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Why Princess Beatrice's surprise nuptials were very different to other royal weddings

The royal married Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi in Windsor

Jenni McKnight

Princess Beatrice is now a married woman after confirming her surprise nuptials to Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi on Friday 17 July.

But unlike other royal weddings, the new bride and groom had to consider government guidelines into their special day in the wake of COVID-19.

MORE: Princess Beatrice and Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi look so in love in official wedding photos

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WATCH: Princess Beatrice marries Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi in secret Windsor ceremony

So it's not surprising that Beatrice and her new husband enjoyed a very different day to royals who married without the concerns of a global pandemic. From the guestlist to the venue, every detail of their day had to be changed following the postponement of their May wedding date.

Let's take a look at the differences between Beatrice's wedding and those of her extended family, including the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.

Wedding venue

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Princess Beatrice married at All Saints Chapel, Windsor

Princess Beatrice and Edoardo married at The Royal Chapel of All Saints at Royal Lodge, Windsor. The venue is intimate and simple, with a maximum capacity of 180 people, though only their closest family members attended the wedding due to strict government guidelines.

The couple's surprising venue is in stark contrast to the wedding of her sister Princess Eugenie, who married Jack Brooksbank in October 2018 at the much larger and more lavish St. George's Chapel, Windsor. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex also wed at St. George's Chapel in May 2018. Whereas, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge wed in the palatial setting of Westminster Abbey in April 2011.

MORE: Princess Beatrice stuns in vintage gown borrowed from the Queen

Guests

Beatrice and Edoardo held a small private ceremony with only their parents, siblings and the Queen and Prince Philip in attendance. Compared to the weddings of Eugenie, Harry and Meghan and William and Kate, it couldn't have been more different!

Not only were those weddings attended by hundreds of people, including extended family, friends, and influential guests, they were also televised to millions of people around the world.

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Beatrice went all out with colour in her bouquet

Wedding bouquet

Royal brides in the past have kept to a simple colour scheme of white and green for their wedding bouquets. While Eugenie added hints of blue flowers to hers, Beatrice went all out with colour for her bouquet. The bride carried an assortment of trailing jasmine, pale pink and cream sweet peas, royal porcelain ivory spray roses, pink o’hara garden roses, pink wax flower and baby pink astible. In keeping with royal tradition, sprigs of myrtle are also added to the bride's floral arrangement.

Music

The new bride and groom were unable to have hymns sung during the ceremony after the government advised against all "singing, chanting, or playing music at a volume that may encourage this – even if social distancing is being observed or face coverings are used". They did have a selection of recorded music played though.

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Kate and William's 2011 royal wedding

Harry and Meghan enjoyed a full choir at their nuptials. The Kingdom Choir sang a stunning rendition of Stand By Me. There were also a number of hymns sung and an orchestra also performed throughout the ceremony.

Kate and William's service began with a Fanfare by The State Trumpeters of the Household Cavalry to mark the arrival of the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh. They also had a choir sing throughout, several orchestral pieces performed and three hymns sung.

National Anthem

It is customary for the bride, groom and guests to sing the National Anthem at royal weddings, as was done at Harry and Meghan's, Kate and William's and Beatrice's. However, due to restrictions on public singing, the National Anthem was instead played but not sung at Beatrice and Edoardo's ceremony.

RELATED: 21 of the most iconic - and expensive - royal wedding dresses in history

Wedding dress

Perhaps the biggest difference between Beatrice and other royal brides is the fact she opted to wear a wedding dress that was once worn by Her Majesty instead of a bespoke design. Beatrice looked stunning in a vintage dress by Norman Hartnell, which was remodelled and fitted by Her Majesty's dresser Angela Kelly and loyal dressmaker Stewart Parvin.

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Princess Beatrice's gown was borrowed from the Queen

The gown is made from Peau De Soie taffeta in shades of ivory, trimmed with ivory Duchess satin, with organza sleeves. It is encrusted with diamanté and has a geometric checkered bodice.

Her sister, meanwhile, wore a custom gown designed by Peter Pilotto and Christopher De Vos. The ivory gown included a number of intricately-woven symbols that held special meaning to the Princess. The fabric of the dress featured the White Rose of York – Eugenie's family name – as well as ivy, representing the couple’s home of Ivy Cottage. Eugenie also specifically requested a low back silhouette to show the scar from a surgery she underwent aged 12 to correct scoliosis.

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Princess Eugenie wore a design featuring a low back silhouette

Meghan's gown was created by British designer Clare Waight Keller, former artistic director of Givenchy, and was made from an exclusive double-bonded silk cady. True to the heritage of the house of Givenchy, the graceful lines of the dress were achieved using six meticulously placed seams. One of the main features of the gown is the boat neckline bodice – a favourite with Meghan.

She also had a five-metre-long veil, which was made from silk tulle and embroidered with the flora of the 53 countries of the Commonwealth, of which the Queen is Head.

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Meghan Markle wore a gown by Givenchy 

Kate's Alexander McQueen wedding gown was made in collaboration with designer Sarah Burton. The ivory satin bodice incorporated floral motifs cut from machine-made lace, which were then appliquéd on to silk net (tulle) by workers from the Royal School of Needlework. On the back were 58 buttons of gazar and organza.

The main body of the dress was made in ivory and white satin gazar, with a long, full skirt designed to echo an opening flower, with soft pleats which unfolded to the floor, forming a Victorian-style semi-bustle at the back, and finishing in a short train measuring just under three metres in length.

Wedding photos

Another major difference between Beatrice's wedding and those of Eugenie, Kate and Meghan were the official wedding photos. Beatrice and Edoardo released two photos on Saturday, one of which sees them exiting the Chapel hand-in-hand, and another of them standing near the Queen and Prince Philip.

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Beatrice and her new husband exit the Chapel 

However, the aforementioned brides released photos that included extended members of the family, including their parents. While we're sure Beatrice and Edoardo posed for photos with their parents, they have so far decided not to publically release them.

First kiss

In previous royal weddings, we've seen the newlyweds share a kiss in front of an adoring crowd, but we haven't been treated to such a snap from Beatrice and Edoardo. Obviously, the happy couple no doubt celebrated their new union with a kiss, but this wasn't photographed or broadcast like usual.

Reception

Due to coronavirus, Beatrice and her wedding party were unable to hold a lavish reception to toast their vows with all their friends and family. With restrictions now easing, it could be possible that the couple decide to throw a party later in the year to match those of previous royal weddings. 

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Other royal brides have changed into a second dress for the evening reception

Second wedding dress

Royal brides have usually changed into a second exquisite dress for their evening reception; Eugenie wore a silk, blush Zac Posen gown, Meghan opted for a gorgeous slinky Stella McCartney number, and Kate changed into another Alexander McQueen frock. Fingers crossed we'll get a look at another fantastic outfit from Beatrice when she celebrates her marriage with family and friends.

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