<p>Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital, pictured on the centre’s website, is a top trauma centre in California</p>

Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital, pictured on the centre’s website, is a top trauma centre in California

Hospital where Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s daughter born was founded by women in 1888

Lilibet Diana Mountbatten-Windsor arrived at Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital

Alice Hutton
Sunday 06 June 2021 20:32
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Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s baby daughter was born in a California hospital founded by 50 women more than 130 years ago, which comes equipped with “room service and a jacuzzi”.

On Friday, June 4 Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital, about two hours outside Los Angeles, welcomed Lilibet “Lili” Diana Mountbatten-Windsor, named in honour of her great grandmother, the Queen, 95, whose nickname in childhood was Lilibet, and her grandmother, the late Princess Diana.

She arrived at 11.40am on 4 June weighing 7lbs 11oz.

The facility was first opened in 1888 by 50 women who “recognised it was time for the growing community to have a hospital”, and is now a 450-bed acute care, teaching hospital and trauma centre.

Today the hospital, which was rebuilt in 2012 in the Spanish Colonial style and is a 10-minute drive from the couple’s Montecito home, welcomes an estimated 2,400 babies a year in one of the starriest neighbourhoods with Oprah Winfrey, Jennifer Lopez and Tom Cruise, reportedly living there. 

On the website it boasts that it was recently voted “one of the most beautiful hospitals” in the US, “with artwork from local artists decorating the halls, it feels more like a home than a hospital.”

A woman pictured with her newborn in one of Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital’s birthing suites, in a photo released on their website

Each room is equipped with wifi, TV, “snacks from our pantry”, meals “from a menu, like room service” and a “jacuzzi”, according to their website and online video tour. 

The video notes: “Our jacuzzi tubs are a fantastic way to offer comfort and massage during your labour” but are “not licensed for birthing.”

It added: “Each of the Birthing Rooms has a recliner, a rocking chair, and a sofa to compliment [sic] the birthing bed with a generous number of pillows for comfort.”

Whilst cost varies from hospital to hospital, a study by The University of California San Francisco found that most women paid between $3,296 to $37,227 (£2327) for an uncomplicated, natural birth, with costs rising to $71,000 (£50,138) for a C-section.

At Cottage Hospital a price list notes that a “phase four birth” and recovery costs $10,077, with add-ons like epidurals costing $1,421.

In contrast, the couple’s first child, Archie, was born at The Portland in London, one of the UK’s leading private maternity hospitals, where costs range from £6,760 for natural births to £8,110 for c-sections.

It is known to attract celebrity mums with Victoria Beckham and Kate Winslet also giving birth there as well as Princess Eugenie, and an upmarket menu including cream teas and lobster.

A statement published on the couple’s Archewell website, following the birth of their daughter, said: “On June 4, we were blessed with the arrival of our daughter, Lili.

“She is more than we could have ever imagined, and we remain grateful for the love and prayers we’ve felt from across the globe.

“Thank you for your continued kindness and support during this very special time for our family.”

The new arrival is the Queen’s 11th great-grandchild, joining big brother Archie and Prince William’s children George, Charlotte and Louis, arriving shortly after the loss of her husband the Duke of Edinburgh.

The Duchess had announced her pregnancy on 14 February, 2021, after revealing she had suffered a miscarriage a year after Archie was born.

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