As she continues to advocate for mothers, parents, and children across the U.K., the Duchess of Cambridge quietly visited a research center in London to highlight Baby Loss Awareness Week.
Wearing a blue dress, Duchess Kate visited Imperial College London on October 14 to learn more about work being done to reduce rates of miscarriage, stillbirth, and premature birth.
As she arrived in a floral mask at the Institute of Reproductive and Development Biology at Imperial College London, Kate put on a crisp white lab coat before she was welcomed by medical experts and representatives from the national charity Tommy’s, which funds pioneering medical research to discover the causes of baby loss, helps women throughout their pregnancy journey, and offers support for partners. After her in-depth tour at the building’s National Centre for Miscarriage Research, Kate went on to meet children who were born thanks to the specialist care and support provided by Tommy’s.
The engagement was also an opportunity for the duchess to speak to families who have experienced baby loss and hear from the staff at Tommy’s—as well as an organization called Sands that provides bereavement support—about the importance of emotional support for the entire family. In the U.K., 1 in 4 pregnancies end in loss during pregnancy or birth.
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During the visit, Kate spent time with Clare Worgan, who has experienced the loss of a child and now works for Sands. The duchess heard how Worgan spent three days in hospital after her daughter Alice was stillborn in September 2017.
“We spent those three days cramming in a lifetime’s worth of memories,” Clare told Kate. “When she was born, she was absolutely perfect. Her birth was literally the best thing that ever happened to me. And also the worst thing that ever happened to me. When we went home our lives had been turned upside down. We had been devastated.”
Visibly moved, the duchess told the young woman, “It’s so brave of you to be able to talk so openly. A lot of the research, a lot of the support for organizations, is being driven by parents who have been through this experience, and want to help others. It is so inspirational.”
Duchess Kate also learned about the COVID-19 trials currently taking place at the research center, “which aim to better understand the risks of the virus to pregnant women and their babies,” a Kensington Palace spokesperson said.
This article originally appeared in Harper’s BAZAAR US.