Princess Beatrice went through a painful split from American Uber executive Dave Clark in 2016 after nearly a decade of dating

By Erin HillSimon Perry and Monique Jessen
October 02, 2019 08:00 AM
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Princess Beatrice, 31, the older daughter of Britain’s Prince Andrew and his ex-wife Sarah Ferguson, is excitedly planning her wedding to Italian property developer Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi, 34.

Mozzi—whom Beatrice affection­ately calls Edo—proposed while the couple were on vacation in Italy in September. “We are both so excited to be embarking on this life adventure together and can’t wait to be married,” the couple said in a statement.

“It’s such happy news! All of her friends are delighted,” a source tells PEOPLE in this week’s issue.

The news is especially joyful following a difficult period for Beatrice, who went through a painful split from American Uber executive Dave Clark in 2016 after nearly a decade of dating. He then went on to wed advertising executive Lynn Anderson two years later.

“She was so devastated by that, so it is really lovely to have this,” a friend says. Mozzi “is a great support to her. She just sounds so incredibly excited that she has found someone she’s thrilled about spending the rest of her life with.”

Credit: Princess Eugenie/Press Association Images

Beatrice’s family, including sister Princess Eugenie and parents Sarah Ferguson and Prince Andrew, were reportedly “completely shocked” by Beatrice’s breakup with Clark at the time.

Beatrice’s cousin Prince William introduced the couple after they met during a study abroad program at the University of Edinburgh. They met for the first time at a birthday party held by Sean Brosnan, son of Pierce, and the two hit it off immediately.

Princess Beatrice and Dave Clark in 2016
| Credit: Steve Granitz/WireImage

The duo were often spotted out in London and ran the London Marathon together in 2010. Princess Beatrice even moved to San Francisco and then New York City to be with her boyfriend as he climbed the ranks with taxi app Uber.

Adds a source: “I think it was very hard for her when she split up with Dave, it was tough on her. And it must have been difficult as the eldest to watch her little sister go down the aisle.”

Beatrice’s younger sister, Princess Eugenie, tied the knot last October to her longtime boyfriend Jack Brooksbank. Beatrice played a special role at the ceremony, giving a poignant reading.

Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi and Princess Beatrice
| Credit: Princess Eugenie/Press Association Images

“Beatrice was very strong on that day and she was showing incredible love and unconditional support,” the friend adds. “[The sisters] are different but there is incredible closeness. They are very sweet together.”

Now it’s Beatrice’s turn to walk down the aisle as the couple plans to wed in 2020. And her fiancé is no stranger to the royal family either. The multimillionaire Italian-British property developer and his family have known Princess Beatrice for years. “Edo and Beatrice are made for each other,” said Mozzi’s parents, Nikki Williams-Ellis and Alessandro Mapelli Mozzi.

A friend adds: “There has been a long connection. It wasn’t a surprise – but the news is lovely.”