The Princess Royal has expressed her “profound admiration” for midwives in a letter to mark the start of a year-long celebration of the profession.
Anne wrote to the Royal College of Midwives on the eve of 2020, designated by the World Health Organisation (WHO) as Year of the Nurse and Midwife, which aims to recognise nurses and midwives who play a vital role in providing health care services.
In her letter, the Queen’s daughter wrote: “I wanted to take this opportunity on the eve of International Year of the Midwife in 2020 to express my profound admiration for the incredible and important work that you do; the value of which cannot be underestimated.”
As a patron of The Royal College of Midwives, Anne said she had had the “pleasure” of meeting maternity teams around the country over the years and witnessed first-hand the “joy on the faces of mothers and their partners and their gratitude” towards the workers.
According to the WHO, the world needs nine million more nurses and midwives if it is to achieve universal health coverage by 2030.
Next year will also see the 200th anniversary of the birth of Florence Nightingale, a nurse who helped organise care for wounded soldiers during the Crimean War.
In Anne’s letter, she went on to describe the coming year as an opportunity to celebrate the “unique contribution to the health, well-being and empowerment of women rightly in the spotlight.”
She ended her letter by offering “my very best wishes to you all for the year ahead celebrating you and your profession. I look forward to meeting even more of you in the coming year; your year”.
The Duchess of Cambridge, the patron of the Nursing Now campaign, is involved and will also write to “express her admiration” for their work, the letter added.