Hospital where baby Archie Mountbatten-Windsor arrived gives you free CHAMPAGNE after you give birth – with women spending ‘over half a million’
EARLIER this week, it was confirmed that Meghan Markle did give birth to her first child at London's private hospital, The Portland.
Confirmed on Archie Harrison Mountbatten Windsor's birth certificate, the Duchess of Sussex followed in the footsteps of other VIP mums – including pal Victoria Beckham – in welcoming her firstborn in the exclusive hospital, where some parents have been known to spend hundreds of thousands of pounds.
The American-run hospital is known for its A-list patients, including Liz Hurley, Jools Oliver and the Duchess of York.
And in a BBC documentary that aired two years ago, the luxurious hospital – which offers five-star hotel service for parents – gave an inside glimpse into what life at The Portland is really like for mums.
With 36 rooms as well as a nursery, there's 24-hour room service, luxurious Molton Brown toiletries and suites for family and visitors.
While the cheapest "birthing package" costs around £15,000, it's reported that some mums spend an eye-watering £500,000 – depending on the number of nights they stay and other services they require.
One member of staff revealed she'd seen one VIP mum spend over half a million, while another admitted £250K was the largest sum of money she had seen spent.
But what exactly could you get for hundreds of thousands of pounds?
"We have some huge requests at times, where a patient wants a whole floor, they want to refurbish, they want to redecorate," explained one member of staff.
"It's important for our brand and reputation that we meet those requests."
"The patients themselves are welcome to bring in their own team of designers to make it their own," added another.
"And obviously there's a cost involved in doing that."
According to the documentary, some mums bring "their own chairs, coffee tables and sofas" to make the hospital environment "home from home".
A representative from expensive department store Harrods explained one client had asked them to fit an entire nursery at The Portland, before transporting it to their home once the baby was born.
"It’s like having a holiday," explained Janene Madden, former CEO of The Portland.
"After two to three days you leave fit and well.
"You only have to pick up Hello! magazine to see the patients we have here in the hospital."
Having an epidural reportedly adds almost £1,000 to the bill while an induction costs upwards of £600.
A forceps delivery is priced at around £140.
It's reported that half of all patients at The Portland opt for a Caesarean section, however, with consultant Shazia Malik apparently known for "doing a good scar".
A consultant-led package with a planned C-section is said to cost around £20,000.
Once the new baby has arrived, new mums can enjoy afternoon tea, lobster, oysters, foie gras and champagne – prepared by the nine chefs, 18 catering assistants and delivered on luxurious silver platters.
There's also over 50 full-time midwives, and nursery nurses on hand to change nappies – as well as a nursery where new mums can "check in" their babies for the night, to catch up on some much-needed sleep.
According to Pat who works in the hospital's nursery, one mum once asked to "see the manager of the hotel".
And it's not just mums receiving the VIP package.
While new Portland babies sleep in plastic baby cots similar to those used in NHS hospitals, if parents choose, they can opt for something a little different.
Exclusive nursery furniture brand, Dragons of Walton Street, provide a range of baby cots, including £3.5k Moses baskets decorated with lace and hand-cut glass crystals, and a four-poster Little Duchess cot, which would set you back £14k.
There's also said to be a secret entrance for VIP guests, which Prince Harry is believed to have used to sneak Meghan into hospital after she went into labour.
The metal garage door, on an expensive residential street at the rear of Portland Hospital, is reserved for VIP patients who want to protect privacy.
And when it's finally time to be discharged, Portland mums and babies are provided with a goodie bag including luxurious toys, (more) champagne and a complimentary photo shoot.
It's understood that Meghan arrived at the hospital late on Sunday evening, before delivering her first child in the early hours of Monday morning, with Harry and mum Doria Ragland by her side.
The visit to The Portland was said to be so secretive, even senior royals were unaware.
In other royal news, we told you Meghan Markle is listed as a Princess on Archie’s birth certificate because she technically is Princess Henry – but not Princess Meghan.
We also revealed Meghan Markle and Prince Harry chose the name Archie because it means ‘connection’, close friend Gayle King claims.
And we showed you Prince Harry needs Meghan Markle ‘more than she needs him’, Royal biographer claims.
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