More recently, several prominent members of the Royal Family have visited the charity or charity projects to show their support for its work with vulnerable children. In 1918, Queen Mary, wife of George V, saw Foundling Hospital pupils at work in their classrooms while her son Prince Albert, later George VI, was photographed in 1919 inspecting the Foundling Hospital juvenile organisation.
In 1926, King George V and Queen Mary were photographed together at the Foundling Hospital. Later in 1936, Queen Mary visited again with her grandchildren, Princesses Elizabeth and Margaret. Also in 1936, the year Prince Albert succeeded to the throne as George VI, his wife, the Duchess of York (Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother) attended the Foundling Hospital Day Nursery and Toddlers Play Centre. In 1949, it was the turn of her daughter, Princess Margaret who visited the Coram offices on the site of the current Foundling Museum.
Her Majesty, The Queen visited the Thomas Coram Foundation for Children Children’s Centre in 1975 and Coram Campus again in 2009 when she was entertained by a choir of children singing Handel’s ‘Hallelujah Chorus’. In 1990 Diana, Princess of Wales, met families at one of Coram’s outreach projects.
On December 5, The Queen visited again and opened a new building dedicated to children and named in her honour – The Queen Elizabeth II Centre. During her visit, The Queen met Edward Newton, aged 102, the oldest surviving pupil of the Foundling Hospital. The occasion was particularly poignant for Mr. Newton who also met King George V and Queen Mary during their 1926 visit to the Foundling Hospital.
Mr Newton said to The Queen: “I remember when your grandmother and grandfather came to visit.” The Queen replied: “That is a very special memory”. Mr. Newton later added: “I remember their open carriage arriving and waiting in line to greet them so it is wonderful to meet Her Majesty today. I grew up in the Foundling Hospital and I am grateful that I was given a chance to lead a good life. I came today because I felt I owed it to Coram. I am very happy to support the great work they are doing to help children.”