June 30th is just another day for most of us, but it had a very special meaning for Princess Eugenie and millions of others around the world.
To mark International Scoliosis Awareness Day, Eugenie shared an emotional post on Instagram that offered a rare glimpse into her childhood.
“My back problems were a huge part of my life"
But she had something more important to share in her post from June 30th: the seriously frightening X-rays from her childhood surgeries.
Scoliosis is a serious condition that gives a person's spine a sideways curve.
If it's left untreated, it can cause awful pain, and even keep a patient permanently hunched over.
Eugenie had a surgery to correct the curve in her spine when she was only 12, and shared details about the procedure for the first time last week.
“I can still vividly remember how nervous I felt in the days and weeks before the operation," she remembered.
As you can see from her picture, it was not a simple "in and out" procedure. Eugenie had two titanium rods inserted into the sides of her spine, with eight screws in her neck to fasten them.
She spent three days recovering in intensive care after the surgery, and needed a wheelchair for a week afterwards.
“I’m very proud to share my X Rays for the very first time,” she shared with her more than 250,000 followers.
"My back problems were a huge part of my life."
Giving back to children with her condition
Like other royal family members, Princess Eugenie is well-known for her charity.
In her Instagram post, she took time to thank the Royal National Ortohopaedic Hospital, where she was treated.
Over the years, Eugenie has been one of the hospital's most famous supporters, and has donated to their redevelopment fund.
A new building called the Princess Eugenie House is set to be built in her honor.
Families of young patients with serious conditions will be able to stay at the house near the hospital.
Sharing her own story about the hospital helped Eugenie reflect on both the good and bad in her difficult experience there.
Without the surgery, she wrote, "my back would be hunched over. And I wouldn't be able to talk about scoliosis the way I now do, and help other children who come to me with the same problem."
"Children can look at me now and know that the operation works," she added.
A royal wedding
While Eugenie is happy to highlight her charitable donations, she's keeping coy about the details of her upcoming wedding.
Less than a year after Prince Harry and Meghan Markle tied the knot at St. George's Chapel in Windsor, Eugenie and her fiance Jack Brooksbank will do the same this October.
Brooksbank, a commoner who works as a brand ambassador for George Clooney's Casamigos Tequila, met Eugenie at a ski resort in Switzerland in 2010.
The pair have been inseparable ever since, and we knew that sooner or later they would be hearing wedding bells.
Eugenie has showed off her impressive pink padparadscha sapphire engagement ring, and Brooksbank shared a few details of how he popped the question during their vacation to Nicaragua.
He revealed that the setting for the romantic moment was a "beautiful volcano, summer setting, birds are flying."
Eugenie herself said that "the lake was so beautiful" when he finally asked her to marry him.
"The light was just a special light I had never seen. I actually said this is an incredible moment, and then he popped the question, which was really surprising even though we have been together seven years. I was over the moon."
But compared to her headline-grabbing cousin, Eugenie is a very quiet person. She says that Brooksbank and her spend their nights in watching cooking shows and Game of Thrones.
Do you know someone who was affected by scoliosis?
Here are even more stories about the royal family:
- Queen cancels public appearance due to health concerns.
- Meet the rest of the Queen's grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
- 21 surprising rules the royal family has to follow.
[H/T: Town and Country]