Prince Charles & Camilla leave Scotland to meet NHS staff in Gloucestershire

The first members of the Royal Family were back to work today, and it is no surprise that it was Prince Charles and Camilla.

The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall started their return to royal face-to-face duties with an engagement to meet NHS frontline staff in Gloucestershire.

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Standing outside on a grassy bank, a variety of clinicians, volunteers and scientists got to meet the Royals – from 2 metres apart, of course.

Charles and Camilla were welcomed by Deborah Lee, Chief Executive of the Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, which has admitted 649 patients with confirmed COVID-19. 91 of these people were admitted to critical care and 162 of the group died from the virus.

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The visit lasted roughly 30 minutes, in which they chatted to the teams, asking how they had dealt with the pandemic. They also personally thanked the select members of staff for their efforts on the front line.

The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall meet front line key workers who who have responded to the Coronavirus pandemic during a visit to the Gloucestershire Royal Hospital

Camilla was told that 12 members of staff were hospitalised, with five of them having to be treated in intensive care.

The Duchess said how she felt the crisis had brought out the best in Britain as people have come together: “They have done the most remarkable things,” she said to ITV.

“There is nothing like being able to thank the NHS staff face-to-face even if the choreography is a little bit different! “They are Britain at its best.”

Prince Charles and Camilla have been at Birkhall, their home in Scotland, since the lockdown started. We have seen them fairly regularly, taking part in video calls with patronages, and releasing messages of support for various causes and events.

The Prince and Duchess were not the only ones back at work: Prince William went to an ambulance station in Norfolk to thank workers there. Princess Anne, meanwhile, headed to see the regiment, of which she is colonel. The servicemen and women have been supporting local services

Reporting on the engagement, as well as The Duke of Cambridge’s wasn’t allowed until after they had left, to minimise the risk of crowds gathering to see them, and to uphold government guidelines.

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Talking about how important it was to make the visit, Prince Charles said: “It’s been a marvellous opportunity just to see people who I know have been doing so much on the frontline and having to endure a lot of stress and strain I think in their wonderful way.

“How they do it – I don’t know. But they’re delivering everything in the most effective way – and the great thing they’re all saying is it’s brought all the different departments together in a way that hasn’t always hasn’t before.

“There’s been a great deal of marvellous cooperation, I think.”

The Prince also revealed his own coronavirus symptoms. Speaking to Jeff Mills, 47, a healthcare assistant from Cheltenham General Hospital, about contracting Covid-19, Mr Mills commented: “He did speak of his personal experience, so first-hand experience for him. He also spoke about his loss of smell and taste, and sort of still felt he’s still got it now.”

Camilla meanwhile, revealed she had also been reunited with her grandchildren since returning to England: “First time last weekend,” she said, “not hug them but see them, it was a great treat.”

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