Queen Elizabeth had flowers delivered to the team of doctors and medical staff at the hospital where Prince Philip had his heart surgery as she led the United Kingdom in the National Day of Reflection one year since the pandemic lockdown.
According to reports, the queen sent a bouquet of flowers filled with tulips, iris, narcissi and ranunculus to St. Bartholomew's Hospital. It also had a note from the queen acknowledging the "immeasurable service" of the hospital staff.
Professor Charles Knight, the consultant cardiologist at the hospital, received the flowers from the queen on behalf of his staff. Then the workers had a small handover ceremony around the square and they placed the bouquet at the hospital's atrium, for everyone to see.
On March 3, Philip underwent a heart procedure following two weeks of hospital stay. He was transferred to St. Bartholomew's from King Edward VII Hospital. The queen's husband complained of feeling unwell and was reportedly suffering from an infection. Buckingham Palace only revealed that he's had surgery after the procedure was a success.
Speculations are that Philip's heart procedure could be in relation to his pacemaker. In 2011, the queen's husband was fitted with a medical device.
Philip, who retired from his public duties in 2017, is turning 100 years old in June. The queen's husband has refused to plan out his centennial birthday celebration because he does not want people fussing over him.
According to royal commentator Natalie Oliveri, Philip might just get his wish not to have a big celebration as this might still be prohibited due to the COVID-19 restrictions on mass gathering. Instead, the royal family might celebrate Philip's birthday with a small celebration at Windsor Castle. There have been indications that the palace will not have any grand events as it has already canceled the annual Trooping the Colour parade for Queen Elizabeth this June.
Meanwhile, the U.K.'s National Day of Reflection, which was organized by an end-of-life charity, Marie Curie, encouraged the people to reflect on all the lives lost during the first wave of the pandemic in March 2020. Aside from the queen, Prince Charles also had a special message for the careworkers and medical frontliners. The public was also asked to pause for a minute of silence during the middle of the day and to shine a light outside their window or place a colorful poster around 8:00 p.m. for those who have passed away due to the viral disease.