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Spanish authorities criticise prince for breaking coronavirus rules

Prince Joachim of Belgium
Screen grab/ fair use

Authorities in Andalusia have criticised Belgium’s Prince Joachim after he was found to have attended a party in the region last weekend. Joachim’s attendance at the event in Cordoba was confirmed by the Royal Household in Brussels as it announced that the prince had been diagnosed with coronavirus.

Prince Joachim, who is a nephew of Belgium’s King Philippe, was one of 27 people who attended the celebrations at a house in the Spanish city on May 24th. At the  moment no more than fifteen people are allowed to meet in the region.

The twenty eight year old is understood to have flown to Madrid then taken a high speed train to Cordoba the same day. The Belgian Royal Household said he was in Spain for ‘professional reasons’ although it hasn’t given further details.

Joachim, ninth in line to the throne of Belgium, fell ill after the party and has since been diagnosed with coronavirus. It’s not known whether he contracted the illness before or during his time in Spain. He is in quarantine in Cordoba. Previously, he had been living with his parents, Princess Astrid and Archduke Lorenzo of Austria-Este, at Laeken.

Rafaela Valenzuela, the Spanish government’s deputy delegate in Cordoba told media on Saturday that the prince’s actions had left her ‘indignant’. Referring to the gathering of 27 and the rules around meetings, she said ‘’it’s completely irresponsible because that number of people could cause an outbreak and that would mean Cordoba, after passing to Phase 2, would have to take a step back. That is unforgivable.’’

Local police are also investigating the gathering. Breaking coronavirus restrictions could lead to a fine.

About author

Lydia Starbuck is Associate Editor at Royal Central and the main producer and presenter of the Royal Central Podcast and Royal Central Extra. Lydia is also a pen name of June Woolerton, a journalist and writer with over twenty years experience in TV, radio, print and online. June has been a reporter, producer and editor, picking up several awards over the years. She's appeared on outlets including BBC 5 Live, BBC Radio Ulster and BBC Local Radio and has also helped set up a commercial radio station. June is also an accomplished writer with a wide range of material published online and in print. She is the author of two novels, published as e-books. She is also a marriage registrar and ceremony celebrant.