News

Dame Elizabeth Anionwu honoured by the Queen at Buckingham Palace

Dame Elizabeth Anionwu honoured by the Queen at Buckingham Palace

A trailblazing nurse who set up the first nurse-led sickle cell intervention and screening service in England and campaigned for a statue of Mary Seacole has officially been made a dame by the Queen at a Buckingham Palace ceremony.

Elizabeth Anionwu accepting her award at the Palace

Elizabeth Anionwu, emeritus professor of nursing at the University of West London, was one of the leading figures in the Mary Seacole Memorial Statue Appeal campaign and was honoured for her services to nursing and to the statue appeal at the ceremony yesterday.

Dame Elizabeth told Nursing Standard: 'The Queen was very relaxed and noted that I had been awarded for services to nursing and we talked about Mary Seacole.

Family celebrations

What was really lovely for me was that I was there with my daughter and nine-year-old granddaughter. To sit with them in the

A trailblazing nurse who set up the first nurse-led sickle cell intervention and screening service in England and campaigned for a statue of Mary Seacole has officially been made a dame by the Queen at a Buckingham Palace ceremony.


Elizabeth Anionwu accepting 
her award at the Palace

Elizabeth Anionwu, emeritus professor of nursing at the University of West London, was one of the leading figures in the Mary Seacole Memorial Statue Appeal campaign and was honoured for her services to nursing and to the statue appeal at the ceremony yesterday.

Dame Elizabeth told Nursing Standard: 'The Queen was very relaxed and noted that I had been awarded for services to nursing and we talked about Mary Seacole.

Family celebrations

‘What was really lovely for me was that I was there with my daughter and nine-year-old granddaughter. To sit with them in the grand ballroom of Buckingham Palace and receive my award was just a stunning moment.

‘When I started out at 16 I could never have envisaged all the varied aspects of nursing I have encountered during my career. Nursing of course can be tough at times, but I have never, ever regretted joining the profession. There is something so wonderful about helping families and having a positive impact.’

Statue unveiled

After over a decade of campaigning and fundraising, a statue of Mrs Seacole, the Jamaican-born nurse who cared for British soldiers during the Crimean War, was unveiled in the grounds of St Thomas’ Hospital last year.

Dame Elizabeth, who is patron of the Sickle Cell Society, recently published her memoirs Mixed Blessings from a Cambridge Union.

Also honoured at yesterday's event was RCN President Cecilia Amin, who was awarded a CBE in recognition of her work for the RCN over the last three decades, as a nurse specialist in the field of sexual health and as a leader in her community. 

She tweeted about receiving her award: 'A memorable day, received my CBE award from her majesty the Queen, greatly honoured and humbled, received it in the name of nurses and nursing.'


In other news

Sign up to continue reading for FREE

OR

Subscribe for unlimited access

Enjoy 1 month's access for £1 and get:

  • Full access to nursing standard.com and the Nursing Standard app
  • Monthly digital edition
  • RCNi Portfolio and interactive CPD quizzes
  • RCNi Learning with 200+ evidence-based modules
  • 10 articles a month from any other RCNi journal

This article is not available as part of an institutional subscription. Why is this?

Jobs