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Prince Charles and Camilla

Why were Charles & Camilla tested for coronavirus when frontline health workers are not?

Photo: Charlie Proctor / Royal Central

The Prince of Wales is working from self isolation at Birkhall in Scotland where he is recovering after being diagnosed with coronavirus. The heir to the throne has mild symptoms of the condition.

The prince is said to be very grateful for all the messages of support he has received since revealing on Wednesday that he has Covid-19. However, questions have also been raised as to why Charles was offered a test for the condition when availability of checks across the UK is currently low and many NHS workers have been unable to access them.

The statement confirming that the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall had been tested for coronavirus said that the screening was carried out ‘by the NHS in Aberdeenshire where they met the criteria required for testing”.

As well as raising questions about provision of screening, it’s also led to debate about whether the couple have underlying health issues. Speaking to BBC Scotland on Thursday morning, Scotland’s Chief Medical Officer, Catherine Calderwood, said that she understood, after speaking to the team involved, that “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.”

There was further debate in Scotland over when Charles and Camilla travelled to Birkhall and whether the prince had begun to display symptoms ahead of making the trip. Current UK government advice is for all those who have symptoms of coronavirus, most commonly a high temperature and/ or a new and persistent dry cough, to self isolate in the home they are in for 7 days as soon as they notice signs. If they share that home with others then everyone must self isolate for 14 days from the onset of symptoms.

The Prince of Wales, who is now 71, was last seen in public on March 12th at the end of a busy period of engagements which included overseeing two investitures as well as attending the Commonwealth Day Service at Westminster Abbey. On March 10th, he attended a Water Aid event in London where he met Prince Albert II of Monaco who has also been diagnosed with coronavirus.

About author

Lydia is a writer, blogger and journalist. She's worked in the media for over twenty years as a broadcast reporter, producer and editor as well as feature and online writer. As well as royals and royal history, she's a news junkie and podcaster.