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Professor Billie Hunter lunches with the Queen

24 November 2015

Professor Billie Hunter, RCM Professor of Midwifery at Cardiff University, recently met HM The Queen at a small informal lunch party, held at Buckingham Palace on Wednesday 18 November 2015. These informal lunches, hosted by the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh, are held 2-3 times a year and draw together guests from different professions and disciplines.

Professor Hunter is a leading figure in the development of midwifery research in Wales, and was appointed as the first ever Chair of Midwifery in Wales in 2006. Upon joining Cardiff University in 2012 she became the first RCM Professor of Midwifery in the UK.  Her research is focused on the culture of midwifery and maternity care, how this has changed over time and how it influences workforce and user experiences.  

There were 9 lunch guests altogether at Buckingham Palace, including Professor Alice Brown (Chair of the Scottish Funding Council,) Dr Michael Jacobs (Lead Consultant in Infectious Diseases at the Royal Free Hospital who lead the team caring for UK Ebola patients), Mr Philip Duffy (The Chief Operating Officer of the UK Border Force), Lieutenant General Andrew Gregory (The Chief of Defence Personnel), Thomas Heatherwick (Designer) and Jonathan Leigh (Master of Marlborough College).

Professor Hunter commented ‘I've no idea how or why I was selected. I thought it was a hoax e-mail when I first heard! It was a once in a lifetime opportunity to meet the Queen and Prince Philip in a (relatively) informal and relaxed setting, and it gave me the opportunity to chat with them one to one about a range of topical issues. It was a really enjoyable event for all concerned (I was told that the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh really enjoy meeting people in a less official and formal setting than is usual for them). I was impressed with how interested they both were in what is going on 'on the ground' in the UK. There were many different topics of conversation - which ranged widely from the junior doctors' strike, to encouraging diversity in the armed forces, to the future challenges of caring for an ageing population. The food and wine were also very delicious!’

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