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Princess Anne looks chic in checked coat for first engagement since Prince Philip's funeral

The Princess Royal visited three hospitals

Princess Anne embarked on her first royal engagement on Wednesday following the funeral of her father, Prince Philip, last weekend.

The Princess Royal looked chic in a checked coat, which she wore over a red, knee-length dress, and a pair of suede boots to visit three hospitals in Gloucestershire to thank staff for their hard work over the past year.

MORE: Princess Anne recalls fond memories of her late father 

The 70-year-old's first stop was at Gloucestershire Royal Hospital where she opened a new garden that commemorates loved ones lost to COVID-19.

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WATCH: Prince Philip dotes on young Princess Anne in sweet unearthed clip

The garden also marks the contribution of NHS staff and carers in the county who’ve cared for people so compassionately during the pandemic. It has been designed by The Black Gardener, Danny Clarke.

Anne then visited the nearby Wotton Lawn Hospital to speak to healthcare professionals from Gloucestershire Health and Care NHS Foundation Trust.

Finally, Her Royal Highness visited Cheltenham General Hospital to see the hundreds of commemorative wire dandelions that have been placed in an open green space, each bearing a tribute to a loved one who lost their life to coronavirus.

Anne paid her own respects by laying a dandelion during the visit.

MORE: A closer look at Princess Anne's bond with her father Prince Philip

READ: The Queen describes 'huge void' left in life following Prince Philip's death

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Princess Anne visited three hospitals (Photo: Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust)

Dr Hina Iftikhar, Chief Registrar at GRH, said of Anne's visit: "It’s incredibly important for families and friends of loved ones lost to COVID-19 to have a space where they can visit and reflect.

"The pandemic has taken its toll on so many of us and in such different ways. Many of my colleagues both here in our hospitals and in the community have had the most challenging of times. I’m grateful that The Princess Royal recognised this today."

Alexandra Hayes, Respiratory High Care Ward Manager at GRH, added: "Her Royal Highness was genuinely interested in our work and was very grateful for all that we’ve done over the last year.

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Anne spoke to NHS staff (Photo: Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust)

MORE: Prince Edward admits Prince Philip's death is 'dreadful shock'

"While these have been difficult times for so many, today’s visit was uplifting and it's something I'll remember for a long time."

Princess Anne was last seen in public at Prince Philip's funeral on Saturday 17 April. She paid tribute to her late father by proudly displaying her medals on her long black coat in homage to Philip's illustrious naval career as she arrived at St George's Chapel, Windsor.

Although she has never served in the military, Princess Anne is an honorary Rear Admiral and is Chief Commandant of Women in the Royal Navy.

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