Prince Charles opens up on missing his family during coronavirus lockdown
4 June 2020, 17:45 | Updated: 4 June 2020, 23:46
The Prince of Wales has opened up about missing his family during the coronavirus lockdown, telling Sky News: "You really just want to give people a hug".
The prince said he had been making video calls to loved ones but that it was no replacement for seeing them in person.
Talking about how challenging it was for people who miss their relatives while they are prevented from seeing them by COVID-19 restrictions, he said: "Well I haven't seen my father for a long time.
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"He's going to be 99 next week, so yes, or my grandchildren or anything. I've been doing the Facetime, it's all very well but…"
Asked how he had felt being disconnected from his family, he said: "Well it's terribly sad, let alone one's friends.
"But fortunately at least you can speak to them on telephones and occasionally do this sort of thing. But it isn't the same, is it? You really just want to give people a hug."
It is rare to hear the Prince talk this personally about his family in an interview, especially about his father, the Duke of Edinburgh, who celebrates his 99th birthday on 10 June.
Prince Philip has been at Windsor Castle with the Queen since lockdown started. In the past it has been suggested that Prince Charles and his father have had a sometimes strained relationship.
In an acknowledgement that the coronavirus pandemic has focused everyone's minds on what really matters in life, the prince said: "I do totally understand so many people's frustrations, difficulties, grief and anguish and I mean I'm just trying to do my best to find and help and encourage ways to enable people to go on doing that, but in a way that doesn't wreck everything at the same time around us."
He was speaking as part of the Sky News series After The Pandemic: Our New World, being aired this week.
During the interview, he talks about how he was "lucky" and "got away with it quite lightly" when he caught coronavirus, but that it has made him even more determined to "push and shout and prod" to make sure nature is at the centre of the post-COVID-19 recovery.
But pushed on whether he can understand that many people are still just worried about their jobs and making sure their families don't catch the virus he said: "Yes, I totally understand all that. The most important thing is to make sure that the economy can function again.
"And that people's livelihoods and their businesses, and everything else, and employment is possible.
"All these things are going to have to be incremental anyway, but the point is that in order to avoid even worse situations in the future and more disease, we have to, we have to find a way to ensure that in the next 10 years, because otherwise, we will lose this battle against accelerating climate change and global warming because if we go on like this with temperatures rising inexorably then the whole of life becomes increasingly impossible.
"So we have no alternative but to do things in a better way."
The prince believes that a "green recovery" should be at the centre of global efforts to rebuild economies and could be integral for getting people back to work in the post pandemic world.
Asked if he thought life as we knew it would ever return, he said it was important to give people hope after many difficult weeks.
"Well, a lot hinges doesn't it on finding an effective vaccine," he said.
"And I know there are a lot of people working on this flat out. And some reports say that they're very optimistic.
"Well that would revolutionise things. But I think the point about all this is that what we need is to try and rebuild people's hope. We don't have to stop doing everything.
"We can come back in a far better way that enables us to have something very much approaching normality.
"For instance there's a lot of work going on that ensures we can produce sustainable fuel for the aviation sector.
"There's huge potential in things like carbon storage and we have to do that if we're going to win the battle to keep global temperatures down to enable life to continue and to enable biodiversity to continue.
"Because if we go on doing it we create all these endless diseases and problems because we've destroyed the biodiversity.
"So there is real hope in doing it better and differently as many people have been trying to say all of these years. But it will be a new way, but it enables life to come back again properly."
(c) Sky News 2020: Prince Charles opens up on missing his family during coronavirus lockdown