The First Royal with Coronavirus Confirmed: 'I Thought It Was the Usual Flu'

The 59-year-old royal was tested after learning he was in contact with a person with COVID-19

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.

Royals around the world are hunkering down due to coronavirus, and now the first positive case in a royal has been confirmed.

Karl von Habsburg, the Archduke of Austria, has been quarantined since Thursday after testing positive for COVID-19.

The 59-year-old head of the House of Habsburg-Lorraine called into Austrian TV channel oe24, revealing he experienced flu-like symptoms more than a week ago.

“It’s annoying, but I’m fine. It’s not the Black Plague,” von Habsburg said. “I thought it was the usual flu. When a friend called me that he had a positive test at a congress in Switzerland, I was also tested.”

He added, “I have to expressly praise the Austrian authorities because they act with measure and aim. Panic mood is not appropriate.”

Karl von Habsburg
Karl von Habsburg. Jens Hartmann/Shutterstock
Karl von Habsburg
People Picture/Jens Hartmann/Shutterstock

Spain’s King Felipe and Queen Letizia recently underwent a test for the coronavirus as a “preventative measure” after the Queen met with the Minister of Equality Irene Montero, who later tested positive for the virus.

“Based on the recent public activities of HM the Queen and the information transmitted by the Government, as a preventive measure indicated by the health authorities, their Majesties have carried out the corresponding COVID detection test this morning,” their statement read.

Their results revealed both the King and Queen tested negative for the virus.

King Felipe of Spain and Queen Letizia of Spain
Antoine Gyori/Corbis via Getty

Royals around the world have canceled events and travel plans for the foreseeable future to reduce the spread of coronavirus. Queen Elizabeth has canceled major annual events across the U.K., including her annual garden parties at Buckingham Palace and the annual Maundy Service.

Commonwealth Day

Can’t get enough of PEOPLE‘s Royals coverage? Sign up for our free Royals newsletter to get the latest updates on Kate Middleton, Meghan Markle and more!

The 93-year-old British monarch will move to Windsor Castle, about 45 minutes drive away from London, for the Easter period on Thursday, one week earlier than planned.

Related Articles