The royal family will welcome a new member on 29 May, when Princess Beatrice marries Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi. The couple announced the happy news of their engagement in September, with their nuptials set to take place at the Chapel Royal of St James's Palace eight months later. But how much to you know about the Princess's future groom? Get the low-down on the millionaire property tycoon…
Princess Beatrice and Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi's love story
Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi's family
Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi – known as Edo – has Italian blue blood. His father is Alessandro Mapelli, a count and a former alpine skier, who competed for Team GB in the 1972 Winter Olympics in Japan. His mother Nikki Williams-Ellis is now married to the sculptor David Williams-Ellis. Nikki was previously married to Christopher Shale, a senior Conservative and close friend of David Cameron. Sadly, Christopher died from heart disease at Glastonbury Festival in 2011. Edo has an older sister, Natalia Alice Yeomans, and a younger half-brother, Alby Shale, who was born in 1991.
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Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi's childhood
Like Beatrice, Edo is the child of divorced parents, and spent his time moving between homes in France and England. The property tycoon previously told the Telegraph: "We lived in old mill houses, that kind of thing – I like trying to work out how to make an old building function for modern life." Edo was educated at Radley, a prestigious boys boarding school in Oxfordshire, before studying for a Master's in politics at Edinburgh.
Edoardo is the son of Alessandro Mapelli and Nikki Williams-Ellis
Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi's royal connections
Edo and his family have long been acquainted with Beatrice and the royal family; his mother Nikki and late step-father Christopher have been part of the York's close circle for decades. What's more, Beatrice's mother, Sarah Ferguson, is godmother to Edo's half-brother Alby. In an official statement released after the engagement was announced, ex-spouses Alessandro and Nikki said: "Our family has known Beatrice for most of her life. Edo and Beatrice are made for each other, and their happiness and love for each other is there for all to see. They share an incredibly strong and united bond, their marriage will only strengthen what is already a wonderful relationship."
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Edo's family have long been connected to the royal family
Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi's work
Since graduating from Edinburgh, Edo has demonstrated a strong work ethic. He first worked as a researcher for David Cameron, who was a friend of his stepfather, before founding his hugely successful property business, Banda, in 2007. Banda is now considered one of London's top developers. The company specialises in finding and developing homes for wealthy clients – something that has reportedly made its CEO, Edo, a multi-millionaire.
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Since leaving university, the 36-year-old has also created three of his own homes: a Fulham townhouse, a "whacky" former nightclub in Earl's Court which he converted into a house, and a Notting Hill studio, although he now predominantly resides at St James's Palace with Beatrice.
The property tycoon shares a son, Woolfy, with Dara Huang
Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi and fatherhood
When Beatrice and Edo exchange their vows on 29 May, the Princess will be taking on an additional role – that of stepmother. Edo was previously engaged to glamorous American architect Dara Huang, and together they have a son, Christopher, known as Woolfy, who was born in 2016. The former couple remain on good terms. "I take him to school a couple of mornings a week and finish in time to put him in bed three or four evenings," he said of his son in his September interview.
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Princess Beatrice & Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi - 5 Facts
Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi's relationship with Beatrice
Edo and Beatrice were first seen together after Princess Eugenie's wedding in October 2018. The following March, they were pictured holding hands in New York, before making an official appearance at the National Portrait Gallery Gala. Edo then accompanied his girlfriend to a number of events, including Ellie Goudling's wedding to Caspar Jopling and Lady Gabriella's marriage to Thomas Kingston.
The couple's engagement was announced on 26 September 2019. "The Duke and Duchess of York are delighted to announce the engagement of Her Royal Highness Princess Beatrice of York to Mr. Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi," the official statement read. "Her Royal Highness and Mr. Mapelli Mozzi became engaged while away for the weekend in Italy earlier this month."
The couple announced their engagement in September 2019
The couple added: "We are extremely happy to be able to share the news of our recent engagement. We are both so excited to be embarking on this life adventure together and can’t wait to be married. We share so many similar interests and values and we know this will stand us in great stead for the years ahead, full of love and happiness."
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Edo designed the engagement ring himself, with the help of British jeweller Shaun Leane. The large round brilliant cut central solitaire is set on a band of tapered diamond baguettes. It is not known how much the ring cost, but the non-bespoke rings listed on Mr Leane's website are priced from £5,200 to £16,700.
Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi's charity work
Edo has used his fortune to help others. In 2011, he founded the Rwandan Charity Stadium Foundation – now known as Cricket Builds Hope – with his half-brother Alby. His goal for the charity "was to create an outstanding piece of architecture using only local materials and local labour," Edo's LinkedIn page explains. "The development was conceived as an opportunity to empower and engage local people in need of work, skills and income [through] the use of local materials and labour intensive construction techniques." He remained chairman of the board until 2015 and, in 2017, saw the grand opening of the Gahanga Cricket Stadium in Kigali, Rwanda. "I saw how sport had the power to bring people together and help share important messages," Edo recalled in his interview. "It was an emotional day."
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They will marry at the Chapel Royal of St James's Palace on 29 May
His love of sport and philanthropy is something Edo has in common with his fiancée. Beatrice was the first member of the royal family to complete the London Marathon in 2010 to raise money for charity, and she also founded The Big Change Charitable Trust, which identifies charitable projects in the UK to improve the lives of young people.
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