Princess Eugenie Had A Special Reason For Wearing A Backless Wedding Dress

by Ruby Buddemeyer

Princess Eugenie and Jack Brooksbank have officially tied the knot. As the bride walked the steps of Windsor Castle on Oct. 12, Princess Eugenie's wedding dress was finally revealed. Designed by Peter Pilotto and Christopher De Vos, Eugenie's dress takes notes from the royal women before her with long sleeves and a traditional silhouette. But one detail in particular set the dress apart from the likes of Kate Middleton and Meghan Markle: Eugene's gown features a daring open back.

Much like Kate's tendency to wear Alexander McQueen and Meghan's obsession with Givenchy, Eugenie has been a fan of Peter Pilotto for years. "Princess Eugenie met the designers when she was co-hosting an event in support of women artists," Kensington Palace shared. "Her Royal Highness has been wearing designs by the brand for several years."

Aesthetics aside, Eugenie had a special reason for choosing the open-back design. At 12 years old, Eugenie underwent spinal surgery to correct her scoliosis. Kensington Palace confirmed that the bride opted for the unique design to show off her scar. “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,” Eugenie shared with U.K.'s This Morning in a pre-wedding interview.

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Historically, royal wedding gowns are incredibly modest. Although Kate's dress featured lace sleeves, the Duchess of Cambridge (as well as the Duchess of Sussex) opted for crisp tailoring and traditional, clean lines. Eugenie's backless design was certainly a change of pace for royal brides. The Princess' dress was equal parts timeless and bold with just enough edge for Eugenie's personality to shine through.

But the backless design wasn't the only personal touch to Eugenie's dress. Pilotto and De Vos created a special fabric for the gown, which included a handful of motifs and symbols that are special to Eugenie.

Alongside thistle to represent Eugenie and Brooksbank's love for the royal family's Balmoral Castle in Scotland, Eugenie's dress featured shamrock (a nod to Eugenie's mother's side of the family) and York Rose and ivy (to pay homage to the couple's home). "Peter Pilotto and Christopher De Vos have reinterpreted these symbols in a garland of rope like motifs, woven into a jacquard of silk, cotton and viscose blend," the Palace confirmed.

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Eugenie kept with tradition by opting for an incredibly long train, but she forgo a veil. The decision was surprising, considering veils are a defining component of all royal women's wedding day looks. Clare Waight Keller for Givenchy designed an impressively intricate veil for Meghan Markle, which included a nod to all 53 countries of the Commonwealth. Markle's 16-foot-long, silk tulle veil featured hand-embroidered flowers to represent each of the countries, as well as two of her personal favorites, Wintersweet and California Poppy.

It's likely that Eugenie skipped the veil in an effort to show off the backless design. When the bride made her way up the steps into St George's Chapel, her dress stood beautifully on its own.

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