In a joint BBC interview, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge also discussed homeschooling, video calls to relatives and mental health during the pandemic

By Simon Perry
April 17, 2020 08:22 AM

Prince William is opening up about the worries he had for his father, Prince Charles, when he contracted the coronavirus last month.

Appearing on the morning show BBC Breakfast on Friday in a joint video call interview with his wife, Kate Middleton, 38, William said of his dad, “I have to admit at first I was quite concerned. He fits the profile of somebody — the age he is at, which is, you know, fairly risky. And so I was a little bit worried, but my father has had many chest infections, colds and things like that over the years. And so I thought to myself, if anybody’s going to be able to beat this it’s going to be him.”

Charles was diagnosed with the virus at end of March and had to self-isolate away from his wife, Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall.

William added that the illness presented new difficulties for Charles, 71 — something that affected his wellbeing. “I think the hardest thing he found was having to stop and not be able to go and get a bit of fresh air and go for a walk. He’s a mad walker. He loves his walking. So I think he found it quite difficult … with his mental health, being stuck inside and not being able to go for walks.”

Duke and Duchess of Cambridge
Prince William and Kate Middleton
| Credit: BBC
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge spoke to the BBC via video link
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge spoke to the BBC via video link on Friday
| Credit: BBC
Charles and Camilla
Prince Charles and Camilla
| Credit: Clarence House

And the concerned prince, 37, is also intensely aware of the vulnerability of his grandmother, Queen Elizabeth, who turns 94 next week, and his grandfather, Prince Philip, 98. The Queen and her husband are currently residing in Windsor Castle amid the outbreak.

Queen Elizabeth
Queen Elizabeth II
| Credit: Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty

“I think very carefully about my grandparents who are, you know, at the age they’re at, and we’re doing everything we can to make sure that they’re, you know, isolated away and protected from this,” he told the BBC. “But it does worry me, you know, what’s going to happen to a lot of the vulnerable people and the high-risk people who are going to potentially have to isolate away for quite some time, and the impact that’s going to have on them and on families up and down the country having to do that.”

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William, who has experienced the tragedy of losing his mother, Princess Diana, when he was just 15, was also asked about the sadness and grief faced by many during the pandemic.

“Trauma comes in all sorts of shapes and forms and we can never know or be prepared for when it is going to happen to us,” he said. “People are going to feel angry, they’re going to feel confused; they’re going to feel scared. That is all normal feelings. And that is, unfortunately, all part of the grieving process.”