The Prince of Wales has recorded a message for The National Day of Reflection, a memorial day to mark the first anniversary of the first UK coronavirus lockdown on Wednesday.
In his message, Prince Charles says, “Our country has been through a trial which has tested our resolve and our resilience in countless ways” over the past year.
He continues: “We have all been inspired by the resourcefulness we have witnessed, humbled by the dedication shown by so many, and moved, beyond words, by the sacrifices we have seen.
“We are emerging from this time with a renewed confidence in one another and with a strengthened faith in our society—richly diverse in its many communities and cultures, but united in its commitment to the common good and the welfare of others, particularly those most vulnerable.
“As we do so, it is right that we pause to remember those whose lives have been so tragically cut short. As Patron of Marie Curie, I am so very proud that this charity, which does so much to help people at the end of their lives, has taken a lead in helping the entire country cope with losses we had never foreseen, but must never forget.”
Marie Curie estimates that over six million people have grieved and been bereaved since the coronavirus pandemic began and that many of those people “have been unable to say goodbye to loved ones or even had the opportunity to grieve properly.”
The organisation, of which Prince Charles has been patron since 2003, is an end-of-life charity that provides nursing and hospice care to those at the end of their lives while also supporting their loved ones with information and advice.
The National Day of Reflection will be marked by a moment of silence at noon and an opportunity to shine a light at 8:00 pm. Buildings and other landmarks across the UK will be lit up yellow to mark the moment.
“Whatever our faith or philosophy may be, let us take a moment together to remember those who have been lost, to give thanks for their lives, and to acknowledge the inexpressible pain of parting,” Prince Charles continues.
“In their memory, let us resolve to work for a future inspired by our highest values, that have been displayed so clearly by the people of this country through this most challenging of times.”
Marie Curie’s Chief Executive, Matthew Reed, thanked Prince Charles for “affirming that today is the opportunity for us all to take time to reflect and think about the unprecedented loss we’re facing, to take a moment to support each other through grief, and to look to the future together.
“Communities across the UK have come together to support one another during these most challenging of times, and it is that sense of community that will help many now find healing in the future, as well.”