Royal support for Coram

Coram has enjoyed royal support since the early days.

It is thought that Queen Caroline, wife of King George II, knew about Thomas Coram’s campaign for abandoned children via the 21 Ladies of Quality and Distinction who signed his petition. She was certainly interested in projects aimed at supporting vulnerable women and children and after she died her husband signed the royal charter that established the Foundling Hospital.

The Royal Charter of 1739, which led to the establishment of The Foundling Hospital

Queen Caroline used her influence as wife of King George II to campaign for the Foundling Hospital

Queen Caroline by Godfrey Kneller (1646–1723) (studio of), © St Mary’s Guildhall, Coventry

Royal visits

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.”

Royal visits in pictures

View our slideshow with photos from royal visits to Coram through the years

  • King George V and Queen Mary 1926
  • The Duchess of York
  • Princess Margaret at Coram Offices
  • The Queen visits Coram in 1975
  • HRH Princess Diana's visit to a Coram outreach project
  • Britain's HM Queen Elizabeth II accompanied by HRH The Duke of Edinburgh visit Children's Charity, Coram in London.
  • The Queen meets Coram’s oldest pupil Edward Newton, 102 with the youngest child Mia, 14 months, with fathers James and Alexander on the 5th December 2018 in London in the United Kingdom. Sam Mellish Photo
2018 picture by Arteh Odjidja. All other pictures, reasonable efforts have been made to determine where copyright is held by third parties and obtain the relevant consent of copyright owners, where applicable. Any queries relating to copyright in this content should be referred to

Royal signatures

Coram's long-established relationship with The Royal Family began in 1739, when King George II signed a Royal Charter, creating the original ‘Foundling Hospital’.

Over 250 years after it was signed, during her 2018 visit to the charity, The Queen viewed The Royal Charter, with Coram’s Chief Executive Dr Carol Homden and Paul Curran, a Coram Trustee.

The Queen first visited Coram, then known as The Foundling Hospital, in 1936 at the age of 10, with her grandmother Queen Mary and sister Princess Margaret. They visited the day nursery and the Princesses’ signatures can be clearly seen in Coram’s visitor book.

  • The Queen views the Royal Charter with Dr Carol Homden CBE, (Group Chief Executive of Coram) and Paul Curran (Vice-Chair) on the 5th December 2018 in London in the United Kingdom. Sam Mellish Photo
  • Queen Elizabeth II visits childrens charity Coram to open the Queen Elizabeth II centre on December 5, 2018 in London, England by Sam Mellish.
  • Her Majesty, The Queen's signature in Coram's visitor book
  • The Queen and sister Princess Margaret visited Coram in 1936 and signed the visitor book
The Queen views the 1739 Royal Charter signed by King George II (picture by Arteh Odjidja). She signs Coram’s visitor book at the opening of The Queen Elizabeth II Centre, named by Coram in her honour (picture by Arteh Odjidja). The Queen previously signed the visitor book in 1936 during a visit with her grandmother, Queen Mary.