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The British monarchy has always had strong women at its heart and never more so than in the 21st Century. But until now, one of them hasn’t received quite the recognition she rightly deserves: Princess Beatrice.
As she celebrates her 35th birthday this week, some are even dubbing her the royals’ “secret weapon” – more carefree than the Duchess of Edinburgh, more down to earth than The Princess Royal and more relatable than the polished Princess of Wales.
It’s nearly a year into Beatrice’s role as one of King Charles’ seven Counsellors of State. The promotion allows her to represent the monarch on official duties when required. And in this time, she has evolved from a mere “extra” to a popular “supporting star” on the royal stage.
“Beatrice has put up with a lot of pressure and a lot of criticism in her life but she has really come into her own,” notes former BBC royal correspondent Jennie Bond. “We already have a divorced queen on the throne. Now we have a relatable princess. Beatrice is a stepmother, who talks publicly about her dyslexia and who has more recently had to deal with the trauma of her mother, Sarah, Duchess of York, having breast cancer. It makes her much more accessible. She seems to be universally liked.”
Brand and culture expert Nick Ede thinks her life experiences even put her in a good place to help heal the rift between her cousin Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and his brother the Prince of Wales – something others, including the Princess of Wales, have yet to succeed at.
“Beatrice is a great role model for others who experience family troubles. She’s dealt with a lot of turbulence in her life, including a broken home and a father – the Duke of York – who’s been quite controversial. And she appears to have weathered those storms very well.
“She also has the ability to see both sides of the coin, so with regards to Harry’s falling out with William and King Charles, she can be more openminded and encourage both sides to discuss, talk about and potentially heal that rift. I think if anyone can heal it it’ll be her or perhaps Princess Anne. Beatrice could well be the royals’ secret weapon.”
She currently works as a consultant at software company Afiniti, but royal expert and editor-in-chief of Majesty magazine, Ingrid Seward, tells OK! that, just like Kate, Sophie and Anne, “Beatrice would be a great asset as a full-working royal.”
“She has all her mother’s charm. She remembers people’s names and is so nice to everyone. In fact she’s a natural with people from all walks of life. Her mother took her and her sister Princess Eugenie with her when she worked abroad with charities to witness how the poor of the world lived and to visit orphanages. She was quite young.”
Beatrice – ninth in line to the throne – remains very close to both her parents, supporting her mother when she underwent a mastectomy earlier this summer after receiving a breast cancer diagnosis. Last year, Sarah referred to herself and her two daughters as “the tripod”, adding, “we are just so lucky. I have a great, really phenomenal, relationship with them.”
Beatrice has also remained close to her father even when he was removed from royal duties after his disastrous Newsnight interview with Emily Maitlis in 2019, where he spoke about his relationship with convicted paedophile Jeffrey Epstein.
“Beatrice is very sensitive, especially about her father, as she blames herself for first encouraging him and then failing to stop him doing the Newsnight interview. But she also has massive public sympathy for the amount of very unpleasant publicity her father has generated,” notes Ingrid.
Jennie adds, “She hasn’t had an easy time with her parents so often at the centre of scandals or criticism and, of course, recently with her mother suffering from breast cancer. Remarkably, though, they remain a close-knit, mutually supportive family, and both she and Eugenie appear to be well adjusted, happy young women.”
Beatrice has thanked her mother for ensuring just that. “I admire my mother so much because she’s probably one of the most misunderstood women in the world,” she said in 2017. “We’ve been through some incredibly stressful times together as a family and every single minute she created joy. I am so lucky that I get to learn from her every single day. I’m inspired by her ability to give, even when she’s going through something hard.” Upholding the unofficial royal motto: ‘Never complain, never explain’, has also worked in Beatrice’s favour.
Her rock-solid family values have no doubt facilitated her role as stepmother to seven-year-old Wolfie, who her property developer husband Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi shares with his former fiancée Dara Huang. Beatrice and ‘Edo’ tied the knot in July 2020, the princess wearing a remodelled 1960s gown originally designed for her grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II, making her the first royal bride to wear a second-hand dress.
The couple have since gone on to have a daughter Sienna, who turns two in September, and Edo has openly shared adoring comments about Beatrice on social media, describing her as “the world’s best wife” and “the best mother in the world”.
Ingrid says Beatrice’s “happily ever after” has played a huge part in her meteoric rise to “key royal player” status in the past year, explaining, “the fact that she’s a stepmum is a plus as many women can relate to the difficulties of that”.
She also points out that A-list friendships, with the likes of singer Ellie Goulding and US supermodel Karlie Kloss, and Beatrice’s style evolution are reasons for the royal’s soaring popularity.
“Beatrice has always had more A-list friends than anyone. She had her mum’s huge list of A-listers and now has made her own younger A-list friends. She’s great fun and has a lot of her mother’s huge personality and none of her father’s self-entitlement.
“Without Harry and Meghan here, there’s a shortage of royal glamour but Beatrice has been providing that around town and in top European summer spots like Saint-Tropez.
“And with regards to her fashion choices, she is learning how to look her best and is moving towards being a style queen.”
Beatrice was diagnosed with dyslexia aged seven, but as a hardworking student graduated from Goldsmiths, University of London, with a 2:1 BA degree in history and history of ideas. She has become passionate about changing the narrative around dyslexia and since 2017, has been the Royal Patron of an annual children’s book competition called Oscar’s Book Prize, which she says “holds a very special place in my heart.”
Ingrid praises Beatrice for “speaking out about dyslexia” and not being overshadowed by her royal contemporaries. “For someone who doesn’t have as many royal tools at her disposal as Kate, she’s doing well. But she has always been a good speaker and is seen as a brave woman.”
Beatrice The Brave? That’s got a nice ring to it!
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