William, 38, tested positive for coronavirus in April, it has recently emerged, just weeks after his father Prince Charles announced he had been diagnosed with COVID-19. The second-in-line to the throne was hit “pretty hard” by the virus and at one stage struggled to breathe. William is understood to have received treatment from doctors at the Queen’s Anmer Hall residence in Norfolk before beginning a period of self-isolation.
The Duke went on to continue his virtual engagements and even told one source he had not wanted to worry anyone.
Royal experts have since condemned William for not making this information public, with one biographer branding the decision “appalling”.
A subsequent poll of more than 5,000 Express.co.uk readers has found the vast majority believe William was right not to share his positive test.
The survey, which ran between 9.30am on Monday, November 2 and 7.30am on Tuesday, November 3, asked 5,609 Express.co.uk readers whether Prince William was right to keep his COVID-19 diagnosis a secret.
Prince William was right not to disclose his coronavirus positive test, poll finds
Prince William carried out virtual engagements during lockdown
A huge 74 percent (4,226) believed the Duke made the correct call and voted ‘yes’.
Just 23 percent (1,213) of voters said William made the wrong decision and voted ‘no’.
Meanwhile, three percent (170) were unsure and voted ‘don’t know’.
One reader said: “He did the right thing for the country keeping quiet – at the time his father, our next King, was unwell and the thought of both future kings having the virus at the same time might very well have caused serious worry amongst the public.”
A second reader wrote: “I think Prince William did right by not telling the public. In April it was a very scary time country in lockdown deaths rising no one knowing what the virus was.”
Prince William sparked a backlash from royal experts
A third commented: “William has no duty to report personal issues.”
Meanwhile, a fourth added: “He is not King and his personal medical condition is his own to keep private if he wishes!”
William did, however, receive widespread condemnation from a number of royal commentators.
Royal biographer Robert Jobson wrote: “Prince William’s decision to lie about contracting COVID-19 earlier – for whatever reason – is appalling.
“Kensington Palace were asked several times by the media whether Prince William had contracted the virus and were told categorically ‘no’.”
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Prince Charles announced he tested positive for coronavirus in March
Royal author Penny Junor described the decision not to make William’s diagnosis public as “very odd”, saying it went against royal precedent.
Ms Junor said: “When I heard it, I thought: ‘Surely it can’t be true because we would have been told any important news’.
“It’s very odd, because we do normally know things that are regarded as in the public interest if anything happens to one of our leaders.”
Joe Little, managing editor of Majesty magazine, added: “I think with the benefit of hindsight, it would have been sensible once he was fully recovered to say: ‘Well look, I’ve had it, but I’m okay now’.
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“We could have found out at the end of April rather than in November. It’s inevitable that these things get out in the end.”
Kensington Palace has declined to comment and it remains unclear why William’s diagnosis was not announced, given information was released about the Prince of Wales’ positive test.
But, the fact the Duke of Cambridge continued with his engagements suggests any symptoms would have been mild.
In his first public engagement after recovering from mild symptoms, Charles revealed he lost his sense of taste and smell.