Prince William Jokes About Coronavirus In Shocking Video

Photo: Shutterstock.
Following the news that his father, Prince Charles, tested positive for COVID-19, a video from earlier this month surfaced of Prince William making light of the coronavirus. Amid the ongoing pandemic that's capturing the entire world, the royal's "jokes" about the novel coronavirus spread are not being received well.
During a royal visit to the Guinness Storehouse in Dublin on March 3, Prince William is seen in conversation with four people, who are reportedly all emergency workers and first responders. “I bet everyone’s like, ‘I’ve got coronavirus, I’m dying’ and you’re like, ‘No, you’ve just got a cough,’” he said. The Duke of Cambridge is heard saying this in a joking tone before adding, “It does seem quite dramatic about coronavirus at the moment. Is it being a little hyped up, do you think, by the media?” The first responders’ reply cannot be heard in the video.
Advertisement
While Prince William's tone appears to be light, at the time, few cases of the virus had been confirmed in the U.K. and only began to significantly increase around early March. According to the U.K. Department of Health and Social Care, only 51 cases and one death had been reported at the time. Still, other countries like China, South Korea, and Italy were confirming more and more cases every day but the virus had not seriously hit either the U.S. or the U.K. at that point. Now, the U.K. has just over 8,000 confirmed cases and 422 deaths as of March 25, reports the BBC. 
Members of the Royal Family have had differing responses to the coronavirus outbreak. Prince William’s comments came the same day that his grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II, was seen wearing gloves during an investiture ceremony at Buckingham Palace which was believed to be a precaution against the coronavirus. Historically, Queen Elizabeth II has reportedly not worn gloves at many royal engagements, and this particular ceremony involved placing medals on award-winners and shaking hands, both of which the CDC has attributed to spreading coronavirus.
In the days since the video was taken, Prince William and Kate Middleton have visited NHS staff to express their gratitude on behalf of the Royal Family for their work treating patients with the coronavirus. During the visit, Prince William thanked the staff for "pulling together for the common good" before urging the public "to protect the most vulnerable" by avoiding non-essential social activities to lessen the spread of the virus.
Queen Elizabeth II also released a statement encouraging the British people to remain strong to stay connected with loved ones at a distance during this “period of great concern and uncertainty.” While Prince Charles tested positive, it is reported that his symptoms are relatively mild at present and all the members of the Royal Family are self-isolating in different locations. Prince William and Kate Middleton are at their country home in Norwich, while Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are in Canada. The U.K. Department of Health and Social Care also released a lengthy action plan online of what the British people can expect from the government in terms of addressing and treating the virus.
Advertisement

More from US News

R29 Original Series