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Sunday 23rd February 2020

Duchess of Cambridge writes open tribute letter to midwives

She made a secret visit to Kingston Hospital's maternity unit earlier this year

The Duchess of Cambridge has written a touching tribute to midwives following a secret visit to a London hospital.

The 37-year-old royal - who has kids Prince George, six, Princess Charlotte, four, and 20-month-old Prince Louis - thanked the midwives for showing her their work at a maternity unit in London in November.

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Ahead of 2020’s International @who #YearoftheNurseandMidwife, The Duchess of Cambridge has written an open letter to midwives across the UK — visit the link in our bio to read the full letter. Writing in her letter, The Duchess said: • “You are there for women at their most vulnerable; you witness strength, pain and unimaginable joy on a daily basis. • Your work often goes on behind the scenes, and away from the spotlight. Recently I was privileged enough to witness a small section of it first hand, spending several days at Kingston Hospital’s Maternity Unit. • Although this was not my first encounter with the care and kindness provided by midwives across the country, it gave me a broader insight into the true impact you have on everybody you help. • Over the last few years, I’ve dedicated a significant amount of my work to the Early Years - the pivotal period of development between pregnancy and the age of 5 where children build crucial foundations for life. • Your role in supporting this critical phase of development extends far beyond the complicated task of delivering a baby successfully. The help and reassurance you provide for parents to be and parents of newborns is just as crucial. It goes a long way in building parents’ confidence from the start, with lifelong impact on the future happiness of their children. • I want to thank you for all that you do. It has been a real privilege learning from you so far, and I look forward to meeting and learning from even more of you in the coming years and decades”. • Several members of @TheRoyalFamily, including The Queen and The Princess Royal, hold Patronages in the fields of Nursing and Midwifery — The Queen is Patron of @thercn, and The Princess Royal is Patron of @midwives_rcm. Photos 📷 1-4 by Kensington Palace / 5-6 by PA

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In an open letter, the Duchess wrote: "Your work often goes on behind the scenes, and away from the spotlight.

"Recently however, I was privileged enough to witness a small section of it first hand, spending several days at Kingston Hospital's maternity unit.

"Although this was not my first encounter with the care and kindness provided by midwives across the country, it gave me a broader insight into the true impact you have on everybody you help."

You don't ask for praise or for recognition but instead unwaveringly continue your amazing work bringing new life into our world.

The Duchess' letter - which was published ahead of the World Health Organization's international Year of the Nurse and Midwife in 2020 - also praised the selflessness of midwives across the country.

She said: "The founder of modern nursing, Florence Nightingale - whose 200th anniversary we celebrate next year - once said, 'I attribute my success to this: I never have or took an excuse' and it is that mantra that I have seen time and time again in all of my encounters with you.

"You don't ask for praise or for recognition but instead unwaveringly continue your amazing work bringing new life into our world.

"You continue to demonstrate that despite your technical mastery and the advancement of modern medicine, it is the human to human relationships and simple acts of kindness that sometimes mean the most."

Professor Jacqueline Dunkley-Bent, England's chief midwifery officer, has already described the Duchess' praise as a "huge honour".

She added: "As we look ahead to 2020, her support will no doubt be a massive boost for all those working in maternity services as we celebrate the year of the nurse and the midwife."

On Christmas Day, Kate and William attended church in Sandringham with their eldest two children George, six, and Charlotte, four, for the first time.

Their son Louis, deemed too young at seven months to go, stayed home with Grandmother Middleton.

Kensington Palace also shared the official Christmas card from the Cambridges, which featured William with the three children, which keen photographer Kate had captured.

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