Fashion

Princess Eugenie opens up about baring her scars on her wedding day

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Kayleigh Dray
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Princess Eugenie's royal wedding dress

“I believe scars tell a story about your past and your future, and it’s a way of getting rid of a taboo,” she has said, reflecting on last October’s royal nuptials.

On 12 October 2018, Princess Eugenie married her long-term partner Jack Brooksbank at St George’s Chapel. And, as of 1 March 2019, a special exhibition – aptly titled A Royal Wedding: HRH Princess Eugenie and Mr Jack Brooksbank – will open at Windsor Castle, allowing royal fans the chance to get a closer look at the bride’s wedding dress, emerald tiara and evening gown.

Of course, Eugenie’s Peter Pilotto and Christopher De Vos dress made headlines at the time – and not just for its innovative textile design and modern, feminine silhouette. Rather, the world was obsessed with the fact that Eugenie had specifically requested a backless gown in order to defiantly bare her scoliosis scars to the world.

Speaking in a special recording, which has been created for visitors of the exhibition, Eugenie says: “I had always wanted a low back.

“Part of it was showing my scar and I believe scars tell a story about your past and your future, and it’s a way of getting rid of a taboo.”

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As reported by People, Eugenie – who underwent an eight-hour surgical procedure to correct the curvature in her spine – continues: “For me, it’s a way of communicating with people who are going through either similar situations with scoliosis or having a scar of their own that they are trying to deal with.

“[And] we started getting a lot of letters from people who were happy that I had stood up and showed my scar, and people with scoliosis, letters from girls that are going through the same thing and I definitely was very touched by everyone’s support.”

This is not the first time Eugenie has spoken about her battle with scoliosis: in April 2012, as part of a campaign with the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital, she shared her story in a powerful video.

“During my operation, which took eight hours, my surgeons inserted eight-inch titanium rods into each side of my spine and one-and-a-half inch screws at the top of my neck,” she said at the time.

“After three days in intensive care, I spent a week on a ward and six days in a wheelchair, but I was walking again after that.”

Eugenie added: “Without the care I received at the RNOH I wouldn’t look the way I do now; my back would be hunched over. And I wouldn’t be able to talk about scoliosis the way I now do, and help other children who come to me with the same problem.

“My back problems were a huge part of my life, as they would be for any 12-year-old. Children can look at me now and know that the operation works. I’m living proof of the ways in which the hospital can change people’s lives.”

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As well as that symbolic backless design, Eugenie’s dress also featured a number of meaningful motifs and secret symbols.

“The symbols are a Thistle for Scotland acknowledging the couple’s fondness for Balmoral, a Shamrock for Ireland as a nod to the Bride’s Ferguson family, the York Rose and ivy representing the couple’s home,” reveals an official royal source.

“Peter Pilotto and Christopher De Vos have reinterpreted these symbols in a garland of rope like motifs, woven into a jacquard of silk, cotton and viscose blend.

“Once the artwork was completed, it was translated into a jacquard weave in the Como region of Italy. The result is a very modern looking fabric using a highly intricate weaving technique.”

Image: Getty

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Kayleigh Dray

Kayleigh Dray is editor of Stylist.co.uk, where she chases after rogue apostrophes and specialises in films, comic books, feminism and television. On a weekend, you can usually find her drinking copious amounts of tea and playing boardgames with her friends. 

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