Tim P. Whitby – WPA Pool/Getty Images(LONDON) — Prince Charles, the heir to the British throne, has tested positive for the novel coronavirus, becoming the first member of Britain’s royal family to announce a positive test for the COVID-19 virus.
“He has been displaying mild symptoms but otherwise remains in good health and has been working from home throughout the last few days as usual,” a Clarence House spokesperson said in a statement. “The Duchess of Cornwall has also been tested but does not have the virus.”
“In accordance with Government and medical advice, the Prince and the Duchess are now self-isolating at home in Scotland,” the spokesperson said. “The tests were carried out by the NHS in Aberdeenshire where they met the criteria required for testing.”
It is not known from whom Prince Charles, 71, caught the virus due to the “high number of engagements he carried out in his public role during recent weeks.”
Charles joined members of his family — including Queen Elizabeth and sons Princes William and Harry and their wives Kate and Meghan, respectively — at a Commonwealth Day service at Westminster Abbey on March 9.
Charles later saw his 93-year-old mother Queen Elizabeth on March 12, but the queen “remains in good health,” according to a statement from Buckingham Palace.
“Her Majesty The Queen remains in good health,” the palace said Wednesday. “The Queen last saw The Prince of Wales briefly after the investiture on the morning of 12th March and is following all the appropriate advice with regard to her welfare.”
Queen Elizabeth left her home at Buckingham Palace for Windsor Castle on March 19, one week earlier than she had planned to leave for her Easter holiday, according to Buckingham Palace. The queen and her husband, Prince Philip, are likely to stay at Windsor Castle beyond Easter Sunday.
The U.K. is asking people to stay at home as it tries to slow the spread of the coronavirus, of which there are now more than 425,000 diagnosed cases around the world, according to data compiled by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University.
The U.K. government’s advice to avoid mass gatherings has led to the postponement of the famous ceremonial Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace, St. James’s Palace and Windsor Castle, Buckingham Palace announced last week.
Buckingham Palace also announced last week it has canceled several upcoming events — including annual garden parties — that were to be attended by large crowds and members of the royal family.
Bars, restaurants and clubs in the U.K. have been ordered to close and schools have switched to virtual learning.
Prince Charles’s two oldest grandchildren, Prince George and Princess Charlotte, are now being home-schooled by Prince William and Kate after their private school in London closed last week.
William and Kate, as the youngest, most senior members of the royal family, have taken on an increased public role amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge visited the London Ambulance Service 111 control room in Croydon, England, last week to thank dispatchers who have been taking emergency calls from the public.
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