King Edward VII’s Hospital is a private hospital in Marylebone, in central London, often used by the Royal Family. The hospital was established in 1899 at the suggestion of the then Prince of Wales – the future King Edward VII – who would later become the hospital’s patron.
During the First World War, the hospital specialised in treating wounding officers. After the Second World War, the hospital moved from Grosvenor Crescent to Beaumont Street and was opened by Queen Mary.
In 1930, the hospital was awarded a Royal Charter, a formal grant issued by the monarch as a letters patent granting a right or power to an individual or a corporate entity. Often the charter is used to establish significant organisations like cities or universities. The Duke of Gloucester served as president from 1936 to 1974. Prince Edward, Duke of Kent, took over the role in 1975 and is still president.
In December 2012, the hospital received international attention when the Duchess of Cambridge was admitted for hyperemesis gravidarum, a pregnancy complication of severe nausea. While hospitalised, the Australian radio station 2Day FM made a hoax telephone to the hospital pretending to be The Queen and Prince Charles. During that call, they were able to obtain confidential information about the Duchess’s treatment.
The hospital later apologised and said security and privacy protocols would be reviewed. Two days after, the nurse who passed on the hoax call to another nurse in the Duchess’s private ward was found dead. Metropolitan Police described the incident as an “unexplained death.”
Most recently, the Duke of Edinburgh was hospitalised in February 2020 for what the palace said are “precautionary measures.” The hospitalisation was also noted to not be related to the coronavirus.
Other royal patients include Queen Elizabeth II, Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother and Prince Charles. In February 2002, Princess Margaret died at the hospital at 71 after suffering a stroke.