Prince Charles speaks out for first time since being diagnosed with coronavirus

1 April 2020, 13:50

Prince Charles is currently the heir to the throne and is a patron Age UK
Prince Charles is currently the heir to the throne and is a patron Age UK. Picture: PA

By Matt Drake

Prince Charles has made a surprise message on the coronavirus pandemic in is his first appearance since his release from quarantine.

Clarence House shared the message via their Twitter account in which the Duke of Cornwall spoke about his battle with Covid-19 and the virus' effects on the elderly community.

The 71-year-old heir to the throne spent seven days in self-isolation after showing symptoms, and came out of quarantine on Monday.

He said: "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 state of social distance or general isolation.

"As we are all learning, this is a strange and 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.

"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.

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"As patron of Age UK and my wife the patron of Silver Line, our hearts go out to all those older people throughout this country who are now experiencing great difficultly.

"However we also know in every community up and down this land where people of all ages are being effected by this virus, there are truly wonderful neighbours, individual and groups of volunteers who are providing ceaseless care and attention to those most at risk and that all this network of self-less assistance is in itself helping to provide vital support and reassurance."

Prince Charles isolated at his Scottish home Birkhall, in Aberdeenshire, for the duration of his illness.

Buckingham Palace has previously said the last time he saw the 93-year-old Queen was on 12 March. She is in good health.

He lived separately from his wife the Duchess of Cornwall, who tested negative for Covid-19, during this time.

Camilla will need to remain in self-isolation for a few more days to ensure she doesn't show symptoms, as per government advice.

Charles and Camilla were tested by the NHS in Aberdeenshire last Monday, but SNP politician Joan McAlpine, a Member of the Scottish Parliament, questioned the procedures, citing a relative with an underlying health condition who was refused a test.

Dr Catherine Calderwood, Scotland's chief medical officer, defended the decision to test Charles and his wife, saying there were "very good reasons".

She said: "My understanding is there were very good reasons for that person and his wife to be tested, and obviously I wouldn't be able to disclose anything else that I know because of patient confidentiality."