Coronavirus: Prince Charles, 71, tests positive and is showing 'mild symptoms'

Rebecca Taylor
·Royal Correspondent
·3-min read

Prince Charles has tested positive for coronavirus, Clarence House has confirmed.

The Prince of Wales, 71, is in the government’s high-risk category because of his age.

A Clarence House spokesman said: “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 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 tests were carried out by the NHS in Aberdeenshire where they met the criteria required for testing.

“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.”

LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 09: Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Charles, Prince of Wales attend the Commonwealth Day Service 2020 on March 9, 2020 in London, England. (Photo by Phil Harris - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
Charles was with William, Kate, Harry, Meghan and the Queen on 9 March. (Getty Images)
FILE - In this March 12, 2020 file photo, Britain's Prince Charles, centre, meets guests at a dinner at Mansion House in London. Prince Charles, the heir to the British throne, has tested positive for the new coronavirus. The prince’s Clarence House office reported on Wednesday, March 25, 2020 that the 71-year-old is showing mild symptoms of COVID-19 and is self-isolating at a royal estate in Scotland. It says his wife Camilla has tested negative. (Eamonn McCormack/PA via AP, File)
Prince Charles attended a dinner at Mansion House on 12 March. (Eamonn McCormack/PA via AP File)

The couple are understood to be self-isolating separately at Birkhall in Scotland, where they arrived on Sunday. He was tested on Monday.

Concerns for the heir apparent were raised last week when Prince Albert of Monaco became the first royal to test positive for the disease.

They attended the same event in London at the beginning of March.

Prince Albert of Monaco attends the WaterAid charity's Water and Climate event in London.
Prince Albert of Monaco at WaterAid's Water and Climate event in London in March. (PA Images)

Read more: Royal Family postpones more engagements as UK enters lockdown

Charles’s last public engagement was 12 March, but he has had a number of private meetings since then with Highgrove and Duchy individuals, all of whom have been made aware.

A source said his doctor’s most conservative estimate was that the prince was contagious on 13 March, according to PA.

They added that Charles has not seen the Queen since then. Prince Philip was not at the palace at the time.

A Buckingham Palace spokeswoman said: “Her Majesty The Queen remains in good health.

“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.”

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Britain's Queen Elizabeth leaves Buckingham Palace for Windsor Castle to socially distance herself amid the coronavirus pandemic, in London, Thursday, March 19, 2020. She is heading to her Berkshire home a week earlier than she normally would at this time of year, and is expected to remain there beyond the Easter period. For some people the new COVID-19 coronavirus causes only mild or moderate symptoms, but for some it can cause severe illness.  (Aaron Chown/PA via AP)
Queen Elizabeth left Buckingham Palace on 19 March for Windsor Castle to socially distance herself. (Aaron Chown/PA via AP)

A small number of people living and working at Birkhall are remaining at the residence and self-isolating.

Charles is said to be up and about and not bedridden.

He has spoken to both his sons William and Harry, and the Queen.

His father Prince Philip joined the Queen at Windsor Castle on 19 March, flying down by helicopter from Sandringham.

They are reported to have slimmed down their staff, sending 100 employees home as early as last week.

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It comes as Spain’s death toll overtook China’s after a sharp rise in cases and experts warned that the US could become a new epicentre of the crisis.

Spain has now recorded 3,434 deaths of people who tested positive for COVID-19. Italy still has the most deaths of any nation in the world, with 6,820.

Donald Trump, the US president, has said he wants to see the country back to work by the Easter weekend, despite the rising number of cases.

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The World Health Organization said on Tuesday the US has the potential to become the new epicentre of the coronavirus pandemic.

The Royal Family has been taking precautions and following government advice since the outbreak of coronavirus in the UK.

At the Commonwealth Day Service on 9 March, the last major royal event before many engagements were postponed, they avoiding shaking hands.

Prince Charles has been seen adopting the namaste greeting instead of shaking hands.