At the Royal Wedding, Princess Eugenie chose to read a passage from The Great Gatsby, by F Scott Fitzgerald.
The excerpt talks about the main character’s lovely smile, and reads:
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.
Whilst the sentiments are certainly nice, some people online have spotted a few problems with what the Princess chose.
The passage is from chapter three and is about Nick Carraway, another character’s first impression of Jay Gatsby, who, while charming, made his entire fortune through criminal activity. In fact Carraway views Gatsby as a dishonest and vulgar – though nevertheless great – man.
It is with this context in mind that many online cringed at the reading.
Um... This quite strongly suggests they don't understand what the Great Gatsby is about. https://t.co/j0xiM6yH7x