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CoronavirusKing Charles III

Prince of Wales on pandemic: “I’m so determined to find a way out of this”

Prince Charles, Prince of Wales

The Prince of Wales has said that he is lucky after contracting the novel coronavirus back in March, saying that he “got away with it quite lightly.”

In an exclusive interview with Sky News’s royal reporter, Rhiannon Mills, to discuss his environmental initiatives after launching The Great Reset on Wednesday, Prince Charles said that “it makes me even more determined to push and shout and prod if you see what I mean. Whatever I can do behind the scenes sometimes.”

Talking about his own experiences with COVID-19, Prince Charles says that he understands what others with the illness are going through.

“I feel particularly for those for instance, 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.”

“But in order to prevent this happening to so many more people, this is why I’m so determined to find a way out of this. In order to bring the world and all of us back to the centre, back to understanding what we have to do in relationship to the natural world.”

Prince Charles’s interview will be featured on a Sky News special called ‘After the Pandemic: Our New World.’

“The more we erode the natural world, the more we destroy what’s called biodiversity which is the immense diversity of life, plant life, tree life, everything else, marine life, the more we expose ourselves to this kind of danger,” he said.

“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, they’re called zoonotic diseases where you end up with these diseases being transferred from animals to humans if you over erode the natural world.”

Prince Charles also revealed that he’s been speaking with world leaders during lockdown—he’s been at Birkhall in Scotland with The Duchess of Cornwall since mid-March—to talk about how their countries can put sustainability at the centre of their recovery efforts and to talk through problems they’re facing.

“I’ve been speaking to leaders in the Caribbean which is chiefly commonwealth countries and they are facing immense challenges,” he said.

“I was talking to the Prime Minister of St Lucia recently because he wanted to talk about the horrors facing the islands where the tourism sector has disintegrated completely, they’re under the most appalling economic pressure, they’ve also got the risks and dangers every year of hurricanes.”

On Wednesday, Prince Charles launched The Great Reset at a special meeting of the World Economic Forum. Appearing via video call, the prince said that his five-point plan is “a golden opportunity to seize something good from this crisis” as “Its unprecedented shockwaves may well make people more receptive to big visions of change.”

The five points of The Great Reset involve putting humans onto a path of sustainable employment and growth that sees any perverse effects on the environment reimagined. The other points include redesigning systems and pathways to advance net zero transitions and creating a sustainable market; using science, technology and innovation to create breakthroughs for sustainable futures; re-evaluate investments to focus on green initiatives; and engaging people to want a more sustainable future moving forward.

“We have a unique but rapidly shrinking window of opportunity to learn lessons and reset ourselves on a more sustainable path,” Prince Charles said during his presentation.

Speaking of the way people have been conducting themselves through the COVID-19 pandemic, Prince Charles said, “I can’t tell you how much I sympathise with the way that everyone has had to endure this unbelievably testing and challenging time.

“I know that so many people have had the agony of losing their loved ones and the bewilderment and anxiety that surrounds everything, and so it is the most awful aspect of a pandemic like this, and yet we’ve seen at the same time people being quite remarkable, and wonderful people in the National Health Service and all the other key workers who kept everything going.”

Prince Charles said, “That is the remarkable thing about all this, it always produces the best of everybody in so many ways, and that I think is something which is so special about the reaction. But at the same time, we have to make sure we try to do better in the future.”

Prince Charles’s interview airs on Thursday evening at 8pm on Sky News.

About author

Jess Ilse is the Assistant Editor at Royal Central. She specialises in the British, Danish, Norwegian and Swedish Royal Families and has been following royalty since Queen Elizabeth II’s Golden Jubilee. Jess has provided commentary for media outlets in Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, and Australia. Jess works in communications and her debut novel THE MAJESTIC SISTERS will publish in Fall 2024.