Star back­ing for princess on spe­cial day

Sunday Star-Times - - WORLD -

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.

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