‘You can change the way beauty is’: Princess Eugenie’s wedding dress will show off the scars from life-changing spinal surgery she had as a 12 year old
- Princess underwent surgery on her back aged 12 and had rods inserted
- She hinted in an interview that she will not hide her scars on her wedding day
- The specialist who carried out her operation has been invited to the ceremony
Princess Eugenie’s wedding dress is likely to show the scars of back surgery she underwent aged just 12.
The Queen’s granddaughter was diagnosed with scoliosis and underwent corrective surgery that saw a pair of eight-inch titanium rods inserted alongside her spine.
She has invited the doctor who performed the life-changing operation to her big day and won’t try to hide her scars as she walks up the aisle this morning.
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.’
Princess Eugenie pictured being supported with her mother in 2003 after a back operation. Right: She speaks to consultant orthopaedic surgeon Jan Lehovsky during a visit to Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital in Stanmore, North London, in April 2014
Princess Eugenie and her husband-to-be Jack Brooksbank during an interview released on the eve of their wedding
Jan Lehovsky, a doctor at the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital in Stanmore, North London, helped the royal ‘stand straight’ as a child.
Mr Lehovsky will be among a number of staff from the RNOH attending the wedding at St George’s Chapel in the grounds of Windsor Castle in Berkshire.
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Eugenie said of the surgeon’s invite: ‘The RNOH is a huge charity – the Royal National Orthopedic Hospital – I’m patron of their appeal and I had an operation when I was 12 on my back, and you’ll see on Friday, but it’s a lovely way to honour the people who looked after me and a way of standing up for young people who also go through this.’
The titanium rods and two 1.5-inch screws fitted to Eugenie’s neck during the eight-hour procedure remain in place today.
Mr Lehovsky (pictured with Eugenie in 2014) fitted two 1.5-inch screws to her neck as a child
Her mother, the Duchess of York, said the medical team had been invited ‘in honour of the fact that she is walking up that aisle with a straight back because of them’.
Speaking ahead of Eugene’s wedding to Jack Brooksbank, she told the Evening Standard: ‘She did have what would have been very serious curvature of the spine.
‘She certainly will be an extraordinary example of great work from the RNOH. The wedding is about love, future and inclusivity.
‘What a huge, huge day for health, for the NHS, for the RNOH, and for hope. This is why this wedding is so beautiful. It’s hope for other children suffering from scoliosis.’
In June, Eugenie published X-rays of her spine on Instagram – showing how it was straightened with the help of two metal rods – to raise awareness of scoliosis.
She said at the time: ‘I’m very proud to share my X-rays for the very first time. I also want to honour the incredible staff at The Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital.’
Eugenie published two X-rays of her spine on Instagram in June to raise awareness of scoliosis
The insertion of metal rods is one way of treating children with the condition. They are lengthened as the child grows and removed when they reach adulthood.
Eugenie is patron of a £15 million appeal to build a new ward block for the RNOH.
The princess’s grandparents, the Queen and Prince Philip, are expected to attend the wedding next Friday – along with Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and the Duke and Duchess of Sussex are also expected to be there – with Eugenie’s older sister Beatrice, 30, being maid of honour.
William and Kate’s eldest children, Prince George, five, and Princess Charlotte, three, are expected to play the roles of page boy and flower girl.
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