Royal Support

Bristol Children's Hospital has a long history of Royal support and we are delighted that many Royal visits celebrated our fundraising achievements to support sick children from all over the South West and beyond.

Queen Victoria - 1897

The Hospital is first granted Royal status by Queen Victoria in 1897.

King George V and Queen Mary - 1910

In 1910 King George V and Queen Mary consent to become the very first Royal Patrons of the Hospital, which is afterwards known as ‘The Bristol Royal Hospital for Sick Children and Women’ until the 1940s.

Queen Mary - 8th March 1940

During the Second World War the Hospital is visited by its Royal Patron Queen Mary, wife of King George V, who meets the patients and staff. The Hospital windows are blacked out to hide light from the windows and protect it from being a target for enemy air raids, but in December 1940 is finally hit by a bomb – all children and staff are safely evacuated with no casualties.

Queen Elizabeth, The Queen Mother - 28th October 1966

The Queen Mother visits Bristol Children’s Hospital to celebrate its 100th anniversary. As part of the festivities she opens a new building housing Out-Patients, Casualty, X-Ray, and Pathology Departments – the first major extension of the Hospital for 80 years, and much-delayed due to the Second World War, when the Hospital was badly damaged during an air raid.

Diana, Princess of Wales - 4th February 1983

Diana, Princess of Wales, opens a new Intensive Care Unit at Bristol Children’s Hospital. Over 2,000 people gather outside the Hospital to see the Princess, and inside she meets patients, staff, and children from local schools who have fundraised for the Hospital, including patient  cot mobile of coloured shapes, made by patient Katie Harris, aged 6, for Prince William, and also receives a teddy bear for the royal nursery.


The Duchess of Kent - 16th March 1988

The Duchess of Kent opens a new Bone Marrow Transplant Unit at Bristol Children’s Hospital, one of the first in the country. The Unit features four high-dependency isolation cubicles equipped with specialist air filters and televisions to keep children entertained.

 After the Duchess’s visit, The Palace writes "Her Royal Highness was especially pleased to have partaken in the official opening of the new Bone Marrow Transplant Unit and to have seen for herself the happy atmosphere created between the children and the hospital staff in the new wing."

His Royal Highness, The Prince of Wales - 1999

The Prince of Wales visits Bristol to view the plans for the new Bristol Children’s Hospital on Upper Maudlin Street and endorses The Grand Appeal by inviting donors, guests and staff to visit Highgrove for a special reception, including a tour of the gardens.

His Royal Highness, The Prince of Wales - 2001

The Prince of Wales performs the opening ceremony for the new state-of-the-art Bristol Children’s Hospital on Upper Maudlin Street and meets patients in the Cardiac Unit, Surgical Unit and the Play Centre.

The building is the very first purpose-built children’s hospital in the South West, and the first to open in the UK for 50 years, with The Grand Appeal funding £12million towards its £30million cost.

The Princess Royal - 2004

The Princess Royal visits the Hospital to open a dedicated paediatric MRI scanner funded by The Grand Appeal at a cost of £1.3 million: the first of its kind in the UK. The scanning suite is specifically decorated with children in mind, with a fun sea theme to help young patients stay relaxed.

Her Royal Highness, The Countess of Wessex - 2012

The Grand Appeal celebrates raising £1 million through its Cots for Tots Appeal, and Her Royal Highness Sophie, Countess of Wessex GCVO visits Bristol to open the new Cots for Tots Intensive Care Unit at St Michael’s Hospital.

She also opens Cots for Tots House, a 12-bedroom House providing free family accommodation for the parents of critically ill babies in the Intensive Care Unit.

His Royal Highness, The Duke of Cambridge March - 2015

The Grand Appeal hosts Shaun in the City, an arts trail of two cities across London and Bristol, featuring 120 individually designed Shaun the Sheep sculptures to raise money for Bristol Children's Hospital. Prince William pictured, decorates a Shaun in the City sculpture in China.