Prince Charles is opening up about his own battle with the novel coronavirus. During his first public appearance in months, the royal shared what his experience with the disease was like and revealed that he is still feeling some of the effects of the illness weeks after his recovery.
The future king of England, 71, made his first public appearance since March on Tuesday, June 16, to visit Gloucestershire Royal Hospital with his wife, Duchess Camilla. The duo spoke to several hospital workers and thanked them for working on the frontline of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The Prince of Wales also spoke to staff about losing his sense of taste and smell when he had #coronavirus and said he is still feeling the effects of the virus now. Many weeks later,” ITV News royal reporter Chris Ship tweeted Tuesday.
Ship, who was at the event to interview Charles and Camilla, 72, added that while the royal couple didn’t wear masks while speaking with workers outside, everyone was properly socially distanced from one another.
“It’s been a marvelous opportunity just to have a chance of seeing people who have been doing so much, literally on the frontline, and having to endure an awful lot of stress and strain in their wonderful way,” Charles told Ship. “How they do it, I don’t know.”
The royal, who was diagnosed with the coronavirus three months ago, added: “The great thing they’re all saying is that it’s brought different departments together in a way that hadn’t always happened before. There’s been a great deal of marvelous cooperation.”
Camilla, who tested negative for the coronavirus during her husband’s illness, noted that she thinks the British people now have a newfound appreciation for healthcare workers. “You can tell by all the people coming out every week to clap,” she explained. “They’ve done the most remarkable things … they are Britain at its best.”
Charles was diagnosed with the coronavirus in March and, according to Clarence House, was “displaying mild symptoms” of the illness. He then self-isolated for one week.
Later that month, a spokesperson for Clarence House confirmed to Us Weekly: “Having consulted with his doctor, the Prince of Wales is now out of self-isolation.”
Charles first spoke out about his illness via a video shared to the Clarence House Instagram in April. “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,” he said at the time. “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.”
In an interview earlier this month, Charles said he was fortunate that his case of COVID-19 was mild. “I was lucky, in my case, and got away with it quite lightly,” he told Sky News at the time. “I’ve had it and can still understand what other people are going through.”
Scroll down to see photos of Charles and Camilla’s hospital visit.