Princess Eugenie may be gearing up to walk down the aisle, but right now her big sister Princess Beatrice is on her mind.
People magazine reported Thursday the royal cousins of Britain’s Prince William and Prince Harry spoke to fans at the 2018 We Day U.K. Charity Concert where the newly engaged Eugenie gave a heartwarming tribute to her older sibling.
The two princesses are the daughters of Prince Andrew and his ex-wife Sarah Ferguson, the Duchess of York.
Eugenie revealed Beatrice, 29, has encouraged her to “live fearlessly” despite a painful scoliosis diagnosis.
Scoliosis is a medical condition that causes a person’s spine to curve.
“As my big sister, you inspire me,” said the 27-year-old. “I love that, as a team, we work hard to support each other – no matter what. When I was 12, I was diagnosed with, and treated for, scoliosis and I have lived with two 12-inch metal rods in my back. It could have impacted my life and stopped me from doing the things I love.”
The granddaughter of Queen Elizabeth II, who is eighth in line to the throne, said Beatrice has remained supportive and by her side throughout their childhood.
“You encouraged me not to get disheartened,” said Eugenie. “Not to give up. To live fearlessly. Today, I am so lucky to get to work with and support other young women who are going through the same thing. To encourage them to not let their diagnosis win. To live fearlessly too.”
This isn’t the first time Eugenie has detailed her health battle.
Back in April 2012, the royal described living with scoliosis in support of the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital.
“I can still vividly remember how nervous I felt in the days and weeks before the operation,” she described. “During my operation, which took eight hours, my surgeons inserted eight-inch titanium rods into each side of my spine and one-and-a-half inch screws at the top of my neck. After three days in intensive care, I spent a week on a ward and six days in a wheelchair, but I was walking again after that.”
Eugenie added that without the operation, “My back would be hunched over.”
“My back problems were a huge part of my life, as they would be for any 12-year-old,” she said. “Children can look at me now and know that the operations work. I’m living proof.”
Eugenie hasn’t forgotten about other children who may be facing a similar ordeal. Nearly two decades after the procedure, she has tirelessly advocated for the London clinic that treated her and continues to speak out about the anxieties that come with being hospitalized.
And these days, Eugenie has plenty of reason to celebrate her successful recovery.
Just two months after Prince Harry and American actress Meghan Markle revealed their engagement, Eugenie shared she will say “I do” just months after her cousin’s nuptials.
Buckingham Palace announced in January Eugenie will marry Jack Brooksbank in the fall. He proposed with a padparadscha sapphire ring surrounded by diamonds.