Princess Eugenie is opening up about a health issue that has affected her since childhood.
In a new Instagram post, Queen Elizabeth II’s 28-year-old granddaughter revealed she was diagnosed with scoliosis (curvature of the spine) when she was 12.
The princess shared a photo of her X-rays that show the eight-inch rods that were inserted into her back, as well as the 1.5 inch screws that were placed in her neck during an eight-hour operation 16 years ago.
Eugenie included the caption, “Today is International Scoliosis Awareness Day and I’m very proud to share my X Rays for the very first time. I also want to honour the incredible staff at The Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital who work tirelessly to save lives and make people better. They made me better and I am delighted to be their patron of the Redevelopment Appeal.”
Both Eugenie and her father, Prince Andrew, Duke of York, serve as patrons for the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital (RNOH), which was in desperate need of funding for facility updates.
Since 2012, Eugenie has worked to campaign for updates to the facilities and has recently announced Princess Eugenie House, a residential space for families while their children are receiving treatment in hospital.
On the RNOH website, Eugenie got candid about her corrective surgery and battle with scoliosis.
“I can still vividly remember how nervous I felt in the days and weeks before the operation,” Eugenie shared. “But my abiding memories of the RNOH, where the surgery was carried out, are happy ones – everyone there was so warm and friendly and they went out of their way to make me feel comfortable and relaxed.”
The princess revealed details of her recovery which included three days in intensive care, a week in hospital and six days in wheelchair.
Despite the high level of care the princess received, her and her father have made it their mission to raise money to update the RNOH.
“There is a striking disparity between the quality of the RNOH’s service and the quality of the buildings from which its staff operate,” Eugenie continued. “Anyone who visits the Stanmore site can see immediately why a new hospital is needed so urgently.”
Eugenie, who stands at 5’5″, says that without the RNOH, her life would be very different.
“Without the care i received at the RHNOH, I wouldn’t look the way I do now; my back would be hunched over,” she said. “And I wouldn’t be able to talk about scoliosis the way I now do, and help other children who come to me with the same problem. My back problems were a huge part of my life, as they would be for any 12-year-old. Children can look at me now and know that the operation works.”