The UK's Prince Charles reflected on the death of his father Prince Philip during a message to mark the end of Ramadan.
The Prince of Wales, heir to the British throne, underlined the challenges faced by Muslims as they participated in Ramadan under lockdown conditions for the second year in a row.
“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.
“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.
"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.”
The message was delivered on Monday night at a virtual iftar hosted by the Naz Legacy Foundation charity.
The event was part of a series of virtual celebrations encouraging people to stay at home during Ramadan – which is likely to end on Wednesday – as social restrictions prevent indoor gatherings.
The prince highlighted the opening up of mosques as Covid-19 vaccination centres and mentioned recent visits he made to the Finsbury Park and East London mosques.
He spoke of the effect of the pandemic and lockdowns “on faith rituals, communal worship and grief”, but said the “great strides” in the vaccine campaign would make it easier for people to soon get together.
Prince Charles acknowledged the importance of interfaith iftars to encourage “meaningful connections between different communities” for an “integrated Britain”.
“When I suggested the idea of these annual interfaith iftars focused on young people to some of my good friends from the Muslim community, I must say my expectations were modest,” he said.
“It has been wonderful, therefore, to see just how successful these events have become.”