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The heir to the throne and his wife thanked the volunteers who had taken part in COVID vaccination trials
Since the beginning of 2021, members of the British royal family have been carrying out engagements across the UK due to strict lockdown conditions. But today, Prince Charles and Camilla were the first royals to go back this year to thank the volunteers involved in the pandemic.
The couple traveled to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham to thank the clinical trial participants for COVID-19 vaccinations and to meet the health workers who received their vaccinations. The Birmingham University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust has treated around 12,500 COVID patients – the largest number of any NHS trust in the UK.
The royal couple, who announced last week that they had received their first COVID vaccinations, both wore disposable face masks for the visit. Upon their arrival, they were met by Dr. David Rosser, the Trust’s Chief Executive, greeted them before heading to the vaccination center to greet staff and patients. They unveiled a plaque after the visit attended by UK Health Secretary Matt Hancock.
« Ladies and gentlemen, the Secretary of State just mentioned that the National Health Service was 72 years old, which exactly matches the age I am, » Prince Charles said in a speech. « And the great thing is that I can assure you that the NHS has done a lot better than me as I am falling apart. »
He added, « I know last year. It has to be for so many of you Absolutely exhausting, but I know the NHS is such a huge team and there are tons of people who are unsung and invisible heroes and heroines. «
While coronavirus restrictions in the UK currently mean that most people Working from home unless they are key workers, this commitment reflects the fact that royals have occasionally been able to run their businesses despite limitations. Similarly, on the brief occasions they had traveled overseas during the pandemic, they were exempt from self-isolation on their return since the purpose of the visits was official business of government.
The visit came just before Buckingham Palace announced that Prince Philip had been hospitalized as a « precaution ».
Prince Charles and Camilla’s appearance was also the first public outing by a king since Harry and Meghan announced that they are expecting their second child. The Queen released a statement saying the family was « thrilled » about an hour after the couple shared their news with the world.
The working royals were keen to show their support for the NHS and key staff throughout the pandemic. Several Nightingale hospitals built in the wake of the COVID cases have been opened by family members and have run campaigns and initiatives to support frontline workers. So far, the Queen (94), Prince Philip (99), Prince Charles (72) and Camilla (73) have received COVID vaccinations. The Queen and Prince Philip continue to make Windsor Castle their base, where she performs the audience virtually. Buckingham Palace has already announced that the garden parties will be canceled in May. However, the question remains whether other important events could take place on the royal spring and summer calendar.
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