On June 4, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle welcomed their second child, Lilibet “Lili” Diana Mountbatten-Windsor, at Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital in California, US. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex announced the arrival of their daughter in a statement posted on the couple’s Archewall foundation website. The statement said that the little one was born on Friday at 11.40 am (PDT) and weighed 7 lbs and 11 oz at the time.
The newborn’s name has made headlines as it pays tribute to her great-grandmother, the Queen and her late grandmother, Princess Diana. Lilibet is the Queen’s family nickname. While much has been said about their daughter’s name, there is little known about Meghan’s choice for the Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital.
According to the hospital’s website, the cottage was founded in 1888 by 50 women with a goal to provide better healthcare to their community and $6000 were raised for the town’s first hospital. It further explained that the name “Cottage” was chosen based on the idea of constructing individual cottages for various departments but as it was expensive, so a 25-bed redwood building was constructed.
It was officially opened on December 8, 1891, with Mary Ashley elected its first board president and the healthcare facility has served amidst some challenging times like the 1918 flu epidemic, 1925 earthquakes, and various floods and fires and delivered tens of thousands of babies into the community.
According to the hospital’s official Instagram page, the first nurses used to double as housekeepers, working three, 8-hour shifts daily.
In 2014, Soliant Health, which ranks US hospitals annually, named it one of the most beautiful in the country.
Santa Barbara Hospital, which delivers almost 2,400 babies a year, is roughly a 10-minute drive from the Royal’s couple’s house in Montecito. Decorated with local artists’ artwork, it is well-known to be equipped with Wi-Fi and a jacuzzi with birthing rooms.