Princess Beatrice Cancels Royal Wedding Due to Coronavirus Concerns

The British royal family almost had another royal wedding this spring, but with just weeks to go Princess Beatrice and fiance Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi have postponed their ceremony due to the coronavirus pandemic. The couple were originally scheduled to marry at St. James's Palace in London on May 29, with a reception at Queen Elizabeth II's Buckingham Palace gardens. Beatrice, 31, is the daughter of Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson.

"There are no plans to switch venues or hold a bigger wedding," a spokesperson for the couple told PEOPLE on Thursday. "They aren't even thinking about their wedding at this time. There will come a time to rearrange, but that's not yet." The couple have not rescheduled the wedding, and a source told PEOPLE the invitations were never sent out.

Beatrice and Mapelli Mozzi, a 37-year-old financier, had planned to hold a small private ceremony for just family and friends without a reception. They were still aiming to tie the knot on May 29 though. "Princess Beatrice and Mr Mapelli Mozzi are very much looking forward to getting married but are equally aware of the need to avoid undertaking any unnecessary risks in the current circumstances," a palace spokesperson told PEOPLE last month. "In line with government advice for the U.K. and beyond, the couple are reviewing their arrangements for 29th May."

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However, the U.K. government announced on Thursday it is extending its lockdown for at least three weeks. Part of the lockdown includes avoiding gatherings larger than close family. People are still required to stay home. On Thursday, Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs Dominic Raab, who is speaking for the government while Prime Minister Boris Johnson recovers from COVID-19, said it was important for the country not to rush into relaxing guidelines.

"There is light at the end of the tunnel but we are now at both a delicate and a dangerous stage in this pandemic," Raab said, reports the BBC. "If we rush to relax the measures that we have in place we would risk wasting all the sacrifices and all the progress that has been made. That would risk a quick return to another lockdown with all the threat to life that a second peak to the virus would bring and all the economic damage that a second lockdown would carry."


Before the coronavirus pandemic, Beatrice's wedding was postponed during the controversy surrounding Prince Andrew's connections to convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein. In November, Queen Elizabeth II announced her son would be stepping further back from royal duties over the scandal. "The date was changed two times to adjust [around Andrew's scandal]. It will be smaller than the original plan," a source told PEOPLE in February.

Beatrice always planned to have a smaller wedding ceremony, especially when compared to the ceremonies for Prince William and Kate Middleton, and Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. Her younger sister, Princess Eugenie, and Jack Brooksbank, married in October 2018. Beatrice and Eugenie are ninth and 10th in the line of succession to the British throne, respectively.