Although not the first Royal to test positive for coronavirus–that honor goes to Prince Albert II of Monaco–a member of the British Royal Family has officially been diagnosed with COVID-19.
Prince Charles, the 71-year-old heir to the throne, announced his coronavirus diagnosis earlier today. His office at Clarence House in London sent out a statement. It reassures the public that, although he is sick, it is a relatively mild case.
“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,” The statement read.
Both Elizabeth and Charles intended to work from home throughout the pandemic, but hopefully Charles is focused on his health now. He and Camilla (who tested negative for the virus) have settled in at Birkhall, their Scottish vacation home on the grounds of Balmoral Castle.
Until March 12, Prince Charles was still going about business as usual, fulfilling his engagements with the public. Although he cheekily offered elbow bumps and “namaste” bows instead of handshakes, Charles was hardly practicing social distancing. In fact, he attended a massive event at the Palladium Theatre in London. He then visited privately with his mother, potentially exposing her to the virus.
“It is not possible to ascertain from whom the Prince caught the virus owing to the high number of engagements he carried out in his public role during recent weeks,” Clarence House stated.
Like many vulnerable seniors during the coronavirus pandemic, Queen Elizabeth is in self-quarantine. The 93-year-old monarch is bunkered down at Windsor Castle. He’s with a “skeleton staff of just eight,” according to The Daily Mail.
The Firm is taking no chances with the Queen’s health. Not only would it be a tragedy to lose Elizabeth, but the destabilization would cause a massive morale problem throughout the Commonwealth.
Now that Charles has coronavirus, there’s a possibility William could ascend the throne, either as a regent or as King. Obviously, that’s the worst-case scenario for the monarchy, but courtiers and senior Royals have no-doubt planned for every possibility.
Expect to see a more visible presence from William in the coming days, even if he’s just vlogging. He and Kate took the kids to their country estate in Norfolk during the mandatory lockdown. However, William could still send a message to the public that he’s ready to step up. We all have to figure out a way to work from home right now–even the Royal Family.