The latest addition to the House of Windsor was delivered by two trusted physicians to the monarchy, one of whom has experience handling some challenging royal pregnancies.
Leading the duo that guided Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge, through the birth of her son was Marcus Setchell, 69, the surgeon-gynecologist to Queen Elizabeth who had served that role to the entire Royal Family from 1990 to 2008. Assisting him was Alan Farthing, 50, the surgeon-gynecologist to the Royal Family since replacing Dr. Setchell.
Both doctors reportedly played key roles throughout the Duchess of Cambridge’s pregnancy, including treating her hyperemis gravidarum – the Victorian-sounding form of severe morning sickness that saddled her early in her term.
Buckingham Palace announced that the baby weighed eight pounds, six ounces, and that mother and baby would remain in hospital overnight. The child, whose name was not released, is third in line to the throne behind his father, Prince William, 31, and his grandfather, Prince Charles, 64. William’s younger brother, Prince Harry, is now fourth.
A father of four, Dr. Setchell had reportedly planned to retire late last year from royal service when he was asked to deliver the Duchess’s baby.
Dr. Setchell has been credited with saving the life of Sophie, the Countess of Wessex, when she gave birth to Lady Louise Mountbatten-Windsor prematurely in 2003. Louise, who was a member of the Duchess’s wedding party, was delivered a month early by emergency C-section after her mother suffered a placental abruption.
A year later, the Queen designated Dr. Setchell a Commander of the Royal Victorian Order in recognition of his work.
Dr. Setchell would go on to deliver the countess’s son, now five-year-old James, Viscount Severn.
“Marcus says he will retire after the (Cambridge) baby is born but because he knows they are planning more children, he will probably have to take time out of his retirement to deliver those, too,” a source told The Mirror.
Dr. Farthing is a gynecological cancer care specialist and an internationally recognized expert in laparoscopic surgery, who became a member of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists in 1991.
He made headlines in 1999 when his then-fiancée, television newscaster Jill Dando, was shot and killed outside her West London home. He has since remarried and has one child.
Dr. Farthing maintains a private practice in London and works out of Queen Charlotte’s Hospital and St. Mary’s Hospital, where the Duchess of Cambridge gave birth in the Lindo Wing.
The posh wing was where Princess Diana gave birth to Prince William and Harry in 1982 and 1984, respectively.“It’s obviously a great achievement that he will be there to deliver the baby, but Alan is very modest,” The Sun reported a friend of Dr. Farthing’s as saying.
The baby is expected to be formally known as the Prince of Cambridge.