The Queen awards highest honour to all NHS staff with George Cross award

·1-min read
Photo credit: Max Mumby/Indigo - Getty Images
Photo credit: Max Mumby/Indigo - Getty Images

The Queen has awarded the George Cross to the NHS to recognise the hard work of all current and former staff.

Her Majesty announced the award with a personal, hand-written letter addressing NHS staff directly. The letter was written on Windsor Castle headed paper, which she signed herself.

The Queen said that it was “with the greatest pleasure, on behalf of a grateful nation” that she could give the award and honour “all NHS staff, past and present, across all disciplines and all four nations.”

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The award's recipient is decided with the George Cross Committee and the Prime Minister, alongside the Queen.

Her Majesty said that their decision to recognise the NHS was reached because workers have, “supported the people of our country with courage, compassion and dedication, demonstrating the highest standards of public service.”

The Queen ended her letter by telling NHS workers that they “have our enduring thanks and heartfelt appreciation,” on behalf of the nation.

A copy of the letter was shared to the Royal Family’s official Instagram page along with a selection of photographs showing the Queen meeting NHS staff and patients over the years.

The post also explained that “The George Cross was instituted in 1940 by King George VI for ‘acts of the greatest heroism or of the most courage in circumstances of extreme danger’.

Photo credit: Getty Images
Photo credit: Getty Images

The award was first given during the Blitz in recognition of courageous actions by an individual or collective group.

A typed version of the full letter can be found on the Royal Family’s official website along with the history and context of the prestigious George Cross award.

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