Charles’s sporting injuries and minor operations over the years

The prince, who suffers from a bad back, gave up playing polo in 2005.

The Prince of Wales has always generally enjoyed good health – with most of his injuries due to his sporting pursuits.

Charles, 71, keeps active with hill walking and gardening, but does suffer from back pain, attributed to numerous falls from horses over the years while playing polo.

In March last year, as Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall began an official tour to the Caribbean, they were photographed by the paparazzi relaxing on a beach in Barbados in their swimming costumes.

Royal visit to Cornwall
The Prince of Wales walking near Boscastle National Trust Visitor Centre in 2019 (Ben Birchall/PA)

In 2008, he had a non-cancerous growth removed from the bridge of his nose in a minor, routine procedure, and in 2003 had a hernia operation at the private King Edward VII’s Hospital in London, the medical institution favoured by the royals.

The prince joked “Hernia today, gone tomorrow” to waiting media after being discharged the next day.

The Prince of Wales with a small plaster on the side of his nose after a minor procedure in 2008 (Barry Batchelor/PA)

A red velvet one is always placed on the prince’s chair during state banquets at Buckingham Palace.

Royal cushions
The seat cushions belonging to Charles as they arrived for a traditional Japanese Kubuki performance, at the Keio University in central Tokyo in 2008 (John Stillwell/PA)

“I don’t think I have ever needed an osteopath so much as I have today,” he joked.

“My back is not altogether geared to sitting on the floor so I may need some help on my way out.”

Southall temple
The Prince of Wales joked he found it difficult to sit on the floor while visiting the Sri Guru Singh Sabha Gurdwara Sikh Temple, in Southall in 2003 (PA)

He is patron of the regulatory body the General Osteopathic Council.

In the past he has urged health ministers to adopt a more holistic approach to tackling health problems.

He retired after more than 40 years of playing polo in 2005, having notched up an impressive array of injuries.

Charles playing polo in 1984 (PA)

A two-inch crescent scar on his left cheek bears witness to the narrow escape.

On another occasion, he was hit in the throat, causing him to lose his voice for 10 days.

Charles, with Harry in 1999, is also an accomplished skier (PA)

In 1986, skiing at Klosters on one of Europe’s most dangerous runs, he strayed off piste with his party and narrowly escaped the avalanche which killed a close friend, Major Hugh Lindsay, a former equerry to the Queen.

In 1990, he broke his right arm in a fall during a polo match.

The Prince and Princess of Wales leaving Cirencester Hospital after Charles broke his arm in 1990 (David Jones/PA)

In 1992, he had an operation to repair torn cartilage in his left knee – again after a polo injury.

In 1993 he was hurt again during a game of polo at Windsor, aggravating an old back injury.

He broke a rib when he tumbled from his horse in a hunting accident in 1998.

Charles hunting in 1995
The prince hunting with the Duke of Beaufort Hounds close to his home at Tetbury, Gloucestershire (Barry Batchelor/PA)

Three months later in October 1998, he was back in hospital undergoing laser keyhole surgery on his right knee cartilage due to wear and tear from years of sport and exercise.

In June 2001, he fractured a small bone in his shoulder after falling off his horse during a fox hunt in 2001.

A few months later in August 2001, he was knocked unconscious and taken to hospital when his horse threw him during a polo match.

He was stretchered off and taken by ambulance to hospital as a precautionary measure.

Charles has also strained tendons in his wrist while salmon fishing in Scotland, and injured himself gardening.

Charles planting a tree
The Prince of Wales planting a tree on an engagement (Andrew Milligan/PA)

Charles has told how as a child was rushed to Great Ormond Street Hospital to stop his appendix “exploding”.

The prince declared: “I got here just in time before the thing exploded and was happily operated on and looked after by the nurses.”

Charles’s appendix procedure took place in February 1962 when he was 13 and studying at Cheam School, near Newbury, Berkshire.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.