Professor Dame Elizabeth Nneka Anionwu, CPHVA honorary vice-president, was given a critical role to play in the historic coronation of King Charles III. On Saturday 6 May, Dame Elizabeth had the honour of carrying the sovereign orb during the procession, with the world tuning in to watch.
At this once-in-a-lifetime event, Dame Elizabeth (pictured, on the left)
– alongside Baroness Floella Benjamin (also pictured) – could be seen carrying the sovereign orb to the altar. Nurses and community practitioners across the country were delighted to see the professions represented at such a prestigious event, with over 14 million people watching – from Canada to Hong Kong.
Dame Elizabeth later tweeted that it had been a “rather fantastic day” and even took the opportunity to get a photo with other prolific women, including Olympic and Commonwealth gold medallist, Lady Mary Peters.
Though Dame Elizabeth almost passed-up the golden opportunity. Speaking to Good Morning Britain on Friday, she tells of how she thought the phone call was a scam and her excitement and shock at being chosen.
“I remember watching Queen Elizabeth’s coronation,” she says, recounting her time growing up in a children’s home. “I would never have imagined … seventy years later, to actually attend a coronation!”
Dame Elizabeth is of course paramount in the world of nursing. She qualified as a health visitor in the early 1970s and ultimately ended up specialising in sickle cell. The first nurse specialist in sickle-cell and thalassaemia, she has devoted her life to working with the Black and minority ethnic community. Her contributions have seen her awarded a CBE and a Damehood, among many other accolades.
Congratulations Dame Elizabeth on your well-deserved involvement in this historic day!
Image credit | Dame Elizabeth Nneka Anionwu