March 17, 2020
Archduke Of Austria Karl von Habsburg Becomes The First Royal To Contract Coronavirus

A member of the royal family in Austria recently became the first person of his kind anywhere in the world confirmed to have fallen ill due to the coronavirus. People reported on Tuesday that the Archduke of Austria, Karl von Habsburg, has COVID-19 and is going into treatment.

The 59-year-old head of the House of Habsburg-Lorraine divulged that he had come down with the illness when he called into Austrian TV channel oe24, noting that he first noticed he had "flu-like" symptoms over a week ago. That forced him to get tested, as he soon received the bad news.

"It's annoying, but I'm fine. It's not the Black Plague. I thought it was the usual flu. When a friend called me that he had a positive test at a congress in Switzerland, I was also tested."
Von Habsburg added he was quite proud of the Austrian authorities who didn't panic when it was discovered he had the coronavirus. He said a "panic mood" wasn't appropriate for those officials, adding that he was grateful they were able to handle themselves professionally.

While von Habsburg is the first royal to test positive for coronavirus, he is far from the first to best tested. People also pointed out that Spain's King Felipe and Queen Letizia underwent tests after they came into contact with someone who later was shown to have the disease. Both of their tests were negative.

Austrian Archduke Karl von Habsburg meets the pope
Getty Images | Vatican Pool

Even if none of the other royal families are getting sick, they are taking precautions. As is the case among several government entities, events that would cause large audiences are being canceled at a rapid pace. Royals are also staying inside more often as a way to isolate themselves from people who are potentially infected.

While von Habsburg is dealing with his positive diagnosis and recovering from the disease, he is not the only famous person to come down with COVID-19. Fans were shocked last week when Tom Hanks announced he and his wife, Rita Wilson, were both positive for the illness caused by the coronavirus. Earlier this week, Idris Elba took to social media to announce he, too, was infected by the virus. The three actors have said they are feeling okay and haven't needed to go into ICU treatment.

For now, von Habsburg is isolating himself from others and getting the treatment he needs. While he is currently ill, reports have suggested that his condition is not critical.