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Emotion and pride of nurses who marched in Queen’s funeral procession

Nurses say they felt honoured to represent the profession at funeral for sovereign who was patron of the RCN for 65 years

Nurses say they felt honoured to represent the profession at funeral for sovereign who was patron of the RCN for 65 years

Nurses who attended the Queen’s funeral have told how they felt ‘honoured’ to represent their profession.

Health workers, including nurses, formed part of the funeral procession on Monday, marching to Westminster Abbey in the Civilian Services Contingent.

Among them was matron May Parsons, who delivered the world’s first COVID-19 vaccination in December 2020 to Maggie Keenan and received the George Cross from the Queen in July on behalf of the NHS at Windsor Castle.

Following the service yesterday Ms Parsons said it had been an hour to

Nurses say they felt honoured to represent the profession at funeral for sovereign who was patron of the RCN for 65 years

The service at St George's Chapel at Windsor Castle on Monday Picture: Getty Images

Nurses who attended the Queen’s funeral have told how they felt ‘honoured’ to represent their profession.

Health workers, including nurses, formed part of the funeral procession on Monday, marching to Westminster Abbey in the Civilian Services Contingent.

Among them was matron May Parsons, who delivered the world’s first COVID-19 vaccination in December 2020 to Maggie Keenan and received the George Cross from the Queen in July on behalf of the NHS at Windsor Castle.

Following the service yesterday Ms Parsons said it had been an hour to represent the NHS during the procession.

Ms Parsons said: ‘Today has been emotional and surreal – the Queen has been such an inspiration to me of strength, integrity and her absolute determination to fulfil her promise to serve her people, which resonates so strongly with me as a nurse also fulfilling my promise to serve my community.

Matron May Parsons with the Queen after an audience at Windsor Castle in July Picture: Shutterstock

‘I can’t put into words what she has accomplished across the world and what she has meant to so many people, so while it has been a very sad day, it is also a day to remember and celebrate the incredible life she has lived in service.’

The Queen met thousands of nurses during her reign and ‘understood what they did and how important their role was’

Also attending were RCN president Denise Chaffer and chief nursing officer for England Ruth May, along with Queen’s Nurse Sharon Aldridge-Bent and Leeds Community Healthcare NHS Trust executive director of nursing Steph Lawrence.

Former chief nursing officer for England Dame Sarah Mullally, who is now the Bishop of London, led a prayer blessing the royal family at the service.

Dr Chaffer said: ‘It was a beautiful service. The whole atmosphere was respectful and it was very, very moving and incredibly sad.

‘Her Majesty was a very important patron and met thousands of nursing staff over the years. She was always so interested and took the time to listen to the nurses she met. They felt she understood what they did and how important their role was.’

The Queen was the royal patron of the college for more than 65 years. The RCN has set up an online book of condolence, which has already been signed by more than 1,000 people. A book of condolence has also been set up at the RCN headquarters in London.


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