Prince Charles Again Tests Positive, Raising Concern About Risk to Queen
LONDON — Prince Charles has been reinfected with the coronavirus, and met recently with his mother, Queen Elizabeth II, raising questions about whether the 95-year-old monarch is at risk of contracting the virus.
The queen is not showing symptoms of Covid-19, according to an official at Buckingham Palace, who said the queen was being monitored closely. The official did not say whether the queen had been tested for the virus, nor did he offer specific details about when Charles, who tested positive on Thursday, was last in contact with her. Charles was at Windsor Castle, where the queen is currently in residence, on Tuesday for an investiture ceremony, according to a palace official.
Elizabeth received a dose of coronavirus vaccine in January 2021 at Windsor Castle, along with her husband, Prince Philip. The palace has not confirmed any subsequent vaccine doses. Charles has said that he is fully vaccinated and boosted.
In recent weeks, the queen has begun appearing again in public after a difficult stretch last fall, when she canceled a number of public engagements because of what Buckingham Palace officials described as exhaustion.
Philip died in April 2021 at the age of 99, and the queen was forced to isolate herself during his funeral service because of the pandemic. A photographer captured a poignant image of her, grieving alone and wearing a mask, in a choir stall at St. George’s Chapel at Windsor.
Charles, who is 73 and the heir to the throne, has gone into self-isolation, according to his household, Clarence House. He contracted and recovered from a mild case of the virus in March 2020, when it was first engulfing Britain. His representatives did not immediately comment on the severity of his infection this time.
Charles got the news that he had tested positive on Thursday morning, according to Clarence House, and postponed a trip to Winchester, England, at the last minute. He “is deeply disappointed not to be able to attend today’s events in Winchester and will look to reschedule his visit as soon as possible,” Clarence House said in a statement.
Speaking to Sky News in June 2020, Charles said he “got away with it quite lightly” the first time he contracted the virus. “I was lucky in my case,” he said, “but I’ve had it, and I can so understand what other people have gone through.”
Charles’ wife, Camilla, tested negative for the virus and has continued with her schedule of public appearances, according to Clarence House.
On Wednesday evening, she and her husband attended a gala reception at the British Museum. Other guests included three senior British government officials: the chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak; the home secretary, Priti Patel; and the health secretary, Sajid Javid.
The queen marked the 70th anniversary of her accession to the throne last Saturday at her country estate, Sandringham. In a statement issued that day, she said she hoped that when Charles succeeded her, Camilla would be known as queen — a major endorsement that the couple had long sought from the monarch.
“We are deeply conscious of the honor represented by my mother’s wish,” Charles said in a statement. “As we have sought together to serve and support Her Majesty and the people of our communities, my darling wife has been my own steadfast support throughout.”