The Duchess of Cambridge visited the Great Ormont Street Hospital (GOSH) to officially open their brand new Mittal Children’s Medical Centre earlier today. HM The Queen is their Royal Patron and Diana, Princess of Wales, has been their President until her death in 1997. It is very much a possibility that the Duchess will become the Royal patron for the hospital in the future, as the GOSH’s Royal Patron has been a very high profile Royal from their foundation in 1852. Queen Victoria was the first Royal Patron.
On arrival she was greeted by patient Ava (9) who presented the Duchess with a teddy bear.
The new part of the hospital that was opened by HRH today completes The Mittal Children’s Medical Centre and is part of the ongoing redevelopment of the hospital. It is the hospital’s new facility to give the best care to young patients and provide their parents with a place to stay during the time that their child is in hospital. The brand new and very modern facilty is an opportunity to move children out of the old wards to new modern wards with ensuite rooms for the parents.
The Duchess first met with staff and discussed the benefits of having such a new state-of-the-art facility to use.
After meeting the staff, it was time for her to meet some of the patients and their parents, who were participating in an art activity. The kids were making drawings from the things that they liked most about their new rooms and facilities.
The Duchess went to visit some patients in the new rooms too and talked to them for a bit. It must have been great for the children and young people in the hospital to have such a famous visitor on their bedside. We can definitly hope it took their mind of the situation a bit for a while.
Following the visit to the patients, the Duchess met some of Great Ormond Street Hospital Charity’s key supporters and donors before the official opening. She also said a few words congratulating the hospital on their new facilities.
For the visit, the Duchess debuted a new coat by Boden and wore a familiar peach dress (we’ve seen it before in 2013) from an ‘independent dressmaker’, her Annoushka pearls, Emmy clutch and brown pumps.
In the afternoon, the Duchess also visited Bond Primary School in Mitcham to see the work of the Wimbledon Junior Tennis Initiative (WJTI). The Duchess is patron of the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club (AELTC) since December 2016. HM The Queen was patron of the organisation before.
The WJTI is the AELTC’s community tennis programme and it promotes the benefits of sports for children since 2001. Their team visits primary schools in the London area to offer free sessions of tennis. Children will be introduced to tennis in this way and thousands of kids have become members of the programme and receive free tennis lessons every week now. The programme also helps teachers in primary schools to get more knowledge about teaching exciting and productive physical education to kids. In this way, the organisation wants kids to get more active and healthy.
When the pupils greeted the Duchess, some couldn’t resist giving her a hug.. One day, when Catherine is HM The Queen, these kids will still remember this day!
As we could expect from her choice of clothes, the Duchess decided to participate in a tennis session at the school. She took part in some activities to improve hand-eye coordination and other skills associated with tennis.
She also had a chat with teachers, trainers and pupils about their experiences with the programme.
For this engagement, the Duchess choose a sporty outfit: a new white jacket by PlayBrave (with thanks to HRH Duchess Kate blog) and her Monreal pants. She also wore her Nike shoes and Annoushka pearls. We definitly had a great view on the baby bump today!