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Princess Eugenie and Princess Beatrice recently spoke with six young people who are being supported by the Teenage Cancer Trust, speaking about life in lockdown, treatment for cancer while shielding and finding body confidence. The royals have been honorary patrons of the Trust for years, and Eugenie could not contain her emotions as she spoke with one cancer patient.
Darcy Shaw, 21, from Salford, was diagnosed with skin cancer in February this year and has scars on her neck and chest from surgery.
This was a subject close to Eugenie’s heart, having recently shared a photograph of her own scar from surgery on her spine.
Darcy said: “I’ve always struggled with my body image, way before I got diagnosed with cancer, and anxiety and mental health issues.
“I was quite recently diagnosed in February, and now have a scar on my neck and chest from surgery. And I thought to myself, well everything is going to plummet.
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“But actually, the complete opposite has happened, and I put that entirely down to all the support I’ve had through the lockdown.
“I’ve attended body image workshops with Teenage Cancer Trust, and it’s boosted my confidence, I can’t believe it.
“I blog a lot and I’m on Instagram and I actually post more photos of myself now, showing my scars, and actually feel better about myself.”
At hearing this Princess Eugenie put her hands in the air and said: “Woo – I love hearing that Darcy. I have a big old scar down my back and I’m proud to show it off.”
Eugenie had an operation on her spine to treat her scoliosis, and her wedding dress had a v-cut back, showcasing the scar rather than hiding it.
Darcy said: “I saw pictures of you in your wedding dress and the scar, and it inspired me that you were so open about it and wanted to have it on show.”
Darcy revealed how she had a scar on her neck and how she had “been panicking and stressing” about finding clothes to hide the scar before becoming a teacher in September.
However, she said seeing people like Eugenie “empowered and showing” their scars has “made me feel I shouldn’t need to worry about that”.
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Eugenie was smiling at Darcy’s words as she said: “I think its so beautiful.
“It is such a wonderful part of yourself, it tells a wonderful story – for you probably a very harrowing one – but it tells a part of your life that you can share and also be a role model for other people.”
This past weekend, Eugenie had shared an image of her scar on her Instagram account for International Scoliosis Awareness Day.
She wrote: “Today is International Scoliosis Awareness Day. I just wanted to share my scar and encourage anyone out there who’s gone through something similar to share theirs with me.
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Today is International Scoliosis Awareness Day. I just wanted to share my scar and encourage anyone out there who’s gone through something similar to share theirs with me. Let’s be proud of our scars! I’d love to repost any of your images on my stories so please tag me and I will share. #internationalscoliosisawarenessday
A post shared byPrincess Eugenie (@princesseugenie) on
“Let’s be proud of our scars! I’d love to repost any of your images on my stories so please tag me and I will share.”
Eugenie has been honorary patron of the Teenage Cancer Trust since 2016, and having visited cancer units and spoken with patients for years.
She even visited one of the Trust’s treatment centres on her 18th birthday.
Myrna Whiteson, who founded the Teenage Cancer Trust alongside her husband Dr Adrian Whiteson told The Telegraph: “The girls knew all about the charity when they were growing up and Princess Eugenie even came along to one of our treatment centres, at UCL, on her 18th birthday.
“I should think it was very difficult for her to see her contemporaries suffering in a situation nobody expects at that age.
“I think it would have been both upsetting and uplifting for the princesses to come face to face with it, but they have been wonderful
“During all these visits they both take their time, they don’t make anybody feel rushed or harried. They pay attention to the patients, the families and the nursing staff, which is very good for their morale as well of course.”
Beatrice and Eugenie’s mother Sarah Ferguson is also involved with the Trust, having opened the first specialist cancer unit in 1990, and attended almost all 28 new openings of units across the UK.
Speaking before Eugenie’s wedding to Jack Brooksbank in 2018 Mrs Whiteson said: “We consider the Duchess and the Princesses to be part of the team at Teenage Cancer Trust and Value tremendously what they do. Jack [Brooksbank] is a charming young man and I hope he’ll also become involved in our work.”
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