Princess Eugenie announces new patronage close to her heart

Princess Eugenie has announced she is the patron of a charity which creates gardens for NHS spinal centres.

The royal, 29, admitted the cause is particularly close to her heart as she underwent spinal surgery to treat scoliosis aged 12, leaving her with a sizable scar along her spine.

Eugenie, who has admitted it took her a while to love her scar before displaying it in a beautiful low-back gown during her wedding to Jack Brooksbank last October, paid tribute to the charity, explaining that her love of nature helped her through the recovery process.

Princess Eugenie has announced she is the patron of a charity which creates gardens for NHS spinal centres

Princess Eugenie has announced she is the patron of a charity which creates gardens for NHS spinal centres

Princess Eugenie has announced she is the patron of a charity which creates gardens for NHS spinal centres

Sharing a range of pictures as she gardened alongside members of the charity, she wrote: ‘I am so happy to become patron of Horatio’s Garden which creates beautiful, and completely accessible, gardens for all patients at spinal injury centres across the UK.

‘Since learning about this charity back in 2016, I have fallen in love with their mission to bring joy to people and help their recovery.

‘In 2017 I was able to visit Horatio’s Garden in Scotland, and in March this year I saw the site that has been identified at the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital, where I underwent spinal surgery. 

‘As a former spinal patient myself, I understand how the chance to get outside is so beneficial not only for recovery, but for staying positive at a life-changing, and often traumatic, time.

‘I hope to learn from the patients I meet and the wonderful people working to create these gardens.’ 

The royal, 29, admitted the cause is particularly close to her heart as she underwent spinal surgery to treat scoliosis aged 12, leaving her with a sizable scar along her spine

The royal, 29, admitted the cause is particularly close to her heart as she underwent spinal surgery to treat scoliosis aged 12, leaving her with a sizable scar along her spine

The royal, 29, admitted the cause is particularly close to her heart as she underwent spinal surgery to treat scoliosis aged 12, leaving her with a sizable scar along her spine

Eugenie, who has admitted it took her a while to love her scar before displaying it in a beautiful low-back gown during her wedding to Jack Brooksbank last October, paid tribute to the charity, explaining that her love of nature helped her through the recovery process

Eugenie, who has admitted it took her a while to love her scar before displaying it in a beautiful low-back gown during her wedding to Jack Brooksbank last October, paid tribute to the charity, explaining that her love of nature helped her through the recovery process

Eugenie, who has admitted it took her a while to love her scar before displaying it in a beautiful low-back gown during her wedding to Jack Brooksbank last October, paid tribute to the charity, explaining that her love of nature helped her through the recovery process

Horatio’s Garden creates and cares for accessible gardens for all patients at spinal injury centres across the UK. 

Eugenie was diagnosed with scoliosis and underwent corrective surgery aged just 12, with a pair of eight-inch titanium rods inserted alongside her spine to rebuild it as a result of a curvature. 

The operation resulted in a prominent scar, which Eugenie wore with pride, opting for a backless gown for her wedding to Jack Brooksbank last October.

In an interview before the wedding, the Princess, 28, said: ‘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.’

The doctor who performed her surgery was even in attendance at the ceremony, invited by Eugenie.

Speaking about the operation, the 28-year-old said: ‘There are so many emotions and worries that go thundering through your head.

‘Will I be able to play sports, or will I look the same, or will I miss a lot of school and be behind? I remember being angry about not being able to run and play.’

After a tumultuous few months where the young Princess had to be turned gently in bed and wear a brace, she went back to school and said she always had total faith in her doctor’s and parent’s assertions that she’d be okay.

Sharing a range of pictures as she gardened alongside members of the charity, she wrote: 'I am so happy to become patron of Horatio's Garden which creates beautiful, and completely accessible, gardens for all patients at spinal injury centres across the UK.

Sharing a range of pictures as she gardened alongside members of the charity, she wrote: 'I am so happy to become patron of Horatio's Garden which creates beautiful, and completely accessible, gardens for all patients at spinal injury centres across the UK.

Sharing a range of pictures as she gardened alongside members of the charity, she wrote: ‘I am so happy to become patron of Horatio’s Garden which creates beautiful, and completely accessible, gardens for all patients at spinal injury centres across the UK.

Another picture sees her chatting with members of the society who provide gardens for spinal centres

Another picture sees her chatting with members of the society who provide gardens for spinal centres

Another picture sees her chatting with members of the society who provide gardens for spinal centres

The Princess, now a patron of the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital, said she wasn’t always so open about her scar and did ‘everything to hide it.’

She then began to wear her scar with pride, culminating in her showing her scar to the world in October.

She said: ‘I remember going back to the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital and showing a little girl who couldn’t sit up from her operation. Her eyes grew so big and eventually a huge smile lit up her face when she saw I had a huge scar and was standing up tall in front of her.’

Eugenie said her wedding dress had to show the scar, which she described at the ‘centre point’ to her outfit and that a veil would take away from her scar.

The Princess also sent a message to young girls, saying: ‘Be proud of the story you can tell and inspire people with.’ 

Princess Eugenie of York arrives at St George's Chapel in Windsor Castle ahead of her wedding with Jack Brooksbank, bearing her scar for all to see

Princess Eugenie of York arrives at St George's Chapel in Windsor Castle ahead of her wedding with Jack Brooksbank, bearing her scar for all to see

Princess Eugenie of York arrives at St George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle ahead of her wedding with Jack Brooksbank, bearing her scar for all to see

What is scoliosis?

Scoliosis is the abnormal curvature of the spine in an S-shape.

Signs include a visible curve in the spine, one shoulder or hip being more prominent than the other, clothes not hanging properly and back pain.

Pain usually only affects adults with the condition.

In most cases, the cause of the scoliosis is not known but it can be caused by cerebral palsy and muscular dystrophy.

In the UK, scoliosis affects three to four children could of every 1,000.

It is also thought that as many as 70 per cent of over 65s have some degree of scoliosis.

It is more common in women than in men.

Most children with the condition do not require treatment as it is mild and corrects itself as the child grows.

However, in severe cases the child may need to wear a back brace until they stop growing.

Occasionally, a child needs surgery to straighten their spine.

In adults, it is usually too late to treat the condition with a back brace or surgery so treatment revolves around reducing pain.

Source: NHS Choices

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