Prince Charles is out of self-isolation: Palace confirms future king, 71, is in ‘good health’ after recovering from coronavirus and out of government-advised week-long quarantine
The 71-year-old Prince of Wales had a ‘mild’ form of the illness which first saw him feel unwell two weekends ago before flying to Birkhall in Aberdeenshire.
The heir-to-the-throne had begun to feel ill on March 21 at his Highgrove estate in Gloucestershire before travelling up to Scotland the following day.
His wife Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall tested negative for the infection and is without any symptoms, but will stay in self-isolation until the end of the week.
Charles was following government advice to self-isolate for seven days after he first had the symptoms. However, those who live with someone with symptoms must self-isolate for 14 days, because it can take this long for the symptoms to appear.
The couple have been staying at Birkhall, their Scottish retreat on the Balmoral estate, and Charles was tested by the NHS on Monday of last week.
His self-isolation lasted seven days based on government and medical guidelines, and he will continue to be able to hold meetings and go for exercise.
A Clarence House spokesman said: ‘Clarence House has confirmed today that, having consulted with his doctor, the Prince of Wales is now out of self-isolation.’
Meanwhile it emerged yesterday that one of the Queen’s footmen has tested positive for coronavirus, sparking further fears for the monarch’s health.
However Buckingham Palace insisted again that the 93-year-old Queen was in good health and that every precaution was being taken.
It is understood the staff member’s duties included walking the Queen’s dogs, corgi-dachshund crosses Candy and Vulcan, and bringing her food.
Both of these duties would have brought the pair into close proximity. It is not known, however, when they fell sick.
The footman is now self-isolating, according to The Sun on Sunday. The Queen is at Windsor Castle with the Duke of Edinburgh, where they arrived on March 19.
Charles last saw his mother on March 12 for a meeting at Buckingham Palace. Doctors say the earliest he could have become contagious was the next day.
The footman was promoted to a role closer to the Queen six months ago and worked in her private apartments at Buckingham Palace.
A source was quoted as saying: ‘Everyone is terrified, not just for themselves but also for the Queen and the duke.’
Last week, a member of the Scottish Parliament expressed surprise that the Prince was tested for Covid-19 on the NHS.
Joan McAlpine, SNP MSP for the South of Scotland, wished him a speedy recovery but added: ‘Given that his symptoms are said to be mild, like many I wonder how he was tested when many NHS and social care workers cannot get tested.
‘My nephew, who has serious asthma and a chest infection was recently refused a test.’
Royal sources insisted, however, that both Charles and Camilla met ‘local criteria for testing’.
The NHS Scotland website says people will only generally be tested for Covid-19 if they ‘have a serious illness that requires admission to hospital’.
Dr Catherine Calderwood, Scotland’s chief medical officer, defended the decision to test Charles and his wife, saying there were ‘very good reasons’.
She said: ‘My understanding is there were very good reasons for that person and his wife to be tested, and obviously I wouldn’t be able to disclose anything else that I know because of patient confidentiality.’
Footage of Charles joining the nation in applauding the country’s health workers last Friday, while still suffering from the virus, was posted on Clarence House’s official Instagram account.
Clarence House, Charles’s official London office, is currently closed down as a result of the virus lockdown, with staff working from home.
Charles has had a packed public schedule, including the Commonwealth Day Service at Westminster Abbey on March 9, where he was with Boris Johnson and his pregnant partner Carrie Symonds, and other senior royals, including the Queen.
Mr Johnson has also since tested positive for coronavirus, although this was nearly three weeks after their meeting.
On March 10, Charles attended a round table conference with Prince Albert of Monaco, who subsequently revealed he had tested positive for Covid-19.
That week Charles also met celebrities including Ant and Dec and Ronnie Wood at a major Prince’s Trust Event, held an investiture at Buckingham Palace, and attended a charity dinner with Lord Archer and his wife, Dame Mary.
On March 13, the prince went to stay at Highgrove, where he was visited by the Duchess of Cornwall, who has a home, Raymill, nearby, and held private meetings with staff, organisations and tenants.