At the royal wedding of Princess Eugenie and Jack Brooksbank, the bride’s sister and maid of honour, Princess Beatrice, read an excerpt from F. Scott Fitzgerald’s book The Great Gatsby.
The passage referenced the smile of the main character, Jay Gatsby, describing it as “one of those rare smiles with a quality of eternal reassurance in it, that you may come across four or five times in life.”
According to the Dean of Windsor, who conducted the wedding ceremony, the excerpt is especially poignant for Princess Eugenie, as she read the book soon after meeting Mr Brooksbank in 2010.
“As we heard from the reading ‘It was one of those rare smiles with a quality of eternal reassurance in it… it concentrated on you with an irresistible prejudice in your favour’”, he said.
“Well, a few years have passed and Eugenie and Jack come here today to smile on each other, and to offer each other something like ‘eternal reassurance’ and the promise of an ‘irresistible prejudice’ in each other’s favour.”
The Dean explained that Princess Eugenie had immediately thought of Mr Brooksbank after reading the book, drawing parallels between him and the titular character.
As Princess Beatrice read the passage from the 1925 novel, Princess Eugenie and Mr Brooksbank read along intently, occasionally looking up at one another.
But some people found the choice to read an excerpt from The Great Gatsby at the royal wedding slightly strange, considering the dark thematic elements of the book and Gatsby's character.
"The choice of The Great Gatsby as a reading at the #royalwedding - a book which is about rich people having affairs and being too rich to care when they mess up other people's lives - astounds and muses me in equal measure #nosenseofirony," one person tweeted.
"I used to teach the book - it's about spoilt, rich, empty cruel fools who destroy everything and everyone around them," another person remarked.
"Glad to see the Windsors are doing all they can to keep the spirit of Fitzgerald alive."
Princess Eugenie wore a wedding dress designed by Peter Pilotto and Christopher De Vos.
She chose to wear a gown with a low-back design in order to display the scars on her back that she’d acquired after undergoing an operation at the age of 12 to correct her scoliosis.
The newlywed couple first met skiing in Verbier, Switzerland.
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