The royal's great-grandmother and grandmother were both volunteer nurses

By Stephanie Petit
February 26, 2019 01:21 PM
Advertisement

Kate Middleton is marking a special anniversary and celebrating nurses worldwide.

Last year, the 37-year-old royal mom helped launch Nursing Now, a global campaign aimed at raising the profile and status of nursing worldwide so that nurses can make an even greater contribution at the heart of efforts to tackle rising burdens of disease.

Kate released a statement on the success of the program on its first anniversary.

“I am delighted that, at the end of its first year, Nursing Now has grown internationally, with local and national groups in over 60 countries,” she said in the statement. “Nurses play a vital role in health teams all around the world, and this campaign is doing an important job of raising their status and profile globally.”

Credit: Tim Rooke/REX/Shutterstock

Kate continued, “The dedication and professionalism of nurses is awe-inspiring. It is wonderful news that the World Health Organization Executive Board has announced that 2020 will be the ‘Year of the Nurse and Midwife.’ This is a fitting celebration of the 20 million nurses worldwide and we hope that more young people will be attracted into nursing careers to ensure that the principle that health is for everyone, everywhere, becomes a reality.”

Kate’s great-grandmother, Olive Middleton, is known to have worked as a nurse during WWI, caring for wounded servicemen in a field hospital.

“This campaign means a lot to me personally. My great-grandmother and grandmother were both volunteer nurses,” she said in a speech at St. Thomas’ Hospital in London last year. “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.”

“Your dedication and professionalism are awe-inspiring,” she added. “I have been struck today by the enormous range of responsibilities that nurses have, not only in providing access to healthcare, but also in terms of providing a holistic approach to caring for our physical and mental health. You also promote good health and disease prevention.”

Kate Middleton in Feb. 2018
| Credit: Richard Pohle - Pool/Getty

Nursing Now, a three-year initiative, is being run as a program of the Burdett Trust for Nursing, in collaboration with the International Council of Nurses and the World Health Organization (WHO).