While on a good deed tour to the U.K.'s world-class Royal National Orthopedic Hospital (RNOH) yesterday, Princess Eugenie revealed a major secret of her own.
At the tender age of 12, the fascinator-sporting daughter of Sarah Ferguson underwent a major operation to correct a curved spine that would have dramatically distorted her appearance, making her a hunchback.
Why did Eugenie finally go public with it yesterday at the hospital?
Because it's the same place where the 21-year-old princess had her surgery performed years ago.
Eugenie had been diagnosed with scoliosis after her curved back was discovered while getting a massage. After determing she needed immediate medical help, surgeons had carefully placed eight-inch pins along her back in a surgery that was supposed to last one hour, but actually took eight. She spent the next three days recovering in intensive care and stayed in the hospital for 10 days, six of them in a wheelchair. She now has a scar on her back from the operation.
Currently a college student at Newcastle University, Eugenie was at the hospital visiting teens who had undergone the same procedure and was trying to raise funding for the facility to rebuild. She said she now considers herself to be a role model for those diagnosed with scoliosis.
"I wouldn't look the way I do, my back would be hunched over," she tells the U.K.'s Telegraph. "I wouldn't be able to talk the way I do about it and help other children who come to me with the same problem." It was a huge part of my life when I was 12, so young. Children can see me and know that the operation works."
A section of the RNOH will be renovated and will house kids being treated at the hospital. It will be named after Eugenie.