Prince Charles is "deeply saddened" by the impact of the coronavirus pandemic
The 72-year-old royal reflected on how the "tragic situation" has seen so many families lose their loved ones, and acknowledged the recent death of his father Prince Philip - who passed away aged 99 last month - when he discussed how hard it is to have an "empty seat at [the] dinner table"
12 May 2021
In a video message to British Muslims to mark the end of Ramadan, he said: “The last year I know has been deeply challenging for us all, and I am only too aware of the impact of the pandemic on the Muslim community.
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“This year so many families, like my own, will have an empty seat at their dinner table and friends will no longer be able to share the celebratory hug after Eid prayers. I can only say how deeply saddened I am by this tragic situation and how my heart goes out to all those who have lost their loved ones.”
Charles also told how he was left "utterly heartbroken" by the "tragic story" of 13-year-old Ismail Mohamed Abdulwahab, who died alone after contracting virus.
He said in the message, which was broadcast as part of a virtual Iftar organised by The Mosaic Initiative - which is part of his own youth charity The Prince's Trust - and the Naz Legacy Foundation: “I was utterly heartbroken by the tragic story of Ismail Mohamed Abdulwahab, a previously healthy thirteen year old boy, who passed away without the comfort of having his family by his side.
“Every bereavement, from whatever cause, is made even harder for families by the current restrictions on funerals. I can only too well understand how agonising this must be for those affected and I know their enormous sense of grief will be shared by countless others – including myself.
“Under these appallingly challenging circumstances, my wife and I can only offer you all our kindest and most special wishes and stress just how greatly the contribution of Muslims to the life of the United Kingdom is appreciated and valued.”
And the prince sent his "deepest possible sympathy" to those working on the frontline who have lost their loved ones.
He continued: "Many British Muslims, of course, will spend this Ramadan on the frontline of the Covid crisis, working in our NHS or in other key roles.
“Most tragically, I know that a number of highly experienced and invaluable doctors and nurses from the Muslim community have lost their lives to this pernicious virus.
“To their families and colleagues, I can only convey my deepest possible sympathy; and to everyone on the front line, of whatever religion, I offer my profound admiration and heartfelt gratitude for everything they are doing – for all of us.”