Prince Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, have paid an official visit to a hospital in England to thank health workers and volunteers for their work on clinical trials for COVID-19.
The Prince of Wales and the Duchess paid a visit, Wednesday evening, to the aptly named Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham, in the English Midlands.
The Royal pair unveiled a plaque to say thank you to the health workers. The hospital is part of an NHS (National Health Service) Trust, which serves the Birmingham area and has treated more COVID-positive patients than any other geographic region of the NHS.
And it seems the Prince couldn’t resist having a joke with the folks gathered to see him.
Prince Charles jokes that he’s ‘falling apart’
During a speech, the heir to the throne mentioned that at 72-years-old he happens to be the same age as England’s National Health Service. He then joked: “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.”
On a more serious note, he told the health workers: “I know, over the last year, it must be absolutely exhausting for so many of you, but I know the NHS is such an enormous team, and there are masses of people who are unsung and unseen heroes and heroines.”
The Prince added: “We are very lucky indeed to have you.”
Nathan Samuels, a consultant nurse at the hospital, told the BBC that he had spoken directly with Charles, and he said the Royal had “shown great empathy” towards the staff.
The hospital has recruited 1000 patients to participate in clinical trials, which are attempting to determine if people receiving different COVID-19 vaccines have the same effect as being injected with the one type.
Prince Charles has had own battle with COVID-19
Charles actually contracted the coronavirus last March, but thankfully he had very mild symptoms. He has said that the loss of his sense of smell and taste lasted for months.
The Royal couple were both vaccinated last week at Clarence House. Camilla told staff at the hospital that she had “leaped for joy” after receiving the vaccine. She said it “doesn’t hurt” and that she “didn’t feel anything. I’m eternally grateful for everything.”
The visit comes just one day after Charles’s father, 99-year-old Prince Philip, was admitted into a hospital in London as a so-called “precautionary measure.” The Royal consort to the Queen had reportedly been feeling unwell for a few days. But he arrived in a private car and walked inside unaided.