The Queen has personally thanked all Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) members — and those who serve the society — for their ‘vital contribution to the health of the nation during the coronavirus pandemic’.

In a letter dated 15 April, Queen Elizabeth — patron of the RPS — congratulated the body on 180 years of service.

The letter said that ‘huge progress has been made’ since the formation of the Society in 1841 with pharmacists now working ‘alongside other healthcare professionals, advising them on the use of medicines to ensure the highest standards of patient care as well as prescribing and dispensing medicines to patients.’

It added: ‘I thank all those who serve the Society and also its members for their dedication to their patients and for their vital contribution to the health of the nation during the coronavirus pandemic.’

This is the second time the Royal family has publicly thanked the sector for their work throughout the pandemic.

According to RPS, the Queen's letter was received in advance of the passing of the Duke of Edinburgh on 9 April and they therefore decided to defer celebrations of the founding date of 15 April out of respect.

Sandra Gidley, RPS president said: ‘I’m particularly pleased that Her Majesty has commended the role pharmacists have played during the pandemic.

‘We are very proud of our rich heritage and will take the best of this forward into the future, striving at all times to put pharmacy at the forefront of healthcare.’