Speaking out. In honor of World Health Day on Tuesday, April 7, Queen Elizabeth II paid tribute to the healthcare professionals who have worked to combat the novel coronavirus.
“On the occasion of World Health Day, I want to thank all those working 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 around the world,” she said in a statement. “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.”
The 93-year-old monarch’s written declaration comes after she gave a rare televised speech about the pandemic on Sunday, April 5. Similar to Tuesday’s statement, she thanked essential workers for their efforts.
“I want to thank everyone on the NHS front line, as well as care workers and those carrying out essential roles, who selflessly continue their day-to-day duties outside the home in support of us all,” she in the televised message. “I am sure the nation will join me in assuring you that what you do is appreciated and every hour of your hard work brings us closer to a return to more normal times.”
Since beginning her reign in 1952, the queen has only addressed the general public on four other occasions.
The coronavirus spread has been an issue that hits close to home for the monarch due to her son, Prince Charles, being diagnosed with the illness late last month. On March 25, Clarence House revealed that the 71-year-old Prince of Wales was “displaying mild symptoms.” However, they noted that Charles “otherwise remains in good health and has been working from home through the last few days as usual.”
Days later, Charles announced that he had successfully recovered from the infection. “Having recently gone through the process of contracting this coronavirus — luckily with relatively mild symptoms — I now find myself on the other side of the illness but still in no less a state of social distance and general isolation,” he said in a video message on April 1.
After overcoming his own diagnosis, Charles helped to launch NHS Nightingale Hospital London — a new coronavirus field facility — via video call on April 3. The U.K.-based hospital currently has 500 beds that are fully equipped with ventilators and oxygen, but there are hopes to eventually expand the medical center to hold between 4,000 to 5,000 beds.
Given the constantly evolving nature of COVID-19, Us Weekly wants our readers to have access to the most accurate resources. For the most up-to-date coronavirus information, guidance and support, consult the CDC, WHO and information from local public health officials. If you’re experiencing coronavirus symptoms, call your primary care provider for medical advice.
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