Today The Duke of York was accompanied by his daughter, Princess Eugenie, and his son-in-law, Jack, when visiting the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital in Stanmore, London.
Prince Andrew was visiting in his capacity as the hospital’s patron; he was invited to the hospital to officially open the new Stanmore Building on the site.
Princess Eugenie underwent scoliosis corrective surgery at the hospital when she was 12 years old. She has publicly talked about the experience of having the surgery and the impact of being left with the visible scar on her back.
In an unexpected but celebrated move by a member of the Royal Family, Princess Eugenie posted a photo of her X-rays on Instagram on International Scoliosis Awareness Day.
Eugenie made the decision to have her wedding dress designed to reveal her scar, hoping that others with scars feel more comfortable with their bodies and gain confidence. She later said that she was left ‘very touched’ by the letters she received applauding this decision.
Princess Eugenie is Patron of the RNOH Appeal and has supported the redevelopment of the hospital for many years.
Today was the first royal engagement Princess Eugenie had with her husband, Jack. The couple married back in October.
The visit started with a viewing of ‘The Tribe’ art installation. The artwork features 50 faces which have been turned into silhouettes and made into striking 3D shapes.
Princess Eugenie is included in the installation, which includes 50 people associated to the hospital, including patients, workers, nurses, cleaners and caterers. The artwork was created to show support and appreciation for everyone who makes the hospital run.
Their Royal Highnesses then were able to visit the new areas of the hospital and meet staff and patients who are benefitting from them, before unveiling a plaque to officially open the new building.
Prince Andrew and Princess Eugenie were very pleased to be reunited with Christine, who was one of Princess Eugenie’s nurses when she had her operation.
At the visit, Eugenie said, “It is such an honour to be here today, I feel like my bones and my blood are a part of this building. I learnt on the visit today that we all share something with this building because we care. Today I am delighted to say that I am now a Patron of the RNOH charity.”
The Royal Family has a long association with the RNOH, which was founded in 1905 with the amalgamation of London’s 3 specialist orthopaedic hospitals. It was visited by King George V and Queen Mary when it was used as a military hospital during World War 1.
In 1920, The Duke of Gloucester launched the first fundraising event ‘Buttercup’ that started the hospital funds appeal. In 1931, Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother (then The Duchess of York) visited the Stanmore site.
The RNOH was founded 1905 with the amalgamation of London’s 3 specialist orthopaedic hospitals into a single centre of excellence.
📷 In 1931, Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother (then The Duchess of York) receives a posy following a visit to the RNOH. pic.twitter.com/BFzFElCot9
— The Duke of York (@TheDukeOfYork) March 21, 2019