Prince Philip thanks health care workers and praises the response to COVID-19 in rare statement

By Heather Cichowski

Prince Philip has released a rare statement thanking health care workers for their bravery during the coronavirus pandemic and praising how the world has responded to the crisis.

On April 20, the Duke of Edinburgh's heartfelt message about how everyone has pulled together to fight COVID-19 was shared on the Royal Family Instagram account.

"As we approach World Immunisation Week, I wanted to recognise the vital and urgent work being done by so many to tackle the pandemic; by those in the medical and scientific professions, at universities and research institutions, all united in working to protect us from Covid-19," the 98-year-old began.

The World Health Organization's Immunization Week takes place annually from April 24 to April 30.

"On behalf of those of us who remain safe and at home, I also wanted to thank all key workers who ensure the infrastructure of our life continues; the staff and volunteers working in food production and distribution, those keeping postal and delivery services going, and those ensuring the rubbish continues to be collected," he said.

There were hundreds of supportive comments echoing Philip's words just hours after the message was shared on Instagram. Some social media users also said how wonderful it is to hear from the duke.

MORE: Prince William shares what Prince Charles found hardest as he recovered from COVID-19

The father of four officially retired from public duties in August 2017, at the age of 96. He was last seen publicly in May 2019 with other members of the Royal Family at the wedding of Lady Gabriella Windsor and Thomas Kingston.

Prince Harry and his grandfather Prince Philip enjoyed a chat at Lady Gabriella Windsor and Thomas Kingston's wedding on May 18, 2019 at St. George's Chapel. Photo: © Steve Parsons/Getty Images

It is believed Philip typically divided his time between Wood Farm in Sandringham and Windsor Castle since he retired. But due to the COVID-19 crisis, he is now isolated at Windsor Castle with the Queen.

Philip was flown by helicopter from Wood Farm to Windsor in March, according to HELLO! UK. Her Majesty was pictured departing Buckingham Palace for the 11th century royal residence via car alongside one of her dogs, on March 19.

The Queen left London on March 19 for Windsor Castle, with one of her cherished dogs. Photo: © Aaron Chown/PA Images via Getty Images

Like the Queen's historic speech about the world rallying together to fight COVID-19, Philip's rare statement is bringing people together and offering a morale boost. The prince's words are especially meaningful considering his son, Prince Charles, tested positive for the coronavirus. He's since recovered from the illness.

As of this writing, the Johns Hopkins University of Medicine says there have been more than 2.4 million cases of COVID-19 in 185 countries and regions. The United Kingdom has had more than 121,000 of those cases. The illness has caused more than 166,000 deaths worldwide, and nearly 635,000 people have recovered so far.

In this challenging time, it’s really hard to be separated from family and friends. It’s also a time when everyone needs a beautiful escape. Here at Hello! Canada, we’re still busy creating the magazine you know and love, to spread positivity and provide some entertainment as a gentle reprieve from all the hard news. And with our new special offer for subscribers, there’s never been a better time to have Hello! delivered directly to your front door. Why not treat yourself, or someone you love, today?

Don't miss a beat with HELLO! Canada's Daily Hits newsletter, your daily dose of royal and celebrity news, fashion, weddings and more. CLICK HERE to sign up for free!