The Princess Royal has carried out her first public engagement in months as the Royal Family begin a slow and steady return to normality. Princess Anne’s first trip was a journey to the Duke of Gloucester Barracks in South Cerney, Gloucestershire to say thank you to soldiers who have helped in the response to the coronavirus pandemic.
The Princess royal travelled to the Gloucestershire barracks to hear about the ongoing efforts of the Royal Logistics Corps to aid those in need during the coronavirus pandemic.
They have been working over the past three months to deliver a wide range of support and services during the crisis.
The Princess Royal, their Colonel-in-Chief spoke to members of the forces while social distancing remained in place throughout the visit.
The Royal Logistics Corps has provided a wide range of support and services throughout the pandemic.
Amongst its most high profile jobs has been involvement in developing the new Nightingale Hospitals across the UK.
The new hospitals were set up to provide as much medical capacity as possible if it is needed during the outbreak of coronavirus.
Soldiers have also been involved in supporting regional testing sites and in driving ambulances over the past months.
The Princess Royal spoke to many of them to hear their experiences and talk about the next stages of their ongoing work.
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Her visit is among many royal engagements that took place, with Prince Charles travelling to meet workers at the Gloucestershire Royal Hospital – at a 2m distance.
Prince Charles was accompanied by his wife, the Duchess of Cornwall, who said the staff had showed “Britain at its best”.
It was the couple’s first face-to-face public engagement since lockdown began.
Charles and Camilla met frontline staff and key workers from several NHS trusts.
Prince Charles greeted some of those he met with a “namaste” – clasping his hands together – instead of a handshake.
Jeff Mills, 47, a healthcare assistant from Cheltenham General Hospital, said: “He did speak of his personal experience, so first-hand experience for him.
The royal couple met with consultants, nurses and cleaners, at the hospital situated near Prince Charles’s Highgrove estate.
“He also spoke about his loss of smell and taste and, sort of, still felt he’s still got it now.”
Camilla was also on hand to chat to the staff, and opened up about a recent family reunion.
Speaking of seeing her grandchildren for the first time since lockdown, she said: “First time last weekend. Not hug them, but see them – a great treat.”
Asked if the country’s appreciation of the NHS has changed for good, the duchess replied: “I think it has, you can tell by all the people coming out every week to clap – they’ve done the most remarkable things.
“The way they’ve looked after people, the way they’ve sort of kept control of the whole thing, you know, it’s a question of not panicking and getting on with it and I think they are Britain at its best.”