Her Majesty the Queen honours the NHS with the George Cross

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Photo credit: Pool - Getty Images
Photo credit: Pool - Getty Images

Her Majesty the Queen was accompanied by her son Charles, Prince of Wales, to an investiture at Windsor Castle yesterday (12 July). During the special occasion, Her Majesty presented representatives of the National Health Service with the George Cross.

According to the Cabinet Office, the George Cross "is awarded for acts of the greatest heroism or of the most conspicuous courage in circumstances of extreme danger."

Created by Queen's father, George VI, the George Cross is designed to reward the highest level of civilian courage. So, it only seems fitting that this honour be bestowed upon the NHS after their continuous tremendous service to Britain, but especially for their work during the Covid-19 pandemic.

This is only the second time during Her Majesty the Queen’s 70-year reign that the award has been awarded collectively to an organisation or group of people. The previous time in which this great honour was bestowed upon a group was in 1999, when it was received by the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC), in recognition of the collective and sustained bravery of the Force, including the families of those serving.

The George Cross was awarded to the NHS on the 5th of July 2021 in a handwritten letter from Her Majesty, but it was only this week that they were able to receive the honour in person.

Chief Executive Amanda Pritchard of NHS England, and May Parsons, Modern Matron from University Hospital Coventry and Warwickshire, who administered the world’s first COVID vaccine in December 2020, were two recipients of the award on behalf of the National Health Service.

Representatives of the NHS from Wales, England, Scotland and Northern Ireland were also in attendance for the honour.

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