Most brides want to turn up on their wedding day looking picture perfect. This generally involves a beautiful dress with coordinating accessories, finished with a radiant smile. However, Princess Eugenie — Queen Elizabeth’s 28-year-old granddaughter — chose to send a different message on her big day. She saw her nuptials as the right opportunity to reveal to the wedding party — and to millions of viewers worldwide — a scar she has at the nape of her neck that runs down her spine. It’s the result of major surgery when she was 12 to treat a curvature of the spine.
The custom-made dress featured a deep V at the back of the dress that revealed the top of her spine. The fact she opted to wear her hair in an up-do with no veil meant her scar was extremely visible. As she walked into St. George’s Chapel — where Prince Harry and his wife Meghan were married back in May — all people could see was a refined bride who looked blissfully happy and excited to marry her love. And just a few minutes later, when she reached the altar, the visibly emotional groom, Jack Brooksbank, said: “You look perfect.”
As Eugenie had explained in an interview with ITV before the wedding: “I had an operation when I was 12 on my back, and you’ll see on Friday [at the wedding], but it’s a lovely way to honor the people who looked after me and a way of standing up for young people who also go through this.”
The newlywed has previously opened up about the fear she felt before her grueling operation. She has even posted images of her X-rays to reassure others with scoliosis. “Children can look at me now and know that the operation works,” she said. “I’m living proof of the ways in which the hospital can change people’s lives.”
Yet, today’s message runs deeper than the princess’ scars. She grew up under the constant criticism of the media for her looks and can appreciate the pressure so many youngsters — and the not so young! — feel to look “perfect.” With this courageous move, the princess reminds what true beauty is all about.
The courageous stories from the wedding don’t end there, either. The occasion was also an opportunity for Eugenie’s sister, Princess Beatrice, to face her own challenges and step up to the lectern to read a passage from The Great Gatsby that reflected the groom’s kind nature. Beatrice, who suffers from dyslexia, wanted to take a meaningful role in her little sister’s marriage ceremony so in front of the hundreds of guests gathered, she stood and read the passage, and showed us all that a little bit of courage and determination go a very long way.
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