The Duchess of Cambridge, who stayed there three nights this week, was the latest in a long line of royal inpatients.
Note: This article is from the Guardian.
The King Edward VII hospital, in a quiet street in Marylebone, central London, describes itself as "London's foremost private hospital".
Its website publicises the "over 58 en-suite, private, air-conditioned rooms" and "outstanding nurses, first class staff and handpicked consultants", but not its being the hospital of choice for members of the royal family when they fall ill. Its patron is, fittingly, the Queen.
The Duchess of Cambridge, who stayed there three nights this week, was the latest in a long line of royal inpatients. Prince Philip was treated for a bladder infection in June, spending five nights there after standing for hours in the cold during the Diamond Jubilee river pageant.
The Queen herself had surgery in 2003 to remove a torn cartilage from her right knee and lesions from her face and the Queen Mother had a fishbone removed from her throat in 1982, a cataract removed from her left eye and two hip operations there in the 1990s.
Princess Margaret, who had several strokes before she died in 2002, was also a patient.
Prince Charles had a hernia operation at the hospital in 2003, and the Duchess of Cornwall had a hysterectomy there in 2009. In 2001 the Countess of Wessex had surgery there, after she was diagnosed with a potentially fatal ectopic pregnancy.
The hospital was founded in 1899 by Agnes Keyser, a mistress of the then Prince of Wales – soon to be King Edward VII, as a hospital for sick and wounded officers returning from the Boer war.
Its close links with the military, once revealed in its "hospital for officers" tag, survive, and grants programmes are open to "all uninsured serving and ex-service personnel and their spouses, ex-spouses and widow(er)s".
Subsidies through its charity cover up to 100% of the fees. There are currently around 1,800 Friends of the hospital who contribute £40 a year.
The hospital was originally in Keyser's home in Grosvenor Crescent, Belgravia, where she and her sister Fanny ran it under the then prince's patronage. It moved several times before settling in its present home in Beaumont Street in 1948.
The hospital was officially named King Edward VII's Sister Agnes in 2000. Its website says: "Our nursing staff are some of the very best and – unlike many hospitals – the vast majority are permanently employed by us.
"We have one of the best nurse to patient ratios in the country. Patients are cared for by highly trained nurses to ensure truly excellent care. To date, we've never had a case of hospital acquired MRSA or C-difficile."
The hospital also says its kitchen is widely regarded as one of the best in the medical sector.
Its most recent report on feedback from patients – covering April to June this year – says 97% of patients rated overall care as good or better. Patients were also "very satisfied" with the manner of hospital staff, catering, privacy and comfort of rooms.
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