News and Views
Black and Asian midwives delivered the Princess
Call the midwives! The calm duo who delivered the Princess after striking up close rapport with Kate
- Midwives Arona Ahmed and boss Jacqui Dunkley-Bent delivered Princess
- They struck up close rapport with Duchess of Cambridge during first birth
- Team of surgeons were led by royal gynaecologist Mr Guy Thorpe-Beeston
- Kate gave birth to a girl just 154 minutes after being admitted to hospital
The unsung heroines of the Royal birth were midwives Arona Ahmed and her boss, Jacqui Dunkley-Bent, Professor of midwifery at Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, who together delivered the Princess.
According to hospital insiders, the professor, 51, had struck up a close rapport with the Duchess of Cambridge when she delivered Prince George two years ago at St Mary’s Hospital, West London.
Mrs Ahmed, 44, had missed out on that occasion because her shift ended before the birth and she was replaced by another midwife.
But yesterday, Mrs Ahmed helped at the princess’s birth, while the team of suited male surgeons, led by Mr Guy Thorpe-Beeston, Surgeon Gynaecologist to the Royal Household, looked on.
Kate had a meticulous birth plan. She had opted to be seen first by the midwives, and as a source said: ‘What the duchess wants, the duchess gets.’
So while the male doctors waited in a nearby room, it was the red-uniformed midwives – the colour denotes their seniority – who monitored Kate as her contractions progressed and supported Prince William.
Both women are experienced, unflappable and have the full confidence of the obstetricians.
It is understood a team of three midwives has been on standby for more than a month to cover three shifts over a 24-hour period should Kate have been admitted early.
By establishing a specific team for the Royal birth, Kate and William ensured that the care of other patients, NHS or private, was not affected or disrupted.
Given the speed of Kate’s delivery – just 154 minutes after being admitted to the hospital – it is likely she was in labour at home for some hours before feeling the need to be with her medical team.