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Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall will visit NHS workers at Gloucestershire Royal Hospital

The royal return begins! Prince Charles, 71, and the Duchess of Cornwall, 72, become the FIRST to resume public duties as they visit NHS workers at Gloucestershire Royal Hospital

  • Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall will return to public duties today
  • Couple will visit the Gloucestershire Royal Hospital this afternoon 
  • Charles and Camilla have been in isolation in Birkhall since the start of lockdown 

Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall have returned to work today in their first public outing since the start of lockdown. 

The royal couple, who have been in isolation at Birkhall, Aberdeenshire, since March, made an unannounced visit to Gloucestershire Royal Hospital this afternoon. 

It marks the first public outing for any member of the royal family since lockdown. 

Charles, 71, and Camilla, 72, were careful to maintain strict social distancing as they met 20 NHS workers in the grounds outside the hospital.

Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall have returned to work today in their first public outing since the start of lockdown

The couple observed social distancing as they spoke to members of staff outside the hospital

The couple observed social distancing as they spoke to members of staff outside the hospital

Prince Charles appeared in excellent spirits and waved at staff standing outside

He pressed his palms together in a gesture similar to the Thai 'wai' on the outing

Prince Charles appeared in excellent spirits and waved at staff standing outside (left). He pressed his palms together in a gesture similar to the Thai ‘wai’ on the outing (right)

The couple were careful to maintain social distancing on their visit to the hospital today

The couple were careful to maintain social distancing on their visit to the hospital today

The visit enabled their Royal Highnesses to thank them personally for their continued commitment and contribution in response to the COVID 19 pandemic.   

With lockdown restrictions being eased, the royal family have chosen this week to take a step towards a return to normality – with a series of face-to-face public engagements.

Charles and Camilla met the workers in the grounds of Gloucestershire Royal Hospital in Gloucester, with everyone following social distancing guidelines and standing two metres apart.

It came as the Princess Royal was due to visit the nearby Duke of Gloucester Barracks to see military personnel being tested for Covid-19 before heading overseas.

On Thursday, the prince and duchess will welcome French President Emmanuel Macron to the UK.

Their visit to Gloucester followed the appearance by the Queen on Saturday at a mini Trooping the Colour ceremony at Windsor Castle – the first time any member of the royal family had attended a national event since lockdown.

Charles and Camilla have spent almost three months at Birkhall in Scotland, where the prince recovered from Covid-19 after contracting the virus in March, suffering with mild symptoms.

The South West has seen the lowest number of Covid-19 cases of all the English regions, but within the South West, Gloucestershire has had the highest number of cases, a Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust spokesman said.

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