Prince Charles met 'hundreds' in weeks before testing positive for coronavirus

Ellena Cruse
Queen Elizabeth II, the Prince of Wales, the Duchess of Cornwall and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge: PA

The Prince of Wales could have picked up coronavirus at one of many royal engagements in recent weeks after meeting hundreds of members of the public during his official duties.

Prince Charles is infected with Covid-19 and in isolation and recovering in Scotland, it was announced on Wednesday.

Over the past weeks, he will have met hundreds of members of the public, and began the month holding a meeting with Prime Minister Boris Johnson at Clarence House on March 3.

Earlier in the day, he attended the Royal College of Music’s annual awards ceremony.

The following day, the prince and his wife the Duchess of Cornwall, who has not tested positive for Covid-19, travelled from their London home Clarence House in a new electric double decker bus to the London Transport Museum to take part in celebrations to mark 20 years of Transport for London.

Prince Charles steps off a new electric double decker bus (REUTERS)

The heir to the throne also held a number of private gatherings that day, from chairing a meeting of the Royal Collection Trust’s trustees, in his role as the Trust’s chairman, to hosting a dinner for the British Red Cross Society as their president.

Charles was experiencing a busy week and on March 5 hosted a Buckingham Palace investiture ceremony presenting awards to dozens of recipients, as the Queen had done a few days earlier.

But unlike previous ceremonies, the Queen wore long white gloves. At the time, Buckingham Palace declined to confirm whether the 93-year-old monarch was taking the precaution because of the coronavirus outbreak.

Later that day, the prince made the trip to Oxford to visit Jesus College, to mark the reinstatement of the professorship in Celtic Studies at Oxford University, and then Kellogg College, to receive the Bynum Tudor Fellowship.

On March 6, Charles attended a string of events in Newquay, visiting a school and a company, and at the start of the following week he attended major events marking Commonwealth Day.

At Westminster Abbey, the prince had his last public meeting with the Queen as they attended a Commonwealth Day service.

Also there was the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, the latter couple making their last official appearance before stepping down as senior royals.

Prince Charles met with hundreds of people in the last few weeks (AP)

Charles, and other members of the royal family, were following advice to avoid shaking hands in a bid to stop the potential spread of the virus, although Meghan hugged some of the congregation.

That evening, Charles and Camilla met dozens of staff from the Commonwealth Secretariat.

The following day, March 10, the heir to the throne met Prince Albert of Monaco at a WaterAid event in central London, sitting opposite the foreign royal who would later announce he had contracted the virus.

Charles later attended a series of private meetings, ending with him hosting a Buckingham Palace dinner for his Prince’s Trust.

Charles at the investiture ceremony (PA)

On March 11, during a day of private events, the prince greeted Ant McPartlin and Declan Donnelly with a namaste gesture at the Prince’s Trust Awards in place of handshakes.

The next day, Charles met the outgoing Governor of the Bank of England, Mark Carney, privately at Clarence House, one of a number of events staged behind closed doors, and hosted an investiture ceremony – again, meeting scores of people.

Charles’ last meeting with the Queen was on March 12 when he saw her privately in the morning. The Duke of Edinburgh was not present.

The heir to the throne’s last public engagement was that evening when he attended a Mansion House dinner hosted by William Russell, Lord Mayor of the City of London, and George Brandis, the High Commissioner for Australia, in aid of the Australian bushfire relief and recovery effort.

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