Prince William waged a secret battle with coronavirus – catching it just days after his father was struck down with the deadly bug.
The second in line to the throne was left “struggling to breathe” but did not reveal his illness because he did not want to shock the Commonwealth.
Prince Charles caught the virus following a busy function to raise money for Australia’s bushfire relief effort at Mansion House in London in March.
It was revealed on Monday that Prince William was diagnosed with COVID-19 in April, shortly after Prince Charles and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson battled with the disease.
Prince William, 38, was knocked about by the bug, but “did not want to worry anyone” – according to one observer.
“William was hit pretty hard by the virus – it really knocked him for six,” a source told The Sun newspaper.
“At one stage he was struggling to breathe, so obviously everyone around him was pretty panicked.”
Prince William may have caught the virus after meeting with health professionals to show his support for their work at the peak of Britain’s first wave.
“After seeing medics and testing positive – which was obviously quite a shock given how fit and healthy he is – William was determined it should be business as usual though,” the source said.
“He was determined to fulfil his engagements.”
The news of Prince William’s battle comes as England prepares to go into lockdown again, with more than 20,000 cases each day threatened to overwhelm the country’s health system.
Prince William held an engagement on April 1, but had a break of nine days following April 9.
The Queen was drafted in to deliver a special message to the nation on April 6, mentioning the famous wartime song We’ll Meet Again by Vera Lynn which became an anthem for the UK during the first lockdown.
The royal family has been working hard to keep spirits up during the pandemic, which has also curtailed some of their events.
But Prince William was still working hard around the time of his illness, arranging calls with the Football Association to discuss mental health and organising key diplomatic calls with leaders in the Middle East.
His family were also pictured outside their Norfolk home in April as they supported the “clap for carers” to recognise staff in the National Health Service.
PANIC-BUYING IN UK AS LOCKDOWN LOOMS
Supermarket shelves have been stripped bare across the United Kingdom as the country prepares to enter a full state of lockdown.
The four-week-long lockdown is set to commence on Thursday, after weeks of growing new coronavirus infections.
With fears of another spike across the UK and Europe now being realised, people spent hours lining up to panic buy across the country, with some shoppers filling multiple trolleys.
Supermarkets were forced to introduce rations in March during the first virus wave, when Britons spent an additional $110 million on groceries and essentials, The Sun reports.
Last month, the head of food and sustainability for the British Retail Consortium, Andrew Opie, urged shoppers to keep calm, saying, “We urge consumers to be considerate and shop for food as they would usually during this difficult time.”
Tesco Chief Executive Jason Tarry issued a similar message, telling Brits, “Our stock levels are good, so there’s no need to buy more of your regular groceries than normal.”
In Wales, Tesco staff went so far as to block off aisles of non-essential goods to minimise shopper time in the store.
VICTORIA RECORDS THIRD DOUGHNUT DAY
Meantime, Victoria has recorded its third straight day of no new coronavirus cases as Melburnians spent the weekend in restaurants and bars for the first time since July.
The 14-day rolling average for metropolitan Melbourne is still well below the safe threshold of five, falling again from 2.2 to 1.9 overnight.
The number of cases from an unknown source remains at one.
Regional Victoria‘s 14-day rolling average remains at zero with no mystery cases.
There are no active cases in regional Victoria.
The state’s death toll remains at 819.
Victoria has recorded 20,346 cases since the start of the pandemic, with 61 cases still active as of Sunday.
Chief health officer Brett Sutton has flagged that universal mask wearing in Victoria would be reviewed in future reopening steps, but said they were still required while community transmission was occurring.
“Masks are very important for those potential transmission events when we don’t know that there’s something out there,” he said on Sunday.
“We will be transitioning from universal mask wearing to maybe indoors only, or to maybe just in high risk settings at the appropriate time.”
It comes after Victoria recorded no new cases on both Saturday and Sunday after the one weak positive infection on Saturday was reviewed and rejected.
The last time Victoria had a positive case was Friday when four infections were recorded.
The city was back open across the weekend after a gruelling 112-day lockdown, with some pubs and restaurants booked out for up to two weeks.
The easing of restrictions saw 16,200 retail stores able to reopen last Wednesday, along with 5800 cafes and restaurants, 1000 beauty salons and 800 pubs.
Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews is expected to provide more detail on today’s infections at a media conference later in the day.