Windsor Castle was illuminated with blue light to mark the 72nd anniversary of NHS on July 5. (Photo: Steve Parsons / POOL / AFP) (Photo by STEVE PARSONS/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

Queen Elizabeth’s Windsor Castle shines with blue light to thank pandemic healthcare workers

Windsor Castle was illuminated with blue light to mark the 72nd anniversary of NHS on July 5. (Photo: Steve Parsons / POOL / AFP) (Photo by STEVE PARSONS/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

Windsor Castle, the residence of Queen Elizabeth, was bathed in a brilliant blue light on Saturday for the 72nd anniversary of the U.K.’s National Health Service.

“We join together in a moment of remembrance and reflection for those who have lost their lives during the pandemic and pay tribute to the healthcare professionals, keyworkers and volunteers working for and in support of the NHS,” read the royal family’s Instagram post under a photo of the lit castle. In March, the queen, 94, and her husband Prince Philip, 99, moved from Buckingham Palace to Windsor Castle to ride out the coronavirus pandemic.

“2020 has been the most challenging year in NHS history…” the NHS wrote on its website. “Over the last few months staff have worked around the clock to tackle coronavirus – caring for the 100,000 patients with COVID-19 who needed specialist hospital treatment and treating countless others besides, redesigning services and creating backup Nightingale hospitals.” The organization asked people to place a light in their windows for “this collective act of remembrance.”

The royal family’s public health initiatives have not slowed down for the pandemic. In an Easter speech, the queen encouraged social distancing because “by keeping apart, we keep others safe” and in a televised broadcast, she thanked people for sheltering in place “thereby helping to protect the vulnerable and sparing many families the pain already felt by those who have lost loved ones.” And her annual birthday parade in June, also known as Trooping the Colour, was downsized for safety.

And the Queen’s grandson Prince William and his wife Kate Middleton have been executing mental health initiatives — William is working at a crisis text line called Shout, of which he is a co-founder in addition to Middleton, his brother Prince Harry and wife Meghan Markle. While Middleton met with families of children in a hospice facility to plant a garden.

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Harry and Markle are miles away in Los Angeles, Calif., where they settled after dropping their royal duties. But in April, they were photographed delivering free meals to families, as coronavirus cases rose in the United States. “Yes, there is isolation and physical distancing, but there doesn’t have to be loneliness,” the couple reminded fans on their former Instagram account in March.

The last time Windsor Castle bathed in blue was April, when the Queen acknowledged medical workers for treating COVID-19 patients. On Saturday, other U.K. institutions such as the Palace of Westminster and a Royal Air Force plane also lit up blue

For the latest coronavirus news and updates, follow along at https://news.yahoo.com/coronavirus. According to experts, people over 60 and those who are immunocompromised continue to be the most at risk. If you have questions, please reference the CDC’s and WHO’s resource guides.

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