Speaking on behalf of the RCN, Chief Executive & General Secretary Pat Cullen said: “I would like to express my deepest condolences and great sadness at the loss of Queen Elizabeth II. We have lost a dedicated Queen and Royal Patron. She will be missed by nursing staff across the UK.”
Queen Elizabeth II had a long connection with the nursing community. As Princess, she became President of the Student Nurses’ Association in 1944 and opened a new RCN library in 1945.
She also attended the premiere of the Florence Nightingale movie, The Lady with a Lamp, in 1951 to aid the College’s educational funds.
Following her coronation in 1953 she became a full patron of the RCN and continued to support the College, officially opening the new headquarters of the RCN Scotland Board in Edinburgh in 1994.
“During her reign the Queen visited nursing staff in hospitals and in the community, taking the time to speak to them and to listen to their experiences,” Pat added. “She saw nursing evolve from World War Two and the Blitz to the dynamic and modern profession it is today.”
RCN President Dr Denise Chaffer said: “Her Majesty was admired and respected by nursing staff from across the world for the way she tirelessly championed nurses and nursing issues.
“As patron of the Royal College of Nursing, she met with thousands of nursing staff and always took enormous interest in our work. The royal family are in our thoughts at this very difficult time.”
Out of respect, the RCN will now postpone the launch of its strike ballot due to open next week. Campaigning will pause until further notice.Please share a message or memory for Queen Elizabeth II in our online book of condolence.