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Princess Kate opens life-changing unit at children's hospital in London - best photos

The Princess of Wales is patron of Evelina London

Kate at opening of new surgery unit
Phoebe Tatham
Phoebe TathamContent Writer
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The Princess of Wales visited Evelina London children's hospital on Tuesday to oficially open a new life-changing surgery unit. 

Kate, 41, toured the purpose-built Children's Day Surgery Unit, which has been designed so that patients and their families do not have to stay overnight.

princess kate in teal suit talking to woman© Getty Images
Princess Kate opened a new day surgery unit

The royal, who has been patron of Evelina London since 2018, got the chance to directly hear from families and staff about the impact the unit is already having. 

Princess Kate was all smiles during her visit © Getty Images
Princess Kate was all smiles during her visit

Upon arrival, Kate spoke to 9-year-old Ella and Chloe, ten, who is the unit's first patient. Take a look at their sweet encounter in the video below... 

WATCH: Princess Kate meets young patients at Evelina London

The new facility will transform care for children and young people who need surgery by providing everything they need in one place, delivering a family-focused experience which will enable the organisation to treat up to an additional 2,300 children a year.

Housed in the state of-the-art Children's Day Treatment Centre, the unit has two brand new operating theatres. Families will benefit from a one-day service, with pre-surgery checks, the operation, and recovery all taking place seamlessly in one purposely designed space, on the same day.  

Chatting to one family in a pre-op cubicle, Kate said: "It’s always nerve-wracking as a parent; I’ve taken mine into hospital for different things. You’re always at least worried but you’ve got a great team (here)."

kate wearing teal suit for outing in london© Getty Images
Kate looked beautiful in blue

For the special outing, the mother-of-three turned heads in a tailored teal suit crafted by Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen complete with cigarette trousers and a double-breasted blazer. 

In keeping with her monochromatic look, Kate layered up with a simple teal knitted top and slipped on a pair of navy court shoes. 

Kate at the official opening of the Evelina London Children's Day Surgery Unit at London's Guy's and St Thomas' Hospital © Getty Images
Kate at the official opening of the Evelina London Children's Day Surgery Unit at London's Guy's and St Thomas' Hospital

As for hair and makeup, the royal wore her bouncy chestnut tresses down loose in tumbling waves and highlighted her features with a touch of radiant bronzer and rosy blusher. 

For a touch of sparkle, Kate elevated her get-up with a pair of glittering sapphire earrings and a matching pendant. Sublime!

Kate Middleton cutting ribbon at Evelina London© Getty
Kate opened the new children's day surgery

The royal appeared in high spirits as she cut through a pink ribbon to officially open the new surgery unit. She could be seen beaming from ear to ear and even let loose a joyful laugh while surrounded by a crowd of fascinated onlookers.

kate chatting to group of people © Getty Images
The mother-of-three joined Chief Executive Gubby Ayida

During her visit, Kate also viewed some of the space-themed artwork throughout the building, which was chosen and designed in collaboration with staff and patients to match the natural world theme of Evelina London's main children's hospital building. 

two women wearing teal outfits© Getty Images
Kate and Chief Executive Gubby Ayida twinned in teal

At the end of her visit, the Princess of Wales received a stunning bunch of flowers teeming with eucalyptus, white roses and delicate purple flowers. 

Gubby Ayida, Chief Executive of Evelina London, said: "We were thrilled to be joined by our Royal Patron, The Princess of Wales, to officially open our Children’s Day Surgery Unit. We put children, young people and families at the heart of everything we do, and you especially feel that when coming into our new unit. It was lovely to have this recognised with The Princess of Wales today [Tuesday 5 December], who values the importance of having a supported and nurturing environment for children through her work with The Royal Foundation Centre for Early Childhood."

woman receiving flowers from child © Getty Images
The Princess of Wales received a beautiful bouquet of flowers at the end of her visit

On one of her last public visits to Evelina London in January 2020, she got creative with patients during an arts and crafts workshop.

One little boy captured an amazing candid shot with his polaroid camera of Kate holding up a homemade rag wreath. And during the late Queen Elizabeth II's Platinum Jubilee celebrations in June 2022, the royal paid a private visit to patients

Kate Middleton smiles during speech at Shaping Us National Symposium © Getty Images
Princess Kate launched her Shaping Us project at the start of 2023

Over the past few years, the Princess of Wales has been working hard to drive home the importance of our early years. And in January 2023, she launched a campaign called 'Shaping Us' which aims to improve our understanding of the importance of early childhood in shaping adulthood and society as a whole.

HELLO! understands that Kate sees the early years and The Royal Foundation Centre for Early Childhood as her "life's work". The campaign has the support of several famous faces, including the likes of Professor Green, Fearne Cotton, Giovanni Fletcher, Zara McDermott and Leah Williamson.

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