Princess Eugenie Opens Up About Her Health Battle

The princess underwent major surgery

Princess Eugenie has shared details of her debilitating battle with scoliosis which saw her undergo spinal surgery and spend three days in intensive care when she was just 12 years old.

The princess took to Instagram to share her story, and announce that she is a patron for The Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital’s Redevelopment Appeal.

“In 2002, when I was 12 years old, I was diagnosed with scoliosis (curvature of the spine), and told that I would need corrective surgery,” the Princess wrote in a piece on the hospital’s website. “This was, of course, a scary prospect for a 12-year-old; I can still vividly remember how nervous I felt in the days and weeks before the operation. 

“During my operation, which took eight hours, my surgeons inserted eight-inch titanium rods into each side of my spine and one-and-a-half inch screws at the top of my neck. 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. 

The Princess is hoping to raise awareness for scoliosis and help others suffering to know that they are not alone. She also hopes to help raise funds to update the hospital’s facilities so they can continue to provide world-class care.

“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. I’m living proof of the ways in which the hospital can change people’s lives.”

While usually royals must adhere to strict social media rules, Princess Eugenie – and older sister Beatrice – are exempt from these rules as they are not deemed “working royals” like cousins Wills and Harry – and of course Kate and Meghan.

Related stories