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Princess Beatrice won’t become a duchess after her wedding. Here’s why

Who are Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie?
Who are Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie?

Unlike her cousins Prince William and Prince Harry, who were awarded dukedoms after their weddings, Princess Beatrice won’t be given the title of ‘duchess’ after her nuptials this May.

Beatrice, 31, is set to marry British property developer Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi in a private ceremony at Chapel Royal at St. James’s Palace followed by a reception in the gardens of Buckingham Palace. The couple were engaged in September 2019.

Beatrice won’t become a duchess because British royal titles are passed through the male line “with a few exceptions that have taken place,” according to royal historian Carolyn Harris.

READ MORE: Prince Andrew’s daughter, Princess Beatrice, announces private wedding venue

Before reforms were instituted in the House of Lords, the title of ‘duke’ entitled someone to a place in the peerage.

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“Traditionally, these titles were bestowed on senior male members of the Royal Family,” Harris said. “You’d have a seat in the House of Lords, enjoying the political elite.”

In the late 19th and early 20th century, it was assumed that a princess would marry a foreign prince, so she would inherit the title of her husband. However, in recent generations, this hasn’t been the case.

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Prince Harry speaks out about decision to step away from royal duties

In the event that a princess married a commoner, said Harris, it was customary to bestow a title on the husband. This happened with Princess Margaret’s husband, Antony Armstrong-Jones, who was given the title of Earl of Snowdon upon marrying the younger sister of Queen Elizabeth II.

“But that hasn’t been the case in recent generations, or for Princess Eugenie, so I think it’s very unlikely that Beatrice’s fiancé will be given a title,” she said.

Harris predicts that Beatrice will retain her title, but there won’t be additional titles offered by the British monarchy with marriage.

READ MORE: Prince Andrew steps down — The duke’s history with Jeffrey Epstein explained

Beatrice may, however, inherit a new title from Mapelli Mozzi’s side of the family.

Edoardo’s father, Count Alessandro Mapelli Mozzi, told Daily Mail Online Beatrice will be granted the title of countess once they’re married.

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“Edoardo is the only male descendant taking the family into the next generation,” the count said.

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Prince Andrew provided ‘zero cooperation’ in Epstein case: prosecutor

“He is a count, his wife will be a countess automatically and any of their children will be counts or nobile donna.”

However, given that Mapelli Mozzi doesn’t use his title, royal experts don’t think Beatrice will use this title in everyday life.

“When she appears in the Court Circular, I’d say it will be as ‘Princess Beatrice, Mrs. Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi,'” royal commentator Joe Little told Insider

READ MORE: Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie — Who are Prince Andrew’s daughters?

Royal experts weren’t surprised to learn of Beatrice’s intimate plans for her royal wedding given the renewed interest in the relationship between her father, Prince Andrew, and convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.

“We may well see a quieter royal wedding than Princess Eugenie had at St. George’s Chapel [in 2018],” Harris previously told Global News.

“Certainly, a public appearance by Prince Andrew is going to attract a lot of attention.”

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Andrew, Queen Elizabeth’s third child, announced last year that he was withdrawing from his royal duties due to allegations by an American woman named Virginia Roberts Giuffre. Giuffre says she was forced to have sex with Prince Andrew multiple times, starting at the age of 17.

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She says she was sex-trafficked by Epstein, who died by suicide in August 2019. She alleges Epstein forced her to have sex with the prince in 2001 at the home of British socialite and friend of the prince Ghislaine Maxwell.

Prince Andrew denies all allegations.

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Prince Harry, Meghan Markle drop the word ‘Royal’ from future branding

A photograph of the prince with his hand around the waist of a teenage Giuffre standing next to Maxwell has been widely circulated.

The prince told the BBC he questioned the legitimacy of the photo and says he does not recall it being taken.

Prince Andrew stepped down from royal duties in November 2019 just days after he spoke with the BBC about his friendship with Epstein.

READ MORE: Prince Harry, Meghan reveal royal departure plans for Spring 2020

“It has become clear to me over the last few days that the circumstances relating to my former association with Jeffrey Epstein [have] become a major disruption to my family’s work and the valuable work going on in the many organizations and charities that I am proud to support,” the 59-year-old said in a statement.

— With files from Global News’ Laura Hensley and the Associated Press

Meghan.Collie@globalnews.ca