Wednesday, 14 October 2020

The Duchess Marks Baby Loss Awareness Week with Visit to Tommy's Research Centre

As part of Baby Loss Awareness Week, the Duchess of Cambridge visited the Institute of Reproductive and Development Biology at Imperial College London, which is part of Tommy’s National Centre for Miscarriage Research.

Kensington Palace said: "The visit comes during Baby Loss Awareness Week, which aims to provide connection, recognition and commemoration for bereaved parents, in addition to increasing a national understanding of the impact of pregnancy and baby loss. In the UK, it is estimated that one in four pregnancies end in loss during pregnancy or birth. Tommy’s funds pioneering medical research to discover the causes of baby loss and helps women at every stage of their pregnancy journey, supporting them and their partners with expert information and care."

At the centre’s laboratories Kate met with medical experts to hear about their ground-breaking work to understand the science behind baby loss in order to prevent it.

The Duchess was also told about COVID-19 trials that are currently taking place at the research centre, which aim to better understand the risks of the virus to pregnant women and their babies.

To stand in solidarity with bereaved parents, Tommy's are asking people around the world to light a candle or share an image of a candle at 7pm on 15th October. The Wave of Light is planned to honour every life lost too soon. Kate was presented with a special candle to light on Thursday evening.

The charity is particularly mindful of the additional challenges and impacts Covid-19 has had on vital services during an unimaginably painful time. They have shared a number of heartbreaking stories, including Caroline's devastating piece on grieving in isolation.

'When our daughter Hope was stillborn, our world fell apart. People gave us their condolences and sent flowers and cards. Nevertheless, we couldn’t shake the overwhelming sense that we were totally alone in the world. As the first weeks passed us by, the brief moments of connection with close family were our lifelines. The little hug from my mum. The knowing smirk from my sister-in-law when my husband didn’t finish his cup of tea – a long running private joke of ours.

Now those moments have been stolen from us. We’re alone in a house with an empty crib and unused pram. A house that feels too big for just the two of us now. The lockdown is like a physical manifestation of what we were already feeling, and it has somewhat halted our healing journey.

We’re keeping in touch with our close family through video calls. Of course, it’s not the same, but it’s all we’ve got for now. I’ve also started an online bereavement therapy course – I’m trying to make connections and find support networks.

Our ongoing appointments with a bereavement midwife have been changed from face-to-face sessions to phone consultations. While I miss the human interaction, I appreciate this arrangement as I feel very nervous about going to the hospital. 

We’re still awaiting the results from Hope’s post-mortem. I’m feeling very anxious about the consultant appointment we’ll need to discuss the findings. My fear of catching the virus seems to be exacerbating my anxieties further. We’re hoping this can happen over the phone too to help ease this worry.'

Today, Kate spoke to families about the effects of losing a baby and the traumatic impact it's had on their lives. They were joined by representatives from Tommy's and Sands -- another charity which provides support to bereaved parents - to talk about their work amidst the pandemic.

More from the Mail:

'Obiélé Laryea, 37, and her partner Nii-Addy Addy, 40, had two late miscarriages before she went to Tommy’s and found herself under the care of Professor Andrew Shennan at St Thomas’s, who helped the couple to have a son, Tetteh-Kwei, two. Ms Laryea is 17 weeks pregnant once more.

‘Professor Shennan worked his magic again,’ she said. ‘We have yet to see how this pregnancy goes, but it is looking really good.’

She said that when she was pregnant previously, after her first miscarriage, doctors initially refused her request to have a cervical stitch to prevent another one. ‘Let’s wait and see,’ they said. When they finally did, it was too late, she said.

The duchess, she said, was "quite thrown" that she was allowed to have a second miscarriage. ‘You could almost see it in her face, "Are you OK?" I’m fine. I sometimes think to myself, if I hadn’t had the second miscarriage, I would not have heard about Tommy’s,’ she said.'

Dr Clea Harmer, chief executive of Sands and Chair of the Baby Loss Awareness Alliance, added: “This year during Baby Loss Awareness Week we are highlighting the isolation many people experience after pregnancy and baby loss. In the pandemic, feelings of isolation have become more widespread than ever and many people have begun to talk more openly about grief. Many of those whose baby died during the pandemic will not have been able to spend time making memories or saying goodbye to their baby in the way they would have wanted to. Now more than ever, we can all come together to let those affected by pregnancy and baby loss know they are not alone, and we are all here to support them.”

The Telegraph reports:

'Hearing from one mother, who retained as a midwife after her daughter Alice was stillborn, she said: “It’s so brave of you to be able to talk so openly.

"A lot of the research, a lot of the support for organisations, is being driven by parents who have been through this experience, and want to help others. It is so inspirational.”

Clare Worgan, who now works for the bereavement charity Sands, which funds research into stillbirth, premature birth and miscarriage, told the duchess that she spent three days in the hospital in Manchester after Alice was born in September 2017. “We spent those three days cramming in a lifetime’s worth of memories,” she said. 

“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. '

A video from the engagement.

The Duchess wore her Emilia Wickstead Kate dress in navy. Readers may recall Kate debuted it last year for a National Emergencies Trust engagement with William.

The Duchess first wore the style in lavender in Germany, and it quickly became one of the most popular items in her wardrobe.

It became so popular, the designer released it in three colours, and aptly named the dress 'Kate'. The £1,420 piece is described: "Emilia Wickstead's wool-crepe Kate dress is an elegantly versatile choice for the social season. It's tailored in the UK with a flattering boat neckline and long darts throughout the front and back of the bodice, then lined with black crepe to ensure a smooth fit."

Today, Kate teamed the dress with a different belt.

Kate accessorised with her Spells of Love Alia hoop earrings.

And it appears Kate wore her Prada pointy toe pumps in navy suede.

The Duchess wore her Amaia Kids facemask in 'blue pepper'.

If you would like to participate in Wave of Light on Thursday, please click here.


  1. This is my all time favorite color on her. She just looks so polished, sophisticated and beautiful.

  2. I prefer the leather belt to the self-fabric version. Also, the lavender version of the dress was a lovely look on Kate.

    For years I wore a lab coat at work and never looked anywhere near as stylish as Kate.

    1. I know right? She could make a potato sack look stylish, either self or leather belted no less! :)

  3. Loved it then, love it now. A beautiful silhouette on Kate, both classic and sophisticated.

  4. Thank you for your continued posting - You do a wonderful job. always like thiese simple styled dresses. And appreciate The Duchess's work.

  5. She looks beautiful in royal blue. So sad thinking of those parents and their loss, Angel's in heaven. Looks like the Duchess is back to work, two engagements in two days. William and Kate are going to be stepping up their work on behalf of the Queen, a lot sooner than planned. Unfortunately the Queen has to isolated and Stay safe, like a lot of older people. All the family will step up but the focus will be on the Cambridge family. I wonder with things getting worse again and winter coming, will her Majesty speak to the people again. It definitely helped the last time she did.

  6. she looks lovely. i can't imagine the pain of losing your own child :(. glad the duchess is bringing awareness to this devastating issue

  7. She sure brightens our days

  8. I thought the same, G.A.--Kate looks amazing even in a lab coat! The brows, the hair, her figure...she's just so stunning.

    Also, not sure if this was discussed in previous post comments, but I don't understand why she wears a kid-size mask when it presses into her cheeks like that.

    1. Susan in Florida16 October 2020 at 03:03

      I agree. I didn’t want to be the first to say it. Yes it’s a mask, but it‘s the wrong size in proportion to her face.

    2. It’s amazing duly sized mask sold by a kids clothing brand. I had had the same thought myself but then I saw they were adult sized and bought a few for myself...

    3. It’s an adult size mask sold by a kids clothing brand...maybe she herself makes sure it is extra tight? I had had the same thought myself but then I checked the website and have bought myself a couple...

  9. Wow the Duchess of Cambridge looks so elegant, she is a pure class act !! And the topic she is bringing awareness to is so important !Well done!

  10. She is looking gorgeous again. Very nice dress on her, fit, style and color. I prefer the cloth buckle belt she wore before with it.

  11. What a heart wrenching event but also an event that needs the acknowledgement, media attention and Catherine’s kindness to support such urgent research and as usual Catherine is beautiful, caring and compassionate.

  12. Zora from Prague15 October 2020 at 16:59

    Kate is doing such important work! Bereaved parents need all the help and support they can get. Talking about their loss is a part of that. If their loss is recognised, it helps the healing process. Kudos to Kate!
    Plus, she looks incredible. Lovely and elegant!

  13. I don't understand why she wears children masks. They're too small for her face and probably they left some signs on the cheeks.

    1. If you go to the website you will see that the masks are listed as Child and Adult, each one size. The Child's mask measures 15 x 8 cm, while the Adult measures 17 x 9 cms. It looks small but think that the child's ear loops would be too short, IDK.

    2. I like the kids size better on myself because it fits tighter over the nose and mouth area, and it reaches my ears fine...I guess I may have a small face with close ears. Haha.

    3. I’ve had to sew new/adjust straps of some adult face masks because the ear loops are wayyy too big. If I had a kids’ mask that successfully covered my nose and mouth I’d wear it LOL

  14. Agree, as Anon 19:36 said her masks come in child and adult sizes, but whatever, as long as it covers your nose and mouth it does the job, marks go away within minutes.

  15. Beautiful as always.. thank you .. however, it is not navy suede pumps BUT patent black pumps :)

  16. hmm the duchess is looking and talking to heart breaking mothers who loss their children the duchess is very comforting thing


Comments are most welcome! Constructive discussion is always encouraged but off topic or hateful remarks will not be published.

We ask you use a name when posting (a pseudonym such as the name of a royal you like or anything you wish). If you do not wish to use the sign in options, simply select the "Name/URL" option on the drop down menu and insert your name, and if you wish the country/state you're from. You can leave the URL blank.

If there are a large number of comments, it is necessary to click the 'Load More' button at the end of the comments section to see the latest additions.

Kate's Favourites