The Prince of Wales has said he “got away with it quite lightly” when he contracted coronavirus at the beginning of the UK’s epidemic in March.
Prince Charles, 71, self-isolated after testing positive for the virus and only experienced mild symptoms.
Speaking to Sky News, he said: “I was lucky in my case… but I’ve had it, and I can so understand what other people have gone through.”
He expressed sympathy with those who had lost family or friends.
“I feel particularly for those who have lost their loved ones and have been unable to be with them at the time. That, to me, is the most ghastly thing,” the prince said.
“But in order to prevent this happening to so many more people, I’m so determined to find a way out of this.”
Prince Charles, who is the heir to the throne, recovered from coronavirus after spending his seven days of quarantine at his Birkhall home on the royal Balmoral estate. The Duchess of Cornwall, 72, was tested and did not have the virus.
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He said: “I can’t tell you how much I sympathise with the way that everyone has had to endure with this unbelievably testing and challenging time.”
The prince said the experience made him more determined to “push and shout and prod” as he called for nature to return to the “centre of our economy”.
“Before this, nature has just been pushed to the peripheries, we’ve exploited and dug up and cut down everything as if there was no tomorrow, as if it doesn’t matter.”
Without learning from the pandemic, he said we may face a similar threat in future: “The more we erode the natural world, the more we destroy biodiversity, the more we expose ourselves to this kind of danger.
“We’ve had these other disasters with Sars and Ebola and goodness knows what else, all of these things are related to the loss of biodiversity. So we have to find a way this time to put nature back at the centre.”