Kate Middleton and Prince William.

Kate Middleton and Prince William.Twitter / @Kensington Palace

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Prince William and Kate Middleton, have paid tribute to the National Health Service frontline heroes battling COVID-19 as they presented them with a Pride of Britain award.

During a trip to London's St. Bartholomew's Hospital William said "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."

Prince William and Kate, both dressed in NHS blue were speaking, via video, for the annual ceremony of the Pride of Britain award, which will be aired on British TV (ITV), on Nov 1. 

The Prince continued "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."

Kate Middleton, The Duchess of Cambridge, said "Through our conversations with frontline workers during the pandemic, we have been inspired by their stories of bravery and selflessness.

"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.

"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 key workers each week. Their hard work still goes on and we remain indebted to them for all they do."

The Royal couple were introduced to six NHS representatives by TV presenter Kate Garraway, whose husband Derek Draper has been seriously ill in hospital since he contracted COVID-19 more than eight months ago. William and Kate offered their support to Kate as he remains in hospital.