This was most likely the only visit by Queen Elizabeth II to the London Borough of Sutton. On the left of the Queen is Professor David Smithers. He was an eminent radiologist and was responsible for acquiring what was the old Downs Hospital site.
With the medical physicist Val Mayneord, he conceived the idea of a new centre for the application of nuclear physics to medicine. In fact Professor Smithers would have liked to relocate the whole hospital from Chelsea to Sutton, but of course, this never happened.
Ten years into her reign on 20 May 1963 Queen Elizabeth II opened the East Wing of the new Royal Marsden cancer hospital at Downs Road.
This area in Sutton has a long connection to medical care.
In 1877 Banstead Asylum opened at High Down Lane, later becoming part of HM Prison High Down. Not much of the grand old building survives.
In 1884 the Downs Hospital for Children on Cotswold Road opened – a few of the buildings still stand but are earmarked for demolition.
On the corner from here, in 1931, Sutton Hospital opened. This was demolished and the Harris Academy school is now on the site.
Finally, in 1963, on hospital land, the Royal Marsden was built.
In terms of Her Majesty The Queen’s visits to Sutton, her predecessor Queen Elizabeth I was believed to have visited Sutton at least 14 times – at Beddington. In these days of course the London Borough of Sutton didn’t exist as a name.
Other than Queen Elizabeth II, the Marsden has been visited many times by various members of her family. See the post below for a list of Royal visits to Carshalton and Sutton.