Queen makes surprise visit to open hospice centre

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The Queen has made a surprise visit to a hospice with the Princess Royal to open its new centre.

The monarch travelled the short distance from her Windsor Castle home to Maidenhead to tour the Thames Hospice to meet staff, volunteers and a patient.

The Queen travelled from her Windsor home nearby
The Queen travelled from her Windsor home nearby (Kirsty O’Connor/PA)

For more than 30 years the hospice has been providing palliative and end-of-life care and support to people across East Berkshire and South Buckinghamshire.

Its services are free for those who need care, and more than 50% of the £13 million annual running costs come from charitable support.

Queen Elizabeth II with Jonathan Jones, chairman of the trustees, during a visit to officially open the new building at Thames Hospice, Maidenhead, Berkshire
The Queen with Jonathan Jones, chairman of the trustees, during a visit to officially open the new building at Thames Hospice, Maidenhead, Berkshire (Kirsty O’Connor/PA)

On Tuesday, the Queen celebrated the achievements of the NHS across the decades by awarding the institution the George Cross during a ceremony she hosted at Windsor.

The 96-year-old head of state was joined by the Prince of Wales for event where health leaders from the four home nations were each awarded the medal.

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