Prince Albert II of Monaco has tested positive for the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) and has become the first head of state to be infected, according to a report by People. Sources in Monaco’s royal family revealed that the 62-year-old’s diagnosis was confirmed on Wednesday after the prince was tested for the disease on Monday. A statement released by the royal family said that — despite having the coronavirus — Albert’s health “does not inspire any concern.”
Albert, who is the father of five-year-old twins Prince Jacques and Princess Gabriella, has been at the forefront of Monaco’s efforts to slow the spread of COVID-19. The royal family’s statement reiterated to the 39,000 inhabitants of the principality the importance of following Monaco’s quarantine rules.
The prince will continue to work from his private apartments within the palace and stay in contact with his cabinet throughout his recovery process. While his schedule will remain as normal as possible, Albert will also be closely followed by his attending physician and specialists from the Princess Grace Hospital Center.
Monaco currently has nine cases of COVID-19, with the first case being recorded on February 28. The small country has followed the lead of its neighbor France in shutting down schools and nurseries. They also ordered restaurants, casinos, cafes, concert halls, cinemas, and nightclubs to close their doors.
Albert isn’t the first member of a royal family to catch the virus. That unfortunate title goes to Karl von Habsburg, the Archduke of Austria. Habsburg revealed that he had been suffering from flu-like symptoms during a phone call with the Austrian TV channel oe24.
“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.”
The 59-year-old is the head of the House of Habsburg-Lorraine.
As for the royals based in the United Kingdom, Queen Elizabeth II has relocated from Buckingham Palace to Windsor Castle, about 30 miles away from London. She had been holding audiences at Buckingham Palace and operating in relatively normal circumstances until Wednesday, when the U.K. government advised its citizens to avoid gatherings with friends and family along with large gatherings and crowded places, such as pubs, clubs, and theaters. This means that the annual springtime celebrations held by the queen, including her famous garden parties, have either been canceled or postponed indefinitely.