Freedom of the City for Dame Lorna Muirhead

Dame Lorna DCVO DBE is to receive the Freedom of the City at a special ceremony on Thursday 2 March in recognition of her outstanding contribution to Midwifery in Liverpool.

The Freedom of the City is the highest honour Liverpool can bestow upon an individual.

Dame Lorna moved to Liverpool in 1964 with her husband and was a midwife at the city’s maternity hospital on Oxford Street, where she delivered thousands of babies during her 40-year career – including being part of the team who helped deliver and care for the Walton sextuplets who were born in 1983.

In 2000, she was appointed Dame Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire for her services to midwifery and later became president of the Royal College of Midwives.

She also served as Her Majesty’s Lord-Lieutenant of Merseyside from 2006–2017.

When she retired as Lord-Lieutenant, the late Queen appointed Dame Lorna as Dame Commander of the Royal Victorian Order (becoming a double Dame!) – an honour that is granted personally by the monarch.

Dame Lorna Muirhead said: “Fifty-seven years ago, I came as a newly qualified midwife to work in Liverpool, planning to stay for two years whilst my husband did post-graduate studies at the University of Liverpool – and we are still here in the city we love and in which we chose to make our home.

“I worked at the Liverpool Maternity Hospital which was my amazing good fortune because it provided Rolls Royce care to women and babies, and world-class doctors and midwives were employed there. I realised very quickly that this was a place of great excellence, and I knew I wanted to be part of it.

My professional passion was the care of labouring women, and I spent 40 years indulging that passion, sharing many joys around birth with Liverpool families, as well as working alongside gifted, committed colleagues who are the NHS, and being inspired by their skill and dedication.

“To have recognition for this work by the City of Liverpool is very special indeed and I am deeply grateful for this honour.”

Lord Mayor of Liverpool, Cllr Roy Gladden, said: “Freedom of the City of Liverpool gives us the opportunity to acknowledge the dedication that people give to our city, and celebrate the talents and skills that make our communities better places to live.

Dame Lorna has fulfilled her roles with enthusiasm, humour and decorum – and has been a steadfast presence in the lives of local people.

I want to personally thank Dame Lorna for what she has done for the people of Liverpool, and for what she continues to do”.

Recent recipients of the Freedom of the City include award winning writer Jimmy McGovern for his contributions to the city’s film and TV industry and Liverpool FC manager Jürgen Klopp who has guided the club to great success. 

We would like to congratulate Dame Lorna and thank her for her many contributions and support of our refuge as Patron over many years.