Princess Beatrice has described becoming a stepmother to husband Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi’s son Wolfie a ‘great honour’ and reveals she’s had a ‘remarkable time’ re-reading her favourite stories with him during lockdown.
The Queen’s granddaughter, 32, became the first princess in Her Majesty’s family to marry someone with children when she wed property developer Edo in a private family ceremony at Windsor in July last year.
Edo, 38, shares a young son, Christopher ‘Wolfie’ Woolf, with his glamorous former fiancée of three-and-a-half years, Dara Huang. Friends have previously spoken of the good relationship Beatrice has with her new stepson.
Speaking to the Evening Standard to mark World Book Day today, Beatrice, who currently reside in a flat at St James’s Palace with Edo, said reading has given her ‘reassurance’ in lockdown, despite it not being her ‘strongest talent’ due to having dyslexia.
Princess Beatrice has described becoming a stepmother to husband Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi’s son Wolfie a ‘great honour’ and reveals she’s had a ‘remarkable time’ re-reading her favourite stories with him during lockdown
‘We have all had to learn new ways to cope with the strangest of times. For our family, reading stories has been a great part of our journey to finding laughter and a little magic on the journey,’ she told the publication.
‘This year, I had the great honour to become a stepmother, and have had the most remarkable time going back over some of my most favourite stories at bedtime. Together, we had such a special time reading through all the entries for Oscars Book Prize 2020.’
She added that Wolfie has been, like many children, homeschooling this term, and said helping him to engage with stories is a great way to ‘inspire imagination, creativity, independence and humour’.
Beatrice credited her love of reading to her mother Sarah Ferguson, who has published a number of children’s books including the Budgie the Little Helicopter series which was made into an animated TV show.
The Queen’s granddaughter, 32, became the first princess in Her Majesty’s family to marry someone with children when she wed property developer Edo in a private family ceremony at Windsor in July last year
Edo, 38, shares a young son, Christopher ‘Wolfie’ Woolf, with his glamorous former fiancée of three-and-a-half years, Dara Huang
Since the pandemic began, the Duchess of York has been keeping the nation’s children entertained with her ‘Storytime With Fergie and Friends’ YouTube channel, where she shares videos of herself reading popular books.
Beatrice joined her mother for an episode in June, in which she read The Worrysaurus by Rachel Bright, a fun and reassuring tale about dealing with worries that aims to help help youngsters let go of their fears and feel happy in the moment.
The princess told the Evening Standard that reading has given her a welcome and ‘important’ break from video calls and working in front of a computer screen, with lockdown giving her more time in the day to enjoy it.
‘I have found when things are a little uncertain, or if I am worried or scared of what the future might have in store, stepping into the worlds described on the pages of literature has given me a sense of reassurance,’ Beatrice said.
Beatrice credited her love of reading to her mother Sarah Ferguson, who has published a number of children’s books including the Budgie the Little Helicopter series which was made into an animated TV show (pictured appearing in an episode)
‘It reminds me that challenges and quests have been dared throughout the ages, and lessons learnt along the way make us stronger and more resilient.’
Beatrice spent the first lockdown last year with Edo and his mother and stepfather in Oxfordshire.
Speaking about that time, Edo recently said: ‘It was magical but I certainly didn’t get to the end of lockdown and think I wanted to live in the countryside for the rest of my life.’
Beatrice also recently became an aunt when her sister Eugenie, 30, welcomed her first son, August, in February with husband Jack Brooksbank.
Also keen to mark World Book Day is the Duchess of Cornwall, who said the occasion ‘means the birth of reading’ for many children ahead of her appearance at a virtual conference to launch the annual initiative.
Beatrice pictured with Ed Vere, winner of the 2019 Oscar’s Book Prize with his picture book How to be a Lion
Speaking ahead of the event, she said: ‘To actually own your first book is something that you’re never going to forget.
‘That first book will be there forever. And it’s hopefully going to lead children to reading more and more, discovering different authors and different subjects.
‘I think for a lot of children out there, World Book Day actually means the birth of reading.’
Earlier this year Camilla, who has long championed the cause of literacy, set up a book club, sharing her personal picks for an online ‘reading room’.
History of British royal stepmothers
Former Queen of England Joan of Navarre became stepmother to King Henry IV’s children when they married on 7 February, 1403.
Joan, who already had seven children with her late first husband John IV, Duke of Brittany, had no further children with Henry. She enjoyed a good relationship with Henry’s children from his first marriage, and is recorded to have often take the side of the future Henry V during family quarrels.
Anne Boleyn became stepmother to husband King Henry VII’s daughter Mary I, which he shared with his first wife, Catherine of Aragon – as did his four future wives Jane Seymour, Anne of Cleves, Catherine Howard and Catherine Parr.
The subsequent four women also became stepmother to his and Anne Boleyn’s daughter Elizabeth I.
Jane Seymour gave birth to his only son Edward VI, with the role of stepmother to three children falling to his final three wives.
Queen Mary I, also known as Mary Tudor, became a stepmother when she married Prince Philip of Spain, who had a son from a previous marriage.
Lady Mary Grey, the youngest daughter of Henry Grey, 1st Duke of Suffolk, and Frances Brandon, provoked scandal when she married the Queen’s serjeant porter Thomas Keyes, son of Richard Keyes, esquire, of East Greenwich, Kent. He was a widower twice her age with six or seven children, which she became stepmother to.
Mary of Moderna became stepmother to widow James II of England’s two surviving daughters when they married in 1673.