Prince Charles Salutes 'Dearly Missed' U.K. Hotels, Pubs as They Reopen: 'They Create Memories'
In a special video address, Prince Charles praises the hotels and guest houses that have opened their doors to healthcare workers during the coronavirus pandemic
Prince Charles is saluting the "dearly missed" hostelries and pubs that are at the heart of British communities.
As pubs, restaurants and hotels make the first steps to reopen in most of the U.K. while coronavirus cases continue to drop there, Charles spoke in a special video address of his “concern” for those who work in the hard-hit hospitality sector, which he calls “the lifeblood of the economy.”
“Hospitality connects people and enables them to create wonderful memories with families and friends," he said, "be it over a pint of beer, a special meal with family or an overnight stay to explore new places.”
“All these experiences have been dearly missed as normal life has been put on hold," Charles added. "I know that those at the forefront of hospitality have missed their guests too, so I can only express my warmest appreciation for the resilience and fortitude shown by those in hospitality and offer my deepest sympathy to those who are struggling to keep their businesses going.”
And 71-year-old Charles — who contracted a mild case of coronavirus in March — praised the section of the industry that has welcomed the healthcare workers and others who have needed temporary accommodation.
“Gone have been the leisure guests — the families with their buckets and spades. Instead, a new kind of guest — those selfless and committed people keeping the nation running as it fights this virus,” he said.
“I would just like to pay a very special tribute to the invaluable efforts of those who have offered this essential support to key workers and the NHS and have also redirected food to the most vulnerable in society," he continued. "I must say, it makes me incredibly proud to hear of such kindness and consideration.”
Charles said the crisis has affected his own enterprises, including Dumfries House in Scotland and his country home Highgrove House, in Gloucestershire, England.
“I know full well from the enforced closure of properties run by my Foundation, both in Aberdeenshire and East Ayrshire, let alone the complete disruption of all charitable enterprises at Highgrove, just how far-reaching the effects of the lack of trading can be," he said.
RELATED: Prince Charles Supports the National Garden Scheme and Camilla Helps with The Big Lunch
“At Dumfries House, for example, the closure has had a direct impact on those who show more than 32,000 visitors around the house itself, and also those who work in the bed and breakfast, café and events business — not to mention, of course, the catalogue of suppliers whose businesses depend on this activity taking place," Charles continued. "At Highgrove there has equally been a severe impact on the staff who look after nearly 40,000 visitors, as well as on the loyal suppliers to our shops.”
As information about the coronavirus pandemic rapidly changes, PEOPLE is committed to providing the most recent data in our coverage. Some of the information in this story may have changed after publication. For the latest on COVID-19, readers are encouraged to use online resources from CDC, WHO, and local public health departments. PEOPLE has partnered with GoFundMe to raise money for the COVID-19 Relief Fund, a GoFundMe.org fundraiser to support everything from frontline responders to families in need, as well as organizations helping communities. For more information or to donate, click here.