Prince Charles has praised NHS workers, new volunteers and supermarket shelf stackers in a video message, two days after leaving coronavirus isolation.
The heir to the throne urged people to be kind and “live with hope” in a challenging time when life has changed so much.
He offered hope, saying: “None of us can say when this will end, but end it will.”
In a suit and tie, sat at his desk in Birkhall, where he and his wife Camilla have been staying for just over a week, he said their hearts went out to older people struggling at this time.
The Duke of Rothesay, as he is known in Scotland, is a patron of Age UK, and Camilla is a patron for The Silver Line.
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.”
He added: “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.”
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Charles, 71, praised communities who are pulling together to help neighbours, saying that “this network of selfless assistance is, in itself, helping to provide vital support and reassurance to the hard-pressed professional services”.
He added: “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.”
Charles urged kindness in the video, noting the response of hundreds of thousands to be NHS volunteers, and telling people to look after those who are working in hospitals and supermarkets.
He said: “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.
“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 message comes two days after Prince Charles confirmed he had ended his period of self-isolation in his home in Balmoral, but Clarence House said his wife Camilla would remain in isolation until 14 days was up.
Prince Albert of Monaco, the first head of state to be diagnosed with the virus, also left self-isolation this week.
The Queen is understood to be preparing a televised address to the nation.
Charles’ message comes after his wife Camilla told victims of domestic abuse they are not alone during the lockdown period.
Camilla, who works extensively with domestic abuse charities, said: “I can only imagine that being asked to stay there could feel very isolating and frightening for you and your family.
“It may mean spending more time with the person who is harming you."
Clarence House shared details of helplines for those suffering domestic abuse or violence.