Sarah Ferguson will make royal history when her daughter Princess Beatrice gets married to fiancé Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi, thanks to a recent change in the way the church records marriages.
The Duchess of York, 59, is to become the first mother of the bride to be formally recorded at a royal wedding.
Earlier this year a law passed in Britain allowing couples to include their mothers’ names on their marriage certificates.
It follows the passing into law of the Civil Partnerships, Marriages and Deaths (Registration etc) Act 2019 which, as well as providing for opposite-sex couples to be able to enter into civil partnerships, will allow for mother’s names to be included in marriage registers as well as or in place of father’s names.
The previous custom, which has been in place since 1837, saw only the names and occupations of the fathers of the bride and groom registered on the document.
Princess Beatrice, 31, and property tycoon Edoardo, 36, announced their engagement via Buckingham Palace last Thursday.
After their friendship developed into a romance following Princess Eugenie’s wedding, Beatrice was understood to have introduced Edoardo, whose father is Count Alessandro Mapelli Mozzi, as her ‘boyfriend’ to the Duke and Duchess of York.
Edoardo is the son of former Olympic skier Count Alessandro Mapelli Mozzi and Nikki Shale, and has been a friend of the Yorks for some time.
Their engagement after an 11-month romance means that Beatrice will be the first among the young generation of royals to take on a stepchild, as Edoardo was previously engaged for three-and-a-half years to the mother of his child, Dara Huang, whom he split from last year.
After hearing news of the engagement, the Duchess of York revealed she shed ‘tears of joy’.
Speaking of the happy news, she wrote on social media: ‘I know what mother feels so I have tears of joy. I am so proud of this sensational news. Andrew and I are just the luckiest people ever to have two great son-in-laws.’
Sarah was still grinning earlier this week when she attended a luminous fundraising gala auction at the Roundhouse as part of the BFI London Film Festival 2019.
The duchess looked effortlessly elegant in a sleeveless red dress which she accessorised with a pair of dainty earrings and a brown leather-strap watch.
Princess Beatrice’s engagement was a rare piece of good news for her father Prince Andrew following the death of paedophile Jeffrey Epstein, which has prompted claims that the royal slept with one of the billionaire’s teenage sex slaves to resurface.
Asked at the gala whether she supports her ex-husband, Sarah hinted that she was backing him, telling The Sun: ‘I think the most important thing in life is family hood.’
She went on to say: ‘I’ve been talking a lot about kindness. I think there’s not enough kindness and I think people should be much more supportive of young people now.’
Edoardo comes from a family of Italian aristocrats and proposed to Beatrice, whom he has been dating since late last year, during a romantic trip to the country this month, which saw them staying in the exclusive cliffside village of Positano, on the Amalfi Coast.
But their wedding, likely to take place in spring next year, will have to be in the UK to accommodate for Her Majesty, according to royal expert Ingrid Seward.
She told OK magazine: ‘I think in her heart Beatrice would like to be married in Italy where Edo’s from, but there’s no way the Queen will fly to Europe for the wedding so it will have to be in England.’
Ingrid also insisted that the wedding won’t take place at Westminster Abbey, where the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge got married, suggesting it is more likely to be held at St George’s Chapel in Windsor, as it’s the ‘family church’.
This will thrust Princess Beatrice into a ‘dilemma’ as she won’t want a ‘re-run’ of her sister’s nupitals, which saw her marry long-term partner Jack Brooksbank there in October.
According to Ingrid, the wedding will be ‘traditional with a modern twist’ and will see Princess Beatrice plump for a ‘simple’ gown.
‘Beatrice is used to being criticised for her fashion choices and I know she gets hurt by some of the unkind remarks,’ Ingrid told the publication.
When it comes to pageboys, the couple are likely to choose Edo’s two-year-old son Christopher ‘Wolfie’ Woolf, from his previous relationship with glamorous architect Dara Huang, whom he split from last year, as well as Prince George.