The Prince of Wales is only displaying mild symptoms and is otherwise in good health, Clarence House said in a statement. It is unknown how the 71-year-old caught the virus because of his recent busy schedule of public events.
Prince Charles has tested positive for coronavirus, a palace spokesperson confirmed Wednesday. The prince's Clarence House office released a statement saying Charles is showing "mild symptoms but otherwise remains in good health and has been working from home throughout the last few days as usual."
His wife - Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall - you have tested negative for the virus, the spokesman said. The couple is self-isolating at their home in Scotland.
"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 statement said.
Already reeling from anxiety and uncertainty, this announcement from Clarence House suddenly brought home to the British the stakes for the future as COVID-19 continues its seemingly inexorable march around the globe.
The Prince of Wales, 71, is Britain's future head of state as King Charles III. He is first in line after his mother, Queen Elizabeth II, who turns 94 next month. If anything happens to either of them, his elder son, Prince William Duke of Cambridge, 37, would become King William V.
"The British have a relationship with Prince Charles, most of us do not remember another heir," says Victoria Arbiter, the British-born CNN royal commentator, who is the daughter of one of the queen's former press secretaries. "Prince Charles has been in all our living rooms, he was just always there, he's part of the fabric of British life."
True, there have always been critics who dreamed that the crown would bypass Charles and go directly to William, at least since Charles' messy divorce from William's mother, the late Princess Diana, in 1996, followed by her shocking death in a Paris car wreck in 1997.
But a constitutional monarchy doesn't work like that in the absence of revolution or tragedy. So it's no surprise the British would be worried: Suddenly, this scenario seems a little less far-fetched.
And it happens to come just as Charles' standing among his future subjects has soared, as his years of filling in for his mother, his prodigious charity work and his obvious happiness with second wife, Duchess Camilla of Cornwall, 72, have improved his public profile. (She has tested negative and is with Charles in isolation at Birkhall, his estate at Balmoral in Scotland.)
"In recent years, he's become the nation's favorite granddad, and people are grasping now that he was preaching about climate change, preaching about religious tolerance over 40 years ago," says Arbiter.
"Yes, he was ridiculed, yes, he was loathed at times. But his popularity has skyrocketed in recent years. People were thrilled to see him escort Meghan (Markle) down the aisle at (her wedding to Prince Harry in 2018), so from a huge number of people, there’s more understanding of him now."