After a much-needed break over the festive season, it’s back to royal duties for Prince Charles (72) and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall (73).
The future king of England and his wife visited the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham this week to meet healthcare workers and volunteers taking part in clinical trials for Covid-19 vaccinations.
The occasion marked the first in-person engagement for any member of the British royal family of 2021.
The duchess spoke to staff about her experience on receiving the first dose of the vaccine last month.
“I leapt for joy,” she gushed. “I'm eternally grateful for everything.”
She added it didn’t hurt at all. “I was waiting for it to be done and they said, ‘It has been done.’ It was painless. It was brilliant. It’s very good when it's over as you feel more secure. Panic over.”
In his speech, Charles jokingly referred to himself as “falling apart”.
“Ladies and gentlemen, the Secretary of State mentioned just now that the National Health Service is 72 years old, which happens to coincide exactly with the same age as I am.
“And the great thing is that the NHS has done a great deal better I can assure you than I have, as I am gradually falling apart.”
The couple’s visit comes shortly after Charles’ father, Prince Philip, was admitted to the royal’s go-to hospital, King Edward VII in London, after “feeling unwell”.
According to reports the 99-year-old, who has been based at Windsor Castle with the queen since the early days of the pandemic, does not have Covid. Both the duke and Her Majesty had their first dose of the vaccine in January.
A statement released on Wednesday by Buckingham Palace read: “The Duke’s admission is a precautionary measure on the advice of His Royal Highness’ Doctor, after feeling unwell.
“The Duke is expected to remain in hospital for a few days of observation and rest.”
Philip has suffered a number of ailments over the years including being treated for a blocked artery in December 2011 and a bladder infection in June 2012, forcing him to miss the queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations.
In June 2013 he had abdominal surgery.
He retired from public duty in 2017 and in December 2019 he spent four nights at King Edward Hospital where he was treated for a “pre-existing condition”.
Sources: people.com, hellomagazine.com