The Prince of Wales, The Duchess of Cornwall and The Countess of Wessex made visits to hospitals today, doing their royal part to bring awareness and recognition to two worthy institutions.
The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall began their day by splitting up and visiting different departments within the Chelsea Children’s Hospital, while The Countess of Wessex visited Frimley Park Hospital in Surrey.
During his time at the Chelsea Children’s Hospital Prince, Charles had the opportunity to work with the Da Vinci Robot. The Da Vinci Robotis a truly innovative piece of equipment, as it mimics the movements of the human wrist allowing for a more precise surgery with less scarring and – as a result – quicker recovery time.
The robot it also a very new piece of equipment to the medical world. The first surgery in the UK using the Da Vinci robot took place in January 2014, when a 13-year-old boy had his gallbladder removed. Within a week, the boy was fully recovered, and no longer taking any type of pain medication.
Meanwhile, The Duchess of Cornwall spent the morning at the Chelsea Community Hospital School, where she visited with patients/students and staff. The purpose of the Chelsea Community Hospital School is to provide educational services to children who are longtime patients of Chelsea Children’s Hospital, so that they do not miss out on their education while ill.
Additionally, they serve as a resource for those children who do not necessarily need to be cared for in the hospital, but whose medical conditions cause attending mainstream school to be not an option.
After their respective solo visits, Camilla rejoined Prince Charles and also got to try her hand at the Da Vinci Robot in a mock robotic surgery, but joked that it was a good thing she wasn’t doing it for real. The Prince and The Duchess then jointly opened the Chelsea Children’s Hospital.
For her part today, The Countess of Wessex visited Frimley Park Hospital in Surrey, where she was on hand to open their Special Care Baby Unit.
“The service you provide is paramount and can literally make the difference between life and death,” she told staff.
This particular endeavor is near and dear to The Countess’s heart, as she herself delivered her two children at Frimley Park Hospital. In fact, today’s engagement made The Countess a bit emotional, with royal photographer Tim Rooke saying that she “burst into tears” as she thanked the staff of the Neo Natal unit for their care and expertise during her time there.
During the birth of her eldest child, Lady Louise, The Countess and baby nearly died when The Countess suffered from a placental abruption. Sophie underwent an emergency caesarean section, and the staff at Frimley Park Hospital were able to literally save her life and the life of Lady Louise, who was born prematurely.