'Shut up': Piers Morgan defends Prince Charles' hospital visit with 'seriously ill' Prince Philip amid COVID-19 pandemic

Piers Morgan has rushed to the defence of Prince Charles after his 320km round trip to visit Prince Phillip in hospital prompted backlash amid the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The Good Morning Britain presenter had a few choice words for those who wanted to "spew abuse or rage" at Charles over claims he had broken the rules by being able to see his sick father when "thousands of others" weren't allowed to visit their loved ones. 

"What an incredibly sad picture," Morgan tweeted along with a paparazzi shot of an emotional-looking Charles. 

"A tearful son after seeing his seriously ill 99-year-old father in hospital.

"If your first instinct is to spew abuse or rage about Prince Charles visiting Prince Philip today, shut the f**k up."

Many social media users were upset that Philip was allowed visitors, despite COVID-19 restrictions that had meant many people had suffered alone. 

"My mum died on January 18. Saw her leave in the ambulance, never saw her alive again!" one tweet read. 

"Why didn't thousands of others or myself get to see our loved ones when seriously ill?" 

"Sorry but what's the difference between this picture and all the others of sons daughters etc that couldn't see their loved ones when they were seriously ill?!" said another. 

"Not disrespect to #princephillip. But double standards. Is Prince Charles getting a fine?" asked a third. 

Still, many Twitter users agreed with Morgan's sentiments, explaining that some hospitals were allowing visitors in "exceptional circumstances" - when a patient was very critical, or nearing the end of life, for example.

"It totally depends on the area you’re living in and the hospital," one Twitter user wrote. 

"I didn't get the chance to rush to the hospital that my boyfriend was flown to and I didn't get to go to the funeral to say goodbye either. Does this mean I begrudge Prince Charles visiting his father? NO. What happened to showing a bit of kindness guys eh?" another tweet read. 

Buckingham Palace has insisted that Philip's stay at the hospital was a "precautionary measure" and that his illness is not related to COVID-19.