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The Queen awards the NHS with the George Cross for its “courage, compassion and dedication”

The Queen has awarded the George Cross to the NHS – praising its “courage, compassion and dedication” of health workers over more than 70 years.

A hand-written note by the Queen has also been released.

The George Cross is granted in recognition of “acts of the greatest heroism or of the most courage in circumstances of extreme danger”.


It is only the third time it has gone to collective body.

Malta received the honour for its heroism under constant German attacks during WWII.

And the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) was bestowed with the medal in 1999.

Sir Simon Stevens, the NHS CEO, said the award recognised all workers, from medical professionals to cleaners.

All had shown “fortitude… in dark times” fighting the Covid-19 pandemic.

In her message on Windsor Castle-headed notepaper in support of the award to the NHS, the Queen said:

“It is with great pleasure, on behalf of a grateful nation, that I award the George Cross to the National Health Services of the United Kingdom.

“This award recognises all NHS staff, past and present, across all disciplines and all four nations.

“Over more than seven decades, and especially in recent times, you have supported the people of our country with courage, compassion and dedication, demonstrating the highest standards of public service.

“You have our enduring thanks and heartfelt appreciation.”

It’s said the Queen’s decision to include the message was “a sign of her personal commitment and support for this award”.

Credit: Buckingham Palace



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