Friends say the couple didn't need to go through a formal introduction to each other's parents, having known each other for years

By Simon Perry and Stephanie Petit
April 01, 2019 03:55 PM

Princess Beatrice and Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi are a jet-setting couple!

Just weeks after strolling the streets of New York City hand-in-hand, the duo headed to the Middle East for VIP Day at the Bahrain Grand Prix. But this wasn’t just a couple’s getaway – it was a family trip! They were joined by Beatrice’s mother Sarah Ferguson and father Prince Andrew for the Formula One Championship race on Sunday, where they cheered British driver Lewis Hamilton to victory.

They spent time with champion horse jockey Frankie Dettori, and Fergie, as she is affectionately known to fans, couldn’t help but share a smiling selfie with Dettori and her 30-year-old daughter.

“Such a joy to be invited to attend the Bahrain Grand Prix with @hrhthedukeofyork and Beatrice. Excited to meet @frankiedettori_” she captioned the shot on Instagram, adding the hashtags #familytimes and #luckyme. Fergie also tagged Prince Andrew, although he wasn’t in the snap.

PA Images/Sipa

Fergie is said to have paid for her flights herself as she and Beatrice met up with Andrew at the end of his official visit to Bahrain. The Yorks stayed at the Ritz Carlton, where they were guests of the Crown Prince of Bahrain.

Frankie Dettori and Sarah Ferguson
PA Images/Sipa

The Duchess of York, who remains close friends with Prince Andrew despite their 1996 divorce, sparked rumors that the two were back together by using the hashtag #familytime.

But her spokesman tells PEOPLE, “Nothing has changed – the couple continue to be good friends.”

Fergie and Prince Andrew in 2015
Mark Cuthbert/UK Press/Getty

Edoardo is a friend of Beatrice’s family, a source tells PEOPLE. Despite rumors that they were introduced recently, they have known each other for years – and, friends say, they certainly didn’t need to go through a formal introduction to each other’s parents.

Edoardo is the stepson of Christopher Shale, who made headlines when he died at the Glastonbury rock festival in 2011. Shale, who was close to the then-Prime Minister David Cameron, was an old friend of Prince Andrew and Fergie. Beatrice would have known his stepson for many years – and joined her parents at Shale’s funeral eight years ago.

Princess Beatrice
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Sarah Ferguson, Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi and Princess Beatrice
PA Images/Sipa

The event marks the first time that Fergie and Edoardo, a 34-year-old multi-millionaire property tycoon, have been spotted together since news of the romance broke in the fall.

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Fergie had nothing but love for Jack Brooksbank, who married her 28-year-old daughter Princess Eugenie in October. Fergie called Jack “that beautiful man” while talking about the wedding day at the 10th anniversary event for her charity, Street Child, and the launch of their Count Me In campaign in November.

He looked like James Bond that day,” the proud mom said. “And Jack is my son-in-law, and to have a son-in-law is just a blessing.”