If the hospital name sounds familiar, it is probably because it has long been a charity supported by the Royal Family. The Queen is its royal patron and Princess Diana was President of the Hospital. The hospital was opened in 1852 and its Southwood building was opened in 1938 by Prince William’s Great Grandparents, King George VI and The Queen Mother. Great Ormond Street reports that every day 618 patients arrive at the hospital from across the UK.
The hospital specializes in the treatment of children with rare and complex conditions; many of them coping with life-limiting or life-threatening conditions. Kate was at the hospital to officially open the Mittal Children’s Medical Centre, part of the establishment’s ongoing redevelopment. The Duchess was welcomed by 9-year-old Ava.
Ava is a patient at the hospital; she has cystic fibrosis. Apparently Kate was intrigued by the young lady’s sneakers; more from this People story:
Kate Middleton is normally known for her own style choices. But on Wednesday, she was doing the admiring, as she met a little girl with sparkly shoes at London’s Great Ormond Street Hospital.
Princess Kate, 36, enthusiastically pointed at Ava Watt’s fancy silvery sneakers after the nine-year-old girl greeted the royal at the hospital….
My guess is they are the motion activated light-up style shoes that start blinking (probably not the right word) when the wearer takes a step.
Siofra Brennan has more on Ava in her Daily Mail article:
Ava, who lives just around the corner from the hospital, said Kate told her the teddy bears will be ‘a lovely present’.
She also gave Kate a thank you card with a poem inside which said GOSH ‘gives hope to so many children and their families’ and described it as a ‘magical place’. Ava’s mother Kylie Watt, 41, an opera singer who performed alongside James Corden in One Chance, also met Kate and said she thinks the duchess found the visit ’emotional’.
This Evening Standard story offers additional info on the new building.
As part of an ambitious series of improvements, GOSH has transformed the Mittal Children’s Medical Centre to provide more modern accommodation so that parents and carers can stay by their children’s bedsides.
The refurbished second clinical building is now home to a new surgery centre alongside inpatient wards for medical specialisms like infectious diseases and cardio-respiratory problems.
Here you see Kate with 4-year-old Rafael Chana.
The Sun‘s Jack Royston shared this video of Kate chatting with Ghana. While they were talking apparently they spoke about food, and Kate mentioned that Princess Charlotte loves her olive pasta.
— Jack Royston (@Jack_Royston) January 17, 2018
Kate met patients and families to hear their personal reactions on how the new facilities have impacted their care and lives. Here she is with Oriel Gray, age 14 and her mother, Fiona.
More from the GOSH story about today’s opening:
Oriel is in hospital recovering from surgery to reconstruct her ear. Oriel said of the meeting: “She was really friendly and very beautiful. I told her that the hospital feels like a second home because my mum can stay with me and I have my own bathroom. As a teenager that’s really important. The new ward is amazing and all the nurses and doctors make you feel welcome. After my surgery yesterday, it was great to take my mind off everything. She said I must be very brave.”
Kate spent time in one of the new playrooms, here she is chatting with a 14-year-old patient named Priscilla.
Kate with nurses.
Kensington Palace posted this video of Kate speaking about the new building.
It’s been wonderful to meet so many families and young people. I’ve been so inspired by their bravery and courage at such a difficult time. – HRH
— Kensington Palace (@KensingtonRoyal) January 17, 2018
Here is the text of Kate’s remarks via the hospital’s Facebook page.
“I just wanted to say a huge thank you for having me here today. It’s been my first trip to Great Ormond Street Hospital and I’ve been so impressed with everything I’ve seen and the scale of the work that’s going on here. It’s been wonderful to meet so many families and young people and I’ve been so inspired by their bravery and courage at such a difficult time.”
It is probably not a heavy piece as it is 100% cotton. The coat is tailored with a snug bodice and an only slightly fuller skirt; it also features oversize buttons and ruffled trim at the collar, cuffs and pockets. Product descriptions say it is designed to fit just below the knee, but none of the photos I’ve seen online show it at that length, nor does Kate’s hit at that point.
If making your first Boden purchase on the US site the coat is 20% off with promo code 4C6L, making the price $264. Thank you to Mallory for that tip, and also to Sara who reports the UK promo code is H6C5. The coat is also available at John Lewis ($311.50 + £11 delivery fee, roughly $15 at today’s exchange rates). It also comes in a rather flat navy. Our thanks to Emma for her speedy ID of the coat.
Many have suggested the Duchess was wearing a dress we’ve seen (partially) previously. Here is a look at the fabric, although it is difficult to discern much from these close-ups.
The dress people are thinking of was worn beneath a Tara Jarmon coat for an April 20 visit to Naomi House Children’s Hospice. At that time, Kensington Palace said the frock was made by “an undisclosed dressmaker.”
Kate carried her Emmy London Natasha clutch in brown suede.
UPDATE: A WKW friend who wishes to remain anonymous suggest Kate is wearing the Pinpoint by Russell and Bromley. We know she has worn that style in red, so it’s certainly a possibility. I have an inquiry in with Russell & Bromley to see if this is the case.
Several people mentioned that Kate wasn’t wearing her engagement ring; this is because of a “minimal jewelry” policy at the hospital. (With thanks to an email from a WKWer who would like to remain anonymous.)
Because of the ongoing conversation about Kate keeping her coat on indoors, I thought I would share a portion of an email I sent in response to a question from a reader about the topic:
My personal belief is that Kate may well be someone who gets chilled very easily…It’s possible she is modeling herself after the Queen, who frequently keeps her coat on indoors when doing engagements away from the Palace. HM doesn’t wear them when doing investitures or having meetings, receiving diplomats, or dining somewhere, but on most other engagements, her coat is on.It could be that Kate just feels better having the coat on, or doesn’t want to deal with taking it off. I understand people wondering about it and asking if it looks rude to her hosts for her to leave the coat on at engagements. My speculation is that it probably doesn’t bother them…
I will update with more info and photos but want to get started on today’s second post covering Kate’s Wimbledon Junior Tennis Initiative engagement at Bond Primary School. Here is a sneak peek of Kate arriving at the school.
UPDATE: Here are the links I wasn’t able to get published this morning.
Kate brought back a favorite coat for today’s visit to Coventry.