On Friday 29th May 2020, Princess Beatrice, the granddaughter of Queen Elizabeth II and eldest daughter of Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson, was due to marry property tycoon Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi. Sadly, the couple have been forced to postpone their wedding due to the Covid-19 crisis.
While we may not have a spring Royal wedding to enjoy now, we can rest assured that when the time is right, Princess Beatrice will finally have her moment in the bridal spotlight.
The wedding will round out a busy few years in the royal wedding calendar. As the Queen's grandchildren have come of age, we've seen more engagements, weddings, births and christenings over the last few years than in the entire decade before. The initial wedding announcement was of course overshadowed by allegations about Prince Andrew, and the exiting of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex from their positions in the Royal family.
The wedding is expected to be significantly more 'low key' than the other royal weddings we have experienced in recent years. It was supposed to take place at The Chapel Royal in St James’s Palace, rather than Westminster Abbey or St George's Chapel, though it is not yet known what form the rescheduled date will take.
The bride's dress, therefore, may also be more modest than the 'princess' wedding dresses we have seen at British royal weddings. In recent years Beatrice has sharpened her aesthetic, moving away from the questionable novelty fascinators of her early twenties towards cool young British designers and even appearing in Vogue. So who will Bea choose to commission to design the gown for her big day? Here are the runners and riders...
Ralph & Russo
Careful thought would have gone into the selection of Beatrice's royal blue outfit for Princess Eugenie's wedding. Who can forget when another maid of honour and sister of a royal bride, Pippa Middleton, inadvertently stole headlines on the Duchess of Cambridge's wedding day in 2011?
Bea's outfit needed to complement the bride's, but be understated enough not to draw attention away from her sister - she tasked British couture house Ralph & Russo with designing this perfectly tailored royal blue skirt suit. And the label, which launched in 2007, has royal form: it was responsible for the altogether more ornate £56,000 gown that the then-Meghan Markle wore in the photographs taken to announce her engagement.
Bea's younger sister, Princess Eugenie, eschewed more traditional labels in favour of young London designers Peter Pilotto and Christopher de Vos to design her wedding dress in October 2018. If Beatrice were to do the same, she'd have more than one label to choose from.
Near the top of the list must be Roksanda, a highlight on the London Fashion Week schedule. Bea wore a color-block skirt and blouse by designer Roksanda Ilincic, who launched her brand in 2005, to Royal Ascot in 2015, before wearing a teal-blue embellished dress by the brand to Harry and Meghan's wedding in 2018.
Canadian-born, London-based Erdem Moralioglu launched his eponymous fashion house in 2005, the same year as Roksanda. Since then, he's become a royal favourite, especially with the Duchess of Cambridge, who has a growing collection of special-occasion dresses from the brand - and he even paid homage to HM the Queen's style, basing his spring/summer '18 collection on her 1950s wardrobe. Erdem was one of the bookies' favourites to design Eugenie's dress - might it be that her big sister had already called dibs?
Emilia Wickstead's super-feminine aesthetic would make for the ultimate princess wedding dress, and she's no stranger to royal commissions, having dressed both Kate and Meghan on several occasions. Her place in the royal wardrobe was in question after a comment on Meghan's Givenchy wedding dress (and similarities drawn to a Wickstead design) appeared on the brand's Instagram account, but that's water under the bridge - both Meghan and Kate have worn the label since.
The Vampire's Wife
This label, founded by ex-model Susie Cave in 2014 and so called because of her marriage to musician Nick Cave, has shot to cult-buy status among fashion editors (with deep pockets) and celebrities: Cate Blanchett, Keira Knightley, Sienna Miller, Rachel Weisz.
Bea wore versions of the brand's signature ruffled column dress to the Queen's Garden Party in May 2019 and friend Ellie Goulding's wedding in August, so we know she loves the shape. A custom design by the brand would be an unexpected choice, but an unarguably fashion-forward one, and Bea has been known to push the sartorial envelope...
You might not recognise her name, but Mischevani's Shrewsbury boutique specialises in wedding gowns and occasionwear. Beatrice wore her designs to Royal Ascot in both 2017 and 2018 and to church on Easter Sunday in 2019 - and if that wasn't royal seal of approval enough, Lady Gabriella Windsor and Autumn Phillips are both fans, as is Zara Tindall, who wore the label to the royal weddings of both the Duke and Duchess of Sussex and Princess Eugenie and Jack Brooksbank in 2018.
It's tradition for royals to support the British fashion industry by patronising British brands, especially when choosing their wedding dresses. But in 2018 the Duchess of Sussex surprised fashion editors and bookmakers alike when she chose French fashion house Givenchy (with Brit Clare Waight Keller at the helm) to design her frock.
It's possible that Bea might prefer an international designer - or perhaps choose to give a diplomatic nod to her husband-to-be's Italian blue-blood background. Bea wore a purple gown by Italian fashion house Alberta Ferretti for what is perhaps her most glamorous and dramatic look to date, the deep purple floor-sweeping gown that she wore to the Met Gala (basically the fashion Oscars) in 2018.
Another Italian choice, and perhaps the most of-the-moment of the bunch, is Gucci. Under the creative direction of Alessandro Michele, the brand has been responsible for many of the biggest trends and It-buys of recent seasons. And while Michele might be known for his bold use of colour and liberal application of accessories on the catwalk, he also does pared-back red carpet wear well - as Bea discovered when she wore one of his dresses to a gala in November 2018.