Prince Charles met with Australians before coronavirus confirmation


Prince Charles, the Queen’s son and heir to the British throne, is the latest high-profile person to test positive for the coronavirus in a global pandemic that has infected almost half a million people.

Clarence House revealed Charles, 71, has been self-isolating at his Scotland residence and had been displaying “mild symptoms” of COVID-19 but was in overall good health.

“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,” a statement read. 

Doctors believe the future king became contagious on March 13 – the day after he last saw the Queen.

His last public engagement was on March 12, when he attended a London fundraising event which raised money for Australia’s bushfire victims.

The reception and dinner saw the attendance of many high-profile people, including London’s mayor William Russell and High Commissioner for Australia George Brandis.

Video footage showing comedian Adam Hills singing the Australian national anthem at the event has raised speculation he was also there.

He later reposted the original tweet, saying “it’s the location of this tweet that tickles me the most”.

That morning, Charles briefly saw the 93-year-old monarch who, according to Buckingham Palace, remained in good health and was “following all the appropriate advice with regard to her welfare”.

As a precautionary measure, the Queen left Buckingham Palace last week and moved to Windsor Castle with the 98-year-old Duke of Edinburgh after the government announced the spread of the coronavirus in London was weeks ahead of the rest of the UK.

“It is likely the Queen will stay there [at Windsor Castle] beyond the Easter period,” a statement by Buckingham Palace read.

Charles was unable to see the Queen on Mother’s Day but paid tribute to her by posting to Instagram a rare childhood photo.

A source close to the prince said he was up and about and not bedridden.
Medical advice is that it is unlikely to escalate into a more serious case.

On March 13 – the day it is believed he contracted the coronavirus – Charles was at his family residence in Highgrove House, west of England.

There, his wife Camilla, 72, also resides. She was later tested for the coronavirus, but the result came back negative and has separated herself from the prince.

That Sunday, Charles travelled to their Birkhall residence on the Balmoral estate in Scotland. A small number of people who live and work there are self-isolating.

The prince was also pictured practising namastes instead of handshakes at his public events, including when the royals gathered for the Commonwealth Day service at Westminster Abbey on March 9, and a Prince’s Trust event on March 11.

On March 10, he was with Monaco’s head of state Prince Albert II, who has since tested positive for coronavirus.

Charles is not believed to have shaken hands with the 62-year-old but attended a roundtable meeting with him at the WaterAid Summit in London on that day.

Charles has spoken to both his sons the Duke of Cambridge, who is in Norfolk with the Duchess of Cambridge and their young children, and the Duke of Sussex, who is in Canada.

The UK enters into lockdown

Prime minister Boris Johnson has placed the UK under a police-enforced lockdown, 12 hours after issuing a historic address to the nation urging that people only leave their homes for very limited reasons such as going to supermarkets or once a day for exercise.

The unprecedented peacetime restrictions, which will last for at least three weeks, were brought in to prevent the state-run National Health Service from being overwhelmed.

All but essential shops have closed and people are no longer allowed to meet family or friends.

Police will break up gatherings of more than two people and social events such as weddings, although not funerals, will be stopped.

There have so far been more than 450,000 cases of infection and at least 20,550 deaths worldwide.

-with AAP