Following the sad passing of our Patron, Her Majesty The Queen, our chairman, Tessa Green, has written to His Majesty King Charles III to offer him deepest condolences on behalf of everyone at Moorfields Eye Hospital.
The Queen visited Moorfields on several occasions and, in this time of sadness and reflection, we would like to give thanks for her life and the years of support and dedication the Late Her Majesty gave us.
1955 - Queen Elizabeth II’s first royal visit
On 7 March 1955, the hospital was honoured by a visit from its Patron, Her Majesty the Queen, to mark our 150th anniversary. Her Majesty spent a long time at the hospital visiting many areas, including the children's ward, theatres and the outpatient departments and took tea in the board room, where she talked with hospital staff.
One of the Moorfields characters the Queen met was 81-year-old Nellie Atkins, who had worked at the hospital as a cleaner for 35 years.
1988 - Opening of the refurbished City Road Hospital
The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh visited the hospital for the official inauguration of the refurbished hospital at City Road on 26 October 1998.
Anita Aubrey, junior staff nurse at the time, said: “She came to the old children’s ward on the third floor at City Road. The children had all drawn pictures for her in the old play room. I was there when she was handed them and she promptly gave them to her lady in waiting for safe keeping.”
1999 - Grand Open Day, marking our century at City Road
Her Majesty The Queen visited the hospital, meeting staff and touring theatres and departments. Her Majesty also performed the unveiling of a commemorative plaque and our famous eye clock.
2007 - The opening of the Richard Desmond Children's Eye Centre (RDCEC)
Mally Scrutton, who was a paediatric matron when she met the Queen in 2007, says: “I was working the day the Queen opened the RDCEC. It was quite the event. I remember the security and protocol to this day. It was great to have the Queen as Moorfields’ Patron and it’s certainly a day many of us will remember. There were photos in OK magazine at the time, and we still have them on the ward 14 years later.”
Anita, by then a senior service improvement manager, added: “I remember the visit very well and very fondly, down to the planning, thinking who to invite and seeing the snipers on the buildings around the RDCEC.
“I had the privilege of actually being introduced to Her Majesty by our then chief executive, meeting her and showing her around the children’s ward on the first floor of RDCEC.
“I also introduced her to some of our families and children – and I even got my practiced curtsy wrong! We had to carefully write our biography, which was sent to Buckingham Palace before the visit.
“I have very fond recollections of The Queen and her visits. She will be missed.”
This thought is echoed by many, many staff (and patients) at Moorfields.
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