Newborns and parents at Princess Anne Hospital in Southampton received a royal surprise today.

New parents got the chance to meet Princess Anne as she visited the hospital on Coxford Road for a special event. 

The visit was organised by the Royal College of Midwives to mark 42 years since the hospital first opened

READ MORE: Live updates as Princess Anne visits Southampton

New parents, Amy Hartnell and David Austin, from Southampton, along with their newborn baby, Albert George, met Princess Anne during her tour. 

Amy told the Princess Royal that her father-in-law had previously worked as part of the police escort for Her Royal Highness' visit when she officially opened the hospital in 1981.

Princess Anne was also among the first visitors to meet baby Rosie Eccleston, born today at 12.26am to parents Charlotte Brash and Cory Eccleston, from Sway, who described the occasion as "very unexpected but a special way to mark the birth of baby Rosie".

After meeting families and newborns, the Princess Royal toured Broadlands Birth Centre and Burley Ward, meeting midwives, healthcare support workers, and hospital staff. 

At around 11am, she planted a rowan tree on the hospital grounds to commemorate her visit. 

READ MORE: When Princess Anne opened the maternity hospital in 1981

Daily Echo: The Princess Royal in Southampton The Princess Royal in Southampton (Image: Newsquest)

She also received a bouquet of colourful flowers from children who were born at the hospital. 

Emma Northover, director of midwifery at Princess Anne Hospital, said: "We were delighted to welcome HRH The Princess Royal to our hospital and show her just how far we have progressed since she last visited us to officially open Princess Anne Hospital.

"I know our midwives and hospital staff very much enjoyed having the opportunity to speak to her and highlight the great work happening across our midwifery teams.

"At the end of the tour, Princess Royal planted a tree outside the hospital on Coxford Road to commemorate her visit."

Click on the top image to see the full picture gallery.

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