Taxpayers face huge bill to cover security at Princess Beatrice’s wedding says Met Police chief

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Taxpayers face a bill of hundreds of thousands of pounds to cover security at Princess Beatrice’s wedding, it was claimed today. 

Beatrice, 31, the eldest daughter of Prince Andrew and the Duchess of York, will marry her fiancé, Italian property developer Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi, 37, on May 29 at St James’s Palace.

The service will be followed by a private reception, hosted by The Queen, in the gardens of Buckingham Palace, it was announced yesterday.

But the Metropolitan Police and the Home Office are at loggerheads over who will foot the bill, which could be several hundred thousand pounds, reports The Mirror. 

As a ‘medium to large sized event’ in central London, with members of the royal family travelling between two venues, both guests and the public need to be kept safe.

But as predicted costs are more than one per cent of the Met’s annual budget, it may fall down to the Home Office to help out with costs via a ‘special grant’, which is funded by taxpayers’ money.

Dai Davies, the Met’s former head of royal security, told the newspaper: ‘The truth is despite the slimmed down guest list, it needs to be policed as a medium to large sized event for the safety of the guests and the public who will no doubt be interested.

‘Because it is split over two venues with royals travelling between them,with a crowd gathering in London on a nice Spring day, that’s when it starts to get more complex with the extra layers of security and the policing costs start to mount, which could very easily turn into the hundreds of thousands.’

The Home Office is reportedly yet to receive a request for a special grant to help with security costs.   

A spokesman told MailOnline: ‘Any request for special grant funding to meet the costs of policing will be carefully considered in line with the published guidance.’ 

The Duke of York, who stepped back from royal duties last year amid ongoing scandal surrounding his friendship with deceased paedophile Jeffrey Epstein, will give his daughter away when she weds her Italian fiance this spring.  

It will be the first reception to be held at the palace since the wedding of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge in April 2011. 

All three subsequent royal weddings have been in Windsor. Beatrice’s sister Princess Eugenie tied the knot in 2018 at St George’s Chapel, with a reception at the castle. 

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle had exchanged vows there earlier that year.   

The Royal Family’s statement, released on Instagram yesterday, reads: ‘The wedding of HRH Princess Beatrice of York and Mr Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi will take place on Friday 29th May 2020. The couple became engaged in Italy in September 2019.

‘Her Majesty The Queen has kindly given permission for the ceremony to take place at The Chapel Royal, St James’s Palace.

‘The ceremony will be followed by a private reception, given by The Queen, in the gardens of Buckingham Palace.’ 

A number of royal weddings have taken place in the Chapel Royal, including that of Queen Victoria to Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg in 1840. 

In 1893 the then Duke of York, the current Queen’s grandfather, and Princess Victoria Mary of Teck (later King George V and Queen Mary) were married in the Chapel. 

Princess Beatrice, Prince George and Prince Louis were all baptised at the Chapel. 

It is understood Beatrice and Edoardo want their nuptials to be ‘low key’ and without the fanfare that surrounded the wedding of Princess Eugenie and Jack Brooksbank.

The cost of their £2million wedding was highly controversial. 

Beatrice and Edo had been together for 11 months at the time they announced their engagement in September last year. Father-of-one Edo proposed with a ring estimated to have cost £100,000, while the pair were holidaying in Italy. 

The planning has been somewhat overshadowed by the ongoing scandal surrounding Prince Andrew’s friendship with deceased paedophile Jeffrey Epstein. 

However it is believed Princess Beatrice will still be walked down the aisle by her father, with whom she shares a close relationship, and that her sister Eugenie will play a role in the wedding.  

It was reported last week that the Queen has offered to hold the wedding reception at Buckingham Palace to give her granddaughter a ‘morale boost’. 

One friend told the Daily Mail: ‘Bea was delighted and very grateful to accept. It was a really special gesture as it will be the first wedding celebration at Buckingham Palace since William and Catherine’s in 2011.’

The scandal surrounding Prince Andrew’s friendship with Epstein intensified in December after a second woman who was allegedly abused by billionaire paedophile Jeffrey Epstein claimed she had sex with the duke.

This came after the prince denied sleeping with 17-year-old Virginia Roberts at the Belgravia home of Ghislaine Maxwell – who is accused of trafficking in young women for Epstein. 

Earlier this week one of Epstein’s victims blamed Prince Andrew for failing to stop the convicted sex offender from abusing women before he sexually assaulted her. 

She called on the duke to cooperate with the FBI in their investigation, after US lawyer Geoffrey Berman, who is leading the Epstein sex trafficking inquiry, said the duke has ‘provided zero co-operation’, claiming his lawyers had been contacted by prosecutors and the FBI as part of the investigation. 

Andrew was reported to be ‘angry and bewildered’ at the claims, with sources telling the Daily Telegraph he was more than happy to talk to the FBI but had not been approached.

When the monarch’s second son quit royal duties, he said he was willing to help any appropriate law enforcement agency. 

His resignation followed a car crash interview with BBC Newsnight’s Emily Maitlis, after which he was lambasted by critics for failing to show regret or empathy for Epstein’s victims.

Princess Beatrice’s Chapel Royal wedding venue will provide an ‘intimate family occasion’ to help with the issues surrounding her father Prince Andrew, a royal expert has claimed. 

The Queen kindly giving her permission for the ceremony to take place at The Chapel Royal in the grounds of St James’s Palace also demonstrates ‘the immense affection’ the monarch has for Beatrice.

The chapel is a venue steeped in royal history – and coincidentally is where the bride-to-be was Christened in 1988.

It is also where Queen Victoria married Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg on February 10 in 1840. 

Royal expert Robert Jobson told FEMAIL the chapel will provide a ‘much more intimate family occasion’ for the nuptials – which he said will ‘help with the issues around the Duke of York right now’. 

Prince Andrew stepped back from royal work last year after backlash following a BBC interview discussing his relationship with billionaire paedophile Jeffrey Epstein. He was also forced to give up his affiliations with charitable organisations following the scandal.

Mr Jobson added: ‘The Chapel Royal is a significant choice – and it is not downgrading Beatrice. After all it was the venue for a Queen’s wedding, and not just any Queen – Victoria, who had been on the throne three years when she wed her cousin Prince Albert.

‘I think it will be a much smaller affair for close family and friends and the party again will be very much under wraps in the palace gardens away from prying eyes.’   

Nigel Cawthorne, author of Call Me Diana, The Princess of Wales on Herself, also said Beatrice’s choice of venue is a ‘smart one’.

‘St James’s Palace is the most senior palace in Britain and its chapel is unique even for the Windors,’ he told FEMAIL.

‘It is not as grand as St Paul’s or Westminster Abbey, which are reserved for the most senior royals. When her parents married in Westminster, Prince Andrew was still second in line to the throne. But what it lacks in grandeur it makes up for in extraordinary history. 

‘Not only was it where Queen Victoria married Prince Albert in the chapel, it was also where the Queen’s parents were married. Her father was then still the Duke of York. 

‘The permission to have the marriage in this chapel shows the immense affection that the Queen has for her granddaughter.’

As well as its notable nuptials, the venue holds regular services which are open to the general public, as well as hosting some unique Royal services.

More recently, the chapel was chosen by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge for the Christenings of their sons, Prince George, six, in October 2013, and Prince Louis, one, in July last year.

Prior to Prince George’s, the couple said they had made the ‘very personal’ decision to use the chapel where Prince William’s mother Princess Diana’s body lay before the altar for a week before her burial in 1997 so her family could pay their last respects. 

The ceremonies were attended by four generations of the Royal Family including The Queen, Prince Charles and proud father Prince William.  

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s daughter Princess Charlotte was baptised at the Church of St Mary Magdalene in Sandringham.  

The Holbein-decorated Chapel Royal is, in the words of one royal aide, ‘a historic, quite intimate chapel’.

In April 2011, Kate Middleton chose it chapel to be formally confirmed into the Church of England before her marriage to Prince William. 

Other historic weddings of note which took place at the Chapel Royal include the eldest daughter of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, Victoria, Princess Royal.

She married Prince Friedrich Wilhelm of Prussia, later the German Emperor Friedrich III, in 1858.

In 1893 the Duke of York and Princess Victoria Mary of Teck – later King George V and Queen Mary – were married in the Chapel.  

With the Queen’s permission, the chapel is still used for christenings, weddings and funerals of members of the Royal Household. 

The existence of a Chapel Royal itself dates back many centuries and, originally, was not a building but an establishment: a body of priests and singers to serve the spiritual needs of the Sovereign. 

During Tudor times the Chapel would follow the Sovereign around the country to whichever Palace or great house was in favour at the time. 

Since Whitehall Palace burned down in the late 17th century the Chapel Royal has been based exclusively at St James’s Palace.  

It was built by Henry VIII following his short-lived fourth marriage to Anne of Cleves, and Mary I’s heart is believed to be buried beneath the choir-stalls.

The chapel was also where Elizabeth I said her prayers for the defence of the realm against the threat of the Spanish Armada in 1588.

At the end of the Civil War, Charles I also received the Sacrament of Holy Communion in the Chapel Royal at St. James’s Palace before his execution in Whitehall in 1649.

Various changes were made to the building in 1836, with the addition of side galleries and a new ceiling to match the original 1540 ciphers. 

The Chapel Royal also has a long musical history with many noted organists and composers having performed there. Among the most well known are Thomas Tallis, William Byrd, Orlando Gibbons and Henry Purcell who lived in a suite of apartments within the Palace. 

It is believed the poet, John Dryden, who was frequently in debt, used to take refuge with Purcell in his apartments in order to avoid the clutches of persistent creditors.

One of the Chapel’s most notable organists and composers was George Frederick Handel, who was appointed by George II as ‘Composer of Musick of His Majesty’s Chappel Royal’ in 1723.

The title was constructed to allow Handel, still a German citizen, to contribute to the musical development of the Chapel Royal without actually being a member of it.

Handel composed the great anthem ‘Zadok the Priest’ for the coronation of George II in 1727. The song has been used at every coronation since. and is also sung at the Royal Maundy service in which the Queen distributes Maundy money to elderly members of the church on the day before Good Friday.

The nearby Queen’s Chapel was built by James I for the Catholic bride of his son, later Charles I, and designed by Inigo Jones. 

Every year on January 6, the Epiphany ceremony of the offering of gold, frankincense and myrrh on behalf of the Sovereign takes place during the service of Choral Holy Communion at the chapel.

It is also synonymous with the Duke of York title – the chapel is the home of some magnificent silver-gilt plate, nearly all made at the Restoration and used to adorn the altar on festival days. 

Among the main pieces is a set of altar candlesticks engraved with the monogram of the Duke of York, later James II (1661), as well as two Charles II alms-dishes and Charles II’s great coronation alms-dish of 1660. 

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