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Queen praises ‘dedication’ of health workers during coronavirus outbreak

Tolga Akmen

By Tony Jones, PA Court Correspondent

The Queen has praised the “dedication to service” of nurses, midwives and other health workers during the coronavirus outbreak in a message to mark World Health Day.

The head of state, who on Sunday told the country in lockdown it can overcome coronavirus and “we will meet again”, also thanked healthcare professionals for their “selfless commitment”.

Her words were released in a video montage posted on the royal family Twitter account showing members of the monarchy meeting medical staff and health workers.

The Queen said in her message: “On the occasion of World Health Day, I want to thank all those in the healthcare profession for your selfless commitment and diligence as you undertake vitally important roles to protect and improve the health and well-being of people across the Commonwealth, and across the world.

“In 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.”

During the video montage still and moving images are shown of a number of health-related royal visits from the Queen opening the new Royal National ENT and Eastman Dental Hospitals to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge touring a London Ambulance Centre to meet staff taking NHS 111 calls.

Other royals pictured meeting health workers include the Prince of Wales, Duchess of Cornwall and the Earl and Countess of Wessex.

The Queen has had personal experience of Covid-19 as Charles contracted the virus and spent seven days in self-isolation at his Scottish home after reporting mild symptoms.

In her televised national address to the nation the head of state said if we “remain united and resolute” in the face of the coronavirus outbreak “we will overcome it”.

The head of state warned the country, in lockdown for two weeks and with thousands dead after contracting Covid-19, “may have more still to endure”.

But she echoed the words of Forces’ sweetheart Dame Vera Lynne’s Second World War anthem, when she said “we will meet again”.

Camilla has thanked more than 750,000 people, three times the original target, who signed up to join a “volunteer army” to help the NHS through the coronavirus crisis.

The duchess, who is president of the Royal Voluntary Service, said: “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.”

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