Did Princess Beatrice break Covid restrictions in London restaurant?

Credit: PA

After some recent high profile transgressions of the government’s Covid-19 restrictions, a picture of the Queen's granddaughter in a restaurant has sparked accusations that she broke the rules. 

A photograph of Princess Beatrice, the eldest daughter of Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson, appeared on the front page of The Sun newspaper this morning. 

It was taken as she dined in the Isabel restaurant in the well-heeled Mayfair district of central London. 

Her husband, Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi, was also there, along with four others who are not part of the same household. 

Tier 2 restrictions, which London was in last week when the meal took place, prohibit any mixing of households when indoors. 

If you are with people who are not in your immediate household, you must dine outside. 

Our enquires to Buckingham Palace resulted in a royal source telling us that Beatrice was at "introductory work meeting" but they wouldn’t add anything further as Princess Beatrice is not a working member of the Royal Family. 

So what work meeting was happening at Isabel’s which the restaurants owners, Santa Cruz Co, describe as a "destination where style, glamour and a lively Latin vibe all meet"?

The government guidance is that "gatherings for work purposes are only allowed where they are reasonably necessary". 

Beatrice works as the Vice President of Partners and Strategy at Afiniti, a technology company which specialise in Artificial Intelligence. 

Princess Beatrice and Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi Credit: Peter Byrne/PA

Her role includes growing the company through "unique initiative and client development", according to the company’s website. 

But it's my understanding that the meeting was for her husband's business. 

Mr Mapelli Mozzi is the CEO of a property firm called Banda and they were his clients he was meeting with his wife. 

I’ve been told the meal started around 7pm and the group of six left around 9:30pm - which is well before the 11pm curfew. 

Why this "reasonably necessary" business meeting could not have happened elsewhere is not clear. 

But friends of the couple tell me that their work does involve client relationships.

Princess Beatrice and husband Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi Credit: Princess Eugenie/PA

A spokesperson for Beatrice and Edoardo said: "This was a mid-week Wednesday evening, work related, business development dinner, it was held in compliance with all government guidelines, the dinner was held in the early evening and all parties left in good time before the government curfew. Masks were worn in line with the government advice."

This appears to in a very grey area and it is not as clear cut as recent news stories involving the singer Rita Ora and the Sky News presenter Kay Burley

But it rests on your interpretation of the word "work" and whether a restaurant meal with clients was "reasonably necessary".