Coronavirus: Prince Albert 'didn't shake' Charles's hand as royals fight COVID-19

Rebecca Taylor
Royal Correspondent
Prince Albert at the London event also attended by Charles. (Getty Images)

Prince Albert of Monaco has said he can’t be accused of giving Prince Charles coronavirus, after the Prince of Wales confirmed he had contracted the disease not long after Albert said he had it.

Prince Charles and Prince Albert were at the same event for WaterAid in London on 10 March.

On 19 March, Albert was revealed to be the first monarch and the first head of state, to have contracted COVID-19.

Just six days later, Clarence House announced Prince Charles, 71, also had the disease - and was probably contagious around 13 March.

But speaking to RTL radio, Prince Albert said the British heir to the throne probably did not get it from him.

Charles attended the WaterAid event in London on 10 March. (Getty Images)

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He said: “I was at a roundtable for his foundation, but we never shook hands. I was at the other end of the table, way far away.

“We nodded hello to one another, so I don’t think I can really be accused of contaminating him.”

According to the Daily Express’s royal correspondent Richard Palmer, the pair were meant to have a photo opportunity after the event, but Charles walked past Albert and it did not take place.

Prince Albert remarked to RTL that Charles continued with other engagements after the WaterAid event, something with Clarence House also mentioned.

While his most recent public engagement was 12 March, Charles held private meetings after that date.

He is now self-isolating in Birkhall, his home on the Balmoral estate in Scotland, but is working at his desk, and is conducting meetings by phone and video conference.

One of those calls was with former foreign secretary David Miliband, who said it was good to hear the Duke of Cornwall carrying on.

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Miliband, who spoke to the duke on Wednesday, is now president and chief executive of the International Rescue Committee (IRC). Charles is a patron of the IRC’s UK arm.

He told Sky News: “I had a scheduled call with the Prince of Wales yesterday, obviously getting the news in the morning of his coronavirus situation made me wonder whether he would postpone but he went ahead with the call.

“He was in very good spirits, he was obviously very engaged with the situation facing people in the UK.”

Charles was using a namaste greeting when hand shaking was discouraged. (Reuters)

The former Labour leadership candidate added: “I was very struck about how he was very concerned about the global picture as well as his first priority being in the UK.

“It was very reassuring to hear him keeping calm and carrying on, very determined to make sure that the virus didn’t interrupt his schedule, and continuing to express concern both locally and globally.”

The Queen is reported to still be in good health, and held her weekly meeting with Boris Johnson by telephone from Windsor Castle on Wednesday.

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Charles saw many of his family members on 9 March. (Reuters)

She saw Charles on 12 March. Camilla was also tested for COVID-19 but her test result was negative.

Charles is said to still be in good spirits despite the diagnosis. He thanked well-wishers for their messages as he recovers from his mild symptoms.

Clarence House tweeted: “Thank you for all your ‘Get Well Soon’ messages for His Royal Highness.

“He is enormously touched by your kind words.”

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Officials defended the decision to test him amid criticism that frontline NHS staff are not yet being routinely tested.

Both UK and Scottish government officials have said Charles met the criteria to be tested.