Princess Eugenie has shared a new photo of her scoliosis surgical scar on her Instagram account to recognise International Scoliosis Awareness Day.
“Today is International Scoliosis Awareness Day,” she wrote in the post shared on June 27th 2020. “I just wanted to share my scar and encourage anyone out there who’s gone through something similar to share theirs with me. Let’s be proud of our scars!”
Princess Eugenie also encouraged anyone with a scar to tag her on Instagram so that she could share the photos in her Stories.
Princess Eugenie, who’d been diagnosed with scoliosis at the age of 11, said in a December 2018 interview with The Telegraph that “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.
“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.”
She underwent surgery in October 2002 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,” she wrote in an essay on the Hospital’s website in 2018.
“I don’t think I actually thought: ‘Oh, I will have a scar’,” she said in the Telegraph interview. “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.
“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?’”
Princess Eugenie made a full recovery from her surgery and is not expected to have to receive any further surgical treatments for her scoliosis. Since then, she has championed scoliosis awareness as part of her public engagements and is the patron of the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital’s redevelopment appeal.
On her wedding day in October 2018, Princess Eugenie’s wedding gown had a low neckline in the back to show off her scoliosis scar. She told the Telegraph that it was one of her first design requests when she met with the designers at Peter Pilotto.
“After one or two initial meetings where I said I wanted to show my back and scar, we had a fitting and in their first attempt at the shape and design of the dress, they got me and the vision in one.
“From there, we realised that the back of the dress was the centre point and a veil would take away from the scar and the beautiful design they had created.”