Coronavirus: Queen pays tribute to 'selfless' NHS workers on World Health Day

7 April 2020, 13:57

On Sunday night Her Majesty delivered a historic address to the nation
On Sunday night Her Majesty delivered a historic address to the nation. Picture: PA

By Megan White

The Queen has paid tribute to NHS workers for their “selfless commitment and diligence” in battling the coronavirus pandemic.

The 93-year-old monarch said in a personal message to mark World Health Day that hospital and care staff are “an example to us all”.

Her Majesty said: “I want to thank all those working in the healthcare profession for your selfless commitment and dilligence as you undertake vitally important roles to protect and improve the health and wellbeing of people across the Commonwealth, and across the world.

“In these testing times, we often observe that the best of the human spirit comes to the fore; the dedication to service of countless nurses, midwives and other health workers, in these most challenging of circumstances, is an example to us all.

“My family and I send our enduring appreciation and good wishes.”

The statement was released accompanying a video montage on the Royal Family Twitter account that featured Queen Elizabeth II, Prince Charles, the Duchess of Cornwall and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.

The Queen, who has been living with Prince Philip, 98, at Windsor Castle went into self-isolation for seven days after her son and heir Charles tested positive for Covid-19 on March 25. He has since recovered.

Charles’ wife Camilla, who is president of the Royal Voluntary Service, also spoke after 14-days of precautionary self-isolation to say “thank you with all my heart” to the “wonderful” army of 750,000 volunteers that have signed up to help the NHS.

The Duchess of Cornwall said: "I wanted to send my warmest thanks to all the NHS Volunteer Responders who have come forward in unprecedented numbers to offer help to the NHS.

“Royal Voluntary Service has been working with the NHS to recruit people in England who can assist those who are most in need of practical and emotional support at this time.

“Thankfully, the charity has a long and remarkable history of bringing willing volunteers together with the isolated and lonely.

“That experience is needed more than ever in these challenging times. And today many more NHS Volunteer Responders will get in touch with the people they have so kindly offered to help."

“Everyone working in the NHS is under unimaginable pressure day and night in this crisis. I feel sure that the presence of so many wonderful volunteers will encourage, as well as support, them. I salute each one of you - and thank you with all my heart.”

On Sunday night Her Majesty delivered a historic address to the nation - only the fifth in her 68-year reign - where she repeated her Second World War refrain “we will meet again” to power the country through the crisis.

It comes as Prime Minister Boris Johnson remains in intensive care in St Thomas’ Hospital, London, after he failed to recover from the virus and his symptoms “worsened”.

Dominic Raab, the foreign secretary, has stepped in to run the Government and will lead the “war Cabinet” meeting with medical chiefs on Tuesday.