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London: The Prince of Wales has spoken movingly of the “heartbreak and tragedy” wrought by COVID-19 as he launched Britain’s first national memorial to the tens of thousands of victims of the pandemic at St Paul’s Cathedral.

In a video address Thursday, the Prince said the memorial and an online book of remembrance would help grieving relatives and friends to not only “recall our loss and sorrow” but also “to be thankful for everything good that those we have loved brought into our lives”.

The online book, called Remember Me and available at rememberme2020.uk, allows families to upload a photograph of a loved one and include a tribute to go with it.

The book and memorial, the results of a conversation between Dr David Ison, the Dean of St Paul’s, and the Bishop of London, Sarah Mullally, is available for people of all faiths. It is also not necessary to prove a person died of COVID-19 to make a submission.

The physical memorial, being planned for an inner porch in the north transept, will be installed at a later date. Oliver Caroe, the architect behind the memorial who holds the historic post of Surveyor of the Fabric to St Paul’s Cathedral, lost his mother to COVID-19 in early April.

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