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Royal Associations: The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists

The Duchess of Cambridge has become the patron of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG). She’s just the second patron of the organization but her new role is the continuation of a long association between the college and the Royal Family. To mark the announcement, Royal Central takes a look at the regal past of this Royal College.

The first patron of the college was the Queen Mother who began her links with the organization in 1932 when she was still Duchess of York. On December 5th that year, she opened its new building at Queen Anne Street in London – the college had only been set up in 1929 but had expanded so quickly new headquarters in the capital were needed. In 1938, following the accession of King George VI, the organization was named a royal college. When its Royal Charter was awarded in 1947, following delays brought about by World War Two, the then Queen Elizabeth took on its patronage. It was an association that would continue throughout her long life.

The Queen Mother went on to be the first royal to be given an Honorary Fellowship of the College, presented to her in 1949. The Queen was made an Honorary Fellow in 1951, shortly before her accession, and eight other royal women have also received the award among them the Princess Royal, the Countess of Wessex and Diana, Princess of Wales.

The many royal links with the college were highlighted during the visit on February 27th 2018 in which the Duchess of Cambridge accepted her new patronage. Catherine was shown a painting of the Queen opening the organisation’s new home in Regent’s Park in 1960. The foundation stone for the building had been laid by the Queen Mother in 1957.

The announcement of the Duchess of Cambridge’s new patronage was welcomed by Professor Lesley Regan, the President of the RCOG, said the involvement of the Duchess of Cambridge will ‘’help raise our profile as a medical charity that champions the provision of high quality women’s healthcare at home and beyond’’.  It’s been an aim given royal support for over eighty years now and its new patron has guaranteed the link for decades to come.

Photo credit: Coventry City Council via Flickr

About author

Lydia is a writer, blogger and journalist. She's worked in the media for over twenty years as a broadcast reporter, producer and editor as well as feature and online writer. As well as royals and royal history, she's a news junkie and podcaster.