James O'Brien 10am - 1pm
Royal Family pay tribute to nurses across the globe battling coronavirus
12 May 2020, 21:47
The Royal Family has rallied together to pay a touching tribute to healthcare workers battling coronavirus across the world on International Nurses’ Day.
The Queen was among the eight royals who paid their gratitude, heard on a video released by Kensington Palace thanking Prof Kathleen McCourt, president of the Commonwealth Nurses and Midwives Federation on the “very important day”.
Her Majesty said on a short audio clip released on Instagram: “Obviously nurses have had a very important part to play recently.”
Charles and Camilla, William and Kate, and the Princess Royal, the Countess of Wessex and Princess Alexandra also called up leading medics as far as India, Australia, Malawi, Cyprus, the Bahamas and Sierra Leone.
In a montage of the calls, messages and videos released on social media, the Duchess of Cambridge said: "I don't know how you manage to do this and keep the show on the road despite the extra pressures you're all under and the challenging conditions - it's just shown how vital the role that nurses play across the world.
"You should be so proud of the work that you do."
The duchess hailed the "amazing" nurses who were still caring for patients during the pandemic.
Heir to the throne Charles, in an excerpt from his video message to all nurses, said: "On this International Nurses' Day, my family and I want to join in the chorus of thank yous to nursing and midwifery staff across the country and indeed the world."
Many of the nurses were seen wearing face masks, as they spoke to the royals about the impact of the coronavirus.
On Monday 11th May, the eve of International Nurses Day, we remember all those who have lost their lives to #COVID19 while in service.— Kensington Palace (@KensingtonRoyal) May 11, 2020
Their outstanding work and dedication to those in their care will never be forgotten.#RememberHealthHeroes | @NursingNow2020 | @WHO pic.twitter.com/DbLrn2wPKr
Among those they chatted to were medics who had fought both Covid-19 and Ebola, HIV nurses in Malawi, the Royal Naval Medical Service, and those across the Commonwealth.
The Queen is a patron of the Royal College of Nursing and Kate is a patron of the Nursing Now Campaign, a global campaign to raise the profile of nurses.
A Palace spokeswoman said: "On every call, the royal family reiterated their thanks to nurses across the Commonwealth for the incredible work they do on a daily basis."
International Nurses Day takes place on the birthday of the pioneering nurse Florence Nightingale, 12 May, and this year is the 200th anniversary of Nightingale's birth.