Prince Albert of Monaco, 62, tests positive for coronavirus – the first head of state to be infected – nine days after he met Prince Charles in London
- Prince Albert becomes the first known head of state to be infected with the virus
- Monaco’s royal palace said there was no concern and he was continuing to work
- He is being monitored by his personal doctor and specialists at Monaco hospital
- Comes nine days after he was pictured sitting opposite Prince Charles at a WaterAid charity event in London
- Coronavirus symptoms: what are they and should you see a doctor?
Prince Albert of Monaco has tested positive for coronavirus, the royal palace said today.
Authorities in the tiny state said the 62-year-old ruler had been tested for the pathogen at the start of this week.
His diagnosis makes him the first known head of state to be infected with the virus.
It comes just nine days after he was pictured sitting opposite Prince Charles at a WaterAid charity event in London.
The palace said Albert’s health ‘does not inspire any concern’, saying he was continuing to work from his private apartments.
However, he is being monitored by his personal doctor and by specialists at the Princess Grace Hospital Centre, which is named after his mother Grace Kelly.
Prince Albert of Monaco, pictured with his wife Princess Charlene of Monaco last year, has tested positive for coronavirus
The 62-year-old prince, pictured attending Monaco National Day celebrations in Monte Carlo, was tested for the pathogen at the start of this week
Prince Albert of Monaco attends WaterAid charity’s Water and Climate event in London on Tuesday March 10, 2020, where the Prince of Wales was also in attendance
Prince Charles sat across from Prince Albert of Monaco, and next to WaterAid Chief Executive Tim Wainwright, at WaterAid’s charity event in London on 10 March this year. The Prince of Wales has been President of WaterAid since 1991
Albert has also urged the 39,000 inhabitants of Monaco to observe quarantine rules to stop the spread of the virus, a statement said.
Like in neighbouring France, schools and nurseries in Monaco have been shut down and non-essential businesses ordered to close.
Restaurants, casinos, cafes, concert halls, cinemas and nightclubs have all had to close their doors, although food stores, pharmacies and banks are still open.
The statement today also added that Prince Albert is in constant contact with members of his cabinet, the government and his closest staff.
The Mediterranean enclave had confirmed nine cases of the virus in its latest update yesterday. The first was recorded on February 28.
Prince Albert II, second right, was seen in public six days ago visiting a blood donation bus which was installed at the Place du Palais in Monaco
Prince Albert II of Monaco, his wife Princess Charlene and their children Prince Jacques and Princess Gabriella stand on the palace balcony in Monaco in January this year
The Monaco Grand Prix has been called along with several other events on the Formula One calendar because of virus fears.
It is unclear whether Albert’s wife, Princess Charlene, has been tested for the virus.
The 42-year-old former South African Olympic swimmer, formerly known as Charlene Wittstock, married Albert in 2011. She had twins in 2014.
Albert, born in 1958, is the second child of Princess Grace and Prince Rainier of Monaco. He has two older children from earlier relationships.
He became a five-time Olympic bobsledder for Monaco, and in recent years has been a global environmental campaigner.
Albert graduated from Amherst College in Massachusetts with a degree in political science in 1981, and is a member of the International Olympic Committee.
He inherited the throne when his father Rainier died in 2005. His mother Grace died after a car accident in 1982.
The princely palace has promised to provide regular updates on Albert’s condition.
Princess Charlene of Monaco and Prince Albert II of Monaco attend a Christmas gifts ceremony at the royal palace on December 18
The royal palace in Monaco said Albert’s health ‘does not inspire any concern’, saying he was continuing to work from his private apartments. He is pictured in Paris last year
Neighbouring France has imposed some of Europe’s toughest lockdown measures, ordering people to stay at home unless necessary.
However, some people have still been strolling in parks and ignoring the 3ft safety distance to avoid close contact.
‘There are people who think they are modern-day heroes by breaking the rules while they are in fact idiots,’ interior minister Christophe Castaner told French radio.
Some officials have called for even stricter limits and Paris police are considering closing riverside walkways – a move already enforced in Bordeaux.
French politician and EU chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier became another high-profile virus patient today.
Mr Barnier said he was ‘doing well and in good spirits’ and announced he was ‘following the necessary instructions’ along with his staff.
Other high-profile patients include Sophie Gregoire Trudeau, the wife of Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau; and Begona Gomez, the wife of Spanish leader Pedro Sanchez.
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