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“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 said in a statement shared by the British royal family’s Instagram account on Monday.
“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 on food production and distribution, those keeping postal and delivery services going, and those ensuring the rubbish continues to be collected,” added the royal.
While Philip has been retired since 2017, Newsweek reported the prince was “moved” by the response from the public.
According to the outlet, palace officials noted this surprising move by Philip is likely to be a one-off incident, as opposed to a return to regular royal duties.
“The duke was moved to send a personal message to everyone who is tackling this pandemic, everyone who has made a decision to help in any way they can,” said a palace insider.
“This is a personal message from the duke given these special circumstances.”
Philip’s grandson Prince William recently opened up about how the coronavirus pandemic has left him anxious and worried for his elderly grandparents.
The global health crisis hit particularly close to home for the British royals, as William’s father Prince Charles tested positive for COVID-19 last month but has since been on the mend.
The Duke of Cambridge admitted he was "at first quite concerned" for his father's physical and mental health, as the Prince of Wales, 71, is a "mad walker" and is not used to being a homebody cooped up inside. Still, William remains very concerned about the physical well-being of his grandmother, 93, as well as his grandfather.
"Obviously I think very carefully about my grandparents, who are at the age they're at, and we're doing everything we can to make sure that they're isolated away and protecting them. But it does worry me. What's going to happen to the lost and the vulnerable people and the high-risk people who are going to have to potentially isolate away for quite some time and the impact that's going to have on them and on families up and down the country?" he told the BBC.
Joined by his wife, Kate Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge, the royal couple stressed that while physical health and remaining stocked on groceries and necessities are important, mental health should not be forgotten.
"A lot of people won't necessarily have thought about their mental health for maybe ever before, " William stressed. "And suddenly this environment we're in catches up on them quite quick. I think the most important thing is talking. I think it's always under-estimated how much talking can do.."
"We mustn't forget our mental well-being as well,” Middleton, 38, added.
The couple also commended the work of National Health Service (NHS) employees for their "stoicism and determination" to beat COVID-19 and sacrifice their own lives to save others.
"We've got to be careful that we don't alienate some of the other NHS workers who do really genuinely worry and are scared going to work every single day," the prince said.
Fox News' Melissa Roberto contributed to this report.