The Queen cracked a joke with NHS leaders and healthcare workers today while hosting a small audience at Windsor Castle to honour Britain's health service with the George Cross this week.
Her Majesty and Prince Charles handed the medal, which is second only to the Victoria Cross, and praised the NHS leaders for their handling of the Covid vaccine rollout.
May Parsons, the nurse who delivered the first Covid vaccine outside of clinical trials, was also present.
The Queen made her guests laugh when she joked with the nurse about her historic first, saying, "You're still alive?"
The nurse laughed, telling the Queen, "We're terribly, terribly proud of the vaccination roll-out, it was so successful."
"Yes it was amazing," Her Majesty responded. "And what are you going to do with it?" she said, referencing the medal.
NHS England chief executive Amanda Pritchard said it would go on a tour of the NHS before it found a more permanent home.
"I've been told I'm not allowed to take it in my handbag!" Pritchard jokingly added.
The Queen laughed and urged her not to put it her handbag.
Queen's duties scaled back
It comes after the Queen's duties have been rewritten by Buckingham Palace to scale back on her activities following her recent mobility issues.
Her Majesty's "official" jobs were edited for the first time in at least a decade in the palace's annual Sovereign Grant report.
The new version of the Queen's job description puts more emphasis on supporting the wider royal family.
Her Majesty's role is still made up of two key elements: Head of State and Head of Nation. As Head of State, there are specific duties that she "must fulfil".
The new description notes that she is "greatly assisted by other members of the royal family who undertake official duties on behalf of Her Majesty".
This year, Prince Charles has led most of the six key events in the royal calendar.
A source told The Telegraph that the change is not "drastic" but simply a small update.
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