Princess Anne has sent an emotional message in support of midwives across Britain to mark International Day of the Midwife.
Princess Anne has sent an emotional video message in support of midwives working at British hospitals during the coronavirus crisis.
The 69-year-old princess praised midwives for their ''care and compassion'' during the pandemic in a message to mark International Day of the Midwife on Tuesday (05.05.20).
Anne - who has been patron of the Royal College of Midwives since 2002 - said: ''In previous years, there has always been the opportunity to celebrate your profession and fellowship together.
''This year, those plans have had to be put on hold. In many ways, though, despite not being able to come together, as a profession you have never been more united.''
The Princess Royal praised both student and retired midwives who have joined the frontline during the health crisis and said their actions will be remembered for years to come.
She said: ''You have supported each other as colleagues and as friends and, in these difficult times, you have shown great care and compassion. That will be what the women in your care will remember for years to come.
''Like so many NHS staff, you have felt the impact of the current crisis on your everyday work, yet you continue to rise to the challenge, finding new ways of working and delivering services for your communities.''
Anne recalled how she would always notice the sense of hope when visiting maternity wards across the UK and felt that there would still be optimism amid the crisis.
She remarked: ''I am always struck by the sense of hope and new beginnings.
''Even in these difficult times, I am sure that you are doing all you can to allay anxiety and concern, and ensuring joy and hope pervade.''
2020 marks the first ever year International Year of the Nurse and Midwife and Anne concluded her message by saying that she hoped to celebrate in person with medics before the year is over.
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