Kindertransport nurse was the first to hold the King when he was born

Posted on May 5, 2023

On 5 July 1939 Ingelore Czarlinski, 15, and her sister Marion, 11, two Jewish girls from Berlin arrived in Harwich, a port town in Essex, on the Kindertransport. Just nine years later, Ingelore (now Susan) was the first person in the world to hold the future King Charles in her arms.

Susan, who had coincidentally changed her surname to Charles, had followed in the footsteps of two of her aunts and trained to become a nurse. She got a job working for obstetrician Sir William Gilliatt, who was chosen by the young Princess Elizabeth to attend the birth of her first baby, by caesarean.

Marion wrote in the Association of Jewish Refugees magazine in September 2005: “On 14 November 1948 I invited my sister to tea at my flat in Clapham. The phone rang and an official voice asked her to ring a Whitehall number immediately. Soon after a car came for her. When she arrived at Buckingham Palace she prepared the princess for delivery. The senior nurse assisted Sir William with the operation and Susan waited in an ante room with Prince Philip, who told her she reminded him of the beautiful Greek girls he had known when he was young. Eventually she was called into the delivery room and given Prince Charles to hold until his grandmother, the Queen Mother, took him from her.”

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