"This year, too many families like my own will have an empty seat at their dinner table," the Prince of Wales said

By Erin Hill
May 11, 2021 01:56 PM
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The Prince Of Wales Visits The Welsh Guards
Prince Charles
| Credit: Peter Cziborra - WPA Pool/Getty

Prince Charles is marking the end of Ramadan with a personal message.

The heir to the throne addressed the Muslim community by highlighting the challenges they've faced during Ramadan amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown restrictions.

"This last year I know has been deeply challenging for us all and I'm only too aware of the impact of the pandemic on the Muslim community," he said in a video message on Monday night that was part of a virtual celebration encouraging those who participate to stay home during Ramadan, which is set to end on Wednesday.

He went on to address the particular difficulties of those who have lost loved ones — something he can personally relate to. Charles' father Prince Philip died last month at the age of 99.

"This year, too many families like my own will have an empty seat at their dinner table and friends are no longer able to share the celebratory hug after Eid prayers," he said. "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."

Prince Charles made his first public appearance since his father's April 17 funeral last week when he visited the Welsh Guards at their barracks in Windsor.

"I was so enormously proud of those of you who formed part of the complement during my father's funeral recently," he said during the visit. "If I may say so, what a wonderful credit not only to the Welsh Guards but also the Households Division and all those who were on parade, for what you all did."

Prince Charles, 72, added that the royal family was "deeply moved" by their participation in the somber event.

Queen Elizabeth II and Britain's Prince Charles
Queen Elizabeth and Prince Charles
| Credit: RICHARD POHLE/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

"People from other countries rang me up to say that they had never seen anything quite so marvelous, so beautifully done and with such dignity and style," Charles told them.

Prince Charles chose a black and white throwback photo to thank people who sent condolences after his father's death at age 99. Instagram user Lise M shared a thank you card she received from Prince Charles' office. The letter contained an image from 1958, which showed a young Charles riding with his father in a small motorboat at Cowes, Isle of Wight.

Prince Phillip and Prince Charles
Prince Philip and Prince Charles
| Credit: PA Images via Getty

"The Prince of Wales thanks you so much for your very kind message of sympathy," the accompanying message read. "His Royal Highness has been enormously touched by the many generous messages that have been received in recent days; they have provided great comfort at this very sad time."

It concluded, "The Prince of Wales sends you his warmest thanks and best wishes."