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British RoyalsThe Queen

The Queen carries out first public engagement since returning to London


The Queen met some special young patients when she returned to work Wednesday, officially opening the Royal National ENT and Eastman Dental Hospitals.

Wearing a vibrant purple coat and matching hat, Her Majesty was in excellent form as she toured the new specialist facility, which brought the Royal National Throat Nose and Ear Hospital and the Eastman Dental Hospital together under one roof.

The new £100 million hospital will host more than 220,000 appointments each year, and The Queen learned more about their work as she visited the adult dental treatment floor, the paediatric treatment floor, and the auditory implant centre.

Flag-waving, crown-wearing children and their families eagerly awaited The Queen’s arrival on the paediatric floor, where she met patients taking part in creative health play sessions overseen by nurses and play specialists.

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“These sessions are used to prepare children for treatment, often to help with pre-treatment anxiety, and to teach children about their condition,” according to University College London Hospitals (UCLH).

Her Majesty spoke with some children who received life-changing treatments, such as eight-year-old Lily, who has two cochlear implants to help her hear.

In a video shared by the Royal Family on Twitter, Lily told The Queen about the party she holds each year to celebrate her hearing, which Her Majesty called “splendid.”

A child getting braces fitted was assured by The Queen, who told him she had wires as a child and per The Telegraph, said, “I think it’s worth it, in the end.”

Before leaving, The Queen was presented with a posy by 11-year-old Aaliyah from Luton. Aaliyah was born with impaired hearing and wore hearing aids until last year when she had cochlear implant surgery.

“I can now hear many more sounds: raindrops, the wind blowing, the sound of leaves crunching under my feet, water running from the tap and a car engine running,” Aaliyah said in a UCLH press release. “These sounds were all new to me.”

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The new facility began treating patients in October 2019 and is one of the biggest specialist centres in Europe for dental, ear, nose, throat, hearing and balance services.

“It was a privilege to be able to show The Queen our new facility,” said Marcel Levi, chief executive of UCLH.

“I am immensely proud of our staff and the care we provide our patients. Our newest hospital has the very latest technology, new treatment rooms for complex ear, nose and throat procedures, dental chairs and imaging equipment. It can offer the world’s most advanced treatment and represents the NHS at its very best.”

About author

Kristin is Chief Reporter for Royal Central and has been following the British royal family for more than 30 years. Kristin has appeared in UK and U.S. media outlets discussing the British royals including BBC Breakfast, BBC World News, Sky News, the Associated Press, TIME, The Washington Post, and many others.