SUPPORT OUR JOURNALISM: Please consider donating to keep our website running and free for all - thank you!

CoronavirusEuropean RoyalsSpain

Queen Letizia thanks Red Cross volunteers for hard work over the past year

© Casa de S.M. el Rey

Queen Letizia gave a speech to mark World Red Cross and Red Crescent Day in Spain on Wednesday, thanking those who work worldwide to save lives and serve vulnerable communities.

The Queen was joined by Carolina Darias, Minister of Health; Francesco Rocca, President of the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent; Javier Senent, President of the Spanish Red Cross; and others for the event at the Spanish Red Cross’s Teaching Centre in Madrid.

In her speech, Queen Letizia thanked everyone involved with the Red Cross: “Each of the four million people you have assisted in the last year have felt encouragement and hope thanks to your work.

“But the Red Cross is more than that. We are the Red Cross who are part of society. For this reason, behind this organization should be the will of all (administrations, private sector, each citizen) to help and share because it is not possible to live turning our backs on us. It is, as President Rocca has said, a time of kindness. And of union and responsibility, I add.

“A year ago now, I had the opportunity also to visit one of the Red Cross locations in Madrid. It was only two months since the pandemic had started, and the CR Responde plan was already underway, which you already know well. There I saw professionals and volunteers take care of an elderly woman alone, a child who needed help with homework, a woman who wanted to access training to rejoin the labour market, a young mother who needed access to the job market impeccably and efficiently, basic services for families at risk of social exclusion.

“What I saw that morning in May 2020 was that the Red Cross responds, accompanies and reaches out to those who have unimaginable difficulties to maintain a dignified life. For all that, for each day of work, thank you very much.”

The Spanish Red Cross has been working on its largest operation ever over the past year, the Red Cross Responds Plan Against COVID-19, which has supported more than four million people in the country who the coronavirus pandemic has impacted; and more than 700 million people around the world who have also been impacted.

Queen Letizia was present as the Red Cross presented its 2020 Gold Medals and 2021 Plaque of Honour. The Gold Medals were presented to individuals for “their effort, solidarity and social commitment,” while the Plaque of Honour was presented to “the volunteers of the International Movement of the Red Cross and Red Crescent.”

About author

Jess is the Senior Royal Reporter and Editorial Assistant at Royal Central. Her interest in royalty started in her teenage years, coinciding with The Queen's Golden Jubilee in 2002 and grew from there. She specializes in the British Royal Family (with emphasis on the Cambridges) and the Danish Royal Family, and has provided royal commentary for media outlets in Canada, the United States, the UK and Australia.