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Wed, 25 Mar, 2020

Prince Charles tests positive for coronavirus and may be a super spreader

Prince Charles tests positive for coronavirus and may be a super spreader

Prince Charles is believed to have met the Queen just a day before he became infectious with coronavirus.

Medical experts believe the earliest Charles would have been contagious was March 13, however, new research has found symptoms can take up to 11 days to appear, meaning he could have been infectious when he met the Queen “briefly” a day earlier.

But that is the worst case scenario given the average incubation period is 5.1 days.

The 71-year-old is said to have met with other members of the royal family on March 9, before he became infectious.

On Wednesday, Clarence House revealed Prince Charles had tested positive for the coronavirus.

They said the heir to the throne was displaying mild symptoms but is otherwise in “good health”.

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,” a statement said, referring to the royal family’s Balmoral estate.

"The tests were carried out by the NHS (National Health Service) 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."

The Prince’s last public engagement was on March 12, when he attended a dinner in aid of the Australian bushfire relief efforts at Mansion House hosted by the Lord Mayor of London and the High Commissioner for Australia, George Brandis.

Buckingham Palace said the Queen last saw Charles two weeks ago.

“Her Majesty the Queen remains in good health,” it said.

“The Queen last saw the Prince of Wales briefly on 12 March and is following all the appropriate advice with regard to her welfare. We will not be commenting further.”

An insider said the Duke and Duchess were in good spirits and Charles was active rather than bedridden.

Sky News contributor Caleb Bond said if there’s “anyone who can get good treatment” it’s the Prince, which is why it’s unlikely he’ll “drop off the perch because of coronavirus”.

Speaking to Sky News host Peter Gleeson, Bond said people like Prince Charles, Tom Hanks and Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton – who have all contracted the virus – are “by necessity going to be far more likely to contract coronavirus” because their job requires them to constantly meet people.

“They can become super spreaders,” he said.