In an important move, the Queen has encouraged people to "think about others" and get their Covid-19 vaccination. During a virtual call with health leaders leading the charge in delivering the vaccine across the UK, Her Majesty spoke about her own experience. "It was very quick, and I’ve had lots of letters from people who have been very surprised by how easy it was to get the vaccine. And the jab – it didn’t hurt at all." The Queen described the progress of the vaccine campaign as "remarkable" and told leaders to "keep up the good work".
The Queen and Prince Philip received their first doses at Windsor in January. Her Majesty spoke to the four Senior Responsible Officers (SROs) overseeing the delivery of the vaccine in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, to hear about the collaborative effort which has led to over 18 million people across the UK receiving a first dose of the vaccination, and the ongoing work to keep communities safe. Dr Emily Lawson, who leads the COVID-19 Vaccine Programme on behalf of NHS England, reflected on the achievements of the operation. Dr Lawson paid tribute to the way in which healthcare workers, government officials, volunteers and the Armed Forces have worked together across all four nations to deliver the vaccine to every community in the United Kingdom. She also expressed her hope that everyone who is offered the vaccine over the coming months will choose to accept it.
Buckingham Palace share more information on the call:
'While 1.5 million Scots have now been vaccinated, Derek Grieve, Head of the Scottish Government’s Vaccinations Division, spoke about the challenge of ensuring those living in remote areas are not excluded. Mr Grieve told the Queen how cold storage facilities have been secured in Shetland, Orkney and the Western Isles, and how Her Majesty’s Coast Guard has been instrumental in reaching some of the rural communities of Scotland.
Praising the sense of community spirit that has been evident since the outbreak of the pandemic, Mr Grieve said:
“If I could bottle this community spirit and use it not just for the vaccination programme, but for other things, the job would be done.”
Across the UK, care home residents have been some of the most badly affected by the pandemic. Deputy Chief Medical Officer Dr Naresh Chada told The Queen how in Northern Ireland teams have been working quickly to deliver the vaccine to the most vulnerable, with residents of all 483 care homes now inoculated against the virus. Dr Chada highlighted the concerted joint effort between the four nations to control the virus, and spoke to the Queen of his confidence in medical researchers to remain one step ahead.'
The Queen was elegant in coral and accessorised with a very familiar brooch - the Diamond Clematis. The diamond-encrusted, flower-shaped brooch is not only one of the Queen's most timeless pieces, it holds a great deal of sentimental value.
The then-Princess Elizabeth wore it in 1947 when her engagement to Philip was announced.
Speaking of Prince Philip, he remains at King Edward VII's Hospital where he has being cared for over the past ten days. The most recent update from Tuesday read, "The Duke of Edinburgh remains at King Edward's Hospital, where he is receiving medical attention for an infection. He is comfortable and responding to treatment but is not expected to leave hospital for several days."