Princess Eugenie: I Had 8-Hour Surgery at Age 12

Princess Eugenie

She's a trooper!

Princess Eugenie has opened up about a difficult childhood memory. Now 21, the younger child of Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson underwent 8 hours of intense surgery at age 12 to repair a severe curvature of the spine (a.k.a. scoliosis).

PHOTOS: How Eugenie and other royals made a splash at William and Kate's wedding

Read article

Eight pins were placed in her back during the operation, leaving Eugenie in intensive care for three days, followed by six days in a wheelchair. The Princess looked back on the ordeal with London's Telegraph newspaper during a recent visit to London's Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital, where her own surgery took place.

"I've got the scar on my back," Eugenie said — revealing the scar on her neck — to the mother of a current 16-year-old patient undergoing scoliosis surgery.

PHOTOS: The royals' incredible hat fashions

Read article

Eugenie offered sympathy to a young patient. "It hurts so much, I was in so much pain," she said. "Get better!"

"[I've got] good memories coming back even though I'm slightly scared of hospitals," she told the paper, noting how grateful she was for the procedure.

PHOTOS: Her mom Sarah Ferguson's wedding day

Read article

"I wouldn't look the way I do," she added. "My back would be hunched over. 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."

Her scoliosis was discovered by accident — when Princess Eugenie was getting a massage.

PHOTOS: Her cousins Prince Harry and Prince William

Read article

And she's thrilled to be a role model to kids undergoing the same procedure today. "It was a huge part of my life when I was 12 – so young. Children can see me and know that [the operation] works."

For access to all our exclusive celebrity videos and interviews – Subscribe on YouTube!