[Beatrice] would never allow herself to break into another couple’s happiness, especially if there was a small child.”
In his Instagram post announcing his engagement to Beatrice, Edoardo wrote an incredibly romantic dedication to his bride-to-be.
“You will never be alone my love, my heart is your home. Hand in hand, today, tomorrow and forever,” he wrote.
No official wedding date has been revealed yet, but the couple are expected to marry in 2020.