"After more than seven decades, that founding principle, though now familiar, is still a profoundly moving statement of our values – and it has never been more relevant than it is now," Prince Charles said

By Maria Pasquini
July 04, 2020 07:01 PM
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Prince Charles
BEN BIRCHALL/getty

Prince Charles is giving thanks.

The Prince of Wales, 71, paid tribute to the National Health Service on Sunday in honor of the institution’s 72nd birthday.

“Today marks the anniversary of the foundation of the National Health Service. On July the 5th, 1948, just four months before I was born, Trafford General Hospital opened its doors, providing care to all according to their need – not their ability to pay,” he said in a heartfelt video message.

“After more than seven decades, that founding principle, though now familiar, is still a profoundly moving statement of our values – and it has never been more relevant than it is now,” the royal continued.

Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall and Prince Charles
Samir Hussein/WireImage

In addition to being of service for over 70 years, the NHS has also been on the frontlines of the coronavirus health crisis.

“The current pandemic means that the NHS – and the entire country – has been through the most testing time in the service’s history. Our remarkably selfless nurses, doctors, paramedics and countless other staff have made costly sacrifices to provide treatment for more than a hundred thousand patients with Coronavirus and thousands more who needed other care,” said Charles, who contracted a mild case of coronavirus in March and has since recovered. “And, in tribute to them, we have come together as a nation to thank them for their skill, professionalism and dedication.

“Of course, our whole society has risen to this extraordinary challenge: from the farmers, fruit and vegetable pickers, delivery drivers and shop workers who provided our food; to the energy workers who kept the lights on, the transport staff and the public servants and business people who continued to provide vital services. Every new difficulty has been met with a new solution,” he said. “This renewal of our community spirit has been a silver lining during this dark time."

As his message came to a close, the royal extended his gratitude to “all who have given so much during this present danger.”

“Despite all that has been endured, there is deep cause for gratitude, and a true reason for pride. In the way we care for all members of our society, our greatness truly is in gentleness. So, thank you all for what you have done – more than I can possibly say,” he added.

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Charles’ video message came just days after he saluted the country’s "dearly missed" hostelries and pubs, which are now in the process of reopening.

“Hospitality connects people and enables them to create wonderful memories with families and friends," he said in a special video address, "be it over a pint of beer, a special meal with family or an overnight stay to explore new places.”

“All these experiences have been dearly missed as normal life has been put on hold," Charles added. "I know that those at the forefront of hospitality have missed their guests too, so I can only express my warmest appreciation for the resilience and fortitude shown by those in hospitality and offer my deepest sympathy to those who are struggling to keep their businesses going.”

His son Prince William also celebrated as the U.K. took the first steps to reopen the hospitality industry, by visiting a pub located just about five miles from his home at Amner Hall, Norfolk.

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