Princess Beatrice of York stepped out last night in London with her boyfriend of less than a year, Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi. They went to Annabel’s, the members-only club popular with the posh, the aristocrats and the royals. For some reason, these photos are getting a lot of play in the British media and I’m curious as to why – these are not the first photos of Beatrice and Edoardo, and the “Beatrice wants to marry this guy” narrative has been around for months already. I mean, they’re nice photos, but why were they close to the top of the Daily Mail’s headlines last night? Well, I have a theory.
My theory is the same one being circulated by many long-time royal watchers: there will be a lot of stories and photos of the other royals right now, because they’re all trying to distract from the Duke of York, Beatrice’s father. Prince Andrew’s name has been popping up all over the place because of Jeffrey Epstein’s arrest last weekend. One of Epstein’s victims, Virginia Roberts, claimed that Epstein “gave” her to Prince Andrew three times when she was underage. She also said Epstein paid her $10,000 for sleeping with Andrew. When her story came out in 2015, the palace issued a statement and “emphatically denied that the Duke of York had any form of sexual contact or relationship with Virginia Roberts. Any claim to the contrary is false and without foundation.”
Virginia Roberts is still talking this week, and after she issued a statement about her happiness that Epstein was re-arrested, her lawyer told journalists that it was more than possible that Andrew might be called in to give testimony about Epstein’s behavior. Her lawyer (David Boies) also said: “If they call him he won’t answer and they can’t go over there to the UK and get him.” As to whether the prince would have anything useful to say, Mr Boies said: “Yes and no, I think it’s all cumulative.”
So that’s why we’re seeing photos of Princess Beatrice and Edoardo right now. I kind of think it would be smarter for the York princesses to just start their summer holidays right now and go undercover for a few months – after all, it’s not like Beatrice and Eugenie did anything wrong, and they should absolutely not be blamed for their father’s grossness and criminality. But I guess Buckingham Palace thinks it’s A-OK to use the younger princesses and duchesses as human shields for the Queen’s favorite son.
Photos courtesy of Backgrid.