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Prince Charles to open new NHS Nightingale Hospital for coronavirus patients

The Prince of Wales was diagnosed with COVID-19 in March

Chloe Best

The Prince of Wales will return to royal duties on Friday, as he will open the new NHS Nightingale Hospital in London. Prince Charles, who has recently recovered after being diagnosed with COVID-19, will officially open the new medical facilities at London's ExCel centre via video link from his home at Birkhall in Scotland.

A small group representing medical staff, the Ministry of Defence, contractors and volunteers will join Matt Hancock MP, the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, and Professor Charles Knight, Chief Executive of NHS Nightingale at the entrance to the new hospital.

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Prince Charles will open the NHS Nightingale Hospital via video link

Chief Nurse, Ruth May, will host the event with Prince Charles attending via video link. He will say a few words in tribute to all those who have worked to create the new hospital in response to the coronavirus pandemic, and to those across the UK who have been delivering frontline care to patients across the UK. A plaque will also be unveiled on behalf of the Prince to signify that the hospital has officially opened.

RELATED: How COVID-19 has affected the royals

NHS Nightingale is a new hospital which will provide support for thousands more patients with coronavirus. It will initially provide up to 500 beds equipped with ventilators and oxygen. The capacity will then continue to increase, potentially up to several thousand beds, should it be required.

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WATCH: Where are the royals self-isolating?

Prince Charles has first-hand experience with coronavirus, after confirming he had been experiencing mild symptoms in March. After self-isolating at his Scottish residence for seven days, the 71-year-old recovered, and released a video detailing his experience of COVID-19 on Wednesday.

MORE: Inside Prince Charles' Scottish home, Birkhall

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The new hospital currently provides up to 500 beds for coronavirus patients

Charles described it as a "strange, frustrating and often distressing experience" in a video recorded in support of Age UK. Charles, who is patron of the charity, highlighted the pandemic's effect on the elderly, saying that his and wife Camilla's "hearts go out to all those older people throughout this country, who are now experiencing great difficulty".

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