The Prince of Wales has praised the efforts of the armed forces, who have demonstrated the nation’s “ability to unite through adversity” during the coronavirus pandemic.
In a Christmas video message Charles also paid tribute to the “dedication to duty and sacrifice” of servicemen and women and their families.
At the moment more than 1,388 military personnel are deployed on 53 Covid-19 tasks from the Vaccine Taskforce to deliver community testing for Tier 3 areas.
Charles said: “As we near the end of this most extraordinary and difficult of years, I particularly wanted to pay tribute to each and every one of you, and your families, for your continued service, dedication to duty and sacrifice.
"This exemplary commitment to public service is a real hallmark of our Armed Forces."
HRH The Prince of Wales has sent a special Christmas message to service personnel, thanking them for their work this year. 🎄
View full message: https://t.co/AzkLwloeat
— Ministry of Defence 🇬🇧 (@DefenceHQ) December 22, 2020
“You set us all a remarkable example for which you are owed immense gratitude.”
Charles, who contracted Covid-19 in March, said no-one had been “unaffected by this pernicious disease” adding: “Whilst our medical professionals, key workers and emergency services have been at the forefront of this particular campaign, throughout the year members of our armed forces have remained shoulder to shoulder with them.
“Once more, many of you, both regulars and reservists, have answered the call and provided unwavering support to the country at a time of crisis.”
The prince highlighted the work of the armed forces, from helping to deliver personal protective equipment to constructing Nightingale hospitals and helping at testing sites and with vaccine provision.
He added: “Your efforts, in collaboration with our key workers, has demonstrated the very best of this country in our ability to unite through adversity.”
During the festive period 6,400 servicemen and women will be deployed on 39 operations across 46 countries.
Thousands of personnel will also be deployed and held at high readiness at home this Christmas, as part of UK resilience operations.