Coronavirus: Queen praises 'selfless commitment' of healthcare professionals on World Health Day

Rebecca Taylor
Royal Correspondent

The Queen has praised the “selfless commitment and diligence” of health professionals around the world as she marked World Health Day in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.

In a post on social media, the monarch passed on her thanks from herself and the Royal Family and noted the “vitally important roles” of doctors, nurses, midwives and other health workers.

Her post comes two days after she thanked NHS staff as well as other essential workers in a rare televised address to the nation and the Commonwealth.

On Tuesday, she said: “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.”

She added: “My family and I send our enduring appreciation and good wishes.”

Read more: Coronavirus: 'Nobody else alive could have done that' – Queen wins praise for her message

Queen Elizabeth thanked NHS staff as they battle the coronavirus. (Getty Images)

The message was shared with a video of members of the Royal Family, including Prince Charles and Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall; the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, and Prince Edward and Sophie, the Countess of Wessex, meeting health workers both in the UK and abroad.

It also included images from the current crisis, with a medic wearing a face mask and a visor outside a hospital.

The Queen made only the fifth televised address outside of her annual Christmas message on Sunday evening, sharing a message of comfort and support to the UK and the Commonwealth in the time of COVID-19.

The Queen meets Lily Conkan, eight, as she opens the new premises of the Royal National ENT and Eastman Dental Hospital. (Getty Images)

In the broadcast, which was watched by 23 million people, the 93-year-old said: “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.”

She also thanked people for staying at home, noting how difficult separation can be by comparing it with her own childhood, when she and her sister were sent to live in Windsor during the Blitz.

In the moments after her message aired, Number 10 confirmed the prime minister’s condition had worsened and he was taken to hospital in London.

Read more: Queen's message: Four other times the Queen gave a special address

The Queen at Alder Hey in Liverpool in 2016. (Getty Images)

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On Monday, Boris Johnson was transferred to the intensive care unit at St Thomas’s, and he has asked Dominic Raab to deputise for him.

Following the Queen’s message on television and radio, she also wrote to Canada and Australia’s governor-generals as the head of the Commonwealth.

In a message to Canadians, she said: “In the coming weeks and months, the people of Canada will need to continue to work together to ensure the health and vitality of our communities. I know that Canadians will remain optimistic and will rise to the challenges ahead.”

And telling Australians her thoughts were with them, she continued: “While it can be difficult to remain hopeful in such challenging times, especially following the summer's devastating bushfires and recent flooding, I am confident that the stoic and resilient nature of the Australian people will rise to the challenge.”

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