Duke of Cornwall Prince Charles said he feels “terribly sad” he can’t be with his grandkids amid the coronavirus pandemic. The 71-year-old revealed what it’s like to quarantine without Prince William‘s children — Prince George, Princess Charlotte, and Prince Louis — and Prince Harry‘s 12-month-old son, Archie, in a new interview.

“I do totally understand so many people’s frustrations, difficulties, grief and anguish,” he explained to Sky News over video chat on Thursday, June 4. “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.”

The Christening of Prince Louis, London, UK - 09 Jul 2018

Prince Charles also said it’s been a “long time” since he’s seen his father, Prince Philip, in person. But thanks to “FaceTime,” he’s been able to stay in contact with the Duke of Edinburgh, who turns 99 years old on June 10. Although Charles didn’t reveal how he plans on celebrating his dad’s birthday, he did say he hopes COVID-19 ends soon so people can reunite with their families.

“I’m just trying to do my best to find and help and encourage ways to enable people to go on doing that,” he said. “But in a way that doesn’t wreck everything at the same time around us.”

The Prince of Wales especially knows how it feels to be diagnosed with the virus. On March 25, Clarence House announced the royal came down with the illness and had to immediately go into quarantine. But after a little bit of R&R, Charles was already feeling better.

“I was lucky in my case and got away with it quite lightly. But I’ve had it, and I can so understand what other people have gone through,” he explained. “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.”

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