June 16, 2020 / 4:25 PM / 20 days ago

British royals reappear in public for first time since lockdown

Britain's Charles, Prince of Wales performs a namaste to Professor Mark Pietroni as he arrives with Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall during a meeting with workers who have responded to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, at Gloucestershire Royal Hospital, in Gloucester, Britain June 16, 2020. Ben Birchall/Pool via REUTERS

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain’s Prince Charles and his son Prince William made their first public appearances on Tuesday since the start of the coronavirus lockdown in March, visiting frontline healthcare workers to thank them for their response to the epidemic.

Members of the royal family, including heir-to-the-throne Charles and next-in-line William, had been seen in photos and videos released during lockdown, but had not taken part in any engagements outside their homes.

Charles and his wife Camilla visited the Gloucestershire Royal Hospital and met about 20 staff, ranging from clinicians to volunteers and social workers. The hospital, in central England, has treated about 650 COVID-19 patients, of whom 162 have died.

Charles himself contracted the virus in March but did not require hospital treatment.

In a separate engagement, William visited the Kings Lynn Ambulance Station, part of a service that provides round-the-clock emergency cover for 6.2 million people in eastern England.

William, a former helicopter rescue pilot himself, who with his wife Kate has campaigned to raise awareness of mental health issues, heard from staff about the impact of the coronavirus crisis on the mental wellbeing of first responders.

Reporting by Estelle Shirbon; editing by Stephen Addison

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