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Image / Editorial

‘Getting rid of a taboo’: Princess Eugenie on baring her scars on her wedding day


by Jennifer McShane
28th Feb 2019
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What many remember about Princess Eugenie’s wedding day last October is really two things: that she looked totally besotted with her now husband Jack Brooksbank – and he with her – and her wedding dress.

The dress hit the headlines (thankfully, without the near-hysteria that accompanied Kate Middleton or Meghan Markle’s), not just because the Peter Pilotto and Christopher De Vos gown was considered innovative in its textile design and modern-yet-feminine silhouette. Rather because Princess of York Eugenie had specifically requested a backless gown in order to consciously bare her scoliosis scars to the world.

Related: The official pictures of Princess Eugenie’s royal wedding have been released

“I believe scars tell a story about your past and your future, and it’s a way of getting rid of a taboo”

Speaking in a new recording made to coincide with her gown going on display in Windsor Castle, she explained in more detail her choice to show her scarring.

“I had always wanted a low back.”

 

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“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.”

Related: More details about Princess Eugenie’s wedding reception dress have been revealed

The princess has been very open about how she underwent an eight-hour surgical procedure to correct the curvature in her spine previously.  “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,” she told People

“[And] we started getting a lot of letters from people who were happy that I had stood up and shown 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.”

Speaking about her surgery in 2012, she said:  “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.”

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.”

Main photograph: @Brides