Sunday, 14 October 2018

Eugenie - Empathy And Encouragement

Whatever your feelings about the monarchy, or lavish weddings, you have to be a pretty churlish sort of person not to wish a young couple every happiness on their special day. Eugenie's family have seen plenty of marriage breakups [her parents, Uncle Charles, and Auntie Anne...] At least her grandparents are still together after 71 years.

I admired her decision to wear a wedding dress which showed her scar. Aged 12, the princess was diagnosed with scoliosis, which meant an eight hour operation 16 years ago. This happened at the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital in Stanmore. This was then, and still is, the foremost place in Britain for such surgery.
But her father, Prince Andrew, said he was utterly horrified when he realised that many of the Hospital buildings were old WW2 Nissen huts.

Now there is a massive redevelopment plan underway - still on the original site. Lots of information on the RNOH website - and Eugenie is a patron and the new Princess Eugenie House will provide on site accommodation, with 22 ensuite bedrooms, for parents to stay whilst their children undergo treatment.
I'm glad she is speaking out, and encouraging young people who suffer this condition - and using what resources she has to help improve their situation.
But more than that, I am glad she was able to 'show off' her scar. Every single one of us carries some sort of scar- physical or emotional. You cannot go through life without being wounded at some point. How you deal with the scars is up to you. You can hide them away, be ashamed of them, try and ignore them... or you can accept them, and move on, seeking healing and life. 
I'm not criticising those who use make up to conceal facial scars, nor those who disguise post-op scarring with tattoos. Just admiring a young woman who can say "this scar is part of me, but it doesn't define me. And it is there because I chose to undergo surgery that enables me to stand tall today as I walk down the aisle with my new husband" More than that, she is someone who is giving time regularly to encourage teenagers facing the same frightening diagnosis. "I've been there, I got through it, you can too"
When someone has big problems [physical,emotional, whatever], true friends rally round - but not all can truly understand the situation . The ones who understand most are those who have been there already- their empathy and encouragement counts for a lot. 
Last week, someone I know had an unwelcome diagnosis - and a couple of days later, was invited for coffee by somebody else who'd had the same treatment last year, so they could chat about it. That's encouragement and empathy of the best sort.
I remember my Mum saying "No experience, good or bad, is ever wasted" - and sometimes the bad ones can end up being an opportunity to help somebody else.
I hope Mr and Mrs Brooksbank have a long and happy marriage [just like her Grandma]


  1. A lovely post. I agree it's wonderful that she's using her position and her experience to help others. She is a beautiful young woman.

  2. Agree. And no veil - hope that catches on! Cheers from carole's chatter

  3. That's lovely! I didn't know that. I also heard that theirs was a plastic free wedding. Another important message shared.


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