Just days before the Prince of Wales’ positive diagnosis, the royal family announced the cancellation of a number of large events as Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Phillip temporarily moved to Windsor Castle one week early for precautionary measures.
A major part of Prince Charles’ duty as the heir to the British throne involves a steady schedule of royal events and engagements — a majority of which he attends alongside his queen mother. While his office, the Clarence House, said Wednesday 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.
The Prince of Wales’ last physical contact with Her Majesty The Queen took place at an investiture ceremony at Buckingham Palace on March 12, a palace spokesperson told Fox on Wednesday. Prince Charles greeted recipients with a non-contact gesture due to the coronavirus pandemic, Sky News reported.
It was later that night that Prince Charles attended his last public event before testing positive for the novel coronavirus. The March 12 event involved a dinner and reception held in aid of the Australian bushfire relief efforts at the Mansion House in London. The event was hosted by The Lord Mayor of the City of London.
Prince Charles spoke to the crowd at the Australian bushfire relief event, noting that he and his wife remain deeply committed to supporting the Australian people in times of need.
“At the very worst of times, we saw the very best of Australia — and knowing the Aussies, as I do after fifty-four years, that makes me very proud,” he told the crowd.
One day prior, on March 11, Charles attended the annual Prince’s Trust Awards in London, which recognizes young people who “have overcome issues and made a success of their lives with the help of the charity,” Clarence House wrote on Instagram. The prince had the opportunity to meet with charity ambassadors but reportedly did so without handshakes.
Prince Charles was also the host of a WaterAid summit that took place on Clarence House on March 10. It was there that he came into contact with Prince Albert of Monaco, who revealed he tested positive for COVID-19 a little over a week later.
One day prior, he was joined by the Queen, his wife, the Duchess of Cornwall, Prince William, Kate Middleton, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle for the Commonwealth Day service held at Westminster Abbey. The annual event marked the last royal engagement Meghan Markle would carry out as a senior member of the British royal family before returning to Canada.
The March 9 Commonwealth Day service — which also reportedly featured no hand-shaking — ended the two-month drama that began when the Duke and Duchess of Sussex announced plans to step back as senior members of the royal family in January, and into a world where they will have to earn a living.
The number of those infected with COVID-19 continues to rise. As of Wednesday morning, the cases surpassed 400,000 worldwide.