PRINCE William today praised "incredible" NHS workers as he opened a new coronavirus hospital in Birmingham via video link.
The Duke of Cambridge said he was proud to see how people across the country had pulled together to fight the "unprecedented challenge".
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Speaking via video today, the 37-year-old paid tribute to the "incredible work" done by the NHS, saying: "Their selfless commitment has touched the hearts of the entire nation.
"The building you are standing in is yet another example of how people across the country have risen to this unprecedented challenge.
"The Nightingale hospitals will rightly go down as landmarks in the history of the NHS."
The new temporary NHS Nightingale Birmingham Hospital at the NEC was built in less than two weeks with a 500-bed capacity but could be expanded to 1,500 or more if needed.
And the new facility comes as more than the UK death toll climbed to more than 12,000 with more than 98,000 across the country.
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It will help to take coronavirus patients from 23 Midlands hospitals if they struggle to cope with demand.
Figures recently revealed that Birmingham had the most cases of the deadly bug outside of London.
And the new temporary hospital in Birmingham is just one across the UK being opened, with one already opened in London and in Manchester. Plans for others in Harrogate, Yorkshire and another in Bristol are also underway.
A number of workers today gathered – standing 2m apart – at the new Birmingham facility to listen to the royal's speech to launch the hospital.
And Prince William added: "You all deserve our huge thanks, and you should all be hugely proud of what you have achieved in such a short space of time.
"I know that the Nightingale Birmingham will provide invaluable resources for hospitals from miles around.
"This will reassure people across the Midlands that if their local hospitals reach capacity, there will be extra beds available for their loved ones here.
"I find that very comforting and I know many other people will too."
Prince William has continued his royal duties despite the lockdown, conducting a number of video meetings and phone calls to support those on the frontlines.
He and wife Kate Middleton most recently spoke to teachers and students online.
Prince Charles, who recently battled coronavirus, also opened the NHS Nightingale hospital in London.
Speaking from his Scottish home of Birkhall, the 71-year-old said his thoughts and prayers would be with the patients who needed treatment for the deadly bug.
Meanwhile, Prince Harry has continued to support his patronages despite quitting the royal family and moving to LA.
The 35-year-old spoke with parents and carers from his new home over the weekend – urging them to focus on the positives.
And in the candid 30-minute chat, Harry said: "There’s a hell of a lot of positives that are happening at the same time and being able to have family time — so much family time — that you almost think, ‘Do I feel guilty for having so much family time?'
"You’ve got to celebrate those moments where you are just on the floor rolling around in hysterics.
"Inevitably, half an hour later, maybe a day later, there’s going to be something that you have to deal with and there’s no way you can run away from it."
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