Everything Prince Charles and Camilla Said About Coronavirus Before the Heir Tested Positive
Earlier this month, Camilla quipped that she was "self-isolating" while ducking into a one-person air raid shelter at the London Transport Museum
Queen Elizabeth‘s eldest son and heir, 71, “remains in good health” despite displaying mild symptoms, according to a spokesperson from his office at Clarence House. Charles has been working from Birkhall, their Balmoral estate in Scotland, over the past few days.
Prince Charles‘ wife Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, 72, was also tested but does not have the virus. The couple are self-isolating separately at home.
The U.K. has reported more than 8,000 coronavirus cases and 427 deaths linked to the virus, according to the BBC.
As coronavirus began to dominate headlines in the beginning of the month, Camilla first addressed the respiratory illness with a lighthearted joke. While the couple were visiting the London Transport Museum on March 4, Camilla ducked into a one-person air raid shelter and quipped, “I’m self-isolating.”
When Charles and Camilla joined fellow members of the royal family at the Commonwealth Day service on March 9, they were advised not to shake hands with fellow attendees due to the spread of COVID-19. While Prince Harry and singer Craig David said hello to each other with an informal elbowbump, Prince Charles placed his hands together in “namaste,” a traditional Hindu greeting where the palms are pressed together and accompanied with a slight bow.
Arriving at the Prince’s Trust Awards on March 11, the Prince of Wales stepped struggled to remember the “no handshake” guidelines. He stepped out of his car onto the red carpet to be greeted by Sir Kenneth Olisa, the Lord-Lieutenant of Greater London, who he amicably extended his hand toward for a formal handshake. However, at the last minute, Charles quickly retracted his hand and laughed, offering a “namaste” greeting instead.
“It’s just so hard to remember not to,” Prince Charles said.
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As Olisa directed him to a line of other administrators, Charles fleetingly neglected to remember his new greeting. He once again extended his hand for a handshake before swiftly taking his hand back and offering a namaste to each of the employees excited to greet him.
At the awards ceremony, the prince also took to greeting guests, including Pierce Brosnan and The Rolling Stones member Ronnie Wood, with a namaste, with each of them returning the gesture.
Prince Charles and Camilla were set to embark on a royal tour from March 17 to March 25, making stops in Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Republic of Cyprus and Jordan. However, the trip was officially delayed on March 13 due to concerns about the coronavirus outbreak.
Prince William also made a lighthearted reference about coronavirus during his and Kate Middleton’s tour in Ireland earlier this month.
Speaking with a National Ambulance Service paramedic, Prince William said, “I bet everyone’s like, ‘I’ve got Coronavirus, I’m dying’, and you’re like, ‘No, you’ve just got a cough.’ ” The 37-year-old royal then asked, “Does it seem quite dramatic about coronavirus at the moment? Is it being a little bit hyped up do you think in the media?”
“By the way, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are spreading coronavirus!” he joked, feigning horror. “Sorry! We’re keeping an eye on that, so do tell us if we need to stop!”
A royal source tells PEOPLE that William has been taking the threat of the coronavirus seriously and that the couple is following guidance from Public Health England and the Department of Health
As information about the coronavirus pandemic rapidly changes, PEOPLE is committed to providing the most recent data in our coverage. Some of the information in this story may have changed after publication. For the latest on COVID-19, readers are encouraged to use online resources from CDC, WHO, and local public health departments and visit our coronavirus hub.