The Prince of Wales has confessed he misses giving family and friends a hug and has not seen his shielding father the Duke of Edinburgh “for a long time”.
Charles’ candid comments about life under lockdown show the heir to the throne is living through an experience shared by many in the country.
The prince has been staying at his Scottish home of Birkhall with the Duchess of Cornwall for many weeks, but revealed he has been keeping in touch with the outside world via video calls.
Interviewed via videocall by Sky News’ royal correspondent Rhiannon Mills, for the After The Pandemic series, Charles was asked about being apart from his family.
He replied: “Well it’s terribly sad, let alone ones 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 want to give people a hug.”
Charles released a photograph of himself hugging grandson Prince Louis to mark the young royal’s second birthday on April 23, a month into the coronavirus lockdown.
The heir to the throne also commented about his father, saying: “Well I haven’t seen my father for a long time.
“He’s going to be 99 next week, so yes, or my grandchildren or anything. I’ve been doing the Facetime, is all very well but….”
Philip has been staying at Windsor Castle with the Queen for the majority of lockdown and is likely to be shielding with a small group of household staff.
The duke retired from royal public duties three years ago and is thought to have spent much of his time at the Queen’s private estate of Sandringham in Norfolk.
When Sky’s royal correspondent said hopefully a time is coming soon when people will be able to embrace loved ones, Charles said: Well I do hope so because, don’t worry, 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.”
During the interview, which was screened on Sky News on Thursday evening, the prince said contracting coronavirus made him more determined to “push and shout and prod” and he called for nature to return to the “centre of everything we do”.
Charles also paid tribute to key and health workers, and expressed sympathy with those who had lost family or friends during the pandemic.