UK royals pay tribute to British Red Cross to mark 150th anniversary

Britain's Queen Elizabeth speaks with Foreign and Commonwealth Office staff via video chat in London, Britain in this undated handout image

Britain’s royal family has paid tribute to the British Red Cross on its 150th anniversary, with the Duchess of Cambridge remembering how her great-grandmother and grandmother served as nurses in the two World Wars.

The charity was set up on Aug. 4, 1870, seven years after the international movement was created, to help those suffering from natural disasters, conflicts and individual emergencies. It has recently provided support during the coronavirus pandemic.

Queen Elizabeth, who has been the charity’s patron for more than six decades, sent a message to the organisation thanking its staff and volunteers for their work.

“Whether those involved in the Society are assisting people to return home from hospital safely, offering care and support in the aftermath of a disaster, volunteering in a shop, administering first aid or some of the many other activities the British Red Cross encompasses, their contribution is recognised, valued and greatly appreciated,” the 94-year-old queen said.

Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge, also penned a letter to 150 Red Cross staff and volunteers in which she noted that both her great-grandmother, Olive, and grandmother, Valerie, had served as Red Cross nurses, during World War One and Two respectively.

“Like you and many others, they are both part of the rich history of the British Red Cross, which is helping to ensure many people get the support they need during a crisis,” said Kate, wife of the queen’s grandson Prince William.

Heir-to-the-throne Prince Charles, who recorded an introductory video for the charity’s new online exhibition, said its work was still essential.

“Their conspicuous humanity in times of crisis offers an inspiration to us all,” he said.

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