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Pressure is building on Princess Beatrice, the elder daughter of Sarah Ferguson and the Duke of York, to abandon all aspirations to a public element to her wedding this year, as the U.K.’s top commercial channel, ITV, joined the national public service broadcaster, the BBC, in saying it would not screen live coverage of her wedding to Italian property developer Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi.
Andrew and Sarah have long fought for their daughters, as the only “blood princesses” of the generation of young royals, to be accorded the full deference they believe is due to them.
This apparent obsession with their status reached its apogee in the wedding of their younger daughter, Eugenie, whose nuptials last year were closely modeled on the wedding of Harry and Meghan.
Widely mocked as a folie de grandeur, an open-top carriage ride around Windsor was even insisted upon by the Yorks, although it was, unsurprising, thinly attended by cheering throngs of plebs compared to the carriage ride that concluded Harry and Meghan’s wedding.
As part of Andrew and Sarah’s status anxiety, they also intensively lobbied the BBC to screen the Eugenie wedding live. The BBC declined, however, and held their nerve in the face of the Yorks demands.
Eventually, commercial channel ITV did carry the wedding live, and was rewarded with some three million viewers, so there had been expectation that it might be interested in carrying coverage of Beatrice’s wedding.
Now, however, in the wake of Andrew’s disastrous BBC interview and enforced withdrawal from public life, it seems even ITV is not prepared to hold the nose for the sake of ratings.
It was being reported Monday morning that the channel will not, after all, clear its schedule for the wedding of Beatrice, expected to happen in May or June, although official request for comment by The Daily Beast to the ITV press office went unanswered.
Ironically, pals of Andrew said at the time that part of the motivation for his BBC Newsnight interview was to clear the air ahead of the wedding of his elder daughter so he could walk Princess Beatrice down the aisle with his head held high.
Beatrice’s wedding is likely to be the last such royal event for many years.
Buckingham Palace has yet to confirm the wedding date and venue, but it is expected to be in late May or early June so it does not clash with Royal Ascot. St. George’s Chapel in Windsor was being tipped for the ceremony.
Now even that is in doubt.
Royal author Phil Dampier told The Mirror this weekend: “Andrew is so toxic at the moment, I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s going to be a private wedding with a couple of photos released afterwards.”
With the media keen to avoid anything that may lead to their brands being polluted by Andrew’s reputation, the once remote possibility of the Yorks doing something as quietly as possible now seems more likely than ever.