Princess Beatrice’s Time to Shine
With King Charles III’s ascent to the British throne, there’s been a shake-up in the royal order of things. Will Princess Beatrice be the new star player in the Royal Charm Offensive?
Princess Beatrice may make headlines in the U.S. mostly for her fabulous hats and uncanny resemblance to her mother. But soon, royal watchers may know her for qualities you might not expect of the daughter of the wild-children of the royal family, Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson, Duchess of York: Composure, grace, and a dedication to duty that would make her late grandmother, the queen, proud.
With the death of Queen Elizabeth II, Princess Beatrice has moved up to ninth in line to the British throne, and is taking on an important new role in the monarchy. Beatrice, 34, is now one of four Counsellors of State, alongside Prince William, his brother Prince Harry, and her father, Prince Andrew—meaning she can be called upon to stand in for King Charles III if he is overseas or incapacitated.
Not for every duty, of course—she cannot name a peer, confirm a Prime Minister, or declare anyone a Knight. (And if tries, watch out: in 2016, she was pretending-knighting the singer James Blunt at a party with a sword, and mistakenly swung back and sliced the face of the man standing behind her—who happened to be Ed Sheeran.) But a Counsellor of State may carry out many of the official duties of the king: for example, attending Privy Council meetings of the sovereign’s advisers, signing routine documents, and receiving the credentials of new ambassadors to the U.K to recognize his or her legitimacy.
Beatrice’s new role is particularly notable since Harry, Andrew, and Beatrice are not working royals. The Telegraph reported in September 2022 that, as a proponent of a “slimmed down” monarchy, King Charles did not want those without official duties to be on the company payroll—lavish vacations, security details, and the like—and he wanted the law regarding his counsellors to be amended to only allow working members of the royal family to serve in that role. (The king is said to favor sister Princess Anne and brother Prince Edward along with Kate, the Princess of Wales, who while a future queen consort is not in the line of succession.)
But changing the rules about Counsellors of State would need to be signed off on by both Houses of Parliament. So with the pound plummeting and a recession looming, this may not be the time for Charles to muscle his way into the political arena.
As it happens, Beatrice’s elevation might end up being a stroke of luck for him—and he may end up reconsidering whether she should have “working” status (and the state support that goes with it.) Andrew and Harry have both been necessarily pushed out of the public eye, Andrew because of his sex scandal/involvement with Jeffrey Epstein, and Harry because of his own choice to marry Meghan Markle and leave “the Firm.”
But “Princess Beatrice has great people skills,” notes one inside source. “She comes over as warm, kind and really engaged with the person she’s talking to. She’s a natural diplomat.” Consider the role she played in refurbishing the image of her own mother. “The royal family was quite ready to dispense with Fergie at a certain point,” adds the source. “But because she and her sister were so sweet and got on so well with the queen—it helped smooth those waters.”
Now, her public role in the royal family might expand even beyond her role as Counsellor of State. According to royal historian Marlene Koenig, the Firm may have miscalculated in the ‘90s when they decided that Prince Andrew’s daughters would not become working members of the family in the wake of several scandals that plagued the Windsors at the time (including the divorces of Charles and Princess Diana, Andrew and Fergie, and Anne and her husband Captain Mark Phillips.)
The sisters do not receive an income from the Sovereign Grant, which funds the monarch’s official duties, but they do get money from two trust funds (one established for Fergie when she divorced Andrew and another set up by the late Queen Mother for all of her great-grandchildren).
But with Andrew, Harry and Meghan stepping down from their duties in recent years, there are less royals to carry out official engagements, Koenig told The Express that “may have [the family] rethinking things a little bit.” She added that both Beatrice and her sister, Princess Eugenie, “would be assets as working royals.”
After graduating from Goldsmith College in London with a degree in history, and co-founding her own charity—Big Change—to reform education around the world, Bea, as she’s known to her family and friends, moved to New York City in 2015, where she attended high-profile events like the Met Gala and befriended celebrities including Karlie Kloss. She has worked for Sony, and most recently was employed as vice president of partnerships and strategy at Afiniti.com, an NYC-based technology company.
In September 2019, the princess got engaged to multimillionaire property tycoon Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi, a family friend. After their original wedding plans were scrapped due to the COVID pandemic, they tied the knot in a private ceremony at Windsor Castle in July 2020 that was attended by close family only, including the queen and her husband, Prince Philip.
In a clear sign of her close bond with the monarch, the bride wore a vintage Norman Hartnell gown that belonged to the queen, along with the diamond tiara Elizabeth wore for her own nuptials in 1947. Beatrice and Edoardo, who is an Italian count, welcomed their first child, Sienna Elizabeth, in September 2021. Her middle name was chosen as a nod to the queen.
Even though she wasn’t a working royal, the princess attended several events on the queen’s behalf over the years. In 2019, she was praised by an attendee at the SVC2UK Good Growth Summit for being “an excellent role model for the royal family.” In June 2022, while mingling with the crowd at the Big Jubilee Lunch during the celebration of the queen’s 70th year on the throne, Beatrice paid tribute to the sovereign, saying that she was “very, very lucky” to call her “Granny.”
The princess, who was bullied as a child because of her dyslexia, is patron of several charities with a focus on helping children. “I think life is about the moments, it’s the challenges that make you,” she said in an interview with Hello! magazine in August 2021, calling the learning disability, which her husband also has, “a gift.”
It’s a sentiment the late queen might have voiced herself. And as Beatrice and the royal family move into a new era, it’s this kind of innate compassion that will see the princess power through as she takes on any challenges ahead.
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