The stunning transformation of Princess Beatrice

Princess Beatrice announced her engagement to real estate tycoon Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi in September 2019. "We are extremely happy to be able to share the news of our recent engagement," she and her fiancé said, sharing the happy news in an official statement. "We are both so excited to be embarking on this life adventure together and can't wait to be married," the couple continued. "We share so many similar interests and values and we know this will stand us in great stead for the years ahead, full of love and happiness."

Mapelli Mozzi and the princess' wedding, which is due to take place in 2020, will no doubt be just as glamorous as her sister Princess Eugenie's October 2018 wedding — and all of the royal weddings that came before it. But, before her big day, you'll probably want to learn a little more about the Duke and Duchess of York's eldest daughter and her stunning transformation over the years. Here's all you need to know about Princess Beatrice's evolution.

Princess Beatrice was welcomed into the world in the '80s

At 8:18 p.m. on Aug. 8, 1988 (how's that for timing?), Queen Elizabeth II's second-born son, Prince Andrew, and his wife, Sarah Ferguson, welcomed their first child, a daughter. The royal baby was born at Portland Hospital in London, England — the very same hospital in which Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's son Archie would be born some 30 years later. Four days after the princess' birth, her parents introduced her to the public, but it wouldn't be until August 22 that her name, Beatrice Elizabeth Mary, was announced. 

"The name Beatrice — which means bringer of joy — has royal roots," the Associated Press (via Los Angeles Times) confirmed in a 1988 report. "The youngest of Queen Victoria's nine children was named Princess Beatrice." Upon her birth, the Princess of York was the fifth in line to the throne, the publication revealed. As of this writing, however, Beatrice has been bumped down to the ninth in the line of succession after Prince Archie's birth, making it highly unlikely that she will ever rule.

Princess Beatrice's parents wanted to give her this name instead

As was the case with Prince Archie and his royal cousins' names, many people bet on what the Duke and Duchess of York would name their first child. However, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle and Prince William and Kate Middleton remained tightlipped about the names they picked until their children's births. Prince Andrew, on the other hand, spilled the beans earlier on. According to the Associated Press, Andrew revealed to a reporter that he and Sarah Ferguson planned to name their baby girl Annabel. Of course, we know that's not what happened.

″It is a bit of a surprise for everybody," Malcolm Palmer of the betting company Coral Bookmakers revealed to the publication on the day the princess' name was announced. ″Victoria and Elizabeth were the two favorites.″ So, why did Andrew and Ferguson change their minds? The Sun (via Associated Press) revealed at the time that Queen Elizabeth II actually rejected the name Annabel, having dubbed it too "yuppie." According to the report, it was she who suggested the name Beatrice. And the rest, as they say, is history.

Princess Beatrice used to have very blonde hair

Not long after her third birthday, Princess Beatrice started nursery school at the Upton House School in Windsor. The prestigious nursery, pre-prep, and prep school accepts children between the ages 2 and 11 years old, but Beatrice only remained at the school until 1995. She then went on to attend another nursery school, Coworth Park School.

Beatrice's first day of school photos are all kinds of adorable, but you may not recognize the princess in them. That's because of her platinum blonde hair. In fact, the duchess had blonde hair even as a baby. Over time, her hair gradually turned red and began to resemble a color more like her mother Sarah Ferguson's hair. 

Despite having been blonde for a time, Beatrice hasn't gone back to her platinum roots with the use of bleach. That's not to say she hasn't colored her hair, though. Although her hair is naturally a strawberry-blonde shade, she has experimented with different shades of red over the years.

Princess Beatrice developed a strong connection to Harry Potter

Princess Beatrice began attending St. George's School in Ascot, England in 2000 where she, according to the Duke of York's official site, "completed her A levels in Drama, History and Film Studies." Beatrice was also named "Head Girl" at the school during her last year there. "Head Girl" is a British term that the Collins Dictionary defined as "a senior female student who often represents the school on public occasions." If you're a Harry Potter fan, you may be familiar with the use of the term. As it turns out, Beatrice herself is a Potterhead — and the books hold a special place in her heart.

"When I was younger," Beatrice revealed in a video for the Get Reading Festival in London (via The Telegraph), "I was diagnosed with dyslexia which meant, for me, sitting in front of a book was really hard — until I discovered Harry Potter, and this character, this 11-year-old boy, who suddenly gets off to school for the first time, captured my imagination and suddenly reading was fun." The princess dubbed Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone the "book that got [her] reading" and it remains one of her favorites.

Princess Beatrice didn't always get along with her little sister

Princess Beatrice and her younger sister, Princess Eugenie, are only about a year and seven months apart in age. The two sisters are more than just close in age, though. "We're each other's rocks," Eugenie revealed in an interview with Vogue. "We're the only other person in each other's lives who can know exactly what the other one is going through." But, before you think that they're so close they never fight, Beatrice put those rumors to rest in the same interview.

"One of the biggest fights we ever had was about a pair of Converse trainers," Beatrice admitted to the publication. "We have the same size feet and both of us had identical pairs. One pair got trashed and the other sister may have swapped them." But that's all water under the bridge these days. "Euge is amazing," Beatrice told the publication when asked if there'd been any Bridezilla moments during Eugenie's wedding planning. "She's a very modern bride." Aww.

Princess Beatrice began to embrace a bolder style

Princess Beatrice turned heads in September 2007 when she walked the catwalk during London Fashion Week. Ahead of the event, the then-19-year-old told The Telegraph, "I've never done anything like this in my life." The princess said it was "all for charity" and revealed that she would be accompanied by her mother, Sarah Ferguson. The mother-daughter duo both donned Dolce & Gabbana gowns and millions of dollars worth of House of Garrard jewelry, including a "Cleopatra" sapphire, according to the publication.

Both the princess and the Duchess of York looked stunning in their low-cut, form-fitting, floor-length black dresses, but it was certainly not a look we were used to seeing on members of the royal family. Doesn't that make it so much better though? Although this was Beatrice's first foray into fashion, it would not be her last. She has attended several high-fashion functions in the years since, including a Dior event with fiancé Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi in October 2019.

Princess Beatrice became known for her whimsical hats

Eventually Princess Beatrice started to experiment with unique hats, like the giant plum creation she donned on Christmas 2005. As Beatrice got older, her hats began to take an even more daring turn. Perhaps it was related to her increasing knowledge of haute couture fashion or maybe it was just her way of demonstrating her personality, but, regardless, Beatrice showed the world just how fun hats could be.

When attending Peter Phillips and Autumn Kelly's wedding in 2008, Beatrice's hat featured a kaleidoscope of butterflies and, in the years afterward, she's rocked a number of bright-colored headwear with feathers, bows, lace — you name it. But just because Beatrice enjoys a fanciful fastener, it doesn't make everyone else a fan — and the princess isn't immune to criticism.

In an interview with Vogue, Princess Eugenie revealed that her sister broke down in tears after reading "a horrible article" about herself. As Harper's Bazaar deduced, it was likely a Daily Mail article that reduced the princess to tears. The piece heavily criticized Beatrice's decision to wear a large statement fastener to Prince William and Kate Middleton's wedding.

Princess Beatrice toned down her look during college

Despite getting more involved in the fashion world and developing a love for interesting hats, Princess Beatrice rocked a different look while attending college. In September 2008, Beatrice began studying at Goldsmiths College in London. The royal graduated in 2011 with a degree in history and the history of ideas, according to the Duke of York's official site.

Although Beatrice opted to live on royal grounds at St. James's Palace as opposed to a dorm room, she seemed to have a fairly typical college experience. "It is like [New York University]," she said of her college in a 2008 interview with People. "The best thing by far has been making new friends." The princess also revealed that she liked the "small community" at Goldsmiths. 

While it's likely her classmates knew who she was, pictures demonstrate that Beatrice kept her royal wardrobe separate from her school clothes. During her first month at college, she was photographed wearing a simple gray blazer and casual floral dress with black tights and black flats.

Princess Beatrice transformed into a marathon runner

While visiting Spain in the late 2000s, Princess Beatrice and her mother, Sarah Ferguson, were photographed taking an early morning jog. Around that time, the princess had begun getting serious about exercise. "She was a little bit heavier and feeling really badly about herself which is easily done," Beatrice's personal trainer Nadya Fairweather told Life & Style. "It's like living in a fishbowl and everything you do you're being told you're doing it wrong. It plays on all your insecurities, especially when you're an 18-year-old girl."

Fairweather revealed that the princess trained outdoors in "sleet, snow, [and] rain" and never canceled once. "She basically started at zero," Fairweather continued. "She'd never run a race when we first met." Beatrice's intense training led to her not only developing a love for running, but becoming the first member of the royal family to ever run the London marathon in April 2010. "Oh my gosh, I was so proud of her," her trainer mused. 

Princess Beatrice was briefly an actress

These days, Princess Beatrice is the vice president of partnerships and strategy at the data and software company Afiniti, but initially after graduating college, she took a job as a research analyst for a private wealth firm, thus beginning a career in finance. But that's not all she was up to at the time.

In 2009, Princess Beatrice starred in the movie The Young Victoria, a film her mother, Sarah Ferguson, co-produced. That's right, folks. Meghan Markle isn't the only one in the royal family with acting experience. Beatrice didn't have a big part in the film — she played an unnamed lady-in-waiting — but it was no doubt a memorable experience.

"It was a great opportunity to recognize the incredibly talented people we have here in the film industry, working in front of and behind the camera," the princess revealed in an interview with The Telegraph. Although you may have hoped that The Young Victoria would've been the beginning of a long acting career, it was, for whatever reason, her last role. 

Sometimes Princess Beatrice is just a "regular" person

Although Princess Beatrice is often photographed dressed to the nines and looking every bit as royal as she inarguably is, she's not always dolled up. In a 2018 profile of Princess Eugenie and Beatrice, Vogue writer Ellie Pithers described the eldest daughter as looking like "any other 29-year-old in weekend snooze mode." She continued, writing that Beatrice greeted her "wet-haired, make-up-free, tracksuit-clad and barefoot." She seemed, well, regular — the same word Beatrice herself used when telling the publication about her upbringing — but yet she's still, and has always been, a princess.

The sisters posed for a photoshoot with the publication and Beatrice reflected on their decision to participate. "It's hard to navigate situations like these because there is no precedent, there is no protocol," she revealed. "We are the first: we are young women trying to build careers and have personal lives, and we're also princesses and doing all of this in the public eye." No, Beatrice and her sister, Eugenie, are never going to be truly average, but you have to give them credit for not being aloof either. 

Princess Beatrice decided to make some changes around her 30th birthday

Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie revealed to Vogue that part of the reason they agreed to be interviewed is because of the increased attention the younger members of the royal family had been receiving. Around the time of Beatrice's 30th birthday, the women said they felt like it was a good time to let the public in. "We want to show people who we are as working, young, royal women," Eugenie explained, "but also not to be afraid of putting ourselves out there."

One way in which Beatrice has put herself out there is through the anti-cyberbullying campaign Be Cool, Be Nice. As she was once a teen with dyslexia, the princess said things were "challenging" and she later recognized the need to "be supportive of our young people, given that our world is over-exposed" through social media. In a separate interview with Vogue, Beatrice revealed that the campaign is "about looking at social media in a new way — how it can enhance your life and not just be defined by bullies but turned into something positive." 

Princess Beatrice tries to stay "very real"

Princess Beatrice has likely been given a lot of advice over the years, but there's one tip she finds particularly valuable. "To live your life for you and be able to look in the mirror and know who you are," she said, repeating the advice to Vogue

Both she and her sister, Princess Eugenie, recognize the need to be authentic. "Nowadays, it's so easy to recoil when you see a perfect image on Instagram — but it's important that it's real," Eugenie told Vogue. "We're real." With Beatrice nodding in approval, Eugenie added, "We're very real."

However, the princesses do have to tread a fine line between being genuine and being too open. Eugenie revealed to the publication that she posted a picture to Instagram that happened to show a palace corridor. Apparently, it is "off-limits to the public" and the picture got her "in trouble." While she now knows that she can't post those kinds of things, she also doesn't want to post pictures that are too "formal." Though finding the perfect balance is difficult, Beatrice, along with sister Eugenie, often come across as, in their words, "real." 

Princess Beatrice will make a beautiful bride

When Princess Beatrice marries her fiancé, Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi, at their 2020 wedding, the affair will be quite a bit different than past royal weddings, including her sister's. For one, a palace spokesman confirmed to Express that the couple's wedding will not be paid for with any British taxpayer money. Instead, the wedding will be entirely privately funded.

It's also possible that Beatrice's wedding will be much more intimate than prior royal weddings. "She has talked about having a smaller affair in the past," one of the princess' friends told PeopleAnother friend explained further, saying, "Beatrice and Eugenie are super close, but they are very different. Beatrice is more serious and Eugenie is the outgoing extrovert, she's so bubbly and fun. Beatrice is more reserved and discreet. She holds back more, she is very polite, very well-educated but more formal and quiet in her personality, so I think it will be a very different wedding to Eugenie's." Whether her wedding is big or small, we're sure Princess Beatrice will make a beautiful bride.