They were at the birth of Prince George and have helped Kate through her second pregnancy
Calling the A team!
The medical crew helping Princess Kate give birth are preparing for another spell in the limelight.
Royal doctors Alan Farthing and Guy Thorpe-Beeston head up the elite squad who will help Kate, 33, and husband William, 32, welcome their second child into the world.
And they are very familiar to the royal couple. The two surgeons were present for Prince George’s birth at the private Lindo Wing of St. Mary’s Hospital in London. They were also the doctors chosen to stay by Kate’s side when she suffered severe pregnancy illness last fall.
The rest of the team may include neonatologist Sunit Godambe, an anesthetist and a team of midwives. Last time, Kate reportedly had a team of four midwives helping her, led by Jacqueline Dunkley-Bent, professor of midwifery at the Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust.
Kate is likely to have her baby delivered by obstetrician Thorpe-Beeston with the midwives on hand to assist throughout the labor and birth.
The surgeon Marcus Setchell, 71, who led the medical staff for George’s birth, has since been awarded a knighthood for his services to the royal family and retired. Kate went to his retirement party, in March 2014, at a top London hotel.
Sir Professor John Cunningham, physician to the Queen, who was also at St. Mary’s Hospital for George’s arrival, has also retired. Professor Huw Thomas, who replaced him in that role in what is known as Queen Elizabeth’s medical household, is likely to be at St. Mary’s for this birth in an observational capacity.
The key medic is likely to be Thorpe-Beeston, 55, who as a consultant obstetrician and gynecologist specializes in delivering babies. He graduated from Cambridge University in 1984 and is highly respected for his experience in managing high-risk pregnancies. He has said, “I try to keep things simple, offering honest advice.”
Farthing, 51, is a consultant gynecological surgeon and oncologist at various leading London hospitals and was appointed to assist Setchell in 2008. He replaced his boss as surgeon gynecologist to the Queen. (Thorpe-Beeston’s official title is Surgeon Gynecologist to the Royal Household.)
Broadcaster Nick Ross got to know Farthing through his friendship with Farthing’s former fiancée Jill Dando, a popular BBC broadcaster who was tragically murdered on her doorstep in April 1999.
“He is that very stereotype of the unflappable Englishman. He is what it seems on the tin: charming, cool and reliable. With Alan it is very hard to find any grit in the oyster,” Ross tells PEOPLE.
Ross – who, with Farthing’s help, set up a fund and an institute in Dando’s memory – adds, “He is not there to chase the limelight.”
And he’s the perfect choice to be a royal doctor. “He is the model of discretion,” says Ross. “Most doctors are, but he is, just by nature of his personality as well. He is polite, diffident, not warm in the sense of being effusive, but certainly not cold either. He is very charming.”
• Reporting by PHIL BOUCHER