Star backing for princess on special day
The dress, the tiara, the train: they are the stuff of which wedding memories are made. But as Princess Eugenie walked up the aisle yesterday it was not the conventional adornments of beauty that lit up St George’s Chapel.
It was her scar. a legacy of childhood surgery, it stretches up the middle of her back. Another bride might have covered it up in the quest for cosmetic perfection. However, in a decision that was hailed as both courageous and lifeaffirming, Eugenie deliberately wore a low-backed dress.
As a child, she received a diagnosis of scoliosis, a condition which causes curvature of the spine. In 2002, aged 12, she had steel rods inserted in her back during corrective surgery.
Before the wedding, she said in an interview with ITV: ‘‘I think you can change the way beauty is, and you can show people your scars and I think it’s really special to stand up for that.’’
No amount of royal glitz could hide the fact that Eugenie’s wedding to Jack Brooksbank at Windsor Castle has been the subject of controversy. The carriage procession, the estimated £2 million (NZ$4m) cost of security – all have been hotly debated.
But on the day, such were swept aside.
According to lip reader Tina Lannin, it was Eugenie who told Jack ‘‘Let’s kiss’’ as they stood outside the chapel afterwards.
For his part, Jack was as all good grooms should be: bowled over. ‘‘You look perfect,’’ he said as they stood at the altar.
Later it was Eugenie’s turn to be dumbstruck. As the reception ended, an Aston Martin DB10, one of eight made for the 2015 James Bond film Spectre, appeared for them to drive away in.
Above all, the wedding was memorable for a notable act of royal reconciliation.
For more than 20 years, the Duke of Edinburgh has shunned the presence of Eugenie’s mother, Sarah, Duchess of York, for the embarrassment he feels that she heaped upon the royal family during the breakdown of her marriage to Prince Andrew.
It was not even certain that the duke, 97, would make it to the service. considerations But turn up he did, arriving with the Queen, and during the ceremony he sat close behind the duchess in the chapel’s choir.
In all, 30 members of the royal family attended the wedding, including the Prince of Wales – but not the Duchess of Cornwall, who was in Scotland – the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, and Duke and Duchess of Sussex.
The array of celebrities could have filled several editions of Hello! magazine.
There were models Kate Moss, Naomi Campbell and Cara Delevingne, actresses Liv Tyler and Demi Moore, and singers Ricky Martin, the Ellie Goulding and James Blunt. Robbie Williams and his wife, Ayda Field, had pride of place as their daughter, Theodora, was one of the bridesmaids. Actor and TV personality Stephen Fry was there, too, because no royal occasion seems to be complete without him.
The bride’s father seemed pleased at the size and shininess of the guest list. The Duke of York said on ITV: ‘‘There are a few more people than most people have.’’
He also revealed that it was the Queen’s decision to use St George’s Chapel as the wedding venue.
His ex-wife, Sarah, was characteristic form.
On a day when the only person allowed to be late is the bride, she managed to be several minutes behind schedule. Then, when she did arrive, instead of walking straight into the chapel, she went to hug an old family friend in the crowd. ‘‘It was lovely,’’ said Jessie Huberty, 83, from New York. ‘‘She never forgets her friends.’’
The award for good behaviour, however, goes to the bridesmaids and page boys. Three-year-old Princess Charlotte stole the show, waving and blowing kisses. on
Actress Liv Tyler, her husband Dave Gardner, model Kate Moss and her daughter Lila Moss attend the wedding of Princess Eugenie and Jack Brooksbank at St George’s Chapel.