The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall have carried out their first public engagement in three months. And the couple’s first outing, since returning to England from Balmoral, was to thank NHS staff for their work during the coronavirus pandemic.
Charles and Camilla visited Gloucestershire Royal Hospital where they met many of those who have spent the past months engaged in the fight against Covid-19. Social distancing measures were obvious from the very start of the visit with the Prince offering a sign of peace, a namaste, rather than a handshake to those lined up to greet the royal visitors.
The couple met medical staff and support workers, hearing from doctors, nurses and clinicians as well as volunteers and those who have been helping keep the hospital clean and patients fed.Embed from Getty Images
Prince Charles had warm words of praise for the ”marvellous co-operation” of all involved. He also revealed that he had still to regain his sense of smell and taste after recovering from coronavirus.
The couple found themselves talking to people standing away from them on grass slopes to ensure social distancing was maintained. Referring to this, the Duchess of Cornwall said “There is nothing like being able to thank the NHS staff face-to-face even if the choreography is a little bit different!”. Camilla added ”They are Britain at its best.”
The Duchess also revealed that the couple had been reunited with grandchildren in the past few days although there was no hugging.
The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall’s last public engagement was in March as the pandemic began to take hold. They moved to Birkhall on the Balmoral Estate where Prince Charles was diagnosed with coronavirus. They moved from Scotland to their home in Gloucestershire, Highgrove House, in the past days.
Since then, the couple have taken part in a wide range of video appearances and they were also seen laying wreaths at Birkhall to mark the 75th anniversary of VE Day. However, this is their first face to face engagement and it came on a day of three high profile royal appearances, all undertaken as lockdown measures in the UK begin to ease.