"As we are all learning this is a strange, frustrating and often distressing experience," Prince Charles said in his address

By Simon Perry
April 01, 2020 10:09 AM
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Prince Charles spoke out for the first time in a video message from his Scottish home, Birkhall, where he has been staying amid the coronavirus pandemic with his wife Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall. In the video, the prince and heir to the throne spoke about his personal experience with his positive coronavirus diagnosis and shared solidarity with others finding it hard to cope with the enforced isolation from relatives and friends.

“Having recently gone through the process of contracting this coronavirus, luckily with relatively mild symptoms, I now find myself on the other side of the illness, but still in no less a state of social distance and general isolation,” said Charles, 71, who came out of self-isolation on Monday after suffering mild symptoms for about a week.

“As we are all learning this is a strange, frustrating and often distressing experience when the presence of family and friends is no longer possible and the normal structures of life are suddenly removed.

Clarence House/Twitter

“At such an unprecedented and anxious time in all our lives, my wife and I are thinking particularly of all those who have lost their loved ones in such very difficult and abnormal circumstances, and of those having to endure sickness, isolation and loneliness.”

Charles is patron of the charity Age U.K., while Camilla supports SilverLine — both of which help combat loneliness and isolation in older people.

“Our hearts go out to all those older people throughout this country who are now experiencing great difficulty. However, we also know that in every community up and down this land – where people of all ages are being affected by this virus – there are truly wonderful neighbors, individuals and groups of volunteers who are providing ceaseless care and attention to those most at risk and that all this network of selfless assistance is, in itself, helping to provide vital support and reassurance to the hard-pressed professional services,” the prince said.

Charles’s coronavirus diagnosis was revealed last week. He was tested last Monday and results became known the following day. Tests found that his 72-year-old wife did not have the virus, and both moved to self-isolate from each other and staffers at Birkhall.

Now that he is out of isolation, he was able to make the film, with a staffer observing the social distancing rules and recommendations laid down by U.K. government health experts.

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In the film, released on the couple’s social media accounts and the Royal Family’s YouTube channel, he also praised healthcare workers and supermarket staffers who are making essential supplies available to people across the U.K.

“At a time when doctors, nurses and all the vital ancillary staff that form the backbone of our remarkable N.H.S. are increasingly under such enormous strain, and risk, as they battle heroically to save lives in intensive care centers and to contain, as much as possible, the spread of this virus, our thoughts and prayers are very much with those marvelous people whose extraordinary skills and utter, selfless devotion to duty and the care of their patients make us so very proud,” he said.

“In this regard, we also think of all those many shop workers who are toiling as hard as they can throughout each and every night to keep supermarket shelves stocked – a further “emergency service” on which we are all relying.”

He ended the video by saying, “As a nation, we are faced by a profoundly challenging situation, which we are only too aware threatens the livelihoods, businesses and welfare of millions of our fellow citizens. None of us can say when this will end, but end it will.”

Prince Charles
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Charles is now operating under the current standard government and medical restrictions that apply across the U.K. regarding social distancing and only leaving the home for essential needs.

He will continue to hold meetings via phone and video conferencing, as he has been doing from his home in the Scottish highlands since the diagnosis was announced last week.

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Amid the crisis, the couple joined millions of people across the U.K. in showing their support for National Health Service workers and caregivers by releasing a video of them clapping their appreciation.

Camillia is also keeping in touch with her family and friends by using the Houseparty app during her self-isolation. The video platform has gained popularity during the coronavirus pandemic as millions of people are confined to their homes.