UK Politics

Charles joins Britons in applause for NHS staff battling the coronavirus


Prince Charles has joined people across the country in thanking NHS workers as they battle the coronavirus pandemic in his first appearance since testing positive for the disease.

In a gesture of thanks to frontline staff, people across the UK joined a mass round of applause from their doorsteps, windows and balconies at 8pm on Thursday.

Royal children salute NHS carers

Prince Charles, 71, was pictured at Birkhall, his private home on the Balmoral estate in Scotland.

Camilla, who is isolating from Charles, was seen in separate footage clapping on her own as she looked out of an open window. The Duchess of Cornwall, has tested negative for the virus.

People on the streets outside Chelsea and Westminster Hospital applaud NHS workers during the Clap for our carers campaign in support of the NHS, as the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continues, London, Britain, March 26, 2020
People across the UK have taken part in a national applause of thanks for health workers

Charles, who reportedly has only mild symptoms of the illness, was said to be "enormously touched" by well-wishers' kind words after receiving hundreds of messages the day after it was revealed he had contracted the disease.


The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, William and Kate, posted a video of their three children George, Charlotte and Louis, clapping, while Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Chancellor Rishi Sunak also joined in from Downing Street.

It comes just hours after the government confirmed that 584 people in the UK have died with coronavirus and almost 12,000 people are confirmed as having the disease.

Boris Johnson joined in outside Number 10
Image: Boris Johnson joined in outside Number 10

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex posted a message on their Instagram story, writing: "Thank you for all that you continue to do! Applauding you from across the pond."

Many across the UK joined in, with some holding signs, cheering and letting off fireworks.

Barbara Leigh, aged 93 rings a bell for the NHS with her family - across the road from Wythenshawe Hospital in Manchester
Image: Barbara Leigh, aged 93, rings a bell for the NHS with her family – across the road from Wythenshawe Hospital in Manchester
Staff from the Royal Liverpool University Hospital
Image: Staff from the Royal Liverpool University Hospital
Woodford Green, London
Image: Woodford Green, London

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn also took part, appearing to cheer in a video.

Journalist and former Labour Party aide Alastair Campbell posted an Instagram video of him playing the bagpipes, leading his street in tribute to a neighbour who works in the NHS.

One supporter played Tina Turner's (Simply) The Best to their street as others clapped along.

Emergency services, including police officers and firemen, also showed their support.

In a post on Twitter, the stars of James Bond – including 007 himself, Daniel Craig – filmed themselves clapping.

The organisers of the Clap for Carers campaign, which was started online, say it was held because "during these unprecedented times, [NHS staff] need to know we are grateful".

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