Why Prince William Kept His Coronavirus Diagnosis a Secret from the Public

Prince William wasn't the only member of the royal family who tested positive for COVID-19 this spring

Prince William tested positive for coronavirus in April, but he opted to keep the news from the public.

The Sun reported on Monday that William, 38, was "knocked" hard by COVID-19 nearly seven months ago. In light of the fact that his father Prince Charles, 71, had contracted the virus shortly before his own diagnosis, William didn't want to alarm the public any further with the news of him also falling ill.

William was seen by royal doctors at his country home, Anmer Hall, where he was quarantined in the early weeks of the pandemic. The prince didn’t need to visit the hospital and neither his wife, Kate Middleton, nor their children, Prince George, 7, Princess Charlotte, 5, and Prince Louis, 2, contracted the illness.

While Prince Charles was said to have experienced "mild symptoms," Prince William was "hit pretty hard," according to the source.

"At one stage he was struggling to breathe, so obviously everyone around him was pretty panicked," the source told The Sun.

Royal visit to Hold Still photography project
Prince William and Kate Middleton. PA Images
Prince Charles Prince William
Prince Charles; Prince William. Ben Birchall/PA Wire/Shutterstock; Victoria Jones/PA Wire/Shutterstock

In the unlikely event that Queen Elizabeth, Prince Charles and Prince William died, Prince George would technically be next in line to be the monarch. However, should such a tragedy occur before George's 18th birthday, a regent would rule in his place.

According to the Regency Acts, the person next in line to the throne over 21 years old would serve as regent. Following George in the line of succession are his two younger siblings, so his uncle Prince Harry would be up for the job. Even though Prince Harry and Meghan Markle stepped down from their royal roles earlier this year, Harry is still in the line of succession. The next eligible heir is Prince Andrew, who has also stepped back from public duty amid controversy about his relationship with Jeffrey Epstein. Princess Beatrice follows as the next in line.

Royal visit Oak Cancer Centre
Prince William. WPA-Rota/Press Association Images

In 1547, Edward VI became King at the age of 9 upon the death of his father, Henry VIII. A regency council led by his uncle was created to lead the reign until the new monarch came of age.

During royal health scares in the past, it's not unusual for the palace to not announce anything until after successful surgery or recovery. For example, Queen Elizabeth underwent planned cataract surgery in 2018, the palace didn't share the news until a month later.

Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and his wife Britain's Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge visit to Beigel Bake Brick Lane Bakery in east London on September 15, 2020
Prince William and Kate Middleton. Justin Tallis/AFP via Getty

In the first week of April, as the virus gripped the U.K. and the wider world, William's grandmother, Queen Elizabeth, gave an inspiring address to the nation.

Also during the time, the father of three continued with his official engagements, which usually took place via video calls, often alongside Kate, 38. But there was a gap in his public work from April 9 to the 16, with William re-appearing for engagements (again via video) to open one of the U.K.'s emergency field hospitals.

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During the event, the prince praised health workers for their “incredible work” amid the coronavirus crisis, saying their “selfless commitment has touched the hearts of the entire nation.”

William's reported diagnosis came only a few weeks after he joked about spreading the virus while he and Kate were touring Ireland in March.

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