Princess of Wales abdominal surgery: Royal history of The London Clinic where Kate is being treated

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The Princess of Wales being treated for abdominal surgery at The London Clinic - here’s a look at the private hospital’s royal history

Kensington Palace revealed earlier today that the Princess of Wales is recovering having undergone successful abdominal surgery. Kate will remain in hospital for 10-14 days and is not expected to return to royal duties until after Easter.

The exact reason behind the 42-year-old’s ‘planned procedure’ is being kept under wraps. A spokesperson said the Princess of Wales “appreciates the interest” the announcement will generate but “she hopes that the public will understand her desire to maintain as much normality for her children as possible; and her wish that her personal medical information remains private”. The spokesperson added: “Kensington Palace will, therefore, only provide updates on Her Royal Highness’ progress when there is significant new information to share”

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Carrying out Kate’s treatment is The London Clinic at 20 Devonshire Place. The private hospital was the brainchild of a group of Harley Street doctors who set out to plan a new nursing home using the highest medical standards of the day, “founded on the principles of providing excellence in one place”.

The latest inspection by the Care Quality Commission (CQC), carried out in June 2021, rated it as “good” overall and, according to the health watchdog, the hospital has about 23,000 inpatients a year, with a further 110,000 outpatients. It is registered to provide surgery as well as diagnostics and screening, treatment of disease, disorder or injury, management of supply of blood and blood-derived products.

The London Clinic where the Princess of Wales is being treated has a long royal history. Pictures: PA/CanvaThe London Clinic where the Princess of Wales is being treated has a long royal history. Pictures: PA/Canva
The London Clinic where the Princess of Wales is being treated has a long royal history. Pictures: PA/Canva

The facility can treat 155 conditions, with hundreds of treatments, tests and scans available. The building has seven main operating theatres and three additional theatres, as well as six specialty wards for surgeries in urology, gynaecology, thoracic surgery, orthopaedics and spinal procedures.

However, The London Clinic is perhaps best known for its royal history both treating members of the monarchy and seeing royalty opening new and upgraded facilities at the site.

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The London Clinic’s royal history

The London Clinic was officially opened by the then-Duke and Duchess of York in 1932. Since the 1980s, a number of facilities at the site have also been officially launched by other members of the royal family.

King Charles - then the Prince of Wales - opened the physiotherapy department in 1989, while Princess Margaret launched the MRI unit in 1991. In 2010, the late Queen unveiled a new cancer unit.

Past patients include the late Duke of Edinburgh Prince Philip and the late Queen’s younger sister Princess Margaret.

Famous patients at The London Clinic

Along with royalty, the hospital has also treated other famous faces. Actress Elizabeth Taylor was treated at the clinic after falling on a film set in the 1960s as well as taking care or former US president John F Kennedy.

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