BRITAIN turned blue tonight and joined in a mass round of applause to thank NHS heroes battling deadly coronavirus.
Landmarks lit up for frontline healthcare workers, while Brits up and down the country clapped and whooped in a joint show of support.
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The Clap For Carers campaign, which started online, was staged because "during these unprecedented times they need to know we are grateful", according to the organisers.
At 8pm, grateful Brits obeyed government advice to stay indoors and instead showed their support from inside their homes, on balconies and in their gardens.
Some set off fireworks as loud cheers rang across the UK to thank those risking their lives to fight the deadly virus.
Princess Charlotte, Prince George and Prince Louis joined in to show their support along with a host of celebs including Jamie Oliver and Amanda Holden.
And as part of the movement, landmarks including The Wembley Arch, the Principality Stadium, the Royal Albert Hall and Lincoln Cathedral were lit up in blue during the salute.
It is part of the #lightitblue campaign which has been organised by members of the events and entertainment industry as a way to say thank you.
Blackpool Tower featured a blue heart while Tyne Bridge was lit up blue in support of the NHS.
Medics last night praised the “great nation” for its outpouring of thanks and said the gesture had boosted morale.
The Doctors’ Association UK said: “To see the outpouring truly makes us feel part of a great nation and valued as NHS workers. We feel honoured.”
Dame Donna Kinnair, from the Royal College of Nursing, said: “Nursing staff coming off a brutal shift will have been heartened by the public support shown tonight.
“So thank you to the public for this show of support — it will continue to be needed in the weeks and months ahead.”
Dr Chaand Nagpaul, from the British Medical Association, said: “To see people show their gratitude in this way is giving healthcare workers across the country an immense morale boost.
“The British public has always pulled together in times of crisis, and this is no different.”
It came on the same day army of volunteers enlisted to help the NHS passed 670,000.
It smashed the initial target of 250,000 recruits needed for tasks such as driving patients and supplies and making phone checks on the vulnerable.
The Government has now increased the target to 750,000 – three times the initial goal.
Health service boss Sir Simon Stevens said: “The response we are seeing from the public to join us in our country’s greatest time of need is extraordinary.”
Gary White and Chuck Crampton, who jointly started the #lightitblue campaign, said all venues will use existing LED technology to create a flash of blue on facades and screens.
It means that people at different venues will be able to show their support while staying at home in line with current Government advice during the pandemic.
In a statement, they said: "The events and entertainment industry finds itself in an unprecedented state of enforced inaction.
"The best thing we can do – apart from staying at home – is to use our skills and networks to say thank you to everyone who is supporting the NHS and risking their own health to help others during this pandemic."
Celebs and the royal family earlier urged Brits to back the moving event to show hardworking NHS medics they have our support.
The Palace tweeted: "#ClapForOurCarers is an opportunity to show our thanks and appreciation for @NHS workers, volunteers and all those working on the frontline.
"Join in at 8pm tonight!"
Radio X presenter Chris Moyles rallied his listeners to "make some noise for the thousands and thousands of people (in the NHS) that we'll probably never meet, just to say 'thank you' for everything they are doing for us" with a powerful message.
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Radio station LBC has collected video messages from key political figures who shared their own gratitude to the frontline workers.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock said: "My colleagues in the NHS do so much to look after us, especially in our hour of need and never more so than during the coronavirus crisis, so let's join together at 8pm tonight to say thank you to everyone in the NHS."
The Mayor of London Sadiq Khan also recorded a video for LBC and said he wanted to thank every person working in the NHS in London and around the country.
"You truly are the best. Your hard work, dedication and courage is saving lives every single day and we need you now more than ever before. I urge everyone to join together and applaud for our NHS," he added.
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said: "I applaud the NHS, I clap for the NHS, I love the NHS. Well done everyone who works for the National Health Service and our care services and all the GP practices and everywhere else.
"You're doing a fantastic job and I think the whole country has begun to realise how much we rely on you and on each other to get through this particular crisis. Thanks a lot and well done."
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