The family travel to Verbier every year for the half-term break
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Eugenie (left) was looking relaxed and content as she enjoyed a break with her parents and sister Beatrice

20 FEBRUARY 2003
The nerve-wracking surgery that Princess Eugenie underwent last year seemed long behind her as she enjoyed some quality time with her family in Switzerland. The young Princess joined her parents and sister Beatrice for a skiing break in the Alps this week.

Unfortunately Eugenie has not yet recovered sufficiently to hit the piste herself, but she seemed to be having a wonderful time in the exclusive resort of Verbier. "She's still banned from skiing," said her mother. "We can't afford to take any chances."

The 12-year-old had a seven-hour operation last October to correct a curvature of the spine. She admitted she still feels quite stiff in the mornings, but says she loosens up over the course of the day.

The young royal has been enjoying one of the resort's heated pools while her parents and sister take to the slopes. The family was together when they rang in Andrew's 43rd birthday on Wednesday, however. And the touching pictures of Sarah helping Eugenie also show that the Duke and Duchess are giving her all the support she needs.

Fergie recently described the distress she went through after finding out that Eugenie would need an operation. "We thought it was a small curvature, but it was mammoth," said Sarah. "Her bones had oscillated to the degree that by the time she was 18, she would have been a hunchback. It was just horrendous. My little girl was in the operating theatre for seven hours." If the most recent photos are anything to go by, the young Princess is well on the road to recovery.

princess eugenie, sarah ferguson
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