The Prince of Wales has personally thanked hospital staff who treated the Duke of Edinburgh for a heart condition.
Charles chatted privately with a nurse, consultant and therapist who cared for his father when he visited St Bartholomew’s Hospital in the City of London.
And during an impromptu walkabout the heir to the throne met Covid patient Stella Amore-Fernandez, 46, who told him she was admitted on Christmas Day and owed her life to staff.
St Bartholomew’s is home to Barts Heart Centre, Europe’s largest specialised cardiovascular service, and in March a successful procedure was performed on Philip for a pre-existing heart condition.
He spent several days at St Barts before returning to King Edward VII’s Hospital where he spent the majority of a month-long period being treated, after initially being admitted with an infection.
Philip died peacefully at Windsor Castle on April 9 and his funeral was held a week later at the royal residence’s St George’s Chapel.
In a video message to Britain’s Muslim community ahead of the end of Ramadan, Charles said his family have “an empty seat at their dinner table” after the death of his father.
Professor Charles Knight, chief executive of St Barts, said the prince had been keen to use his pre-planned visit to personally thank staff.
He said: “It meant an enormous amount to us that he came to visit and also that he met those involved in his father’s care.
“We were just so honoured to have treated his father and it was wonderful to see the Prince of Wales today.
“It was particularly special that he got the opportunity to speak to some of our staff here ahead of International Nurses’ Day tomorrow.”
After his private meeting Charles moved outside to the hospital’s square to meet nurses, all of whom had been involved in Barts Health NHS Trust’s response to Covid-19.
To the surprise of his entourage, Charles also went on an unscheduled walkabout and chatted to a small number of staff and patients who had stopped to watch when news of his visit leaked out.
He told them: “I couldn’t not stop to thank you.
“Well done, all of you.
Among them was Ms Amore-Fernandez from east London who told Charles the staff from St Bart’s saved her life, saying: “If it wasn’t for them, I wouldn’t be here.”
She was admitted to hospital on Christmas Day and told the prince: “My kids opened their presents and then that was it.”
The 46-year-old added: “I owe the team everything.
“My life, everything.
“I can’t tell you how brilliant they are and what compassion they have, they are amazing.
“It’s been tough, really tough, but I am one of the lucky ones, unbelievably.”
At the start of his visit Charles was briefed on planned restoration works for the hospital’s Grade I listed buildings ahead of its 900th birthday in 2023.
The hospital has provided healthcare on the same site since the reign of Henry I and today is home to the largest cardiac unit in Europe and London’s second biggest cancer centre.
Before visiting the hospital Charles had toured the nearby future home of the Museum of London, close to the capital’s Smithfield market.