Prince Charles tests positive for coronavirus; unclear if Queen Elizabeth II has been tested
LONDON — Prince Charles, the heir to the British throne, 71, has tested positive for coronavirus after "displaying mild symptoms," Clarence House, his official royal residence, said in a statement Wednesday.
"The Prince of Wales has tested positive for coronavirus," the statement said, noting aside from the mild symptoms he "otherwise remains in good health and has been working from home throughout the last few days as usual."
The Prince of Wales is self-isolating at a royal estate in Scotland, and his wife Camilla, 72, has tested negative for the virus. It was not immediately clear whether Charles' mother, Queen Elizabeth II or her husband Prince Philip have been tested.
The news comes a week after the queen relocated to Windsor Castle amid the pandemic.
Britain's 93-year-old monarch canceled a number of events "as a sensible precaution" due to the outbreak but as late as last week she was still holding "audiences" with members of the public.
Buckingham Palace confirmed to USA TODAY that Britain's monarch last came into contact with Prince Charles on March 12. Medical researchers have not yet determined for how long someone infected with coronavirus is contagious.
"Her Majesty The Queen remains in good health," the palace said in a statement to USA TODAY Wednesday. "The Queen last saw the Prince of Wales briefly after the investiture on the morning of the 12th March and is following all the appropriate advice with regard to her welfare.”
Prince Philip, 98, is with the queen at Windsor Castle.
Charles was photographed with other members of the royal family on March 9 at the queen's annual Commonwealth Day service in Westminster Abbey.
Sharp-eyed Twitter users noticed Charles, along with his youngest son Prince Harry, adopted alternatives to shaking hands at the event.
Photos: Prince Charles through the years
The Prince of Wales, who's known for his interest in Eastern religions and philosophy, was spotted greeting people with the Indian "namaste" greeting, which includes a slight bow with hands pressed together, palms touching and fingers pointing upwards.
A few days later, Charles was also out and about on March 12, when he attended a dinner for Australian bushfire relief and recovery effort in London.
The statement from Clarance House announcing Prince Charles' positive test results noted: “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.”
Those most at danger of severe complications from the virus, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, include adults 65 and older.
On March 19, Queen Elizabeth sent a message via her press office broadly addressing the coronavirus pandemic: "As Philip and I arrive at Windsor today, we know that many individuals and families across the United Kingdom, and around the world, are entering a period of great concern and uncertainty.
"We are all being advised to change our normal routines and regular patterns of life for the greater good of the communities we live in and, in particular, to protect the most vulnerable within them."
Contributing: Associated Press, Leora Arnowitz, Maria Puente