Princess Eugenie is to become Patron of Horatio’s Garden, a charity that creates beautiful accessible gardens in NHS spinal injury centres.
Leading garden designers develop the stunning sanctuaries for patients, many of whom spend many months hospital. Spinal injuries are traumatic, life-changing events. Patients often have little or no access to the outside world during their hospital stay. Research has shown that being in contact with natural environment contributes to an improved sense of wellbeing, which can have a positive impact on patient rehabilitation.
Aged 12, Her Royal Highness underwent spinal surgery at the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital (RNOH). In March 2019, Princess Eugenie, RNOH Charity Patron, joined The Duke of York, RNOH Patron, to officially open the new Stanmore Building at the RNOH. During the visit, Her Royal Highness was shown the site of Horatio’s London Garden. The garden, which has been designed by Tom Stuart-Smith will be fully accessible for all patients and will include garden rooms, designed by Stephen Marshall, so it can enjoyed whatever the weather.
In 2017, Princess Eugenie visited Horatio’s Scotland Garden at the Scottish National Spinal Injuries Unit at the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital in Glasgow. Horatio’s Garden also has sites at the Duke of Cornwall Spinal Treatment Centre in Salisbury, the Stoke Mandeville Garden and the Oswestry Garden at the Midland Centre for Spinal Injuries.
The Garden’s provide patients with somewhere to find much-needed solace in an oasis of planting, even if on bed rest. Patients can also take part in gentle rehabilitation activities in the gardens, including garden therapy, art therapy and music events.