Meghan Markle is known for her feminist credentials, so it is unsurprising that she chose a female-founded hospital for the birth of her new baby girl, Lilibet Diana Mountbatten-Windsor, who was born on Friday at 11:40.
The Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital was founded in 1888 by a group of 50 pioneering women when the city’s population only numbered 5,000. The not-for-profit organisation delivers 2,400 babies annually, with a natural birth reportedly costing £10,000 and a Caesarian section priced at £20,000. It is a 10-minute drive from the royal couple’s Montecito home, so is also one of the closest hospitals.
The beautiful building is designed in the Spanish colonial style, a popular architectural look in the California area. As with the Portland in London, where Meghan gave birth to her first child Archie, the hospital feels more like a hotel, with room service, luxurious bedrooms and wifi. There is also a pantry, which you can stock up ahead of the birth with things you might want, and a balcony for fresh air. The best addition though, is the hot tub, which can be used for hydrotherapy.
The hospital was reportedly where singer Katy Perry chose to give birth to her child with actor Orlando Bloom last year. The Hollywood stars are new friends of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, as Harry revealed recently on Dax Shepard’s Armchair Expert show.
Meghan had planned to have a home birth for her first child, Archie, in May 2019, but complications meant she had to be taken to the Portland instead. It was thought she would choose a home birth for her second child, and is not known if that was the intended plan or whether she was always booked in to the Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital.
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