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Charles and Camilla meet hospital staff in first royal engagement since lockdown

The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall made an unannounced visit to the Gloucestershire Royal Hospital to meet frontline NHS workers.

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The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall meet frontline key workers (Ben Birchall/PA)

The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall meet frontline key workers (Ben Birchall/PA)

The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall meet frontline key workers (Ben Birchall/PA)

The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall have made an unannounced visit to a hospital to meet frontline NHS staff and key workers – their first royal engagement with the public since the coronavirus outbreak began.

With lockdown restrictions being eased, the royal family have chosen this week to take a step towards a return to normality – with a series of face-to-face public engagements.

Charles and Camilla met the workers in the grounds of Gloucestershire Royal Hospital in Gloucester, with everyone following social distancing guidelines and standing two metres apart.

It came as the Princess Royal was due to visit the nearby Duke of Gloucester Barracks to see military personnel being tested for Covid-19 before heading overseas.

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Charles and Camilla conduct a socially-distanced TV interview (Ben Birchall/PA)

Charles and Camilla conduct a socially-distanced TV interview (Ben Birchall/PA)

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Charles and Camilla conduct a socially-distanced TV interview (Ben Birchall/PA)

On Thursday, the prince and duchess will welcome French President Emmanuel Macron to the UK.

Their visit to Gloucester followed the appearance by the Queen on Saturday at a mini Trooping the Colour ceremony at Windsor Castle – the first time any member of the royal family had attended a national event since lockdown.

Charles and Camilla have spent almost three months at Birkhall in Scotland, where the prince recovered from Covid-19 after contracting the virus in March, suffering with mild symptoms.

The South West has seen the lowest number of Covid-19 cases of all the English regions, but within the South West, Gloucestershire has had the highest number of cases, a Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust spokesman said.

PA