On Thursday it was announced that Princess Eugenie is now the patron of the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital (RNOH) Charity. The Princess visited the hospital with her father, the Duke of York, who is the patron of RNOH, and her husband, Jack Brooksbank, to open their newly redeveloped Stanmore Building.
“This hospital is part of who I am after being operated on when I was 12 for scoliosis,” she said in a slide on her Instagram story. She also shared a photo of her great-grandmother, Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother, visiting the hospital in 1931.
The new building features five floors, 119 beds, and state-of-the-art equipment. The original Stanmore Building was demolished in 2016, and 95 per cent of it was recycled.
The £50 million Stanmore Building was partly financed by the RNOH Charity’s Redevelopment Appeal, which Princess Eugenie has been the patron of since 2012. According to the RNOH, the Princess announced “an immediate focus on raising funds to provide similar enhancements for another major new building which is scheduled to open in 2020.”
Princess Eugenie, the Duke of York, and Mr Brooksbank met with patients and staff, including some of the medical professionals who cared for Eugenie when she was a child undergoing surgery.
They also met a special member of the team – a 4-foot-tall robot called Pepper. “Pepper will be based on the children’s ward and is able to converse with people, take instructions, play games and is even capable of face recognition and reading human emotions,” said the RNOH in a press release. “This is a first for an NHS hospital.”
As director of gallery Hauser & Wirth, the Princess also played a part in the building’s artwork. Twenty-one pieces of art were loaned to the RNOH by the gallery and are installed in waiting areas of the new building’s four wards. The Stanmore Building also features a colourful 33-foot-long hanging installation in the atrium called ‘Tribe’ which was designed by Studio Roso.
Princess Eugenie gave a short speech announcing her patronage of the charity moving forward before officially opening the new building alongside her father.
“It is such an honour to be here today, I feel like my bones and my blood are a part of this building. I learnt on this visit today that we all share in something with this building because we care, and so to us it is very important that we are here opening this new building and that Jack, as my newly married husband on his first event has been able to come and see where I had my operation,” said the Princess.
“It is such a huge honour and thank you to everyone who has been a part of this because the Stanmore Building is such a brilliant building and it represents RNOH’s ethos. Today I’m delighted to say that I’m now Patron of the RNOH Charity.”