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Beatrice cancels wedding reception over coronavirus outbreak

The princess, who will wed at the Chapel Royal on May 29, is now hoping to hold a private marriage ceremony.

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Beatrice and Edo have cancelled their wedding reception (Peter Byrne/PA)

Beatrice and Edo have cancelled their wedding reception (Peter Byrne/PA)

Beatrice and Edo have cancelled their wedding reception (Peter Byrne/PA)

Princess Beatrice’s wedding plans have been thrown into disarray amid the coronavirus outbreak.

The Queen’s granddaughter and her fiance Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi have cancelled their reception, which was due to take place in the gardens of Buckingham Palace.

Beatrice and millionaire property tycoon Edo still plan to wed on May 29, but are looking at whether a private marriage with a small group of family and friends would be feasible.

The daughter of the Duke of York and Sarah, Duchess of York is set to walk down the aisle in the Chapel Royal of St James’s Palace.

A Buckingham Palace spokesman said: “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.

“In line with government advice for the UK and beyond, the couple are reviewing their arrangements for May 29.

“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.”

Beatrice, 31, was overjoyed after becoming engaged on a weekend trip to Italy last September, and the couple said they could not wait to be married.

Her forthcoming nuptials have already been overshadowed by the scandal that has engulfed her father Andrew.

The duke retired from public royal duties in November after his disastrous Newsnight interview about his friendship with convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.

Andrew has strenuously denied claims from Virginia Giuffre that he slept with her when she was 17 after she was trafficked by Epstein.

He is facing calls to talk to the FBI and US prosecutors, but has previously been accused of having “completely shut the door” on co-operating.

Royal wedding
Princess Eugenie, left, the Duke of York and Princess Beatrice (Chris Jackson/PA)

As the granddaughter of a monarch, Beatrice would have been expected to wed in front of 800 guests in St George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle, just like her sister Princess Eugenie, whose ceremony was televised and was followed by a carriage ride through the town.

But, amid the controversy over the duke, the princess opted for the more intimate, low-key option of the Chapel Royal and was due to invite 150 guests.

Prior to the coronavirus outbreak, Beatrice would have wanted her grandparents the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh to be with her on her wedding day.

The Queen was to host the private reception in the grounds of her London residence.

Beatrice and the Queen
Princess Beatrice and the Queen at Royal Ascot (Steve Parsons/PA)

But the Government has called on all people in the UK, particularly the over-70s, to avoid all non-essential contact and travel as part of unprecedented peacetime measures aimed at controlling the spread of Covid-19.

The Queen, 93, is heading to stay in Windsor Castle on Thursday as she socially distances herself.

Philip, 98, has already been spending most of his time in the sanctuary of Wood Farm, a cottage on the Sandringham estate.

Mr Mapelli Mozzi has dual British and Italian citizenship.

Italy – the worst-hit European country – is in lockdown.

PA