Kate Middleton and Prince William, both 38, met six representatives of the NHS to discuss their work during the pandemic and to present them with the special recognition award at Britain's oldest hospital, St Bartholomew's in the City of London.
They also offered their support to TV presenter Kate Garraway whose husband Derek is still seriously ill in hospital after contracting Covid-19 in March. Kate introduced the royal couple to the members of the NHS.
The presentation was filmed for the climax of the Daily Mirror Pride of Britain Awards 2020, in partnership with TSB, which will be broadcast on Sunday, 1st November at 9pm on ITV.
Thousands of members of the public nominated all the frontline NHS heroes to receive a special recognition Pride of Britain award.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, both 38, during their visit to St Bartholomew's in the City of London, where they presented a Pride of Britain award, on behalf of the nation, to recognise the NHS frontline heroes in their battle against coronavirus
TV presenter Kate Garraway (pictured, centre) introduced Kate Middleton and Prince William to six representatives of the NHS
The Duke said: 'The devastating impact of the coronavirus pandemic has reminded us as a nation of how much we owe to the thousands of NHS workers who have gone far beyond the call of duty this year.
'They have worked tirelessly around the clock, with humility and compassion, in the most challenging of circumstances, putting their own lives on the line to help others.
'It is fitting that we are here today at Britain's oldest hospital to thank and celebrate our NHS staff and to honour them with a Pride of Britain award.'
The Duchess added: 'Through our conversations with frontline workers during the pandemic, we have been inspired by their stories of bravery and selflessness.
The royal couple offered their support to TV presenter Kate Garraway (pictured, centre) whose husband Derek is still seriously ill in hospital after contracting Covid-19 in March
'Many have had to leave their families for weeks on end, some have come out of retirement to help, while others have stepped into new roles to play their part in the fight against coronavirus.
The Duchess of Cambridge praised NHS staff who worked on the frontline amid the Covid-19 pandemic
Kate Middleton praised NHS staff who worked on the frontline amid the Covid-19 pandemic for capturing an image which made the top 100 in her lockdown photography competition as she met with them in London last Tuesday.
The royal, who was launching the Hold Still photograph exhibition in Waterloo station and was joined by husband Prince William, later spent time with Joyce Duah, 33, a specialist oncology pharmacist, who took the photo of pharmacy technician colleagues Amelia Chowdhury, 34, and Dipal Samuel, 38, at St Bart's Hospital, in London.
The image, known as 'All In This Together,' shows Joyce's two colleagues, who had been called in to work on the Intensive Care Unit and can be seen donning protective face masks, using pens to draw smiley faces and love hearts on their PPE uniform.
'Thank you so much for the image,' Kate said, as she spoke with the subjects. 'It had such an impact it captured the moment, it was a look behind the scenes. The story of what you experienced is so important.'
William added: 'It is important for history purposes to show that actually happened.'
'And it is not just the medical teams - all NHS staff have played a crucial role through this time.
'During lockdown, we joined people up and down the country to applaud the NHS and our keyworkers each week. Their hard work still goes on and we remain indebted to them for all they do.'
As the royal couple presented the award, which was on a table next to them, Prince William enthused: 'We cannot thank you enough. On behalf of a grateful nation, it is a tremendous honour for Catherine and I to present this special recognition award to the army of dedicated NHS staff.'
Kate Garraway introduced the royal couple to the six NHS representatives who each talked to them about the challenges they and the heath service have faced in fighting coronavirus.
The six representatives were (from Barts Health Trust) Keisha Mills, an intensive care matron, Marion Jones, a health care assistant, and Dr Simon Finney, an intensive care consultant, and (from the Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust) Heder Lopes Landim, a porter at Barnet Hospital; Martha Sarpong, an ITU support nurse, and Charlotte Greenfield, a critical care physio.
Martha Sarpong, an ITU support nurse who was redeployed to Barnet Hospital, said: 'I have three young children and Kate asked me: "How do you cope with the homeschooling?" I said: 'Thank God my husband is a teacher.'
'They were asking how we were coping generally with Covid and we explained what we did and how our managers supported us.'
Charlotte Greenfield, a critical care physiotherapist at London's Royal Free Hospital, which was one of the busiest hospitals in the country during the national lockdown, commented: 'It's incredibly flattering to be one of the people to receive the Pride of Britain award on behalf of the NHS.
'What was really nice was that the Duke and Duchess were asking us questions, they were genuinely interested.
'I don't think Prince William knew there was a different branch of physiotherapy in terms of respiratory, so I was explaining to him. I educated him a little on my role. I explained exactly how it had been. I kept using the word sweaty to him, but it really was.
'They were absolutely lovely and kept asking genuine questions.'
St Bartholomew's, in the city of London, is Britain's oldest free hospital which has been treating patients for around 900 years, a period which spans the Black Death, Spanish flu and, this year, Coronavirus.
Hosted by Carol Vorderman, the Daily Mirror Pride of Britain Awards, in partnership with TSB, is the biggest annual event on British television which, since 1999, has been celebrating the achievements of the nation's unsung heroes.
The Daily Mirror Pride of Britain Awards, in partnership with TSB, is broadcast on Sunday 1st November, at 9pm on ITV