PRINCE Charles has told Brits to “look forward to better times” in a message of hope after battling coronavirus.
The royal, 71, spoke publicly for the first time after spending a week in quarantine having been diagnosed with coronavirus.
Charles suffered only mild symptoms but is in an age group classed as at “increased risk of severe illness”.
The future king described the crisis facing the country as “unprecedented” and praised the “extraordinary” and “selfless” NHS heroes.
Coronavirus has infected more than 25,000 people in the UK and claimed 1,829 lives.
Speaking from his home at Birkhall, in the Scottish Highlands, Charles said: “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. Until it does, let us all try and live with hope and, with faith in ourselves and each other, look forward to better times to come.”
The Prince of Wales also urged Brits to look out for their elderly neighbours and relatives after being released from his seven-day isolation.
And he called for help for people suffering from isolation and loneliness.
Charles 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 a state of social distance and general isolation.
“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.
“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.”
The Prince also heaped praise on the NHS, who have been battling to help stop the spread of the disease.
And he also made special mention of shopkeepers, who have worked tirelessly to make sure supermarkets are fully stocked during the lockdown crisis.
Charles said: “At a time when doctors, nurses and all the vital ancillary staff that form the backbone of our remarkable NHS are increasingly under such enormous strain, and risk, as they battle heroically to save lives in intensive care centres and to contain, as much as possible, the spread of this virus, our thoughts and prayers are very much with those marvellous people whose extraordinary skills and utter, selfless devotion to duty and the care of their patients make us so very proud.
“Indeed, it has been so wonderful to see just how many across the U.K. have signed up in their hundreds of thousands to be NHS volunteers, offering their help to do whatever they can to provide support to those on the front line.
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“It is clearly essential, therefore, that such key people are treated with special consideration when coming off their exhausting duties and trying to do their shopping, for instance, while having to contend with constant anxiety about their own families and friends.
“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.”
Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, remains in 14-day self-isolation at Birkhall, but has so far not tested positive for Covid-19.
The 93-year-old monarch is currently at Windsor with her 98-year-old husband Prince Philip after the pair headed there a week earlier than scheduled amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Philip was flown to Windsor from Sandringham to be with his wife.
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