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The Queen marks the opening of the Royal London's Queen Elizabeth Unit

Published 10 April 2022

Her Majesty joined a video call to officially open the new unit and meet staff and patients.

The Queen, as Patron of the Royal London Hospital, has paid tribute to NHS key workers, hearing about their experiences of working on the front line of healthcare during the pandemic.

Her Majesty also marked the official opening of the hospital’s Queen Elizabeth Unit, which is one of the biggest critical care units in the country; the 155-bed Unit was built on the 14th and 15th floors of the hospital in just five weeks, in response to surging patient numbers due to the outbreak of Covid-19.

The team at The Royal London Hospital quickly adapted to meet the scale and demands of the challenge before them, and The Queen spoke to staff who cared for over 800 critically ill patients on the unit, and their families.

Speaking from The Queen Elizabeth Unit, the NHS staff described the difficulties of caring for patients who could not receive physical visits from their loved ones, and their own sacrifices of leaving their families at home, in order to do their vital jobs safely.

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A selection of messages will be passed onto members of the Royal Family, and may be held in the Royal Archives for posterity.