We admit, we weren’t as excited to get up at 4:00 a.m. this morning for Princess Eugenie’s wedding to longtime boyfriend Jack Brooksbank as we were when Prince Harry married Meghan Markle back in May, but we’re glad we did. The ceremony, attended by all the major royals including Prince William and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, as well as Meghan and Harry, was surprisingly personal and romantic in addition to making for some seriously interesting people watching. In case you slept in or had to go to work (it is Friday, after all), here are the 14 surprising details you may have missed—and need to know—about the latest royal wedding.
Very powerful moment! Princess Eugenie is taking pride in her #scoliosis scar and helping change the perception of what is beautiful. That dress shows it off so well! Bravo Princess Eugenie and @PeterPilotto 👏 pic.twitter.com/Z6IwEUhg1r
— Martha Hunt (@MarthaHunt) October 12, 2018
1. The wedding dress conveyed a very special message.
Eugenie’s classically elegant open-neck, long-sleeve Peter Pilotto gown was embellished with several meaningful symbols. A thistle representing Scotland acknowledged the couple’s fondness for Balmoral, and a shamrock representing Ireland was a nod to the bride’s mother’s family. The other symbols used included the York Rose—a nod to the princess’s family name of York—and ivy, which represented the couple’s home, Ivy Cottage, in Kensington Palace.
The dress was especially designed to show Eugenie’s scar from the major surgery she on her back to treat a curvature of the spine at the age of 12. She said she hoped it would honor those who had helped her and inspire others with the condition of scoliosis. Before the wedding, the princess told 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.”
Princess Eugenie wears the Greville Emerald Kokoshnik with diamond and emerald earrings. The tiara, on loan from the Queen, comes from the large jewelry bequest made to the Queen Mother by the Hon. Mrs. Ronnie Greville #royalwedding pic.twitter.com/SswWzlOvxh
— Ella Kay (@courtjeweller) October 12, 2018
2. Eugenie broke a major bridal tradition.
The bride did not wear a veil which shocked plenty of royal watchers. Instead, she wore the Greville Emerald Kokoshnik Tiara lent to her by Queen Elizabeth. The beautiful diamond-and-emerald tiara was made by the jeweler Boucheron for British society hostess Dame Margaret Greville in 1919. According the Royal Family website, it was created in the fashionable “kokoshnik” style popularized in the Russian Imperial Court, the Royal Family website says. When Greville died in 1942, she tiara was bequeathed to the Royal Family.
Demi Moore does Stella in a royal way, wearing a bespoke Bordeaux midi dress in silk cady to the Wedding Ceremony of Princess Eugenie of York and Mr. Jack Brooksbank at Windsor Castle. pic.twitter.com/u4wGQaxMtE
— Stella McCartney (@StellaMcCartney) October 12, 2018
3. There were a few surprise celebrity sightings.
George Clooney may not have been at the wedding, but Demi Moore and Liv Tyler were. A palace insider told me, “They’re friends of Eugenie’s from when she lived in New York.”
Cara Delevingne arrives ahead of the wedding of Princess Eugenie of York and Mr. Jack Brooksbank at St. George’s Chapel in Windsor, England on October 12 pic.twitter.com/SZYC9RCXm3
— CARAUPDATES (@US_CARA) October 12, 2018
4. It was a Supermodel trifecta.
A very demure looking Kate Moss wearing a ladylike polka dot day dress and matching coat with veiled fascinator was seated in the front row, we spotted Naomi Campbell coming through the door in a towering hat while Cara Delevingne strutted into the chapel wearing an attention-grabbing top hat, tuxedo and mile high stilettos.
5. Meghan kicked pregnancy rumors into high gear.
For those on royal baby bump alert, antennas went up when Meghan hurriedly made her way into St. George’s Chapel wearing an oversized navy blue coat from Givenchy which she kept buttoned at the neck throughout the ceremony. No one else was wearing a coat. I reported back in September that I thought she was pregnant when she accompanied Harry to London benefit looking a tad more full-figured. I think I just may have been right.
From the venue and the bridal car to some of the famous faces among the guests, there were certainly plenty of familiar sights to be found at the wedding of Princess Eugenie and Jack Brooksbank https://t.co/D8yPHq1gqr
— Sky News (@SkyNews) October 12, 2018
6. Granny picked the venue.
Before the wedding, the bride’s father, Prince Andrew, told ITV that the Queen had chosen St. George’s Chapel as the site of the wedding ceremony. He was also quick to point out those who have said that Eugenie and Jack’s wedding is a clone of Harry and Meghan’s nuptials have got it wrong. His daughter’s wedding, he noted, “is not the same as the previous one. It’s not a copy wedding.” One of the reason’s St. George’s was the perfect location for the ceremony is because Eugenie spends much of her time in Windsor and this is her local parish.
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7. There was a record number of crazy hats.
Of the 850 guests who were seated in the chapel, most of the women seemed to be wearing some of the most outrageous hats we’ve seen in a long time at a royal wedding. It proved to be a challenge for many of the ladies to hang on to their hats on the way into the chapel because of the incredible wind gusts that blew at least one fascinator right off the head of the wearer and down the road. Inside, one particular guest looked as if she had a peacock on her head which must have caused some consternation with whoever was unfortunate enough to be seated behind her. And for more out-there sartorial choices, don’t miss The 10 Most Outrageous Royal Fashion Choices.
— Nichola-Louise 💞🏴💞 (@nicholasmith6) October 12, 2018
8. Sarah Ferguson was late.
Royal weddings run like military operations with every member of the royal family’s arrival timed to the minute. According to the official timeline released by the Palace, the bride’s mother, the former Duchess of York, was supposed to arrive with Princess Beatrice before the groom. Instead the errant duchess pulled up in front of the church a few minutes late—but that didn’t stop her for running over to shake hands with a few well-wishers before she and Beatrice made their way into the chapel.
Of course Prince Philip is there. He wouldn’t have missed it. Great to see him with the Queen.
— Victoria Arbiter (@victoriaarbiter) October 12, 2018
9. Prince Philip is a medical miracle.
The 97-year-old ‘Iron Duke’ (as he is called by the royals) turned up with the Queen despite reports he might skip the ceremony “depending on how he felt” this morning. Despite his advanced age and hip replacement earlier this year, he stood straight as he walked in unassisted and took his seat directly behind Fergie. What’s his secret?
— E! News (@enews) October 12, 2018
10. There was a PDA display from William and Kate.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex were clearly feeling lovey-dovey during the ceremony. Kate, who looked impossibly glamorous and thinner than ever in a raspberry Alexander McQueen dress and Philip Treacy hat, kept her hand on her husband’s knee while seated as she talked with fellow royals before the ceremony started. They also held hands. This, my friends, is big news.
Princess Eugenie smiles as Jack Brooksbank put the ring on her finger during their wedding #RoyalWedding
— Elliot Wagland (@elliotwagland) October 12, 2018
11. The groom looked positively terrified.
Not being a member of the Royal Family who is used to being caught on camera during major events, Jack could not hide his nervousness before and during the ceremony. He fiddled with his glasses as Eugenie walked up the aisle and barely looked up as he recited his vows. We felt for him as he struggled to keep his hands still at one point during the vows. By the time the couple were officially married, he looked much more relaxed but it was rough going for the poor fellow for most of the ceremony.
Why Princess Eugenie’s Groom Jack Brooksbank Won’t Wear a Wedding Ring (Just Like Prince William) https://t.co/uQGPwZW2iD
— People (@people) October 11, 2018
12. There was only one ring.
Jack did not receive a wedding ring (most men married to royal women do not wear one). Princess Eugenie will wear a band fashioned from Welsh gold.
I get the impression that the Princesses may not actually have read the Great Gatsby, seeing as they just read a passage about the smile of a conman about to massively defraud you pic.twitter.com/wjcZhV6hkT
— Ned Donovan (@Ned_Donovan) October 12, 2018
13. The Great Gatsby played a major role in the ceremony.
The most romantic moment of the ceremony came when the Maid of Honor, Princess Beatrice, read a passage from the F. Scott Fitzgerald classic in which Nick Carraway describes Jay Gatbsy’s smile, because it reminded Eugenie of Jack’s smile. “It was soon after she and Jack had first met that Princess Eugenie read The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald,” the wedding program explained. “One particular passage in which Jay Gatsby is described reminded her immediately of Jack. She decided that she wanted to eventually let Jack know how much those words had brought him to mind. That is why they have a special place (as the second reading) in today’s wedding service.” As Beatrice read the passage, cameras captured the royal bride smiling at her groom.
It read, in part: “He smiled understandingly—much more than understandingly. It was one of those rare smiles with a quality of eternal reassurance in it, that you may come across four or five times in life. It faced—or seemed to face—the whole eternal world for an instant, and then concentrated on you with an irresistible prejudice in your favour. It understood you just as far as you wanted to be understood, believed in you as you would like to believe in yourself, and assured you that it had precisely the impression of you that, at your best, you hoped to convey.”
Princess Eugenie is wearing an off the shoulder dress by Peter Pilotto with the Greville Emerald Kokoshnik tiara on loan from the Queen and diamond and emerald earrings, a gift from Jack pic.twitter.com/qo7ic6b4kt
— Roya Nikkhah (@RoyaNikkhah) October 12, 2018
14. The bride got some serious bling as a wedding gift.
Eugenie’s stunning emerald-and-diamond drop earrings were a gift from the groom.