Tragic Details About Princess Beatrice's Life

The following article mentions sexual assault and drug misuse.

Princess Beatrice has been linked to controversy in recent years, and it's not even because of anything she did — it's because of who her father is. One of the royal family's biggest PR disasters to date has arguably been Prince Andrew's controversial friendship with convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein. Beatrice has never publicly commented on her father's relationship with Epstein, nor has she said anything about the allegations of sexual assault against him, but she was there by his side during a meeting ahead of his infamous BBC "Newsnight" interview. 

As "Newsnight" producer Sam McAlister told People, Beatrice's presence was a "curveball." "So, to have prepared to do this incredibly important negotiation and then have to do it on these sensitive and difficult subjects in front of his young daughter really was taking an already extraordinary experience to the next level," he said. 

Beatrice, who has a royal title but isn't a working member of the firm, is a familiar face. She often attends royal events and knows people in high places. Her mother, Sarah Ferguson, Duchess of York, is no longer a working royal either, thanks to her divorce from Prince Andrew. Beatrice has a younger sister, Princess Eugenie, who is also a private citizen. Even though Beatrice is pretty much used to getting the royal treatment, life doesn't make exceptions, and she's had to navigate plenty of tragedies, obstacles, and heartbreak over the years.

She struggled in school when she was young

As a kid, Princess Beatrice struggled to keep up in school. On an episode of the "Lessons in Dyslexic Thinking" podcast, she reflected on one particular moment where things just weren't clicking. "I remember trying to do extra lessons with teachers and just sort of blankly staring up at her face, and she was like, 'Why are you looking at me? The words are not on my face' [and] I said, 'Well, they're not on the page either,'" she said.

At 7 years old, the royal was diagnosed with dyslexia, and it changed her school experience for the better. "I think it was quite an empowering thing actually, between the age of seven and 11, really figuring out what you could and couldn't do," she shared in a Zoom interview with Hello! magazine. She also noted that her teachers were supportive and made helpful accommodations. "I'm very lucky that I had some fantastic teachers," she said.

As an adult, Beatrice continues to use her royal platform to not only spread awareness about dyslexia, but talk about common misconceptions about the neurodivergent condition. "Dyslexia is not a pigeonhole to say you can't do anything," she once said during a speech for the Helen Arkell Dyslexia Charity (via Women's Weekly). "It is an opportunity and a possibility to learn differently. Dyslexics have magical brains, they just process differently."

Her parents' divorce was widely publicized

Princess Beatrice was only 8 years old when her parents divorced in 1998. Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson, Duchess of York, first went their separate ways in 1992. Sarah later hinted in an interview with Harper's Bazaar that their marital troubles began when Beatrice was born and Andrew was away on military duty. "I spent my entire first pregnancy alone; when Beatrice was born, Andrew got 10 days of shore leave," she recalled.

In the wake of the divorce, Beatrice found herself toeing the line between being just a regular Jane and a member of the royal family. When she was with her mom, Beatrice could let her inner wild child run free, but once she was back at the palace, she had to remember to behave like a princess. Royal author Tom Quinn told Express that Beatrice and her sister had to navigate a "split world."

The press attention Beatrice's parents received didn't make things any easier. of American financier John Bryan kissing a topless Fergie's feet surfaced, the drama reached fever pitch. The pictures sparked a media circus, and there were rumors about the palace supposedly trying to get full custody of Beatrice and her sister. Andrew and Sarah eventually agreed to co-parent.

She dated a convict in her teens

When Princess Beatrice was 17, Beatrice dated Paolo Liuzzo, who was a convicted felon with an assault and battery charge on his record. Naturally, the press went wild when it came to light that Beatrice was dating a guy with a criminal history. They dug into Liuzzo's life and found that he'd originally faced charges for manslaughter for his involvement in beating a fellow college student to death. Suffice it to say, he didn't exactly seem like a fit for a princess. 

Surprisingly, however, Beatrice's parents showed support for the relationship. Her mother, Sarah Ferguson, Duchess of York, made a public statement to say that she trusted her daughter's instincts and decisions. She and Prince Andrew even invited Liuzzo on a skiing trip in the French Alps. It turned out that this trip violated the terms of Luizzo's probation, and he almost found himself behind bars after the incident. Shortly after, news broke that Beatrice had broken up with Liuzzo, and the drama came to an abrupt end.

Her first big love never asked her to marry him

After getting plenty of press attention for dating a convicted felon, Princess Beatrice moved on to a man with better prospects who went by the name of Dave Clark. The two dated for 10 years, and Beatrice eventually moved to New York City to be with him after he landed a job there. But it all turned out to be for nothing.

In 2016, the couple found themselves in a bit of a predicament: They'd been dating for a decade and yet haven't made any plans to get married. Beatrice was reportedly eager for Clark to propose, so when he didn't get around to it after 10 long years, she gave him an ultimatum: either he got down on one knee, or the relationship was over. In a shocking turn of events, Clark did not bend the knee. Sources told the Daily Beast that Prince William and some other unnamed members of the royal family's dislike of Clark might have been a contributing factor.

The worst part for Beatrice must've been when news broke that her former beau had proposed to someone else barely a year after they called it quits. Clark got married in 2018, and Beatrice was notably absent from the wedding, despite initially saying that she was happy for the couple.

Her looks have been criticized

When you're in the public eye, it's inevitable that someone will say something nasty about your looks — just ask Princess Beatrice. She might be a royal, but that doesn't mean she always gets the royal treatment. 

It might be safe to say that Beatrice has been self-conscious about her looks from a young age. According to some reports, her mother, Sarah Ferguson, Duchess of York, put Beatrice on a diet when she was only 8 years old. During this time, Sarah told journalists, "I think overeating sort of runs in the family" (via the Belfast Telegraph). Sarah, whom the press at one time dubbed "the Duchess of Pork," partnered with Weight Watchers after her divorce from Prince Andrew.

Of course, Princess Beatrice is no stranger to having her looks and fashion choices analyzed and critiqued, and she was really put through the wringer after Prince William's wedding. The elaborate fascinator Beatrice wore to the event was quickly torn apart by the press and pundits alike. The headpiece, which was dubbed "the pretzel hat," generated a lot of cruel headlines and criticism. Understandably, this affected Beatrice. In a 2018 interview with Vogue UK, Princess Eugenie shared that her sister's had a hard time with the negative attention she's received over the years. "There was a horrible article that had been written about Beatrice and she got really upset. We were just about to step out and she had a bit of a wobble and cried," she said.

One of her charity patronages had to shut down

Like many other members of the royal family, Princess Beatrice is a patron of various charity organizations. One of these organizations was Grace's Place, which provided free care to terminally sick children. Beatrice helped raise funds for the organization and had the honor of opening its new building. "It is an incredible honor to be here today to see this dream become a reality," said in her speech on the day (via Hello! magazine). "With all of your support I know this place can really be the pinnacle of child care; it's a huge honor to be here today."

The center provided care three days a week and every other Saturday. Unfortunately, despite all the funds that were raised and Beatrice's contribution, it wasn't long before the hospice couldn't make ends meet. In a statement posted on X (formerly Twitter), the organization announced its inevitable closure, explaining that it needed £1.2m annually and simply couldn't garner that amount. During its short time in operation, Grace's Place helped over 50 children in West Yorkshire, and media outlets speculated that Beatrice was likely heartbroken that the center had to close.

She was heartbroken when Prince Philip died

Princess Beatrice and Prince Philip were quite close. When the Duke of Edinburgh died in 2021, Beatrice was heartbroken. During Philip's Service of Thanksgiving, Beatrice was left in tears when her father, Prince Andrew, walked Queen Elizabeth II to her seat. Beatrice was seen trying to hide her face from cameras with her Order of Service sheet as she rummaged for a tissue in her bag.

In the 2016 ITV documentary "Our Queen At Ninety," Beatrice spoke fondly of Philip. "My fabulous grandfather. When I talk about my grandfather, I really get quite emotional, because he is the most unique person and I'm very lucky there have been so many times where I have been able to share magical moments with my grandfather," she said at the time.

Beatrice's love for Philip was evident when she married Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi in a secret ceremony smack in the middle of lockdown. Philip was one of the few people who made the small guest list. The event took place a mere nine months before he died.

One of Princess Beatrice's ex-boyfriends died

In 2019, news broke that Princess Beatrice's former boyfriend Paolo Liuzzo had died of a suspected drug overdose. He was only 41 years old. While Beatrice never publicly commented on Liuzzo's death, some media outlets claimed that she was heartbroken. When they were still together, Beatrice was said to be serious about their relationship. She reportedly even wanted to introduce him to her grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II. However, Liuzzo never got around to meeting the queen.

It seems safe to assume Beatrice and Liuzzo weren't on the best of terms after they broke up. "I wasn't sure I wanted to get in that deep with Bea. I loved her but I wasn't in love with her," he said in an interview after their relationship ended (via The Sun). He also admitted to cheating on Beatrice. "I'm not a bad person. But it's like putting heroin in front of Pete Doherty. Women are my weakness," Liuzzo said.

Liuzzo's friends told The Sun that he had been in a lot of trouble with the law and racked up a mountain of debt thanks to his gambling and drug addiction. "Paolo was not doing great on a personal level," one friend said. "It was a very fast lifestyle and we all feared it would catch up with him eventually."

The palace reportedly isn't happy about her bond with Prince Harry

Prince Harry's royal rift has had quite the impact on Princess Beatrice. Beatrice and her sister, Princess Eugenie, have remained close with the estranged prince, and apparently the rest of the royal family isn't too pleased with the cousins' dynamic.

Royal experts question whether Beatrice can be trusted not to spill royal secrets to Harry, who in turn might put it in his next book or Netflix docuseries. "Beatrice is very stable, but I think they [the royal family] wonder what they [Beatrice and Princess Eugenie] will pass on to Harry," royal expert Angela Levin said during an interview with GB News. "They don't want to give them information to potentially pass on."

There have been reports that Prince William is keeping his distance from Beatrice and Eugenie because he doesn't know whether he can trust them not to share the monarchy's affairs with Harry. "For William it's a question of loyalty. As Beatrice and Eugenie have got closer to Harry, William has decided to keep them very much at arm's length," royal expert Tom Quinn told the Mirror. "Beatrice and Eugenie are moving across to what one Kensington Palace official described as 'the dark side,'" he added.

She's had to grapple with her father's 'huge mistake in judgment'

The scandal surrounding Prince Andrew's friendship with convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, as well as the sexual assault charges against him, put Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie through a special kind of hell, according to insiders. Evidently, the sisters were shocked and angry over the allegations, but more than anything, they were unhappy with the media circus and how it affected their dad's reputation and, as a result, their own. "Eugenie and Beatrice are really upset. They believe their dad made a huge mistake in judgment ever being associated to Jeffrey Epstein," a source said on Us Weekly's "Hot Hollywood" podcast.

Despite being upset with their father for his poor choice in friends, the source claimed that Beatrice and Eugenie still make an effort to support Andrew. They also reportedly recognize that the allegations against their father will have a lasting impact on his reputation and the monarchy. 

Beatrice even canceled her engagement party, which was set to happen four weeks after Prince Andrew announced that he'd be stepping down from his royal duties in the wake of his disastrous interview with the BBC. Beatrice was set to have the party at Chiltern Firehouse in London, but with the press fixated on her father, some of her friends reportedly pointed out that hosting the party at such a popular venue might not be the best idea. So, she changed her plans.

Her mother was diagnosed with cancer twice

In 2023, Princess Beatrice's mother, Sarah Ferguson, Duchess of York, revealed that she had been diagnosed with breast cancer. By the time she announced her diagnosis, she already had surgery and was receiving further treatment. This was no doubt a trying time for Sarah, as well as her loved ones. Thankfully, Sarah made a full recovery.

Barely a year later, Sarah learned she had skin cancer. In January 2024, she shared that she'd been diagnosed with malignant melanoma. 

Beatrice and her sister, Princess Eugenie, did everything they could to support their mother amid her new diagnosis, a source told People. "They've been terrific," the insider said. In a subsequent interview with "This Morning," Beatrice said that her mother was doing very well and that she was cancer-free. "She's been through so much, but now she's coming into her own," Beatrice said (via The Standard).

She was heartbroken when Queen Elizabeth II died

Princess Beatrice had a very close relationship with her paternal grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II. Given everything we know about their bond, it was all the more heartbreaking to see the princess bid her grandmother goodbye at the funeral. 

Time and time again, the princess has made it known that she and the queen were thick as thieves — Beatrice even had one of the queen's gowns adjusted so she could wear it as her wedding dress. "I have two role models, my mother and my grandmother," she once told Hello! magazine. "I find my grandmother inspiring every day because her overwhelming sense of duty is linked with an overwhelming curiosity."

As the general public mourned the death of the queen in September 2022, Beatrice mourned the loss of a beloved family member. She was spotted crying as she left the funeral proceedings with her mother and her husband.

She hasn't been allowed to carry out any official royal duties

Amid King Charles III's cancer health crisis, reports were swirling that Princess Beatrice was eager to take on some royal duties to lighten the load. However, according to insiders, hell would freeze over before that becomes a reality. Being a part-time working royal is not an option — a precedent Queen Elizabeth II set when she refused to have Prince Harry and Meghan Markle divide their time between the monarchy and their personal endeavors. Since Beatrice has never been a working royal and has built a career for herself, she doesn't meet the criteria to become a working member of the royal family, despite the institution being severely short handed. 

This rejection has been quite painful, according to a friend of Beatrice's who spoke to the Daily Beast. "It seems mean that the girls [Beatrice and Princess Eugenie] aren't being used at all when they have made it clear they want to be of service," the friend said. "They are very upset to have been ignored by the king as they feel they have a lot to offer, but ultimately not surprised."

If you or anyone you know may be the victim of sexual abuse or needs help with addiction issues, please contact the relevant resources below: