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Queen sends flowers to NHS hospital where Philip was treated as she marks one year of lockdown

Rebecca Taylor
·Royal Correspondent
·3-min read

Watch: The Queen sends flower bouquet to thank hospital staff

The Queen has reflected on a "brighter future" as Britain marks one year since the first national lockdown to stop the spread of coronavirus.

The monarch sent flowers to the NHS hospital in London where her husband, Prince Philip, recently underwent a heart procedure, as she paid tribute to those who have supported people over the last year.

Her message read: "As we look forward to a brighter future together, today we pause to reflect on the grief and loss that continues to be felt by so many people and families, and pay tribute to the immeasurable service of those who have supported us all over the last year."

A minute's silence was held at 12pm on 23 March, marking one year since the first lockdown began, and remembering the 126,000 people who have died in the UK from COVID-19.

The Queen's message was released shortly after the silence finished, along with details of her gift to St Bartholomew's Hospital in the City of London.

General view of flowers from Queen Elizabeth II to staff at St Bartholomew's Hospital, London, on the anniversary of the first national lockdown to prevent the spread of coronavirus. Picture date: Tuesday March 23, 2021. (Photo by Dominic Lipinski/PA Images via Getty Images)
Flowers from the Queen to staff at St Bartholomew's Hospital, London, on the anniversary of the first national lockdown. (PA)
Chief Executive of St Bartholomew's Hospital Professor Charles Knight receives flowers from Queen Elizabeth II during a ceremony at St Bartholomew's Hospital, London on the anniversary of the first national lockdown to prevent the spread of coronavirus. Picture date: Tuesday March 23, 2021. (Photo by Dominic Lipinski/PA Images via Getty Images)
St Bartholomew's Hospital CEO Professor Charles Knight receives flowers from the Queen. (PA)

The 94-year-old sent a bouquet of irises, tulips, mixed narcissi and ranunculus to the hospital from Windsor Castle, where she and her husband have spent most of the last year.

The bouquet was handed to the hospital’s chief executive, consultant cardiologist Professor Charles Knight.

He said: “I’m delighted to accept the bouquet on behalf of the hospital and everyone being remembered on this national day of reflection.

“We are hugely honoured and humbled by the gift.”

Read more: Duke and Duchess of Cambridge make impromptu FaceTime call to father of paramedic: 'You must be very proud'

Thanking hospital staff and frontline workers in the UK, he said the day of reflection was a chance "to come together and remember all those that we have lost through the pandemic and all those still bearing the burden of grief”.

He added: "Reflecting on the past year inevitably brings a lot of sadness but it also is an immense source of pride when I recall the heroic efforts of the staff at St Bartholomew’s to cope with the unprecedented challenge of the pandemic.

"The gift is for each and everyone of them.

"To close, we would all like to wish His Royal Highness the Duke of Edinburgh a full and complete and speedy recovery."

Philip, 99, has been back at Windsor Castle for a week, after a four week stay in two different hospitals in London, after he started to feel unwell in mid-February.

He was reported to have an infection, and was treated at the private King Edward VII hospital, but transferred to St Barts for the procedure.

He then returned to King Edward VII to recover before going back to Windsor last week.

Staff at St Bartholomew's Hospital, London, receive flowers from Queen Elizabeth II on the anniversary of the first national lockdown to prevent the spread of coronavirus. Picture date: Tuesday March 23, 2021. (Photo by Dominic Lipinski/PA Images via Getty Images)
The Queen wanted to mark the one year anniversary and thank staff who cared for her husband. (PA)

Read more: Queen and Camilla in rare joint appearance to thanks nation's army of COVID volunteers

The Queen is understood to have chosen St Barts to receive the flowers because of his successful treatment there.

She wanted to mark the anniversary of the lockdown and remember those who have lost their lives.

The Queen moved from London to Windsor in mid-March 2020 ahead of the lockdown, and has been there since. 

The Duke of Edinburgh flew down from Sandringham by helicopter to join her, and it has been the longest time they have been able to spend together since his retirement in 2017.

Her grandson, Prince William, and his wife Kate, went to Westminster Abbey in London on the anniversary, where they lit a candle and laid flowers to remember those who have died this year.

Watch: Prince Philip, 99, leaves the hospital after 4 week stay