All eyes were on Princess Eugenie as she wed her longtime boyfriend, Jack Brooksbank, in a ceremony at St. George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle, the same location where Prince Harry married Meghan Markle in May.
Princess Eugenie is the youngest daughter of Prince Andrew, the Duke of York, and the Duchess of York Sarah Ferguson, aka “Fergie.” Prince Andrew is the son of Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh Prince Charles.
The bride wore a beautiful silk gown with an off-the-shoulder neckline that left the top half of her back exposed. It turns out that the cut was more than just a purely aesthetic choice.
“The low back feature on the dress was at the specific request of Princess Eugenie who had surgery aged 12 to correct scoliosis,” the palace said in a statement.
The bride gave a little more context about her choice in an interview with ITV’s “This Morning” prior to her nuptials.
“I had an operation when I was 12 on my back, and you’ll see on Friday, 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,” she explained.
During the eight-hour surgery, doctors placed 8-inch titanium rods on either side of her spine to correct the curvature. She spent three days in intensive care and a week in a ward at Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital, which she now supports as a way of thanking the staff who took care of her during a scary time.
Her scoliosis was severe enough that Princess Eugenie grew two inches taller after the surgery.
The gown, designed by Peter Pilotto and Christopher De Vos, was complemented by the Greville Emerald Kokoshnik Tiara, which was lent to her by grandmother Queen Elizabeth II, as well as diamond-and-emerald drop earrings that were a gift from the groom and shoes by Charlotte Olympia.
Princess Eugenie also broke with royal tradition by not wearing a veil — though a veil would have covered her upper back, which she clearly wanted to be visible. She even wore her hair swept up off her neck.
The princess also went so far as to invite the surgeon who performed the operation on her back to the wedding as well. Orthopedic spinal surgeon Jan Lehovsky, who performed the corrective surgery when the princess was a girl, along with others from his team, were invited to share in the royal’s big day.
Congratulations to the happy couple, and kudos to Princess Eugenie to bringing awareness to scoliosis!