98-year-old Prince Philip breaks retirement to release rare statement amid Covid-19

Prince Philip. (Photo: Getty Images)
Prince Philip. (Photo: Getty Images)

Prince Philip has released a rare statement as the coronavirus continues to spread in the UK.

The Duke of Edinburgh, who retired in 2017, broke his silence to thank healthcare workers and others delivering essential services.

"As we approach World Immunisation Week, I wanted to recognise the vital and urgent work being done by so many to tackle the pandemic; by those in the medical and scientific professions, at universities and research institutions, all united in working to protect us from Covid-19," he said.

The Duke of Edinburgh is affiliated to over 750 organisations, including those in the scientific, technological research, healthcare and infrastructure sectors, which have been working tirelessly to combat the novel virus.

"On behalf of those of us who remain safe and at home," he added: "I also wanted to thank all key workers who ensure the infrastructure of our life continues; the staff and volunteers working on food production and distribution, those keeping postal and delivery services going, and those ensuring the rubbish continues to be collected."

Prince Philip is currently staying with the queen at Windsor Castle amid the pandemic.

Though the queen will celebrate her 94th birthday on 21 April, she has announced that for the first time in her 68-year reign there will be no gun salute to mark the occasion this year. "She did not feel it appropriate in the current circumstances," a palace source said.

Further, the annual Trooping the Colour will also not go ahead as planned as people in the UK are encouraged to continue to self-isolate at home.