Princess Eugenie has always spoken candidly about her battle with scoliosis as a young adult – a medical condition in which a person’s spine has a sideways curve. But in a new interview with the Telegraph, the newly-wed royal has opened up about the surgery she had to undergo as a child and how it left her ‘reeling’ and feeling ’emptiness’.
Eugenie, who was first diagnosed with scoliosis when she was just 11 years old, explained that she was worried that her peers would no longer see her as ‘normal’ after undergoing surgery to treat her condition.
‘I think the most upsetting time was before the operation – the fear of the unknown and having a condition that made me different,’ she explained. ‘I was only 11 years old when I was told I needed surgery and that bombshell left me reeling, as well as the idea that I would not be at school, or be normal like the other students.’
During the operation for scoliosis, the spine is broken and set straight, which takes months and months to recover from and means that the patient will needs to re-learn how to walk again.
For Eugenie, the recovery process was long and frustrating. ‘I remember being angry about not being able to run and play,’ she told the newspaper. In fact, she was still affected by it years later, adding: ‘I remember putting cream only on my scar for years after the operation,’ she added. ‘There was an unexplainable feeling – like a kind of emptiness.’
However, as she’s grown, Eugenie’s surgery scar has become ‘a point of pride’ for her. She even showed it off proudly on her wedding day by wearing a classic backless design by Peter Pilotto and Christopher De Vos.
‘I believe scars are like memories that tell a story on your body, that remind you how strong you had to be, and that you survived to talk about it,’ she said.