On Friday, the Queen traveled to Maidenhead to formally inaugurate the new Thames Hospice structure.
Just before noon, Her Majesty and her lone daughter, Princess Anne, paid a moving visit as part of a rare joint engagement.
The 96-year-old monarch appeared upbeat as she braved the heatwave wearing a cream and blue floral dress. She traveled the short 15-minute distance from her home at Windsor Castle.
In contrast, Anne was dressed elegantly in a striped yellow dress.
The hospice, which offers palliative and end-of-life care to people 16 and older throughout East Berkshire and South Buckinghamshire, gave the royals a warm welcome.
The hospice, which has been in operation for more than 30 years, offers nursing, medical, and therapeutic care to support the needs of patients and their loved ones in terms of their physical, social, and emotional well-being.
They provide their services without charge and rely on the time and labor of 700 volunteers in addition to kind donations.
The Queen and Princess Anne met with volunteers and staff during the tour, and in a touching moment, the monarch was introduced to a hospice patient.
She met Graham White and his wife Pat, who is receiving respite care for stage four cancer. Graham’s phone rang as the Queen was introducing the couple, prompting Her Majesty to remark, “Typical, a phone goes off immediately.”
The meeting was “very emotional,” according to Mrs. White, 63, who sat and talked to the Queen. She later said: “This is a memory that I will treasure.” She laughed when she heard her husband’s phone ring: “I could have killed him! The Queen may appear to have a stiff upper lip, but she actually has a sense of humor.
Graham said that his son had called him and added, “That was a little embarrassing. I turned my wife’s phone off and I could have sworn mine was off.”
She officially unveiled the plaque with her daughter Anne by her side and signed the visitors’ book before departing the hospice.
The Queen awarded NHS representatives with the George Cross earlier this week during a special audience at Windsor Castle with her eldest son and heir, Prince Charles. This award recognizes exceptional actions by civilians and military personnel, not in the face of an enemy.
The Queen was photographed without a cane despite her ongoing mobility issues.
In a moving statement, she said: “It is with great pleasure that I present the George Cross to the National Health Services of the United Kingdom on behalf of a grateful nation.
“This award honors all current and former NHS employees from all four nations and across all disciplines. You have supported the citizens of our nation with courage, compassion, and dedication over the course of more than seven decades, but especially more recently. You have done this by upholding the highest standards of public service. You have our sincere gratitude and perpetual gratitude.
A frontline employee from each of the Home Nations accompanied the CEOs of the National Health Services of England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland. The Queen presented the prizes before meeting with ambassadors from every country.