Princess Anne was in Southampton today to award the city Lord Mayor status.

The princess also visited the city’s maternity hospital - the very one she officially opened more than 40 years ago - Princess Anne Hospital.

The hospital had actually opened seven months previously on March 28, 1981, and had seen more than 2,000 babies into the world. But the delay gave the princess the chance to see the £8 million facility in all its glory.

Read more: Princess Anne visits Southampton

On her itinerary were the delivery suite, special care baby unit and university teaching departments, as well as wards.

She visited several departments during her one-and-three-quarter-hour tour and met staff representatives from all over the hospital.

Daily Echo: Princess Anne officially opening Princess Anne Amternity Hospital on October 18, 1981.

The princess also unveiled a plaque which had been lovingly polished before the big day by excited midwives Helen Farrell, Sue Tall and Valerie Aplin.

The royal visit had been in the making for three months as coordinators at the hospital had meticulously planned and accounted for every minute. Time was tight, but the Princess couldn’t be rushed.

Daily Echo: Princess Anne officially opening Princess Anne Amternity Hospital on October 18, 1981.

After the tour, Anne moved on to the psychiatry department at the Royal South Hants Hospital.

These pictures were taken that day on October 18, 1981, at both hospitals.

Daily Echo:

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