One of Europe’s leading heart and lung hospitals – Papworth – has been granted a royal title by the Queen.
The hospital near Cambridge, which carried out heart surgery on the Duke of Edinburgh in 2011, will become Royal Papworth Hospital.
The UK’s first successful heart transplant was carried out there in 1979 and the world’s first successful heart, lung and liver transplant took place there in 1986.
Its name officially changes in 2018.
Next year marks the 100th anniversary of the hospital, which opened as a tuberculosis colony in the small Cambridgeshire village of Papworth Everard in 1918.
Since then the hospital has become renowned for its pioneering cardiothoracic procedures, treating more than 100,000 patients from across the UK each year.
In 2015 its surgeons were the first in Europe to successfully perform a heart transplant using a non-beating heart.
More than 30 such operations have been carried out since then, increasing its transplant rate by more than one third.
The title will make Papworth the first “royal” hospital in the east of England, a spokesman said.
It has been bestowed “in recognition of its pioneering history and continued commitment to developing the treatments of the future”, he added.
Prof John Wallwork, chairman of Papworth Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, and the surgeon who jointly performed the first heart, lung and liver transplant, said he was “thrilled to see the hospital get this recognition from the Queen”.
The hospital is to move to Cambridge Biomedical Campus – the site which houses Addenbrooke’s Hospital – next year.
The £165m 310-bed new hospital will replace the current 276-bed facility.
It is not yet known what will happen to the old hospital site.