Tea with royalty! Kate & Wills to give NHS staff treat of a lifetime on special milestone – Express

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Kate Middleton takes part in reaction station at Wimbledon

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will celebrate the 73rd anniversary of the NHS on Monday, July 5 at a service of thanksgiving at St Paul’s Cathedral. They will also celebrate the contribution of NHS workers during the pandemic by hosting the NHS Big Tea in the gardens of Buckingham Palace, to pay tribute to their exemplorary efforts over the past 18 months.

The Big Tea will celebrate healthcare workers who have gone above and beyond during the pandemic.

It is a national initiative organised by NHS Charities Together, and the event at the palace is just one of thousands taking place on Monday in homes, hospitals, schools and commmunity spaces across the UK.

Kate and William, who are patrons of the charity group, will meet with a number of NHS staff members, ranging from respiratory ward nurses, counsellors and care workers.

NHS staff working in non-clinical roles, including catering managers and housekeeping co-ordinators, will also be in attendance.

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Kate, Duchess of Cambridge, and Prince William are set to give NHS staff a treat of a lifetime (Image: Getty)

kate middleton prince william latest news

Kate and Prince William will celebrate the 73rd anniversary of the NHS on Monday, July 5 (Image: Getty)

Alexandra Heys, nurse ward manager in the respiratory high care unit at Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said: “The special tea at Buckingham Palace means a lot to NHS staff who have been through so much over the last year, and I feel so honoured to be meeting the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge today.

“I know from personal experience that the past year has taken a huge toll on NHS staff who have worked incredibly hard to take care of patients during a challenging time.

“My team at the respiratory high care unit has cared for over 300 very sick Covid patients, all of whom required dedicated around-the-clock care.

“All NHS staff have gone above and beyond, providing additional care in difficult circumstances, including connecting isolated and very sick patients with their families in their most challenging moments.

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Kate and William will celebrate healthcare workers who have gone above and beyond during the pandemic (Image: Getty)

“We have all been through a lot, so seeing the public get behind the NHS Big Tea on such as massive scale is an immense boost and really makes a difference.”

The Big Tea will follow the service at St Paul’s Cathedral on Monday, which has been organised to celebrate the NHS’s contribution to the country during the pandemic.

It will reflect on the work and achievement of health staff, volunteers and careers throughout the health crisis.

William and Kate will be joined by leading figures in the NHS pandemic response, including NHS England chief executive Sir Simon Stevens, matron May Parsons, who administered the first Covid-19 vaccination outside clinical trials and Sam Foster, the nurse who gave the first Oxford AstraZeneca jab.

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Prince William joined Prince Harry to unveil a new statue of Diana (Image: Getty)

Hundreds of frontline staff members and patients will also be among the attendees, including members of staff who treated the first Covid-19 patients in England, and a number of patients who have been treated for the virus.

NHS England said staff will be placed “at the heart” of the socially distanced service.

A number of famous faces have praised the upcoming event, that has been organised by NHS Charities Together.

Actress Olivia Colman, who portrays the Queen in seasons three and four of Netflix’s The Crown, said: “As ever, I am tremendously grateful for our heroic NHS, but even more so following this very peculiar year.

british line to the throne

British line to the throne (Image: Express)

“We are so lucky to have our NHS, and today we will celebrate its 73rd birthday. There is much to celebrate, but also much to be aware of as we try to recover from the past year.

“It’s our turn to care for our NHS staff and show them all the love and respect we can, by raising money for the support NHS Charities Together provides.”

England football Jordan Henderson, who scored one of the four goals in yesterday’s Euro 2020 match against Ukraine, described the NHS staff as the “real heroes”.

The footballer, appointed an Official NHS Charities Together Champion in January following his creation of the #PlayersTogether initiative, said: “After the last 16 months, this nation owes so much to the NHS and the least we can do this July is encourage everybody to express their collective gratitude for that selfless support.

“We know as footballers we are often the ones being looked up to, but this is about the real heroes so, from all of us associated with the England football teams, we raise our mugs for the NHS Big Tea with a simple message – thank you.”


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