Queen pays tribute to 'selfless' NHS workers in her national address

The Queen praises ‘selfless’ NHS staff and key workers battling on the front line during coronavirus crisis

  • Queen delivered address to the nation from Windsor Castle amid covid-19 crisis 
  • Praised ‘selfless’ care givers for continuing with their day-to-day duties
  • Also said the Clap For Carers campaign had defined the ‘national spirit’
  • NHS has confirmed 10 professionals have died from coronavirus to date 

The Queen has used her address to the nation to thank NHS workers for their ‘selfless’ efforts in combatting the spread of coronavirus. 

Speaking from Windsor Castle, where she has been isolating, the monarch praised medical workers for their work and sacrifice in the battle against the virus.

‘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 said.

‘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. 

Her Majesty’s extraordinary intervention is only the fifth time she has addressed the nation during her 67-year reign, and was used to deliver a historic rallying cry to the British public to urge them to come together in the fight against the coronavirus.

The Queen has used her address to the nation to thank NHS workers for their ‘selfless’ efforts in combatting the spread of coronavirus

She gave notice to the national Clap For Carers campaign, bringing a wave of applause to streets across the country each Thursday at 8pm.

‘The moments when the United Kingdom has come together to applaud its care and essential workers will be remembered as an expression of our national spirit; and its symbol will be the rainbows drawn by children.

The Queen went on to talk about the work of laboratories and pharmaceutical firms racing to develop a vaccine.

About 35 companies and academic institutions are believed to be creating such a vaccine, at least four of which already have candidates they have been testing in animals.

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 said

‘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’

The Queen added: ‘While we have faced challenges before, this one is different. This time we join with all nations across the globe in a common endeavour, using the great advances of science and our instinctive compassion to heal.’ 

It comes as the first NHS midwife to die after testing positive for coronavirus was named as 54-year-old Lynsay Coventry.

Ms Coventry’s family said their ‘hearts are broken at the loss of our loving, wonderful and caring mum, sister, daughter and grandmother’.

She is the latest NHS worker to die during the epidemic, which has infected 47,806 and killed 4,934. 

She gave notice to the national Clap For Carers campaign, bringing a wave of applause to streets across the country each Thursday at 8pm. Pictured: A message of thanks hangs from railings outside Watford General Hospital

Tonight it was announced that another nurse, Liz Glanister, from Aintree University Hospital in Liverpool, had died on Friday.

The Princess Alexandra Hospital in Harlow, Essex, where Ms Coventry worked for 10 years, today confirmed the midwife died on Thursday, April 2.

Ms Coventry passed away at neighbouring Mid Essex Hospital Services NHS Trust after initially self-isolating at home and was not at work before her death.

In a touching tribute, face mask-wearing medics at Prices Alexandra lined the corridors and fell silent to remember their colleague.

In a touching tribute, face mask-wearing medics at Prices Alexandra Hospital in Harlow, Essex, lined the corridors and fell silent to remember their colleague Lynsay Coventry, 54

With ‘great sadness’, the chief executive of the Princess Alexandra Hospital NHS Trust Lance McCarthy, announced her death and paid tribute to her ‘professionalism and commitment’. 

In a statement, Ms Coventry’s family said: ‘As a family, our hearts are broken at the loss of our loving, wonderful and caring mum, sister, daughter and grandmother.

‘We each know how much she loved and cherished us. Her love for us all was unfailing and her strength in the way she cared and supported us will fill our memories. 

‘What we also know is how proud she was to be an NHS midwife. Lynsay followed her dream and trained as a midwife later in life. 

‘It was a role she committed herself to and saw the midwifery team at the Princess Alexandra Hospital as her other family. 

The Princess Alexandra Hospital confirmed Ms Coventry, 54, died on Thursday April 2 at Mid Essex Hospital Services NHS Trust

‘She was a very well-respected midwife who supported many hundreds of women as they welcomed their babies into the world.’

Jacqueline Dunkley-Bent, chief midwifery officer for England, said: ‘I was deeply moved and saddened to hear about the death of Lynsay Coventry. 

‘Lynsay was clearly a highly-regarded midwife whose dedication to women, babies and their families will be remembered and cherished by her own family and her colleagues – my deepest thoughts are with them, her children, grandchildren, parents and siblings. 

‘The outpouring of support for NHS staff as we respond to this outbreak has been extraordinary, but the best way for people to do their bit for midwives, nurses, doctors and other NHS staff is to help protect us by following the Government’s advice to stay at home and save lives.’

The nation had already been mourning the deaths of frontline NHS staff who lost their lives after testing positive. 

Liz Glanister, a nurse at Aintree University Hospital in Liverpool died on Friday after testing positive for coronavirus, it was annonced tonight 

Liverpool University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust chief nurse Dianne Brown said: ‘It is with great sadness that I can confirm that Liz Glanister, a long-serving staff nurse at Aintree University Hospital, sadly passed away at the Royal Liverpool University Hospital on Friday after being tested positive for Covid-19.

‘All our thoughts are with Liz’s family at this time and we offer them our sincere condolences.

‘Liz will be sadly missed by all those who knew and worked with her.’ 


Two nurses – both young mothers-of-three (Amreema Nasreen, 36, left, and Aimee O’Rourke, 39, right) – five doctors and two healthcare assistants have also contracted died with since the start of the outbreak 

John Alagos, 23, a nurse from Watford and the youngest British medic believed to have succumbed to the deadly Covid-19 virus, collapsed and died at home after an exhausting 12-hour shift. 

Nurse Areema Nasreen, 36, a Walsall staff nurse and mother-of-three, died with coronavirus on Thursday night.

Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust’s chief executive Richard Beeken said she was a ‘very respected member of the team’. 

Another nurse, Aimee O’Rourke, 39, passed away at the QEQM Hospital in Margate, Kent, following the surfacing of symptoms two weeks ago.

John Alagos, a London nurse who treated covid-19 patients, fell ill at work but was not allowed to go home due to staffing shortages

Dr Habib Zaidi, 76, became ill and died in an intensive care unit on March 25 at Southend Hospital in Essex on Wednesday.

Dr Adil El Tayar, 63, died on March 28 after contracting the virus at the Hereford County Hospital. 

Dr Amged El-Hawrani, 55, an ear nose and throat (ENT) specialist at Queen’s Hospital Burton, died on March 29.

Nurse Thomas Harvey, 57, of Goodmayes Hospital, London, died after contracting the virus. 

Dr Alfa Saadu, 68, died after working shifts at Queen Victoria Memorial Hospital in Welwyn Garden City, Hertfordshire.

‘We will meet again’: The Queen’s historic address to the nation in full as it battles against the coronavirus outbreak

‘I am speaking to you at what I know is an increasingly challenging time. A time of disruption in the life of our country: a disruption that has brought grief to some, financial difficulties to many, and enormous changes to the daily lives of us all.

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. 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.

I also want to thank those of you who are staying at home, thereby helping to protect the vulnerable and sparing many families the pain already felt by those who have lost loved ones. Together we are tackling this disease, and I want to reassure you that if we remain united and resolute, then we will overcome it.

I hope in the years to come everyone will be able to take pride in how they responded to this challenge. And those who come after us will say the Britons of this generation were as strong as any. That the attributes of self-discipline, of quiet good-humoured resolve and of fellow-feeling still characterise this country. The pride in who we are is not a part of our past, it defines our present and our future.

The moments when the United Kingdom has come together to applaud its care and essential workers will be remembered as an expression of our national spirit; and its symbol will be the rainbows drawn by children.

Across the Commonwealth and around the world, we have seen heart-warming stories of people coming together to help others, be it through delivering food parcels and medicines, checking on neighbours, or converting businesses to help the relief effort.

And though self-isolating may at times be hard, many people of all faiths, and of none, are discovering that it presents an opportunity to slow down, pause and reflect, in prayer or meditation.

It reminds me of the very first broadcast I made, in 1940, helped by my sister. We, as children, spoke from here at Windsor to children who had been evacuated from their homes and sent away for their own safety. Today, once again, many will feel a painful sense of separation from their loved ones. But now, as then, we know, deep down, that it is the right thing to do.

While we have faced challenges before, this one is different. This time we join with all nations across the globe in a common endeavour, using the great advances of science and our instinctive compassion to heal. We will succeed – and that success will belong to every one of us.

We should take comfort that while we may have more still to endure, better days will return: we will be with our friends again; we will be with our families again; we will meet again.

But for now, I send my thanks and warmest good wishes to you all.’

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