Princess Eugenie has chosen a rather unlikely choice of reading for her looming nuptials – yet another move away from tradition for the young royal.
And it’s now been revealed that during the royal ceremony, Eugenie’s maid of honour, Princess Beatrice, will recite an excerpt from F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby. You know, the dark iconic American novel about the disillusionment of the American Dream.
According to People, the wedding guests will hear one of the book’s most noteworthy passages, in which Jay Gatsby’s smile is described by the author.
But while Eugenie has previously alluded that the quote may reflect her soon-to-be husband’s qualities, many are surprised by her choice given the subject matter of the novel, and the fact that she has chosen a celebrated American author’s words for a British royal wedding.
The passage reads as follows:
“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.
“Precisely at that point it vanished — and I was looking at an elegant young rough-neck, a year or two over thirty, whose elaborate formality of speech just missed being absurd. Some time before he introduced himself I’d got a strong impression that he was picking his words with care.”
During her pre-wedding interview with ITV, Eugenie’s sentiments about Jack seemed to embody the qualities described in the quote.
“Jack’s the kind of guy, you know when you’re lost at a party and you can’t find anyone to talk to, and you start panicking and you need help? He’ll walk in and make everyone feel so special,” Eugenie said.
“He’ll scoop you up and talk to you and make you feel a million dollars and [looks at Jack] that’s you, and you’re so humble and generous. So humble and generous – that’s two words – and that person you immediately know [that] you’ve got a friend…”
However, Gatsby’s end was far from idyllic: After an affair with the married Daisy Buchanan, with whom he was desperately in love, it’s revealed that Gatsby built his fortune on corruption. Ultimately, he is murdered by a man who isn’t Daisy’s husband, but who believed he was having an affair with his wife.
Princess Eugenie and Jack Brooksbank’s ceremony will be televised from 7pm on Channel 7.