Toria Sheffield
October 12, 2018 4:32 am

Today, October 12th, Princess Eugenie wed her longtime boyfriend Jack Brooksbank in an elegant and traditional ceremony at Windsor Castle (the same place Prince Harry and Meghan Markle wed in May). The nuptials were quiet, moving, and generally stuck closely to the typical royal script for such monumental events.

With the exception of one major detail.

Princess Beatrice, Eugenie’s older sister, read a passage from the F. Scott Fitzgerald classic The Great Gatsby. Not only is the choice of an American author noteworthy at a royal wedding, but the excerpt itself also has people talking.

WPA Pool / Getty Images

She continued, “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 favor. 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.”

Those familiar with the novel will know that the above is a description of the book’s (sort of) protagonist, Jay Gatsby, and it presumably encapsulates Eugenie’s feelings about Jack Brooksbank.

However, while this may seem sweet at first, Jay Gatsby is widely known to be a dark, sad metaphor for the emptiness of the American Dream. In the context of the book, it’s arguably less important that Gatsby smiles and makes you feel “understood,” and more important that the smile vanishes…as if it was an illusion all along.

Naturally, people on Twitter had…thoughts.

However, it appears as though the mystery of the passage was—at least partially—explained on the wedding program. Apparently Eugenie first read The Great Gatsby around the time she started dating Brooksbank, so the book has always carried a special place in her heart (sort of like when a super sad song reminds you of an incredibly special moment).

You do you, Eugenie. It’s your day.

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