After recovering from COVID-19, Prince Charles has made his return to royal life opening a temporary hospital in London – with a hi-tech twist.
After recovering from COVID-19, Prince Charles has made his return to royal life opening a temporary hospital in London – with a hi-tech twist.

Prince Charles’ royal return after coronavirus

Prince Charles has made his return to royal life after recovering from COVID-19, opening a temporary hospital in London via video link.

The Prince of Wales opened the new Nightingale Hospital appearing on screen from his home, as the number of confirmed virus cases and deaths continued to rise steeply in the UK.

Charles, who completed a week of self-isolating as he recovered from coronavirus, said he was "enormously touched" to be asked to open Nightingale Hospital.

The medical facility was built in nine days at the ExCel conference centre in East London, with corridors stretching a kilometre long.

It currently has 500 beds but is expected to house at least 4,000 beds if at capacity, it will be the biggest hospital facility in the United Kingdom.

Even royals WFH! Prince Charles opened the new Nightingale Hospital via video link, from his residence in Scotland. Picture: Clarence House/via AP
Even royals WFH! Prince Charles opened the new Nightingale Hospital via video link, from his residence in Scotland. Picture: Clarence House/via AP

Prince Charles, 71, paid tribute to those involved in the "spectacular and almost unbelievable" construction.

"An example, if ever one was needed, of how the impossible could be made possible and how we can achieve the unthinkable through human will and ingenuity," Prince Charles said from his residence in Scotland, Birkhall.

The temporary facility will soon be able to treat 4,000 people who have contracted the COVID-19 virus. Picture: AP
The temporary facility will soon be able to treat 4,000 people who have contracted the COVID-19 virus. Picture: AP

Charles described himself as one of "the lucky ones" with only mild symptoms but noted "for some it will be a much harder journey."

He said his hope was that the hospital "is needed for as short a time and for as few people as possible". The hospital is named after Florence Nightingale, who treated British and allied soldiers during the Crimean War of the 1850s and is considered to be the founder of modern nursing.

Prince Charles pictured at a dinner for the Australian bushfire relief and recovery effort at London’s Mansion House on March 12. Picture: Getty Images
Prince Charles pictured at a dinner for the Australian bushfire relief and recovery effort at London’s Mansion House on March 12. Picture: Getty Images

The National Health Service hospital will only care for people with COVID-19, and patients will only be assigned there after their local London hospital reaches its capacity.

Further new hospitals are being planned across the UK, including in Birmingham, Glasgow and Manchester, to alleviate pressure on the NHS during the coronavirus pandemic.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock, who also contracted COVID-19 and emerged from his own self-isolation last week, said the peak of the epidemic in Britain is likely to be in the "coming weeks" and could be as soon as next weekend.

The number of virus-related deaths in Britain has sharply increased, with government figures showing a total of 3,605 people who tested positive have died in British hospitals, an increase of 684 from a day earlier.

The UK is the latest country with a higher death toll from the worldwide pandemic than China, which according to a Johns Hopkins University tally officially reported 3,326 deaths from the outbreak that emerged there in December.

Buckingham Palace said Prince Charles' 93-year-old mother, Queen Elizabeth II, has recorded an address to the nation about the coronavirus pandemic to be broadcast on Sunday.

Apart from her annual Christmas message, she has made only a handful of such broadcasts during her 68-year reign.

Like many other countries, Britain is in effective lockdown, with bars and non-essential shops closed in order to reduce the rate of transmission, the hope being that this will eventually reduce the peak in deaths.

Originally published as Prince Charles' royal return after coronavirus



Wireless earbuds music to ears of new subscribers

premium_icon Wireless earbuds music to ears of new subscribers

Subscribe for the latest news and some top of the line headphones

TO YOUR DOOR: The best Southern Downs produce delivery

premium_icon TO YOUR DOOR: The best Southern Downs produce delivery

FROM fresh meat to organic veggies — our region has it all and you don’t even have...

Toolkit gives confidence in future of play

premium_icon Toolkit gives confidence in future of play

The return of sports in Warwick is looking more promising, with clear guidelines...