The Queen has paid tribute to staff at Barts hospital to commemorate Marie Curie’s National Day of Reflection. The Queen paid her respects by sending a bouquet of flowers and personal message to the hospital, which cared for her 99-year old husband, Prince Philip earlier this month.
The personal note in the bouquet from Her Majesty read: “As we look forward to a brighter future together, today we pause to reflect on the grief and loss that continues to be felt by so many people and families, and pay tribute to the immeasurable service of those who have supported us all over the last year.”
The bouquet consisted of: iris, tulips, mixed narcissi (mini daffodils) and ranunculus.
The bouquet of flowers, were accepted by St Bartholomew’s chief executive, Professor Charles Knight, at a small handover ceremony in the hospital’s historic square, after being delivered from Windsor Castle.
The handover ceremony took place as staff from the hospital came together for a minute’s silence at midday, to reflect on the one year anniversary of the first UK lockdown and to remember those who have died and those that continue to be affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Duke of Edinburgh returned home from King Edward VII hospital last week, after a surgical procedure on his heart and treatment for an infection.
Speaking about the kind gesture from The Queen, Professor Knight said: “I would like to thank Her Majesty for these beautiful flowers and I’m delighted to accept the bouquet on behalf of the hospital and for everyone being remembered on this day of national reflection.
“I would like to thank all our staff at St Bartholomew’s for going above and beyond to care for our patients and support one another during the Covid-19 pandemic. These flowers are for you and represent all that you continue to do every day – I’m in awe of you.”
Marie Curie nurse Clare Horgan, who provides end-of-life care in the community, commented: “On behalf of Marie Curie, I would like to thank Her Majesty The Queen for her thoughtful words and kind gesture of support for the National Day of Reflection.’
“I’ve been supporting dying people and their families in the community since the start of the pandemic and know how important today will be for those who are going through bereavement. We hope that today will provide everyone with the time and space to reflect on the last year and to show their support to someone who is grieving at this difficult time.”
The thoughtful note and flowers follows as The Prince of Wales filmed a tribute to all those who have been lost to the pandemic, and those who have been bereaved. Charles is patron of Marie Curie.