Monday, April 12, 2010

HRH the Duchess of Cornwall Suffers Broken Leg

-- AFP

Prince Charles' wife Camilla has broken her leg while hillwalking in Scotland, but a royal spokeswoman said the Duchess was comfortable and cheerful and plans to keep up all her scheduled engagements.

Camilla is likely to wear a plaster cast for about six weeks, by which time the "relatively minor" injury should have healed, experts said Thursday.

"While hillwalking in slippery conditions in Scotland, the Duchess of Cornwall took a tumble and hurt her leg," a spokeswoman for Clarence House said after the accident Wednesday.

Following doctor's advice on Thursday, Camilla -- who has been staying on the royal family's Balmoral country estate in Scotland -- had an X-ray "which showed a twisted fracture of the fibula," she added.

"Consequently her royal highness is wearing a plaster cast and will be for six weeks. She has been advised not to put weight on her leg, and her royal highness has every intention of carrying out all planned engagements."

Camilla was said to be comfortable and philosophical about the accident, said the spokeswoman.

"The Duchess is cheerful and it's a case of 'Life goes on -- it could be worse'," she said.

Charles, 61, eldest son of Queen Elizabeth II and heir to the throne, married the former Camilla Parker-Bowles in April 2005. His previous marriage to the late princess Diana ended in divorce in August 1996.

The 62-year-old needed to be helped down from the hill after the accident, which happened while Camilla and Charles were on their traditional Easter break at Birkhall, the prince's private home on the Balmoral estate.

Barry Ferris, an orthopaedic surgeon at Barnet Hospital in north London, said the break should heal relatively quickly.

"A fibula fracture is usually related to a direct blow -- she may have fallen over on something like a rock. Age is not probably going to be a factor for her.

"While it's true the bones thin as you get older, she is very active," he said, adding: "This is a relatively minor injury. She will be sore for a couple of weeks but she should be fine after six weeks."

The accident follows an unrelated health problem -- a trapped nerve in her back -- which forced Camilla to cancel a number of engagements during a recent trip to central Europe.

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