The Royals Carry Out Their First Face-to-Face Visits After Months of Video Calls

Victoria Murphy
Photo credit: BEN BIRCHALL - Getty Images
Photo credit: BEN BIRCHALL - Getty Images

From Town & Country

For several weeks, members of the royal family have been largely only visible through the screens of their laptops as they conducted their duties via video calls. But today they returned to work in person. Prince Charles, Camilla, Prince William, and Princess Anne are all carrying out official engagements—albeit with a very different feel to normal times.

The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall spent the morning visiting staff at Gloucestershire Royal Hospital where they met around 20 key workers who have been on the front lines of the coronavirus crisis. At around the same time Princess Anne made a visit to the Duke of Gloucester Barracks in Gloucestershire to meet soldiers involved with COVID-19 operations.

And later in the day, Prince William visited the Kings Lynn Ambulance Station to thank staff for their dedication and hear more about their experiences. Strict social distancing policies were adopted throughout all visits, and it goes without saying that there were no handshakes.

Photo credit: BEN BIRCHALL - Getty Images
Photo credit: BEN BIRCHALL - Getty Images

However, after the best part of three months of working remotely, Prince Charles described it as a “marvelous opportunity just to have a chance of seeing people who I know have been doing so much literally on the front line.” Camilla told reporters the front line workers were “Britain at its best,” agreeing with the sentiment that this crisis will forever change people’s appreciation of the NHS.

The Duchess also told shared she managed to see her grandchildren for the first time last weekend. “Not hug them but see them, a great treat,” she said. Camilla had previously revealed during that the most difficult thing about being in isolation was not being able to hug her grandkids. She has five grandchildren from her first marriage to Andrew Parker Bowles: Gus, Louis, and Eliza Lopes, and Lola and Freddy Parker Bowles. One of her granddaughters, Eliza Lopes, was a bridesmaid in William and Kate’s 2011 wedding.

Photo credit: BEN BIRCHALL - Getty Images
Photo credit: BEN BIRCHALL - Getty Images

Prince Charles and Camilla will now return to London, where they will welcome French President Macron to Clarence House on behalf of the British Government on Thursday.

It is believed the Cambridges remain in their Norfolk home Anmer Hall, which is near to where Prince William conducted his engagement today. The Prince heard about the impact that the crisis has had on the mental health and wellbeing of first responders. In April, he and Kate launched the initiative "Our Frontline" to provide support to front line staff.

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