The Duke and Duchess of Edinburgh arrived for a special ceremony to mark the 75th anniversary of the NHS.
Prince Edward and Sophie will be joined by 1,500 healthcare staff, politicians and NHS supporters for a service at Westminster Abbey in London to pay tribute to staff and patients.
Those present will be able to view the NHS St George’s Cross, which was awarded to the health service by the late Queen for the work carried out by staff during the Covid-19 pandemic and throughout its history.
In one of the last public engagements before his death last year, he presented the medal to the NHS in a ceremony at Windsor Castle. Health service leaders from the four nations attended the ceremony, with nurse May Parsons, who delivered the first covid-19 vaccine outside of a clinical trial.
Ms Parsons will carry the medal to the Abbey in a procession which will also include Kyle Dean-Curtis, 17, St John Ambulance Cadet of the Year, who wants to work in the NHS, and Enid Richmond, 91, who was one of the first people to work in the NHS, as a member of the junior administrative staff.
Sophie, Duchess of Edinburgh, attends a service at Westminster Abbey to mark 75 years of the NHS
The Duchess arrived in an elegant pale pink floral dress and nude heels for the event.
Prince Edward leads the way as they arrive for the service on Wednesday morning.
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak arrives at the NHS anniversary ceremony
BBC sports presenter Adele Roberts is in attendance; she previously said she owes her life to the NHS after cancer surgery.
A general view at the NHS anniversary ceremony – over 1500 are in attendance
Amanda Pritchard, Chief Executive of NHS England
The Cross of Saint George which was presented to the National Health Service
The head of NHS England, Amanda Pritchard, will give a speech to the congregation.
There will be prayers and testimonials from high-profile health leaders, including Health Secretary Steve Barclay, NHS England Head Nurse Dame Ruth May, NHS England’s National Medical Director Professor Sir Stephen Powis and Ellie Orton, Chief Executive of NHS Charities Together.
Those who have shown bravery on the front lines have also been invited, including Richard Webb-Stevens, a paramedic who was the first to arrive at the scene of the Westminster Bridge terror attack, and Dr Martin English and Dr Michael Griksaitis. , NHS consultants who jointly led a team that brought 21 Ukrainian children with cancer from Poland to the UK in March 2022, following the Russian invasion.
Mr Barclay said: ‘As we mark this milestone, we can be very proud of all the NHS has achieved over the last 75 years.
“From its founding after the Second World War, to the world’s first test-tube baby and the administration of the first Covid vaccine, the NHS is an institution deserving of its title of national treasure.
“I want to thank everyone who has worked in the NHS, from the doctors and nurses who care for our loved ones, to the cleaners and porters who keep our hospitals in order, to our social workers, paramedics, physiotherapists and many more. “. more than they do an outstanding job, each and every day.’
Prince Edward and Sophie will be joined by 1,500 healthcare staff, politicians and NHS supporters.
The service will take place at Westminster Abbey in central London.
Their Royal Highnesses will be accompanied by senior government and political representatives.
Up to 1,500 toilets will rub shoulders with royalty
The main leader of the British opposition Labor Party, Keir Starmer (left), speaks with Amanda Pritchard, chief executive of NHS England (right).
Adele Roberts (right) attends the NHS anniversary ceremony at Westminster Abbey.
Dr. Zoe Williams attends the service on July 5 – pictured arriving at the Abbey
Guests at the NHS anniversary ceremony which as part of the celebrations for the 75th anniversary of the health service
Those who have shown bravery on the front lines have also been invited.
Dame Ruth added: “The NHS has truly been built on the millions of NHS workers and volunteers who have shaped its course over the last three-quarters of a century, constantly innovating and adapting to the new challenges they have faced, most recently the Covid -19 pandemic that has affected all our lives – to care for generation after generation, and it will be a fantastic honor to celebrate the 75th birthday of our health service and thank each of those incredible employees and volunteers of the Abbey of Westminster.
“In addition to the service, there are countless events and special moments over the next week that everyone can participate in, whether it’s local parkrun events or the lighting of more than 150 iconic sites across the country, with plenty of opportunities to look beyond looking back to all that the NHS has achieved, but also looking forward to the new opportunities and innovations that we can seize in the next 75 years.’
The day of the celebration will see dozens of buildings across the country, from Nottingham Castle to the Houses of Parliament and the London Eye, and Liverpool’s Liver Building, lit up in the signature blue of the NHS.
Several celebrities will join the celebrations, including award-winning actor Tom Hardy, who will read Zog And The Flying Doctors on CBeebies Bedtime Stories on birthday night.
Sophie, Duchess of Edinburgh, shakes hands with Amanda Pritchard, Chief Executive of England’s NHS (right)
The Duke and Duchess of Edinburgh celebrate special anniversary
British artist Charlie Mackesy has created a special NHS75 illustration to be released on the anniversary, and the Royal Mint has released a collectible 50p coin.
Addenbrooke’s Hospital Cambridge celebrated by welcoming a new surgical robot after a £1.5m fundraising campaign by Addenbrooke’s Charitable Trust.
The King and Queen toured Edinburgh’s Royal Infirmary on Tuesday, with Camilla joking with patients that she is the same age as the NHS.
In Wales, Health Minister Eluned Morgan attended the naming of a Great Western Railway train after NHS founder Aneurin Bevan at Newport station.
The Northern Ireland Confederation for Health and Social Care is hosting an event at the Parliament Buildings, Stormont, on Wednesday.
Park Run and Junior Park Run events across the UK over the weekend will also be dedicated to the service.