PRINCE Charles will today open a 4,000-bed coronavirus hospital after recovering from the bug himself.
The 71-year-old will launch the NHS Nightingale in East London from his Scottish home via video-link.
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From his Scottish home of Birkhall, the prince is expected to say a few words in tribute to all those who have worked to create the new medical facility, and to people across the UK who continue to deliver frontline care to those affected by the coronavirus crisis.
It comes after the future king emerged from seven days of isolation after testing positive for coronavirus.
Charles experienced mild symptoms after falling ill but has already returned to royal duties – albeit virtually.
Attending the ceremony in person will be Health Secretary Matt Hancock, who recently came out of isolation after recovering from the virus, Professor Charles Knight, chief executive of NHS Nightingale, and representatives from the Ministry of Defence, contractors and volunteers.
Ruth May, chief nursing officer for England, will host the event with Mr Hancock and Prof Knight due to give brief remarks.
Natalie Grey, head of nursing at NHS Nightingale, will then unveil a plaque on behalf of Charles to mark the hospital's official opening.
The hospital will start accepting its first patients from tonight – due to accept its first 19 patients.
Staff will then be able to rest over the weekend before a try-run will be carried out on Monday as more patients arrive on Tuesday.
The Nightingale, named after nursing pioneer Florence Nightingale, will need an army of up to 16,000 staff in clinical and ancillary roles to keep it running.
Split into more than 80 wards containing 42 beds each, the facility will be used to treat Covid-19 patients who have been transferred from other intensive care units across London.
Charles recently emerged from self-isolation after being struck down by mild symptoms.
However, his 72-year-old wife Camilla remains in isolation as per government guidelines which state family members without symptoms must isolate for 14 days.
Those who have symptoms must isolate for seven.
At the time Charles was diagnosed, Clarence House said it was "not possible to ascertain" who the royal caught the virus from "owing to the high number of engagements he carried out in his public role during recent weeks."
The royal met with Prince Albert of Monaco, who later tested positive for coronavirus, on March 10.
Meanwhile, the Queen, 93, remains in good health.
The monarch headed to Windsor Castle a week early amid the coronavirus crisis.
Husband Prince Philip, 98, also flew from Sandringham to Windsor to be with his wife.
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