Princess Anne had press scared to ask simple question
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Princess Anne and the Duchess of Cambridge visited the London offices of medical organisations working in maternal healthcare for a rare joint royal visit last week. Anne is patron of the Royal College of Midwives (RCM) and Kate is patron of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG), and the organisations now share a headquarters. The Daily Express royal correspondent Richard Palmer has since claimed on the Royal Round-up that details of Anne’s outfit were not released ahead of time.
He told presenter Pandora Forsyth: “We got the outfit details for the Duchess of Cambridge but what was Princess Anne wearing?
“Nobody had the guts to actually ask.”
It comes as the Princess Royal left midwives and the Duchess of Cambridge in stitches when she recalled fearing one of her babies had become “wedged” when she tripped over in a horse lorry while heavily pregnant.
The Queen’s daughter was chatting to maternity experts during a visit to the new headquarters of her patronage, the RCM, which is also home to the RCOG and which Kate supports as patron.
The royal women were shown a demonstration of a new Intrapartum Foetal Surveillance tool, which monitors the safety of babies during labour in order to alert medical staff to start a delivery if the baby’s head gets stuck in the mother’s pelvis.
“Wedged?” asked Anne, to laughter.
The princess – who is mother to Peter Phillips, 44, and Zara Tindall, 40 – then told the group how she feared that would happen to her during one of her pregnancies, adding: “I thought, that’s a bit interesting… ended up the right way up though.”
Professor Tim Draycott, vice president of RCOG and Professor of Obstetrics – who was helping to demonstrate the tool, said later: “She said she had tripped over in a horse lorry while heavily pregnant and thought that had happened.”
Kate Middleton and Princess Anne attend first joint engagement
The tool has been developed over the past five years by the Avoiding Brain Injury in Childbirth collaboration, which hopes to pilot it later this year and roll it out nationwide in 2023.
The Duchess and the Princess watched Dr Katie Cornthwaite, an obstetrics and gynaecology registrar, give a demonstration of new training for health workers faced with delivering, via caesarean, an infant whose head is wedged in the pelvis – an issue that is a growing litigation problem for the NHS.
Professor Draycott acted as the anaesthetist for the pretend mother, standing by her head, but was actually pushing the model of the baby through for his colleague.
Anne made the medical staff laugh when she quipped: “You do this with just an epidural?”.
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At one point, the Duchess and Princess leaned forward to peer into the caesarean opening as Dr Cornthwaite described in detail how she removed the dummy baby.
Prof Draycott said later what is known as “impacted foetal head” was becoming a “huge” problem for the NHS, which has been facing lawsuits following difficult births where the baby has suffered trauma around the head.
He said: “I think this is a really good example of the NHS working well. NHS resolution who do all the litigation identified this as an emerging problem, the Department of Health worked with the professionals to say ‘OK what are we going to do about this, let’s design a new training programme. Let’s get this sorted out. Let’s stop babies being injured’.”
Dr Cornthwaite said afterwards: “It was really lovely to see how engaged they both were. They were genuinely interested. It was lovely to share something that we are passionate about and see that they care about it.”
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