Kate, Charles, and the Queen Team Up to Celebrate the British Red Cross, and a Milestone Anniversary


After a few days holidaying on the Scilly Isles with her family, the Duchess of Cambridge is back to work and joining forces with Her Majesty the Queen to pen a thank you letter to the British Red Cross, which celebrates its 150th anniversary on Tuesday.

The Queen is expected to arrive at Balmoral any day for her own annual holiday, but given the Royal Family’s close association with the Red Cross and the services the organization has provided during the coronavirus pandemic Her Majesty took time to write a letter to thank the organization, it’s volunteers and staff for their support.

The Queen has been the charity’s patron for over 60 years and the palace released the Queen’s letter, in which she sends “my warmest congratulations to the staff and volunteers of the Society,” adding that “their contribution is recognised, valued and greatly appreciated.”

Meanwhile Kate, who has resumed official duties even though her children are still on vacation from school, also wrote a letter to 150 outstanding members of staff in which she detailed her own family connections to the organization. Both her grandmother Valerie Middleton and great-grandmother Olive Middleton served as Red Cross nurses. In the letter Kate wrote about the “rich history” of the British Red Cross, “which is helping to ensure many people get the support they need during a crisis.” Kate wrote that she had been “deeply moved” by the Red Cross’s efforts during the coronavirus pandemic: “You have all been doing an inspiring job supporting vulnerable people.”

The letters were sent with a special commemorative souvenir coin.

Valerie Middleton (center) was Kate Middleton’s grandmother, and served with the British Red Cross during World War II.

Courtesy of the Middleton family.

Prince Charles, who has been president of the British Red Cross since 2003, has also been involved in marking the milestone 150th anniversary, and recorded an introduction for the organization’s new exhibition.

The exhibition showcases 150 objects from the charity’s museum and archives and includes a Red Cross food parcel delivered during the Syria crisis and a handwritten letter from Florence Nightingale. 

In his introduction, Prince Charles praises the dedication of the charity’s volunteers and highlights how the Royal Family has played its own part in supporting the charity, dating back to 1870 when Queen Victoria became the first Patron. In 1885, the future Queen Alexandra formed her own Red Cross branch to raise money to help the sick and wounded in the war, and Princess Mary, the daughter of King George V and Queen Mary, also served as a Red Cross nurse between 1918-20.

The British Red Cross has been helping people in crisis, responding to conflicts, natural disasters and individual emergencies since 1870. During the coronavirus pandemic the charity’s huge network of volunteers has continued to make a difference to the lives of vulnerable people in the UK and abroad.

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