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As the coronavirus pandemic continues to sweep across the world and change the way people live their lives, British royals are doing everything they can to assure the public of both their safety and the safety of the royal family.
Unfortunately, despite the royals taking precautions to avoid contracting COVID-19, it was revealed on Wednesday that Prince Charles, Prince of Wales, tested positive while his wife, Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall, tested negative. This marks new challenges that the already-proactive family must face in the ever-watchful eye of the public.
As Charles, 71, and the rest of the family practice social distancing amid the ongoing pandemic, it’s worth taking a look back at what the British royal family has done and said in the leadup to his diagnosis:
Queen Elizabeth II
The queen, 93, was among the first of the royal family whose schedule was directly impacted by the coronavirus. On March 17 it was announced that she would be relocating to Windsor Castle a week earlier than planned as a precaution so that she could more easily practice social distancing.
“In consultation with the Medical Household and Government, a number of public events with large numbers of people due to have been attended by The Queen, and other Members of the Royal Family, in the coming months will be cancelled or postponed,” the statement read.
Days later, the queen released a statement through Buckingham Palace addressing the country’s growing concerns over the pandemic.
“As [my husband] Philip and I arrive at Windsor today, we know that many individuals and families across the United Kingdom, and around the world, are entering a period of great concern and uncertainty,” Elizabeth shared.
“We are all being advised to change our normal routines and regular patterns of life for the greater good of the communities we live in and, in particular, to protect the most vulnerable within them,” she continued. “At times such as these, I am reminded that our nation’s history has been forged by people and communities coming together to work as one, concentrating our combined efforts with a focus on the common goal.
“We are enormously thankful for the expertise and commitment of our scientists, medical practitioners and emergency and public services; but now more than any time in our recent past, we all have a vitally important part to play as individuals – today and in the coming days, weeks and months,” wrote Elizabeth.
“Many of us will need to find new ways of staying in touch with each other and making sure that loved ones are safe,” she stressed. “I am certain we are up to that challenge. You can be assured that my family and I stand ready to play our part.”
Shortly after it was announced that Prince Charles had tested positive for COVID-19, the Palace released another statement on the queen’s behalf assuring the public that she remains in good health.
“Her Majesty The Queen remains in good health. The Queen last saw the Prince of Wales briefly after the investiture on the morning of the 12th of March and is following all the appropriate advice with regard to her welfare," a Buckingham Palace spokesperson told Fox on March 25.
Prince William and Kate Middleton
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have been vocal about their efforts to thank first responders and medical professionals on the front lines of battling the coronavirus in the U.K.
On March 19, Prince William, 37, released a video on the Kensington Royal Instagram account briefing followers on the National Emergency Trust, which will be put to use to help those in need during the pandemic.
For the first part of the video, William spoke directly to the camera.
"Whenever and wherever adversity strikes, the people of the UK have a unique ability to pull together," he said. "The way that local communities support those affected shows the very best of our values and human nature."
He continued: "The public’s desire to help in the wake of tragedy needs to be managed and channeled in the best possible way -- which is why the establishment of the National Emergencies Trust was so important."
The Duke of Cambridge then explained that he had "dreaded" the day that the trust would have to be used, but he's now "grateful" that it exists in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak.
Days later, Prince William and Kate Middleton shared another post of themselves meeting with people at the National Health Service wherein they thanked those working “around the clock” to care for those in need during these turbulent times.
“Catherine and I were proud to visit staff working at NHS 111, to pass on our personal thanks, along with those of my grandmother and father, to staff working around the clock to provide care and advice to those that need it most,” the post began. “The last few weeks, and more recent days have been understandably concerning with the continuing spread of coronavirus.”
William went on to note that, while these healthcare workers are vital to curtailing the ongoing crisis the world faces, they too have families and other obligations to worry about, making them deserving of their thanks.
“They need our support as much as we need theirs,” the British royal added. “All of us have a part to play if we’re going to protect the most vulnerable. That means acting on the latest expert advice, staying home if we or those we live with have symptoms, and avoiding non-essential contact to help reduce the spread of the virus.”
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle
In addition to reports that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex are taking extreme measures around their home in order to prevent both themselves and baby Archie from contracting COVID-19, the grandson of the queen and his wife promised to use their platform to share helpful resources with people as they adjust to this new way of living.
“These are uncertain times. And now, more than ever, we need each other. We need each other for truth, for support, and to feel less alone during a time that can honestly feel quite scary,” a statement released through their Sussex Royal Instagram account reads. “There are so many around the world who need support right now, who are working tirelessly to respond to this crisis behind the scenes, on the frontline, or at home. Our willingness, as a people, to step up in the face of what we are all experiencing with COVID-19 is awe-inspiring. This moment is as true a testament there is to the human spirit.”
The statement continued: “We often speak of compassion. All of our lives are in some way affected by this, uniting each of us globally. How we approach each other and our communities with empathy and kindness is indisputably important right now. Over the coming weeks, this will be our guiding principle.”
With that, the Prince Harry and Meghan Markle promised to share information and resources that will help people “navigate this time of uncertainty.” They also promised to do their best to highlight positive, inspiring stories from people doing their part to stop the spread of the virus.
Days later, they followed up with a note about how people are coping mentally with this new way of life under social distancing.
“Our emotional well-being is challenged everyday whether we realise it or not, but our lives are usually filled with distractions. Now with constantly changing COVID coverage, we are all adjusting to this new normal and the feelings that come with it,” the follow up post read.
From there, the royal couple listed resources for people who may be struggling amid isolation with things like boredom, feeling anxious, depression and those dealing with domestic abuse.
“If there is someone you know and are worried about, your text may be the thing that saves their life,” the post concluded.
Most recently, Meghan and Harry shared a list of recommendations from the World Health Organization about how individuals can curtail the spread of the coronavirus. They captioned the informational post with a message of gratitude for healthcare workers.
“Around the world, the response from people in every walk of life, to protect and look out for their communities has been inspiring. None more so than the brave and dedicated healthcare workers on the frontline, risking their own well-being to care for the sick and fight COVID-19. Wherever you are in the world, we are all incredibly grateful.”
The post continued: “For all of us, the best way we can support health workers is to make sure we do not make their job any harder by spreading this disease further.”
The Duchess of York has been vocal on social media with regard to healthcare workers and the National Health Service’s response to the coronavirus so far. On March 19 she posted a thank you note and captioned it with a call for people to support medical professionals any way they can.
“The NHS, doctors, nurses and all the medical teams are doing unbelievable work and we need to support them as best we can,” she wrote.
She also shared another post offering thanks to the essential workers who are continuing to do their jobs as new social distancing rules are put into effect throughout the U.K.
Most recently, Ferguson shared a somewhat controversial message about the coronavirus, saying that it was Mother Nature sending “us to our rooms.”
“Mother Nature has sent us to our rooms.. like the spoilt children we are,” she wrote on her Instagram. “She gave us time and she gave us warnings. She was so patient with us. She gave us fire and floods, she tried to warn us but in the end she took back control. She has sent us to our rooms and when she is finished clearing up our mess. She will let us out to play again. How will we use this time? Xxxx.”
Ferguson’s daughter shared a post on Britain’s version of Mother’s Day in which she honored both her mom as well as the many moms around the world who aren’t able to be with their children due to social distancing measures.
“Today I want to celebrate my mumma but also all the amazing mothers out there. I would like to celebrate all the mothers that can't be with their children today because they are saving lives or keeping their distance to keep them and their children safe,” Eugenie wrote. “Today and every day we should tell our loved ones how much we love and cherish them.”
Days later, Princess Eugenie shared a post about her Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital and sought to raise funds for their frontline workers who are currently battling the unprecedented outbreak.
“I'm so proud of my hospital, The Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital, as they have become a trauma centre for the first time since 1982 due to the incredibly challenging time we face and the unprecedented pressure all hospitals and their staff face,” she wrote.
She then explained the purpose of the fund she created, writing: “The purpose of the fund is to help their frontline clinical staff in any way possible – from providing meals, to purchasing essential equipment items, to supporting mental health in a time of crisis.”
Although Charles has yet to comment directly on the spread of the virus, he announced through the Clarence House that he had tested positive for COVID-19.
“The Prince of Wales has tested positive for Coronavirus. He has been displaying mild symptoms but otherwise remains in good health and has been working from home throughout the last few days as usual," the Clarence House said to Fox News in a statement Wednesday morning.
The statement confirmed that the 71-year-old British royal's wife, Camilla, 72, tested negative. They are currently at their home, Burnham on the Balmoral Estate, in Scotland "self-isolating," the statement confirmed.
"The tests were carried out by the NHS in Aberdeenshire where they met the criteria required for testing."
While Clarence House said it is "not possible to ascertain" whom Prince Charles may have caught the virus from, the office made note of a "high number of engagements" he carried out in recent weeks.
Fox News’ Stephanie Nolasco, Nate Day and Melissa Roberto contributed to this report.