Prince William thanked Britain’s emergency service workers on Tuesday praising them for facing the “deepest fears” to save others.
The Duke of Cambridge met nominees at the Who Cares Wins awards, sharing how he was “so proud” of brave children and professionals who have gone above and beyond to help the public.
William presented the “999 heroes” award to Deena Evans and Michael Hipgrave who were stabbed on duty as paramedics during a routine call-out.
“Every day our emergency services deal with high-pressured, challenging situations,” he said. “When most of us would, quite naturally, turn away and seek safety, our emergency responders rise to the occasion – running straight towards the danger to provide vital and often life-saving support.”
He continued: “Very modestly, they will tell you that this does not make them heroes, and it is all done in the name of duty. But sometimes a situation will occur that tests the resolve of even the most experienced responder.
“In times like these, they must face their deepest fears and find the most astonishing level of courage to overcome the obstacles in front of them. And that is truly heroic.
“The winners of this award faced just such a situation, but I am delighted to say they survived and are here this evening.”
The glitzy guest list at London’s Roundhouse included Prime Minister Boris Johnson, David Beckham, Piers Morgan, Kate Garraway, James Blunt, and Gary Lineker; Davina McCall hosted the evening.
Deena, 40, is a mother-of-three who was stabbed twice in the chest before Michael stepped in and was stabbed in the back. Their attacker was jailed for nine years after admitting two charges of wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm. Both are now back at work on the frontlines.
William met the pair backstage at the awards and asked if they received “proper support” after the traumatic experience.
“If you don’t get that space to deal with it, it can linger. It’s quite scary,” he added. “Thank goodness you’ve got each other.”
Other nominees whom William met included Lucas Palmer, eight, who saved his four-year-old brother Louis’ life after he fell into a freezing cold river, diving in to help him.
He also spoke to Professor Keyoumars Ashkan from King’s College Hospital, who described operating on a violinist who played throughout her brain surgery so he could make sure her brain was not harmed.
“Did you make sure she played a calm and quiet piece?” he quipped.
He also hailed the work by the Oxford Covid-19 vaccine team, sharing how impressed he has been to see the UK “punching above its weight” in research.