Prince Philip, 99, Issues Rare Public Statement Amid Coronavirus Pandemic

Prince Philip, the husband of Britain's Queen Elizabeth II, has issued a rare public statement [...]

Prince Philip, the husband of Britain's Queen Elizabeth II, has issued a rare public statement thanking those helping during the coronavirus pandemic. Shared on both the Royal Family's website as well as their social media accounts, the Monday statement coincided with the start of World Immunization Week. It also marked his first public comment since the Duke of Edinburgh announced his retirement in May of 2017, according to Vanity Fair.

"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," Philip's statement begins. "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."

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The statement comes just weeks after the queen addressed the pandemic in her own remarks. In a rare televised speech, the current reigning monarch shared in the "grief" of her people and offered words of encouragement and support. Broadcast on April 5, the speech marked only her fifth such televised address of her 68-year reign.

"I hope in the years to come, everyone will be able to take pride in how they responded to this challenge. And those who came after us will say the Britons of this generation were as strong as any," she said in part. "The attributes of self-discipline, of quiet-good humored resolve, and of fellow-feeling still characterize this country. The pride in who we are is not a part of our past, it defines our present and our future."

Philip and the queen are currently self-isolating at Windsor Castle amid the pandemic. Although the queen will celebrate her 94th birthday on Tuesday, Reuters reports that the occasion will forego gun salutes as is customary "because she felt it would not be appropriate." Meanwhile, the queen's son, Prince Charles, is said to be "in good health" after testing positive for the coronavirus last month.