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Prince Charles pays tribute to father Prince Philip in heartfelt Ramadan message

The Prince of Wales has personally thanked staff who cared for his late father at St Barts Hospital before his death.

Prince Charles, 72, was on a visit to the historic hospital in the City of London today when he got the chance to meet privately with some of the team that cared for the Duke of Edinburgh when he was transferred for heart surgery in March.

Royal officials declined to say who, saying the hospital wanted to protect their identities, but confirmed the group included a nurse, a consultant and a therapist.

The Prince of Wales has personally thanked staff who cared for his late father at St Barts Hospital before his death.

Philip, who died last month at the age of 99, spent four nights at St Barts, after being transferred from the private King Edward VII Hospital on  1st March.

He subsequently underwent a successful procedure for a pre-existing heart condition, before being moved back to the King Edward VII.

The meeting lasted around ten minutes. 

Professor Charles Knight, chief executive of St Barts, said the Prince had been keen to use his pre-planned visit to personally thank staff for what they did for his father. He said: ‘It meant an enormous amount to us that he came to visit and also that he met those involved in his father’s care.

‘We were just so honoured to have treated his father and it was wonderful to see the Prince of Wales today. ‘It was particularly special that he got the opportunity to speak to some of our staff here ahead of International Nurses’ Day tomorrow.’ 

Prince Charles was on a visit to the historic hospital in the City of London today when he got the chance to meet privately with some of the team that cared for the Duke of Edinburgh when he was transferred for heart surgery in March

Prince Charles was on a visit to the historic hospital in the City of London today when he got the chance to meet privately with some of the team that cared for the Duke of Edinburgh when he was transferred for heart surgery in March

‘It was particularly special that he got the opportunity to speak to some of our staff here. ‘

St Bartholomew’s is the oldest hospital in the country to remain on its original site, 

And at the start of his visit Prince Charles was briefed on planned restoration works for the hospital’s Grade I listed buildings ahead of its 900th birthday in 2023.

The hospital has provided free healthcare on the same site since reign of Henry I and today is home to the largest cardiac unit in Europe and London’s second biggest cancer centre.

The hospital has provided free healthcare on the same site since reign of Henry I and today is home to the largest cardiac unit in Europe and London's second biggest cancer centre.

The hospital has provided free healthcare on the same site since reign of Henry I and today is home to the largest cardiac unit in Europe and London’s second biggest cancer centre.

Barts Heritage is seeking to raise more than £75 million for restoration and projects spanning world-leading healthcare and research, wellbeing and education.

Walking over from nearby Smithfield, where he had a previous engagement, the royal visitor had the opportunity to view the hospital’s North Wing which includes the Great Hall and staircase featuring paintings by artist William Hogarth, before meeting with those involved in the anniversary celebrations and renovations including Dame Alwen Williams, group chief executive of Barts Health NHS Trust.

After his private meeting with staff, the prince moved outside to the hospital’s square to meet nurses, all of whom have been involved in the Trust’s response to Covid-19.

Among them was Daisy Eden, 23, a staff nurse who has worked for the hospital for 14 months including on the Covid ICU.

The Prince asked whether she enjoyed her job and she told him: ‘I love it.’

Charles is pictured talking to a member of staff at the hospital today

Charles is pictured talking to a member of staff at the hospital today 

She said afterwards: ‘You have the chance to be a light in a dark place for people. It’s a privilege.’

Last year the hospital trust dealt with more than 12,000 covid patients alone.

Daisy was standing by a ‘rainbow bench’ – one of only three in the world – that was given to St Bart’s in recognition of its role in the pandemic. It was made by blacksmith Fred Suffield of Anwick Village l, Lincs, with a grant from the Heritage Crafts Association.

To the surprise of his entourage, the Prince made an unscheduled walkabout to meet a small number staff and patients who had stopped to watch when news of his visit leaked out.

He told them: ‘I couldn’t not stop to thank you. Well done, all of you. You’re amazing.’

Among them was Stella Amore-Fernandez, 46, from east London who was wrapped up and sitting in a wheelchair, tubes in her nose.

‘Should you be here?’ he asked, concerned.

Prince Charles, Prince of Wales speaks with a patient and nursing staff during a visit to St Bartholomew's Hospital, ahead of International Nurses Day at St Bartholomew's Hospital

Prince Charles, Prince of Wales speaks with a patient and nursing staff during a visit to St Bartholomew’s Hospital, ahead of International Nurses Day at St Bartholomew’s Hospital

Mrs Amore-Fernandez told him that she owed her life to the St Bart’s staff.

‘If it wasn’t for them, I wouldn’t be here,’ she said.

She later explained that she had been admitted to hospital on Christmas Day with Covid.

‘My kids opened their presents and then that was it,’ she said.

‘She’s been here 127 days,’ a member of staff added.

‘I owe the team everything, ‘ she continued. ‘My life, everything. I can’t tell you how brilliant they are and what compassion they have.

‘They are amazing.

‘It’s been tough, really tough, but I am one of the lucky ones, unbelievably.

‘These people here saved my life. I owe them everything.’

She said she was ‘so touched’ that Prince stopped to speak to her.

‘He seems a very lovely and genuine man,’ she said.

It comes after Prince Charles paid a touching tribute to his father Prince Philip in a video message marking the end of Ramadan and said that like so many families this year, his own will also have an ’empty seat at their dinner table.’ 

In a heartfelt address made during a virtual Iftar – the communal breaking of the fast – the Prince of Wales, 72, spoke out about the devastating impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the country.  

He said: ‘The last year I know has been deeply challenging for us all, and I am only too aware of the impact of the pandemic on the Muslim community.

‘This year so many families, like my own, will have an empty seat at their dinner table and friends will no longer be able to share the celebratory hug after Eid prayers.’ 

The Duke of Edinburgh died aged 99 in 9 April 2021 following 73 years of marriage to the Queen. Pictured, Battle of Trafalgar bicentenary commemoration service, St Paul's Cathedral, London 23 October 2005

The Duke of Edinburgh died aged 99 in 9 April 2021 following 73 years of marriage to the Queen. Pictured, Battle of Trafalgar bicentenary commemoration service, St Paul’s Cathedral, London 23 October 2005

Prince Charles, 72, paid a touching tribute to his late father Prince Philip in a video message marking the end of Ramadan and said that like so many families this year, his own will also have an 'empty seat at their dinner table'

Prince Charles, 72, paid a touching tribute to his late father Prince Philip in a video message marking the end of Ramadan and said that like so many families this year, his own will also have an ’empty seat at their dinner table’

He continued: ‘I can only say how deeply saddened I am by this tragic situation and how my heart goes out to all those who have lost their loved ones.’ 

The Iftar appearance was organised by the Naz Legacy Foundation and also included contributions from Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab, the Bishop of London and the Chief Rabbi. 

The online event was just one in a series of virtual celebrations aimed at encouraging people to stay at home during Ramadan, which will end on Wednesday. 

The Duke of Edinburgh died aged 99 in 9 April 2021 following 73 years of marriage to the Queen. 

Today, the Prince of Wales, accompanied by the Duchess of Cornwall, supported his mother The Queen (pictured, together) as she carried out her first major public ceremonial duty since being widowed a month ago

Today, the Prince of Wales, accompanied by the Duchess of Cornwall, supported his mother The Queen (pictured, together) as she carried out her first major public ceremonial duty since being widowed a month ago

The Queen is escorted by Prince Charles as she leaves the House of Lords chamber after the State Opening of Parliament at the Houses of Parliament in London today

The Queen is escorted by Prince Charles as she leaves the House of Lords chamber after the State Opening of Parliament at the Houses of Parliament in London today

Charles's presence this year, so soon after the death of Philip aged 99 on April 9, will be seen as a sign of things to come at future royal engagements. Pictured, with Her Majesty and the Duchess of Cornwall

Charles’s presence this year, so soon after the death of Philip aged 99 on April 9, will be seen as a sign of things to come at future royal engagements. Pictured, with Her Majesty and the Duchess of Cornwall

Prince Charles and Camilla during the State Opening of Parliament at the House of Lords on May 11

Prince Charles and Camilla during the State Opening of Parliament at the House of Lords on May 11

Today, the Prince of Wales, accompanied by the Duchess of Cornwall, supported his mother The Queen as she carried out her first major public ceremonial duty since being widowed a month ago. 

Her Majesty arrived at the Houses of Parliament this morning for a scaled-back, socially-distanced State Opening where she will not wear the two-pound Imperial State crown. 

The centrepiece of the ceremony, the Crown Jewels which weigh two pounds and eight ounces, are now too heavy for the 95-year-old Queen to wear. 

Charles’s presence this year, so soon after the death of Philip aged 99 on April 9, will be seen as a sign of things to come at future royal engagements. 

He has been at his mother’s side for three state openings – in December 2019, October 2019 and in June 2017.

He stepped in for his father Philip in 2017 after the duke fell ill with an infection, two months before he retired from public duties.

It is the first time the Queen has conducted an engagement outside of Windsor Castle since her husband died – and only the second time she has been at Buckingham Palace since she retreated to Windsor in March last year during the first lockdown.

She briefly visited when she travelled to London to lay a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Warrior at Westminster Abbey last November.

Her Majesty is accompanied by the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall at the State Opening this morning

Her Majesty is accompanied by the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall at the State Opening this morning

Queen Elizabeth II arrives for the State Opening of Parliament at the Palace of Westminster in London this morning

Queen Elizabeth II arrives for the State Opening of Parliament at the Palace of Westminster in London this morning

In the heartfelt video address made during a virtual Iftar - the communal breaking of the fast - the Prince of Wales (pictured) spoke out about the devastating impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the country

In the heartfelt video address made during a virtual Iftar – the communal breaking of the fast – the Prince of Wales (pictured) spoke out about the devastating impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the country

Philip, the nation’s longest reigning consort, spent decades accompanying the monarch to the grand occasion at Parliament, sitting on an ornate golden throne at his wife’s side. 

Prince Philip, who designed his own Land Rover defender hearse, was laid to rest at St George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle on 17 April 2021. 

The Queen – like all 30 guests who attended the service – wore a face mask and sat by herself in the quire of St George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle, while all mourners followed Covid guidelines and remained socially distanced. 

Among the guests were the Duchess of Cornwall, all of the duke’s grandchildren and their spouses, the children of the Queen’s sister Princess Margaret and three of Philip’s German relatives – Bernhard, the Hereditary Prince of Baden; Donatus, Prince and Landgrave of Hesse; and Prince Philipp of Hohenlohe-Langenburg. 

Also in attendance was a close friend of the duke, Countess Mountbatten of Burma, previously known as Lady Romsey and later Lady Brabourne, who was Philip’s carriage driving partner and one of his closest friends. 

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk