The Queen’s Nurse title will continue following the death of Queen Elizabeth II, it has been confirmed by the charity that oversees the programme for community nurses.
A letter from the Queen’s Nursing Institute (QNI) has also announced that the Queen Consort Camilla will be invited to become the charity’s next royal patron.
Since news of Her Majesty’s death last Thursday, tributes have poured in from across the profession.
Queen Elizabeth II has been remembered for the way she “tirelessly championed nurses and nursing issues”, having been a patron for several nursing and health and care organisations.
The Queen became patron of the QNI in 2002, following the previous patronage of the Queen Mother.
Her Majesty reintroduced the Queen’s Nurse title in England, Wales and Northern Ireland in 2007, after an almost 40-year absence. The title was reintroduced in Scotland in 2017.
In a letter to Queen’s Nurses after her death, the QNI – which is dedicated to improving the nursing care of people in the home and community – described Queen Elizabeth II as “a great supporter of nursing and healthcare”.
“The Queen’s support enabled a growth in the appreciation and understanding of the work of community nurses in promoting the health and wellbeing in people of all ages and backgrounds in every part of the UK,” it said.
“We will continue to develop and grow this legacy in the years to come, through the work you do as Queen’s Nurses,” it added.
The charity said it planned to create a digital book of condolence specifically for Queen’s Nurses which would then be passed on to the Royal Family.
“We will continue to develop and grow this legacy in the years to come, through the work you do as Queen’s Nurses”
The letter also confirmed that Queen Consort Camilla will be invited “to maintain the 135-year succession of Queens who have been patrons of the QNI” and that the title of Queen’s Nurse would continue.
A separate frequently asked questions document from the QNI explained the title was not affected by the succession of King Charles III.
This was because it “has been used since the first Royal Charter was granted to the QNI in 1889” during the reign of Queen Victoria – apart from the period of 1968-2007 when the title was not used.
“The title of Queen’s Nurse is derived from the name of the charity and its royal patron, not necessarily the current sovereign,” the QNI added.
The document explained that the QNI has “always been known by this name or a variation of it, even when there has been a King on the throne”.
“A Queen has always been patron of the charity, even when they were not the ruling monarch at the time,” it added.