British royal Princess Eugenie, who underwent back surgery to treat scoliosis when she was 12 years old, married Jack Brooksbank on Friday while wearing a wedding dress that proudly displayed the long scar running up her spine. scoliosis, a rare condition that disproportionately affects women, causes the spinal cord to bend to one side — potentially causing health problems and creating a hunched appearance if not corrected by surgery. The decision to show her scars at the royal wedding, she told ITV’s This Morning, was a “way to honor the people who looked after me and a way of standing up for young people who also go through this.”
“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,” the princess said.
In attendance at the wedding was popular 15-year-old dance sensation Julia Carlisle, herself a scoliosis sufferer, as well as her spinal surgeon, Jan Lehovsky, and other representatives from the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital. The princess, who publicly revealed the X-Rays from her surgery earlier this year, now also serves as patron of the hospital’s charity. Ahead of the wedding, Carlisle said that it would “bring a tear to my eye” of the princess chose to reveal her scar during the wedding. Most people want to “hide their scars,” she said, but it would “mean so much to me” if the princess could show the world that they were something to “be proud” of.
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Today is International Scoliosis Awareness Day and 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 who work tirelessly to save lives and make people better. They made me better and I am delighted to be their patron of the Redevelopment Appeal. To hear more of my story visit http://www.rnohcharity.org/the-appeal/princess-eugenie-s-story @the.rnoh.charity #TheRNOHCharity #RedevelopmentAppeal #RNOH #NHS
At the wedding, Lehovsky said he was honored to be in attendance and that the princess had proved to be a powerful role model and example to other young girls dealing with scoliosis.
“Most of the patients affected by scoliosis are young girls and she’s a real role model for them,” said Lehovsky. “She’s someone who can inspire them, which is so important for the young ladies coming through the surgery. Princess Eugenie shows them they can lead a normal life despite having this condition. It’s quite comforting for them and really lifts them.”
Watch video of Princess Eugenie at her royal wedding below.
Read the full story at BBC News.