Duchess Kate writes touching letter thanking nurses for their work during coronavirus pandemic

By Zach Harper, with files from Heather Cichowski

May 12 is International Nurses Day, and thanking nurses for all they do for us couldn't be more needed than it is right now during the coronavirus pandemic. Duchess Kate has penned a letter doing just that and shared her support for everyone on the frontlines continuing the battle against COVID-19.

The Duchess of Cambridge's note, written in April, calls nurses an "inspiration" and says they're even more so due to the current global health emergency.

"I wanted to thank the Nursing Now campaign very much for all you are doing to support nurses around the world during this hugely difficult time," she wrote.

"The crucial, and often unsung, role that nurses play in global health care is needed now more than ever. In this, the International Year of the Nurse and Midwife, healthcare workers are facing unprecedented challenges in the fight against the global pandemic. Often putting their lives at risk and separating from loved ones to protect them from harm, they are an inspiration to us all. We stand behind all nurses and commend their bravery.

"I know you had so many plans for the Nursing Now campaign this year which have sadly had to be postponed. This international crisis has brought into sharp focus how much the global community relies on nurses and all healthcare professionals and it is clear that we will need to continue to champion the nursing profession long after the pandemic has ended.

"I am here to support you in the future. Thank you for your continued work and I send you my very best wishes for the challenging times ahead."

The note has been published just as Kate appeared with the Countess of Wessex on video calls to nurses around the Commonwealth on May 12. The two spoke to health care workers in Malawi, Australia, India, Cyprus, Sierra Leone, the Bahamas and the United Kingdom. They heard about what it is like on the front lines and changes staff are making, listened to personal stories, talked about mental health and ensured the nurses and staff knew how appreciated they are.

MORE: Duchess Kate and the Countess of Wessex surprise nurses around the Commonwealth with video calls

"Thank you for what you're doing," Sophie said to medical staff in India. "The outcomes are so much better because of the interventions you are doing."

"You're a huge inspiration to everybody. A huge thank you from all of us here," said Kate on a joint video call with Sophie to medical staff in Cyprus, including a worker who hadn't seen his children since February.

Kate speaks to nurses during a visit to St Thomas's hospital in London in 2018. Photo: © Richard Pohle - Pool/Getty Images

The Queen and the rest of the Royal Family also shared their heartfelt tributes to nursing staff in a video shared on the Kensington Royal Instagram, which showed Kate and Sophie's calls.

The video began with a voice call with medical staff and Her Majesty, who acknowledged nursing staff have had "quite an important part to play recently" in light of COVID-19. The clip continued with a message from Prince Charles.

"On International Nurses Day, my family and I want to join in in the chorus of thank yous, to nursing and midwifery staff all over the country, and indeed the world," the future King said.

In this challenging time, it’s really hard to be separated from family and friends. It’s also a time when everyone needs a beautiful escape. Here at Hello! Canada, we’re still busy creating the magazine you know and love, to spread positivity and provide some entertainment as a gentle reprieve from all the hard news. And with our new special offer for subscribers, there’s never been a better time to have Hello! delivered directly to your front door. Why not treat yourself, or someone you love, today?

Don't miss a beat with HELLO! Canada's Daily Hits newsletter, your daily dose of royal and celebrity news, fashion, weddings and more. CLICK HERE to sign up for free!