Princess Eugenie of York
Princess Eugenie Helena Victoria of York is the second daughter of Prince Andrew (Queen Elizabeth II’s third child) and Sarah Ferguson. She is the sixth grandchild of Queen Elizabeth II. The princess is currently tenth in the line of succession to the British throne, right below her sister, Princess Beatrice of York.
Though we often think being royalty instantly guarantees an easy life, Princess Eugenie gets no allowance from the Privy Purse, despite her active charity work. Princess Eugenie is actually a working royal! Since she doesn’t carry out public engagements unlike other royals, she cannot partake in the allowance from public revenue.
As such, Princess Eugenie has built a career in the field of arts. After a one-year stint in New York as a Benefit Auctions Manager at Paddle8, she moved back to London and pursued a position at Hauser & Wirth art gallery, where she now works as a director.
Aside from carving out an impressive career based on her passion for the arts, Princess Eugenie has also done admirable charity work. An establishment close to her heart, she agreed to be the patron for the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital (RNOH). The princess re-opened the hospital’s children’s unit and collaborated with Daisy London Jewellery to create a line of bracelets for the benefit of RNOH’s Redevelopment Appeal.
Her Royal Highness said in a statement to US Weekly, “I am living proof of the ways in which the RNOH can change people’s lives. This is why I am so enthusiastic about being Patron of its Redevelopment Appeal and have given my name to its new state-of-the-art family accommodation unit, Princess Eugenie House. I am grateful to everyone for their generosity in supporting this wonderful cause”.
Princess Eugenie’s Scoliosis: A Royal Pain
Princess Eugenie was born with scoliosis, which is a common type of spinal curvature. It affects three in 1,000 children, and one of those three will require surgery to correct the defect and rebuild the spine. Cases can be mild to severe depending on how curved the spine is.
As her case was on the more severe side, Princess Eugenie had back surgery in October 2002 at the age of 12. Her surgery took place at the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital.
"My surgeons inserted 8-inch titanium rods into each side of my spine and 1.5-half-inch screws at the top of my neck", Princess Eugenie recounts her back surgery in an essay published on the RNOH website in 2018. "After three days in intensive care, I spent a week on a ward and six days in a wheelchair, but I was walking again after that".
Check out the X-rays shared by HRH on her Instagram account!
Healing And Loving Herself
Speaking to The Telegraph, Princess Eugenie also revealed she was somewhat concerned about not being able to run and play after her operation. "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?”, she recounted.
We can thank her mother Sarah Ferguson for being her supportive light during those years. Ferguson’s positive attitude turned the whole experience into a positive one for young Eugenie. She said: "[Mum] was amazing at saying, 'Eugenie had the same operation and look at her scar and how she stands now"!
Princess Eugenie Shows Off Her Battle (Back) Scar
When the world watched Princess Eugenie’s royal wedding, we were watching more than her love story with businessman Jack Brooksbank. As the bride walked down the aisle, she was also making a statement in her inspiring wedding gown.
The wedding gown designed by Christopher de Vos and Peter Pilotto was constructed to celebrate Princess Eugenie’s scar, sending a powerful message of strength. Princess Eugenie explained she always wanted a wedding gown to have a low-back, as the exposed scar was her way of speaking for people with physical conditions, or who have scars of their own that they may feel compelled to cover up.
“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”, Princess Eugenie tells the Telegraph. “Your scars are a way of communicating, and sharing a trauma can be healing in so many ways. It can release that stigma you might have given to yourself and by talking about it you can show people how they can heal, too”.
Princess Eugenie: An Inspiration To Scoliosis Sufferers
In a grand statement on her important day, Princess Eugenie inspired people all over the world saying. “You are defined by your heart and soul, not by the way you look”.