Covid: Prince Charles backs national day of remembrance on lockdown anniversary

The Prince of Wales has backed a day of national reflection being held on the anniversary of the first UK lockdown.

The nation has been encouraged to pause on Tuesday in remembrance of those who have died during the coronavirus crisis in the past year. The tribute has been organised by the end-of-life charity Marie Curie.

In a recorded message, Charles, who is a patron of the charity, said: “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.

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“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.

“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.”

A minute’s silence will be held at 12pm followed by a bell toll, and people are being encouraged to stand on their doorsteps at 8pm with phones, candles and torches to signify a “beacon of remembrance”.

Marie Curie estimates that more than six million people have been bereaved since the pandemic began.

Its chief executive Matthew Reed said: “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.”

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.