They may have access to the best doctors and hospitals in the world, but the royal family are just like us: a little bit accident-prone! With the young royals growing up playing team sports at school and riding horses, such injuries are a natural part of life. However, as they’ve turned their attention to exciting engagements and starting their own families, the royals have found themselves attracting a whole new range of scrapes and grazes.
In 1999, Prince William sported a sling while attending the christening of his godson, Prince Constantine Alexios of Greece, in London. Aged 16, William was recovering from surgery on a broken finger but was in high spirits as he chatted with his fellow guests.
The Duchess of Cambridge is famous for her glossy locks, but Kate often styles her hair to disguise a large scar on her head. The inconspicuous scar along her hairline was confirmed by the palace to come from a childhood operation and matches her husband’s own forehead mark, which the Prince jokingly calls his “Harry Potter” scar.
Kate is often seen with plasters on her fingers which is unsurprising for a hands-on mum. The Duchess enjoys baking and gardening on royal engagements, but she has revealed that cooking with Prince George and Princess Charlotte is one of their favourite activities. “They love making pizza because they can get their hands messy,” she said.
During the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s tour of Australia and New Zealand in October 2018, Meghan was seen sporting a plaster around her middle finger. This could’ve come from a number of her activities Meghan engaged with on her trip, including tree planting, cooking and even welly throwing.
After breaking her left leg during a walking trip at Balmoral in 2010, the Duchess of Cornwall was confined to a wheelchair. However, the royal didn’t let her impairment stop her from attending her royal engagements, allowing her husband Prince Charles to push her around in her chair.
In 2001, the Prince of Wales was forced to wear a makeshift eye patch during his public outings. Charles got a large amount of dust in his eye while sawing a tree in his garden, requiring the Prince to undergo hospital treatment.
Prince Charles also injured himself during a polo match in Cirencester, Gloucestershire in the summer of 1990. The Prince was seen leaving Cirencester Hospital with his wife, after doctors bandaged his broken arm and placed it in a sling.
The Queen has rarely taken time off from her royal duties during her 67-year reign, but even she has not been immune to the occasional injury. In 2003, she was admitted to hospital for keyhole surgery after tearing the cartilage in her right knee on a personal walking trip. In recovery, Her Majesty used crutches to get around and later in the year she underwent the same operation on her left knee.
Known for her sense of style and love for bright colours, the Queen was never going to let an injury stop her from looking stylish. In 1994, she made a sling into the ultimate fashion accessory, supporting her injured wrist with a stylish blue silk scarf that perfectly matched her coat and hat.
At 97 years old, Prince Philip is often praised for his impressive independence, but in later life the Duke has sustained some painful injuries. A number of nasty falls in the last ten years have left Philip with multiple black eyes.
After falling off her horse during a three-day event for the European Championships in Kiev, Russia in 1973, Princess Anne was seen pairing her funky waistcoat with a makeshift sling to support her sprained wrist.
Just like her mother, Zara Phillips’ love for horse riding has led her to injury. As well as cutting her lip after a fall, over the years Zara has sustained a number of serious injuries including being knocked unconscious during an international competition in 2004.
As a rugby player, Zara’s husband Mike Tindall has known more than his fair share of painful injuries. But in 2008, the sportsman sustained serious internal damage after a horrifying accident left him writhing in pain during a match at Twickenham. Mike was forced to take a rest from the sport, retiring to Gloucestershire to walk his dogs and spend time with his wife.
Through her lifetime, the ever popular Queen Mother suffered from a number of health problems, but remained resilient and robust throughout. In the 1980s, a number of nasty falls left her with painful leg impairments, causing her to walk with a stick for some time.