Midwives have private appointment with HRH The Princess Royal on International Day of the Midwife

on 07 May 2021 Midwives England RCM Member RCM RCM President IDM - International Day of the Midwife RCM CEO RCM Patron HRH The Princess Royal

Six midwives had an International Day of the Midwife (IDM) treat this week when they had a private audience with the Royal College of Midwives (RCM) Patron, Her Royal Highness, The Princess Royal at St James’s Palace.

Jo Williams a student midwife from Bradford was one of the six who met The Princess. She said: “It was just an honour to meet Her Royal Highness. She was very down to earth and very interested in my experiences as a student, my experiences during the pandemic and how that impacted the women in our care. It was just a great experience and a privilege.”

The meeting, which included RCM President Kathryn Gutteridge, was to honour and recognise the work of midwives over the past year, and the care they have delivered for mothers, babies, and their families during the pandemic.

Maryanne Bray, a Lead Research Midwife from Cardiff and Vale University Health Board was also present. She said: “It was an amazing experience. She talked to me about my research and how that impacts the women and families we look after. She was really knowledgeable about what is going on in midwifery at the moment.”

The midwives chatted to The Princess Royal about their work over the past year, and how they had coped with the pressures and challenges. Her Royal Highness also asked them about their own personal experiences of the pandemic and the impact it had on them and maternity services.

Birmingham midwife Janet Ballintine, a Delivery Suite Coordinator who also met her Royal Highness, said: “Her questions were tailored towards me and it felt very personal. It was really great to have a conversation which was unhindered, honest and open, and very relaxed.”

The midwives were all nominated to meet HRH, The Princess Royal by RCM staff for their exceptional commitment to keep maternity services running during the pandemic, despite the immense pressures they faced. The meeting was preceeded by a brief reception at the RCM’s new London headquarters.

Gill Walton, Chief Executive of the Royal College of Midwives, said: “It was so great to see the excitement before they went off to meet our Patron. The midwives at the meeting were there representing all midwives and their maternity colleagues. This was a wonderful gesture by HRH The Princess Royal to thank all maternity staff for their dedication and commitment to the women and babies they are caring for throughout the pandemic. I know the midwives were thrilled to meet her in such an intimate setting, and I thank HRH for honouring midwives in such a wonderful way on this, their day of the year.”  


To contact the RCM Media Office and for pictures from the audience call 020 7312 3456, or email [email protected]

Notes to editors


For more information on the RCM’s International Day of the Midwife celebrations see the RCM IDM page at https://www.rcm.org.uk/international-day-of-the-midwife-2021/.


See also the International Confederation of Midwives website at https://www.internationalmidwives.org/icm-events/international-day-of-the-midwife-2021.html.


The six midwives who met HRH The Princess Royal were:

  • Janet Ballintine, Delivery Suite Coordinator, Birmingham Women’s & Children’s NHS Foundation Trust and RCM board member
  • Maryanne Bray, Lead Research Midwife, Cardiff and Vale University Health Board
  • Kathryn Gutteridge, President, The Royal College of Midwives
  • Kathy Murphy, Director of Nursing and Midwifery Manchester University Foundation Trust, Saint Marys Managed Clinical service
  • Jane Sandall, Head of Midwifery and Maternity Research at NHS England and Improvement and a Professor of Women's Health at King’s College London
  • Jo Williams, final year Student Midwife, training at Harrogate District Hospital, and studying MSc Midwifery at the University of Bradford and chair of the RCM Student Midwife Forum


The RCM is the only trade union and professional association dedicated to serving midwifery and the whole midwifery team. We provide workplace advice and support, professional and clinical guidance, and information, and learning opportunities with our broad range of events, conferences, and online resources. For more information visit the RCM website at https://www.rcm.org.uk/.