Queen's youngest granddaughter breaks arm in horse riding accident forcing the Countess of Wessex to cancel official visit
19:30 GMT, 11 April 2012
Prince Edward's daughter, Lady Louise Mountbatten-Windsor is recovering at home after breaking her arm in a riding accident.
The Queen's eight-year-old granddaughter fell from her pony at the Queen's estate at Windsor Castle this morning.
After being released from hospital earlier today, Lady Louise, who was a bridesmaid at her cousin Prince William’s wedding last year, is now at home with her left arm in a cast.
The Queen out riding in Windsor Great Park on Easter Monday last year with her youngest granddaughter Lady Louise
Her worried mother, the Countess of
Wessex, immediately pulled out of an official visit to a cancer hospital
in Manchester to be at her daughter’s side.
Prince Edward went ahead with the long-planned
engagement at The Christie in Withington, however, after being told his
daughter had not suffered any serious injuries.
It is understood that she will be
visited at Bagshot Park by the Queen who has been kept informed at all
times about her condition.
Palace sources said she was wearing a hard hat and a safety back brace at the time of the accident.
Fortunately doctors have told her worried parents that she will not need further surgery.
A Buckingham Palace spokesman
said:'Lady Louise broke her left arm after falling from her pony while
riding at Windsor this morning. She has been treated by doctors and is
now resting at home.
'The Countess of Wessex was supposed to go to Manchester today with the Earl but understandably stayed with her daughter.'
A firm favourite of the Queen, Lady Louise, who is ninth in line to the throne, has inherited her grandmother’s love of riding and has been taught by the monarch and her grooms from an early age.
She is a frequent visitor to the royal mews at Windsor Castle where she stables her beloved white pony, which is just a short drive away from the family home at Bagshot Park.
The Countess of Wessex returned to Berkshire to look after her eight-year-old daughter Lady Louise
Although the Queen stubbornly refuses
to swap her traditional headscarf for a riding hat even at the age of
85, she does insist that her grandchildren wear safety headgear – which
may have helped save Louise from serious injury.
Last year the Queen gave permission
for a photograph of herself riding with her youngest grand-daughter and
her brother, James, Viscount Severn, then three, in the bluebells at
Windsor Great Park, illustrating the closeness of their relationship.
Buckingham Palace refused
to confirm whether the accident took place at Windsor or whether the
Queen was present when it happened.
But a spokesman confirmed that the young royal has been taken to an undisclosed hospital for checks after falling from her pony.
They said she was not seriously
injured but the Countess, like any concerned mother, had remained with
Starring role: Prince Harry and Lady Louise Windsor waves to the crowds at the wedding of Prince William and the Duchess of Cambridge last April
A Palace spokesman said: ‘We can confirm Lady Louise fell off her pony, she's fine and she's being checked out at hospital.’
Lady Louise was last seen in public at the traditional Easter service at St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle, on Sunday with the Queen and other senior royals.
She was a much long-for child for Edward and Sophie, who suffered the heart-break of a life-threatening ectopic pregnancy two years before she was conceived.
Even then her birth was not without drama.
Born four weeks prematurely in an emergency caesarean operation, Sophie lost nine pints of blood during labour and was said to be minutes from death.
Difficult birth: The Earl and Countess of Wessex leave with newborn Lady Louise from Frimley Park Hospital in Surrey. She was born four weeks prematurely and Sophie was said to be minutes from death
Louise spent the first two weeks of her life in a specialist baby unit and, according to friends, her mother was in a 'constant state of tears and tension' until they were re-united.
It later emerged that Louise, who is rarely seen in public, suffers from extropia, a rare eye condition that has left her with a slight squint. It is understood that she has already undergone surgery for the condition but may require more.
The Countess of Wessex, another keen horserider, was herself involved in a serious riding accident just days before last year’s royal wedding.
Sophie plunged from her mount while hacking in Windsor Great Park, where it is also stabled, and was taken to hospital.
After undergoing an x-ray, medics at the Princess Margaret Hospital in Windsor discovered she had broken a rib and badly bruised several others.
She was sent home with painkillers and told to rest as much as possible.
Despite her pain she attended a pre-wedding dinner as well as the ceremony itself.