Prince Charles visits Birmingham's Queen Elizabeth hospital while 99-year-old father Prince Philip in hospital in London

The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall visited Birmingham's Queen Elizabeth Hospital yesterday (Wednesday, February 17) for their first 'in person' visit of the year during the Coronavirus pandemic.

They met volunteers taking part in Covid-19 vaccine trials and also praised NHS staff for their hard work and sacrifices over the last year.

Credit: PA

Prince Charles said,

"I know over the last year it must have been absolutely exhausting for so many of you.

The NHS is such an enormous team and there are masses of people who are unsung, and unseen heroes and heroines and we owe them all such an enormous debt of gratitude.

The pressures are huge. It must be so difficult to try to organise all the other aspects of your lives, let alone the difficulties when you're dealing with people who are very, very sick, or those who tragically die."

You are an amazing team, if I may say so, and we are very lucky indeed to have you.

Prince of Wales

The Royal couple are both in their 70s and had their first jab last week - but their visit was to see the trials going on at the QE to determine how well the vaccines are working - and to see the volunteers taking part.

  • The University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust, which runs the QE, is thought to have treated more than 12,500 COVID-positive patients, more than any other NHS Trust in the UK.

  • 10,000 of those have since been discharged.

  • 12,000 have been recruited for the trials.

The Queen and Duke of Edinburgh pictured at Windsor Castle in June Credit: Steve Parsons/PA

The Prince of Wales visited the hospital while his own father, 99-year-old Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, was being treated at the King Edward VII Hospital in Central London.

Prince Charles did not comment on his father's condition.

The Duke of Edinburgh has been admitted to King Edward VII’s Hospital in London after feeling unwell Credit: Stefan Rousseau/PA

The Duke of Edinburgh was admitted to hospital as a "precautionary measure" on Tuesday after feeling unwell.

Prince Philip - who received his coronavirus vaccination in early January - was not admitted for a Covid-related illness. His admission is not being treated as an emergency.

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