Royal Injuries That The World Couldn't Ignore

To their millions of admirers, the royal family seems untouchable. That's probably why the elites tend to make headlines whenever they get injured, even when the ailment requires no more than a Band-Aid.

The royals have seen their share of goofs and blunders, which have caused all sorts of injuries from bruises to full-blown emergency situations. Moreover, even the world's most pampered family can't escape the grips of illness and old age, which also make a person more prone to injury. For as long as historians have been keeping track, the ruling class have endured plenty of injury and disease. Even as far back as five centuries ago, King Henry VIII captured public intrigue over his assortment of ailments (via Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine).

Why is the public so fascinated with royal injuries? Perhaps it's a yearning to find even the tiniest crack in their perfectly polished personas, or maybe it's a desire to humanize them just a bit. Either way, these are the royal injuries that the world couldn't ignore.

Queen Elizabeth II was caught up in a corgi calamity

In 1991, Queen Elizabeth II was bitten while breaking up a dog fight between her Pembroke Welsh corgis. According to My London, the wound was so bad that it required three stitches.

The royal family's adoration for the perky, short-statured dog breed goes back to the 1930s. Elizabeth received her first Pembroke Welsh corgi, Susan, as a birthday gift in 1944. The pup inspired an everlasting love, because the queen would go on to own more than 30 Pembroke Welsh corgis over the course of her life, per the American Kennel Club.

While corgis are generally well-mannered dogs, they do have a feisty streak that can sometimes cause strife between pack members. In a 2022 interview, the queen's former corgi trainer, Roger Mugford, told Country Living Magazine, "When I visited her, she had nine dogs and they were incredibly well controlled, well managed and obedient. And of course, the question is, why did she need me to come in? It's because there were occasional fights between members of her pack. ... All dog fights are really scary — it's the surefire way to be bitten, separating dogs having a good fight." The bite didn't seem to sway Queen Elizabeth's love for Pembroke Welsh corgis, because she continued to raise and breed them for many years afterward.

The public is obsessed with Princess Catherine's band aids

On several occasions, the new Princess of Wales has been spotted with adhesive bandages on her fingers. While barely noticeable to most, Princess Catherine's finger dressings are a hot topic amongst curious fans. In fact, the bandages have sparked so many questions and theories that Buckingham Palace was actually compelled to address them. Of the mysterious finger adornments, a spokesperson said that the royals had no comment, per Wales Online.

Although Catherine has never publicly revealed the causes of her wounds, there is likely a simple explanation. For one thing, the princess seems to be an accomplished cook. The mother of three enjoys making a variety of dishes, but according to Hello! Magazine, her greatest hits include roast chicken, nutritious smoothies, and her grandmother's chutney. And as all cooking enthusiasts know, cuts and nicks are par for the course when you spend a lot of time in the kitchen. Not to mention, the princess enjoys a score of other hands-on hobbies, including gardening and lambing, per Bustle.

With such an exciting lifestyle, Catherine probably isn't too concerned if her finger bandages throw off her royal image just a bit. But that doesn't stop the public from buzzing about the princess' distressed phalanges. In fact, Kate's infamous bandages have their own Instagram account.

King Charles III was forced to wear an eye patch

Of all the gardening enthusiasts in the world, King Charles III might be the last you'd expect to become a casualty of the hobby. But that's exactly what went down in 2001 when the monarch was hurt while cutting a tree at his home. The injury was caused by a cloud of sawdust that landed in the then-prince's eye, per Hello! Magazine. Charles' gardening misadventure became big news when he was seen wearing an eye patch in public.

It's no secret that the royal family has scores of staff members, including gardeners and landscapers, that maintain the palace grounds. However, Charles is one royal who really seems to enjoy getting his hands dirty. In fact, the king is a masterful gardener, and he has earned a lot of recognition for his skills. Two of Charles' show gardens, the Carpet Garden and the Healing Garden, scored silver medals in England's prestigious Chelsea Flower Show, per The Financial Times.

Charles' interest in gardening took root during his childhood, when he and his sister Anne were given their own plots to cultivate (via Town & Country). Over the decades, the king has become an avid farmer and a staunch advocate for environmentalism. In fact, Charles has been lobbying for cleaner air and waterways for more than half a century, and even before climate scientists coined the term "global warming," per National Geographic. It seems that in the years since his eye injury, King Charles has fallen even more in love with nature.

Queen Consort Camilla broke her toe at an inconvenient time

Queen Consort Camilla and her husband King Charles III have had their hands full since the passing of Queen Elizabeth II. Between a multitude of public appearances and official meetings, the pair is only beginning to settle into their new roles. But Camilla has been handling her transition with an added challenge: a broken toe (via People). Reporters clocked the injury when they noticed Camilla stumbling while leaving a ceremony for the late queen. In the press, the queen consort was praised for her graceful handling of the stumble and for powering through her royal duties while nursing the painful injury (via The Independent).

Camilla's time in the public eye hasn't always been so positive, though. In 1993, Camilla and Charles, who were both married to other people at the time, got caught having an affair (via The Los Angeles Times). For her role in the secret romance, Camilla was reviled by fans of Charles' wife, Princess Diana. In 2022, Camilla opened up to British Vogue about the experience, saying, "It's not easy. I was scrutinised for such a long time that you just have to find a way to live with it." Despite their scandalous beginnings, the couple has been married since 2005.

Over the years, Camilla has become a welcome addition to the royal ranks (via Time). Her flawless transition to queen consort despite having a broken toe will surely score Camilla some extra points with the masses.

Prince William endured a scary head injury as a child

In 1991, Prince William was accidentally struck in the head by a golf club while playing with some friends. The royal was just 8 years old at the time. According to the Associated Press, the young prince suffered a skull fracture which required surgery and a hospital stay. During his recovery, Prince William saw plenty of visitors, including his younger brother Prince Harry. However, William's biggest supporter was his mother, the late Princess Diana, who reportedly stayed by his side the entire time.

The thwack left Prince William with a permanent mark on the side of his forehead, but he doesn't try to hide the scar– in fact, he playfully refers to it as his "Harry Potter Scar," per The Daily Mail. The prince, who is president of the U.K.'s Royal Marsden NHS Trust, is known to show the scar off during visits to the Trust's hospitals as a way of connecting with young patients who are dealing with their own medical ordeals (via Yahoo! Sports).

In a sweet twist, William's wife Kate Middleton has a similar scar located on her left temple. The media zeroed in on the scar in 2011, when the princess wore an updo that faintly revealed the small blemish. Some tabloids even speculated that the mark was actually a hair extension track. The rumors were put to rest when a spokesperson for Middleton assured the public that the mystery mark was nothing more than a scar from an old surgery (via E! News).

Sophie Winkleman was injured in a car crash

Actress Sophie Winkleman is best known for her performances in "Peep Show" and "Two and a Half Men." However, the entertainer has another claim to fame: She is a royal by marriage. Winkleman, whose official title is Lady Frederick Windsor, joined the esteemed family in 2009 when she wed Lord Freddie Windsor, the son of Queen Elizabeth II's cousin (via The Guardian).

In times of struggle, it definitely pays to have a squad like the royal family. That's exactly what Winkleman discovered in 2017, when she was involved in a horrific car accident. The collision left Winkleman with a broken foot, a ruptured abdomen, and two broken bones in her back, per Town and Country. Unable to take care of the household, Sophie Winkleman told Hello! Magazine that her royal relatives stepped in to help her family bounce back. The actress stated, "Prince Charles sensed correctly that everything would be chaos at home, so he asked his cook, instead of taking care of him, to take care of us. So, our lunches and dinners were cooked at Clarence House then delivered for weeks on end while I was in hospital and then still disabled at home." The actress also shared that she received visits and flowers from other members of her extended royal family.

Zara Tindall has suffered many equestrian injuries

Equestrianism and the royal family go together like the queen and her crown jewels. So when Queen Elizabeth II's granddaughter, Zara Tindall, rose to fame as an accomplished rider, it probably didn't come as a shock to her horse-loving family. Today, Zara is a decorated competitor with numerous national and international wins under her belt, per her website. In 2012, the rider even scored a silver medal in an Olympic team event.

But with so many successes, it's a given that Zara has experienced some extreme low points in her career. The royal, who does not carry an official title, has seen numerous falls and injuries during her time on the course. Zara's worst accident occurred during a 2008 competition, when the rider broke her collarbone in an accident that tragically caused the death of her horse, Tsunami II. In a jump gone wrong, Tsunami II missed the landing, causing the horse and rider to topple head-first onto the ground. Both were taken away for treatment, but Zara's horse was not able to be saved (via The Daily Mail). Though understandably devastated by the accident, Zara Tindall has continued to gallop forward in her riding career.

Mike Tindall was seriously injured in a rugby accident

Just like his wife, Zara, former rugby player Mike Tindall is no stranger to sports injuries. For players of the physically demanding game, most rugby injuries can be taken in stride. However, that all changed for Mike Tindall in 2008 when the athlete was severely wounded on the field. In a very misfortunate tackle, Tindall suffered a punctured lung and a 1-inch gash in his liver. The 6-foot-2-inch sportsman was immediately hauled away to intensive care, per Wales Online. Fortunately, his injuries were treatable and the Tindall family was able to avoid a serious tragedy.

Mike Tindall opened up to The Daily Mail about the grisly injury, stating, "At first, I thought I'd just done my ribs, albeit badly. My immediate thought was that at least a couple had been broken. But what really worried me was the fact that I was struggling desperately to breathe. That's why I lay still for so long on the ground — it wasn't so much the pain, more the fact that I couldn't seem to get much oxygen into my system."

Mike Tindall retired from his rugby career in 2014, per The Guardian. And while the athlete had an extraordinary run on the rugby field, he also racked up an eye-popping amount of injuries, including torn ligaments, broken bones, and at least eight nose breaks.

King Charles III suffered a serious polo injury

In addition to their strong family resemblance, it seems that the men of the royal family have another trait in common: a love for polo. The game is taken quite seriously at Buckingham Palace, and royal fellows have played it for generations (via Hello! Magazine). In the spirit of competition, brothers William and Harry have even been known to face off against each other on opposing teams, per People.

With all of that fierce athleticism in the family, it's no wonder that the royal gents have seen quite a few polo injuries over the years. One mishap in particular involved a head injury that had King Charles III seeing stars. In a 2006 interview, the royal and his two sons dished about the disaster. "I had to turn the pony very fast, and the next thing, the pony came down sideways and I must've landed absolutely smack on my head. Anyway, it completely felled me and I ended up being taken to hospital," Charles recalled (via Prince's Trust).

Initially, William and Harry didn't realize how badly their dad was hurt. In fact, Charles recounted that when Harry saw him lying there in the aftermath of the fall, he joked, "Oh, Papa's just snoring." Although the three shared a good laugh about the memory, they must've been feeling equally thankful that Charles made it through the frightening ordeal.

This wasn't the first time that Charles suffered a major injury while playing the sport. In 1990, the monarch broke his arm during another cursed polo match (via United Press International).

Queen Elizabeth II once sported a broken wrist

From coronations to garden parties, life at Buckingham Palace is steeped in all sorts of royal traditions. But of all the royal family rituals, equestrianism seems to top the list. Whether they're hunting, playing polo, or enjoying a leisurely ride, the royals are regularly seen in the company of their trusty horses. So it's no surprise that the noble family has suffered a ton of riding injuries throughout the years. That's exactly what happened to Queen Elizabeth II in 1994, when a tumble off of her horse resulted in a broken wrist.

According to The Independent, the ironclad monarch dusted herself off and immediately climbed back onto her horse. In fact, Her Majesty was so unbothered by the injury that she waited a full 24 hours before having it examined. What the queen had brushed off as a nagging bruise actually turned out to be a fractured wrist. At the time, a spokesperson for Buckingham Palace addressed the injury, announcing that it was "an inconvenient thing" (via Associated Press). In another slick move, the queen opted to wear a blue silk scarf instead of a sling, turning her injury into quite the fashion statement (via Hello! Magazine).

Although her health had started to deteriorate by the summer of 2022, the queen's passion for horses was unwavering. Queen Elizabeth continued to ride horses until shortly before her death at age 96, per The Sun.

Prince Philip was injured a lot

For most of his long life, Prince Philip was a fervent athlete with a passion for hockey, sailing, and cricket, per royal family's website. However, it seems that nothing could compare to the monarch's love of polo. For His Royal Highness, polo was a source of pride and achievement, but it was also a source of injuries that would affect the course of his life. The 1960s were a bustling decade in Prince Philip's shining polo career, as the nobleman won several tournaments, per PoloLine. But, those years also brought on a string of injuries, including a broken ankle, a nasty laceration, and a pulled ligament. Unfortunately, some of his polo injuries gave way to arthritis. The agonizing joint condition is what ultimately led Prince Philip to retire from polo in 1971 (via Sky News).

In February of 2015, Prince Philip raised concerns when he stepped out with a noticeably bruised eye. It was the latest of several black eyes that the prince had donned around that time. Even more alarming was the fact that his Royal Highness wore butterfly stitches on his ear — another sign of a harrowing injury (via The Daily Mail). Representatives of Buckingham Palace remained relatively tight-lipped about Prince Philip's shiner, but many assumed that it was caused by a fall.