Kate says William in denial about third child during reunion with former midwife


The Duchess of Cambridge has joked that "William is in denial" about their third child and shared an emotional hug with her former midwife as she celebrated nursing worldwide.

Kate's light-hearted comment came as she visited a leading London hospital to launch the Nursing Now global campaign, aimed at raising the status and profile of nurses, and praised the health workers who "look after us in our happiest and saddest times".

Earlier she visited the London headquarters of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) - as she was named patron of the organisation - and gave her former midwife, Professor Jacqueline Dunkley-Bent, a hug.

The Duchess of Cambridge shares a few words with Professor Jacqueline Dunkley-Bent, who helped deliver both of her children (Peter Nicholls/PA)
The Duchess of Cambridge shares a few words with Professor Jacqueline Dunkley-Bent, who helped deliver both of her children (Peter Nicholls/PA)

Professor Dunkley-Bent, head of Maternity, Children and Young People at NHS England, who helped deliver Prince George and Princess Charlotte, said afterwards: "It was a surprise and an absolute pleasure to be reunited with Kate again today.

"Supporting families at the birth of their baby - including future kings and queens - is hugely rewarding and we're very grateful to have the Duchess of Cambridge's support for the nursing profession."

Before launching the Nursing Now campaign Kate met Lauren Kedwell, 36, and Jamie Parsons, 33, from Upper Beeding, West Sussex, whose daughter is being treated on the Snow Leopard ward at St Thomas' Hospital where nurses, not doctors, take the lead in patient care.

Mr Parsons said: "I said 'congratulations, best of luck with the third one' and she said 'William's in denial'."

His 10-month-old daughter Amara Kedwell-Parsons has never been home but has been treated in six hospitals for Hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy, a brain injury caused by oxygen starvation.

Kate put the couple at ease and made silly noises at the infant as she sat in a chair.

Ms Kedwell said: "She was 'gooing at my daughter," while her partner added: "She was just very understanding but also you could tell that she did have empathy and could see it was just a scenario that was challenging for us."

The duchess spoke about her family connection with the health profession when she addressed nursing organisations and medical leaders from a range of countries including Norway, Uganda, Bahamas and Thailand, as she launched Nursing Now.

The Duchess joins a discussion at the @RCObsGyn about the ways in which the stigma around women's health, in particular maternal mental health, can be challenged. pic.twitter.com/fnXeeaa2fP

-- Kensington Palace (@KensingtonRoyal) February 27, 2018

She said: "This campaign means a lot to me personally. My great-grandmother and grandmother were both volunteer nurses. They would have learned first-hand from working with the Voluntary Aid Detachment and the Red Cross about the care and compassion that sometimes only nurses can provide."

Kate, who wore a two-piece blue Jenny Packham dress and coat, praised nurses for their "awe-inspiring" dedication and professionalism adding: "I was surprised to learn that to keep pace with the rising global demand, the world will need an additional 9 million nurses by 2030.

"In simple terms, that's about 2,000 more nurses every day for the next 12 years. This shows that we must act now to support and develop nurses with the skills and talent to cope with the future global health needs."

The duchess, who earlier was named patron of the campaign, added: "Nursing Now is a call to raise the profile of nursing internationally and to help grow the profession further so it can play a key role in meeting real health challenges across the world."