The princess' wedding date was already previously changed twice due to her father Prince Andrew's scandal

By Conchita Margaret WidjojoMaria Mercedes Lara and Simon Perry
March 17, 2020 03:01 PM
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Princess Beatrice‘s wedding to Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi could be postponed once again, this time amid rising concerns surrounding the coronavirus pandemic, PEOPLE has learned.

The royal bride-to-be, 31, who is the elder daughter of Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson, was set to wed the 37-year-old financier at St. James’s Palace in London on May 29 with a reception to follow at her grandmother Queen Elizabeth’s gardens at Buckingham Palace. On Tuesday, the Queen canceled all upcoming garden parties.

The reception at the Queen’s gardens will no longer take place and the couple is currently discussing the option to marry in a private ceremony with friends and family instead.

“Princess Beatrice and Mr Mapelli Mozzi are very much looking forward to getting married but are equally aware of the need to avoid undertaking any unnecessary risks in the current circumstances,” a palace spokesperson told PEOPLE. “In line with government advice for the U.K. and beyond, the couple are reviewing their arrangements for 29th May.”

Credit: David M. Benett/Dave Benett/Getty Images for Dom Perignon

The spokesperson added, “They are particularly conscious of government advice in relation to both the wellbeing of older family members and large gatherings of people. Therefore, the planned reception in the Buckingham Palace Gardens will not take place. The couple will carefully consider government advice before deciding whether a private marriage might take place amongst a small group of family and friends.”

Princess Beatrice and Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi
| Credit: Princess Eugenie

Beatrice and Mozzi — whose family hails from Italy, which has been hard hit by coronavirus — had to reschedule their wedding date twice due to Prince Andrew’s scandal.

In November, the Duke of York stepped back from his royal duties amid the fallout from his ties to convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein. Andrew has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing. On March 9, U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman said the royal is not cooperating with federal prosecutors on the Epstein probe, despite publicly stating his willingness to help them.

In February, a source previously PEOPLE of the wedding, “The date was changed two times to adjust [around Andrew’s scandal]. It will be smaller than the original plan.”

Princess Beatrice and Prince Andrew
| Credit: Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty

In contrast to Kate Middleton, Meghan Markle and Princess Eugenie’s nuptials, Beatrice and Mozzi’s wedding was set to be a smaller celebration. The couple were not planning to have a carriage procession, which was “in keeping with their wishes for a more low-key” affair, a royal source previously said.

The duke had been poised to walk his daughter down the aisle, and Beatrice’s future stepson Christopher (from Mozzi’s relationship with former girlfriend Dara Huang), who is 4 years old this month, was also set to serve in the bridal party.

“Andrew will probably give a toast at the reception like any father of the bride,” the source previously said, adding that in regard to fallout from his scandal, “They will try to normalize [the wedding] as much as possible.”

During the couple’s wedding planning last year, a source told PEOPLE that Andrew would likely play a major part in his daughter’s big day, despite him stepping back from royal duties.

“He plays a very traditional role in her life. She’s his greatest supporter. This is obviously very hard times,” the insider told PEOPLE.

The fallout from Andrew’s disastrous BBC interview about his friendship with Epstein saw his official royal role collapse to almost nothing in a matter of days. He was removed from his hundreds of charitable patronages and his office was forced out of Buckingham Palace.

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But he remains tight-knit with his family, including ex-wife Sarah Ferguson and their two daughters, Beatrice and Princess Eugenie.

“Beatrice would never do anything to be hurtful to her father. He’s going to be by her side and she’s going to be by his,” the source added.