I was very fortunate, as the Vice Lord Lieutenant of Greater London, to attend the Service to commemorate the life of Florence Nightingale, which is held every year on the Wednesday closest to her birthday, the 12th May, at Westminster Abbey. The Master of our Company and other Court members would normally have been present in their gowns and chains, but unfortunately the numbers attending in person were considerably reduced this year.
I remembered the Company and my fellow Freeman in my thoughts during what seemed a much more moving service than in previous years.
We were given a white rose to symbolise new beginnings and hope. Florence famously wore Floris London White Rose perfume and had it shipped to the Crimea. This was a fitting tribute to all nurses and midwives who have provided comfort and care to patients and their families in their time of need.
Freeman of the Company of Nurses