Clarence House has confirmed that the Duchess of Cornwall is self-isolating after testing positive for Covid-19. On Thursday, her husband, the Prince of Wales, tested positive for the virus, but Camilla, 74, went on to three public appearances after testing negative.
Two days before he tested positive, Prince Charles met with the Queen. Buckingham Palace said last week that the Queen had no Covid symptoms and that it had nothing more to say on Monday.
The duchess is suffering from coronavirus for the first time, while Prince Charles is infected for the second time. They would follow government guidelines, according to a spokesman for Clarence House.
During a visit to Thames Valley Partnership in Buckinghamshire on Thursday, the duchess described herself as “luckily” negative, saying of her testing regimen, “I’ve taken it so many times.”
Camilla also paid a visit to the Haven Paddington sexual assault referral centre in west London, as well as opening the Nourish Hub community kitchen in Shepherd’s Bush, where she finished a Loobia Polo, an Iranian rice dish, that was being served to refugees.
Clarence House notified the organisations Camilla visited and the media who covered her engagements on Monday morning.
Prince Charles, 73, met his mother when he went to Windsor Castle for an investiture, which is when the prince meets people who have been honoured in the twice-annual honours list and officially gives them their awards.
Buckingham Palace has not confirmed whether the Queen has been tested, citing medical confidentiality, and has only stated that she is not experiencing any symptoms.
The fact that Prince Charles and Camilla have caught Covid shows that the pandemic still has a bite to it, capable of disrupting and causing health concerns.
The Royal Family’s public and private identities may blur, there is a strong tradition among palace aides to only provide the most basic information when it comes to medical matters.
So, while we know the Queen didn’t have Covid symptoms last week, we don’t know if she even took a test.
Furthermore, the grounds for the Queen’s postponement of engagements last year were never made public.
There is precedent for such secrecy throughout history. Courts used to be crowded with rivals, and kings didn’t want to appear vulnerable.
It’s now about the onslaught of modern media, which palace authorities are fending off with a modern media cliche: there will be no “running commentary” about the royals’ health.