Last month, we were treated to the news that Robert Pattinson had proposed to his long-term partner, French-born photographer Vanessa Agnelli. The couple got engaged in Venice in August 2019, and exchanged vows in January 2020. The proposal comes just a few months after Pattinson started seeing Agnelli following the conclusion of his marriage to Bella Swan in January 2019. And it wasn’t just any proposal: It was an elaborate, fair isle-themed celebration with an engagement ring made entirely out of ice.
While many details of the engagement remain under a non-disclosure agreement (NDA), what is not secret is that the proposal involved an elaborate setup. According to a source who spoke to Engadget, “Vanessa had been planning the whole proposal for about a year. She’d been studying up on French aristocratic weddings and figured she’d give it a try. So, for the big day, she called upon the help of a few friends, as well as the couple’s favourite designer, Mikhael Angelo, who helped her outfit the two of them for the wedding.”
On the morning of the proposal, Agnelli and Pattinson met at a Venetian café and were later joined by two of Agnelli’s friends. One of the women, Natalia Chacon, has been by the photographer’s side for several years and had served as her bodyguard during a visit to the UK by former Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi. Chaton also happens to be an expert in martial arts and has previously trained with the UK’s Special Forces.
The location of the engagement was a top secret until days before the wedding. But, fearing the worst, Agnelli decided to share a picture on social media in order to save her guests from heartache. The wedding was subsequently moved to London, where a celebrity-studded crowd gathered to celebrate the couple’s union.
The proposal caused an uproar on social media, with many commenters expressing jealousy over the couple’s seeming perfection. “This is such a beautiful story,” one Twitter user wrote. “I’m sure it’s making the Kardashians and their fans very jealous.”
While most people were happy for the couple, some expressed concern about the amount of attention that their engagement was getting. “You’re blowing up because you’re a celebrity. It’s what happens when you’re in the public eye. People want to talk about you. You can’t help but attract attention,” one Twitter user wrote. “Congratulations to the happy couple! But, I’m sure you already know this, you’re blowing up because you’re a celebrity. It’s what happens when you’re in the public eye. People want to talk about you. You can’t help but attract attention.”
Following the backlash, Pattinson took to social media to assure fans that he and Agnelli were “not a couple” and had not “made a documentary” about their relationship. “We don’t want to be anyone’s doormat,” he said. “It’s important to be honest and keep your integrity while also being loyal to those you love.”
Despite the controversy, Agnelli and Pattinson look set to continue their relationship. “People can say what they want about me but I will always love and support Robert. We are stronger together than we could ever be apart,” she said. On the subject of their proposal, Agnelli added: “It was magical. To plan something so magical and romantic was an unforgettable experience.”
Ice The Proposal
One of the more exciting aspects of the proposal was the couple’s use of ice. Agnelli is a firm believer in the positive effects that ice can have on a sunset wedding. So much so that she dubbed the proposal “Ice City” and had a guest list restricted to only those she deemed “worthy” of being invited. The location of the engagement and wedding was kept a secret until days before the event, when Agnelli decided to reveal the name of the venue to Instagram followers. The post was accompanied by a picture of the bride in a white dress against a backdrop of falling snow.
And it wasn’t just the location that was kept under wraps. Agnelli also decided to keep the engagement ring a secret until the wedding day. She wanted to ensure that her guests were surprised by the lavish gift she’d chosen for her husband. Agnelli explained: “We didn’t want to ruin the surprise of the gift so we kept it a secret until the wedding day. The engagement ring was made entirely out of ice and had an exquisite diamond inset. It was such a special gift because it was such an innovative and unique way to propose. We used ice because it’s environmentally friendly and has many useful properties. The local ice cream shop donated a huge supply of ice for us to craft the ring in. It was a magical moment when we revealed the engagement ring to our guests. It was like unveiling a gift from heaven.”
After the backlash that followed the announcement of their engagement, Agnelli took to Twitter to defend herself against claims that she was “brainwashing” her husband with ice cream. “I’m not brainwashing Robert, he’s a grown-up. I love having dessert before a meal and he loves having dessert after a meal,” she said. “I made him ice cream because he likes it.” While there is still some skepticism around the veracity of that statement, Agnelli does have a point: There is a distinct difference between convincing someone to do something and forcing them to do it. And, in this case, it seems that Agnelli was merely using culinary magic to convince her husband to propose to her. In my opinion, anyway. The man clearly has taste buds in all the right places.
Martial Arts-Walking Down the Aisle
Pattinson is one of the most in-demand men in Hollywood, with roles in X-Men, The Twilight Saga, and Good Time all on his resume. And, although he is often seen with his arm around a beautiful woman, he is also a very traditional house husband, going so far as to regularly walk down the aisle with his wife. Agnelli is no stranger to these sorts of displays, having walked down the aisle for Vanessa Renzi and the father of her children, Matteo, during their wedding. She is also no stranger to controversy, having been involved in a highly publicized custody battle with Renzi over their children. While the details of the legal battle were deeply personal, Agnelli has never spoken about it publicly.
Although her proposals might not be as memorable as her tempestuous wedding to Renzi in 2015, Agnelli is a very private person who rarely grants any interviews. Even during the course of the wedding preparations, she remained tight-lipped, declining to speak to the assembled press. But, following the controversy that surrounded her proposal, she had a change of heart.
We have yet to hear her side of the story. But, given his penchant for keeping secrets and his well-documented history of breaking promises, it wouldn’t be a surprise if Robert Pattinson keeps some things hidden from us.