The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) is delighted to confirm that Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cambridge has today become its Patron, following an announcement by Kensington Palace.
The new patronage is announced ahead of Her Royal Highness’ visit to the RCOG this morning. On her visit, Her Royal Highness will learn more about the College’s education, training and global health programmes, and view demonstrations in essential clinical skills and safe surgical techniques. She will also attend a roundtable discussion on tackling the stigma around women’s health, in particular, maternal mental health.
During the visit, Her Royal Highness will attend a special ceremony where she will be welcomed to the College as only the second Patron in the RCOG’s 89 year history. Her Royal Highness will be presented with a certificate by RCOG President Lesley Regan, and a posy of flowers by Ruby Lyon, aged 8. Ruby was just 10 weeks old when her older brother, Harry, passed away 18 months after suffering profound brain damage due to lack of oxygen at birth. Her mother, Nicky Lyon, a parent representative on the RCOG’s Each Baby Counts Advisory Board, says Ruby’s presence helped the whole family to live again after experiencing the most terrible grief.
It has been 71 years since the College last welcomed a Patron when in 1947 Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother accepted the role on the award of the College’s Royal Charter. Two years later, she was awarded an Honorary Fellowship and in 1957 laid the foundation stone of the RCOG’s current home at Sussex Place. Her Majesty The Queen later opened the RCOG’s current home in Regent’s Park in 1960.
The College has enjoyed a long standing relationship with the Royal Family. Before becoming our first Patron, as Duchess of York, Her Royal Highness had, with her husband, the future King George VI, opened the RCOG’s former home on Queen Anne Street in 1932. Since then, the RCOG has awarded an Honorary Fellowship to 10 members of the Royal Family, including Her Majesty The Queen (1949), Princess Margaret (1966), The Princess Royal (1979), Diana, Princess of Wales (1987) and Sophie, The Countess of Wessex (1996).
Professor Lesley Regan, President of the RCOG, said:
“I am absolutely thrilled that The Duchess of Cambridge has graciously accepted our invitation to become the RCOG’s second Patron after Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother. It is a great honour for the College, now in its 89th year, and its 16,000 members in the UK and around the world.
“We are very grateful to Her Royal Highness whose support will help to raise our profile as a medical charity that champions the provision of high quality women’s healthcare at home and beyond. As a young mother we know that maternal health and wellbeing is an issue close to The Duchess’s heart. We hope that this new relationship will build on our work to improve healthcare for women everywhere, and ensure that women’s views on the care they receive are at the heart of everything we do.”
Kate Brian, RCOG’s Women’s Voices lead, who is chairing the roundtable discussion, said:
“We are delighted to welcome The Duchess of Cambridge to the roundtable discussion, which will help to raise awareness and bring to the fore conditions that are still surrounded by stigma and are frequently brushed aside, such as endometriosis, the menopause and maternal mental health.
“It is clear that action is required in a number of key areas of women’s health and, through the RCOG’s Women’s Network, we are committed to working with the profession to ensure that the care provided to women and girls in the UK is of the highest quality.”
NOTES TO EDITORS:
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About the RCOG
The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists is a medical charity that champions the provision of high quality women’s healthcare in the UK and beyond. It is dedicated to encouraging the study and advancing the science and practice of obstetrics and gynaecology. It does this through postgraduate medical education and training and the publication of clinical guidelines and reports on aspects of the specialty and service provision.