Princess Eugenie often takes to the world stage to put her heart into her most cherished causes, from mental health awareness to youth empowerment. But behind closed doors, her heart of gold shines just as bright. Royal photographer Arthur Edwards, who has been snapping the family for more than four decades, opened up to HELLO! about the special bond his granddaughter has with the bride-to-be and the kind-hearted gesture that Eugenie showed her when she needed it most.
The 28-year-old has made no secret of her struggle with scoliosis, a medical condition that causes a curvature in the spine – and even invited the doctor who performed her life-changing spinal surgery to her wedding. And when Arthur’s granddaughter Katie had surgery for the same condition, he reached out to the only person he knew could help. “I asked if she’d talk to Katie about it and she did. We spent an hour at a hotel and she was magnificent with Katie, who was only 13 at the time and incredibly scared,” he explained.
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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
But the princess’s kindness didn’t end there. “When Katie went to the hospital and checked into her room, it was all full of balloons from Eugenie and it put her mind at ease. As they left and said goodbye to each other, Eugenie gave Katie her private number and said, ‘Anytime you want to know anything, you just ask me. You call me up and I’ll tell you if you don’t want your parents to be listening.’ For me, that was everything.” Arthur was doubly impressed that when he mentioned Eugenie’s kindness to her father, Prince Andrew, he knew nothing about it.
The seasoned 78-year-old, who has photographed seven royal weddings, is hoping to be there on the princess’s big day, when she says “I do” to Jack Brooksbank on Oct. 12 at St. George’s Chapel. And above all, he thinks Eugenie is “a fabulous kid” and he can’t wait to see her walk down the aisle. “I just hope she has a really beautiful day,” he says. And while it’s promising to be a show-stopping two-day celebration, Arthur said there has been a bit of controversy in the public – but at the end of the day, it’s not worth quarreling about.
“There’s been a bit of a row around here about a two-million-pound police bill. Well, Eugenie is a granddaughter of the Queen as Harry is a grandson of the Queen,” he explained. “The Queen sees no difference in the pair of them. It’s her chapel, St. George’s Chapel, it’s her castle, Windsor Castle, and it’s her carriages. So if she wants to lay it on for her granddaughter, I’m not one to complain. I think it’s a great thing.”