Thursday, May 13, 2021
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Queen and PM lead tributes on day of reflection

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The Queen and Prime Minister have led tributes acknowledging the grief and loss of the last year as the nation fell silent on the anniversary of the first national lockdown.

The nation paused at midday in remembrance of those who have died during the crisis as part of a national day of reflection, organised by the end-of-life charity Marie Curie.

The minute’s silence was observed by members of the public, health and care staff and politicians across the UK, with cathedrals and both Houses of Parliament falling silent. It was followed by a bell toll.

This evening at 8pm people are being encouraged to stand on their doorsteps with phones, candles and torches to signify a “beacon of remembrance”.

More than 250 organisations are supporting the day of reflection, including 82 leaders from religious groups and cross-party politicians, care organisations, charities, businesses, emergency services, public sector bodies and community groups.

The Queen reflected on the “grief and loss felt by so many” in a message accompanying flowers sent to St Bartholomew’s Hospital in the City of London where the Duke of Edinburgh had heart surgery.

The message read: “As we look forward to a brighter future together, today we pause to reflect on the grief and loss that continues to be felt by so many people and families, and pay tribute to the immeasurable service of those who have supported us all over the last year.”

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge took part in a private moment of reflection in Westminster Abbey, observing the minute’s silence in the abbey’s Shrine of St Edward the Confessor.

William then lit a candle in remembrance at the altar of the Shrine, and Kate placed fresh daffodils next to the candle.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge at Westminster Abbey / PA Wire

Prime Minister Boris Johnson who observed the minute’s silence privately, offered his “sincere condolences” to people bereaved during the pandemic.

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