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Prince William ‘secretly battled coronavirus in April’

Prince William secretly battled coronavirus in April – days after his father Prince Charles contracted it – and was left ‘struggling to breathe,’ according to a report.

The Duke of Cambridge, 38, didn’t want to alarm the public so kept his illness private.

He caught the virus in the darkest days of the pandemic after the Prince of Wales and Boris Johnson fell ill. At the time up to a thousand Britons were dying of Covid-19 each day and there had been more than 50,000 cases.

The Duke was treated by palace physicians and quarantined at the family home of Anmer Hall in Norfolk. His wife did not fall ill or test positive for the virus, it is understood.

‘There were important things going on and I didn’t want to worry anyone,’ the Duke said at an engagement, according to The Sun. 

Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge wear face masks during a visit to Beigel Bake Brick Lane Bakery on September 15, 2020 in London

Prince Charles speaks to the nation whilst recovering from coronavirus

Prince Charles speaks to the nation whilst recovering from coronavirus

Some 23,254 cases were reported in the last 24 hours - 17.5 per cent more than the 19,790 cases seen last Sunday

Some 23,254 cases were reported in the last 24 hours – 17.5 per cent more than the 19,790 cases seen last Sunday

A further 162 people have died after testing positive for coronavirus in Britain today, in the highest Sunday rise seen since May

A further 162 people have died after testing positive for coronavirus in Britain today, in the highest Sunday rise seen since May

That month, William continued working and made 14 telephone and video calls despite sources revealing he was rocked by the disease. 

A source told The Sun: ‘William was hit pretty hard by the virus – it really knocked him for six.

‘At one stage he was struggling to breathe, so obviously everyone around him was pretty panicked.

‘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.

‘He was determined to fulfil his engagements.’

Following the news that his father and the Prime Minister had both fallen ill, William believed that going public with his sickness would only add to the nation’s anxieties.

As the Queen gave her impassioned ‘We Will Meet Again’ address, the Duke decided it would be better not to add to Britain’s strain, sources said.

And despite the impact the virus had on him, the father-of-three continued to contact frontline NHS workers to tell them how ‘proud’ he was of their commitment.

Indeed, his having caught coronavirus brought home to him just how terrible the contagion is and that it can strike anybody down, a source told The Sun.

William and Kate with George, seven, Charlotte, five, and Louis, two, leading the nation in the 'Clap for Carers' in April

William and Kate with George, seven, Charlotte, five, and Louis, two, leading the nation in the ‘Clap for Carers’ in April

On April 1, he called staff at Queen’s Hospital Burton following the death of consultant Amged El-Hawrani, 55. 

From April 9, the prince had a seven-day break from calls and video messages. He then officially opened the NHS Nightingale hospital in Birmingham – via video link – on April 16. 

On April 16, he opened Birmingham’s Nightingale Hospital via video link and praised staff there for their ‘wonderful example.’

Just days later he appeared on Comic Relief in a pre-recorded sketch alongside Stephen Fry.

He was also filmed outside Anmer Hall leading Kate, 38, and their children George, 7, Charlotte, 5, and Louis, 2, in the ‘Clap for Carers.’

The prince decided to keep his diagnosis secret amid the height of the first wave, which saw the daily death toll regularly top 1,000.

Both Prince Charles and Mr Johnson were diagnosed with the virus in March – with the latter hospitalised on April 5.

The Prime Minister was admitted to St Thomas’ hospital in central London the day after the Queen delivered her special lockdown address to the nation. 

The royal source said of William’s illness: ‘As a result of his own experiences, he realises absolutely anyone can catch this awful disease and knows how imperative it is that we all take this second lockdown seriously.’

Last week, the prince told TV presenter Kate Garraway that he and the Duchess of Cambridge wanted to give her a hug after hearing that her husband was critically ill with Covid-19.

The Cambridges met the Good Morning Britain host, 53, while filming a clip to honour the NHS which aired during the Pride of Britain awards last weekend.

William talks to a patient participating in a COVID-19 vaccine trial at Oxford Vaccine Group's facility at Churchill Hospital in Oxford, west of London on June 24, 2020

William talks to a patient participating in a COVID-19 vaccine trial at Oxford Vaccine Group’s facility at Churchill Hospital in Oxford, west of London on June 24, 2020

William meets with scientists during a visit to the manufacturing laboratory where a vaccine against the novel coronavirus COVID-19 has been produced at the Oxford Vaccine Group's facility at the Churchill Hospital in Oxford, west of London on June 24, 2020

William meets with scientists during a visit to the manufacturing laboratory where a vaccine against the novel coronavirus COVID-19 has been produced at the Oxford Vaccine Group’s facility at the Churchill Hospital in Oxford, west of London on June 24, 2020

Prince William, President of The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust, during a visit to The Royal Marsden in Sutton to meet staff and patient on October 21

Prince William, President of The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust, during a visit to The Royal Marsden in Sutton to meet staff and patient on October 21

They were deeply moved by the story of her husband Derek Draper, also 53, who was taken to hospital with Covid symptoms in March. 

He remains in hospital more than six months on, but can now breathe without a ventilator following the removal of his tracheotomy tube.

At the awards show on Sunday night, the couple presented a Pride of Britain award, on behalf of the nation, to recognise the NHS frontline heroes in their battle against coronavirus. 

Kate and William met six representatives of the NHS to discuss their work during the pandemic and to present them with the special recognition award at Britain’s oldest hospital, St Bartholomew’s in the City of London. 

Kensington Palace declined to comment. 

The Cambridge’s in lockdown: What royal engagements did Prince William carry out from home in April?

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge spent lockdown at their Norfolk home of Anmer Hall with their children, Prince George, seven, Princess Charlotte, five, and Prince Louis, two. 

The couple are understood to have enjoyed the extra time the lockdown allowed them to spend with their children – with Kate taking a lead on the youngsters’ schoolwork.

But the period had even more challenges for the family than previously understood as it was today revealed that Prince William secretly battled coronavirus in April. 

That month, William continued working and made 14 telephone and video calls despite sources revealing he was rocked by the disease.

Here are some of the public engagements the Duke of Cambridge carried out from home the month he fell ill:  

April 1: William calls staff at Queen’s Hospital Burton following the death of consultant Amged El-Hawrani, 55

April 8: William and Kate carry out their first royal engagement via video call to school children whose parents are working on the frontline

Duke and Duchess of Cambridge carried out their first royal engagement via video call to school children whose parents are working on the frontline on April 8.

William, 37, and Kate, 38, were seen giggling as the pupils, wearing Easter-themed bunny ears, presented them with a ‘virtual’ bouquet of paper flowers.  

The couple, dialing in from their Norfolk home, Anmer Hall, spoke to staff and youngsters from Casterton Primary Academy in Lancashire, where teachers are helping to look after the children of key workers in frontline services including the NHS and social care, as well as supermarkets and delivery drivers.

The Duke and Duchess were keen to thank staff for all they were doing during the Covid-19 epidemic as well talk about the effect it is having on the youngsters.

Duke and Duchess of Cambridge carried out their first royal engagement via video call to school children whose parents are working on the frontline on April 8

Duke and Duchess of Cambridge carried out their first royal engagement via video call to school children whose parents are working on the frontline on April 8 

April 9 – April 15: The prince has a seven-day break from calls and video messages

April 16: Prince William opens Birmingham Nightingale hospital via video link 

The Duke of Cambridge officially opened Birmingham’s Nightingale Hospital on April 16.

Prince William, 37, said the temporary field hospital – built inside the NEC exhibition centre in just eight days – was also a ‘wonderful example’ of the ‘pulling together’ going on up and down the UK amid the Covid-19 outbreak.

He later released footage of a call he made to the team behind the hospital to thank them for their efforts – and was told the temporary facility was built ‘on kindness’.

William spoke to a group of staff via videophone from his Norfolk home to learn more about the project and their experiences working while the country is in lockdown, a clip of the conversation was posted on Instagram. 

The Duke of Cambridge, 37, has praised the 'herculean effort' of NHS staff and thanked them for their' 'selfless commitment' as he officially opened Birmingham 's Nightingale Hospital today. Pictured, pictured speaking via video link from his home, Amner Hall in Norfolk

The Duke of Cambridge, 37, has praised the ‘herculean effort’ of NHS staff and thanked them for their’ ‘selfless commitment’ as he officially opened Birmingham ‘s Nightingale Hospital today. Pictured, pictured speaking via video link from his home, Amner Hall in Norfolk

April 23: Prince William makes a surprise appearance in a Blackadder sketch with Stephen Fry in aid of the Big Night In coronavirus fundraiser

Prince William appeared on a Zoom call with Stephen Fry who reprised his iconic role as Lord Melchett in a hilarious Blackadder sketch for The Big Night In coronavirus fundraiser.

Melchett paced around his office impatiently waiting for the Duke to call in, quipping: ‘I thought Germans were meant to be punctual’.

Apologising, William said Zoom was ‘complicated stuff’, later revealing homeschooling Prince George, Prince Louis and Princess Charlotte is proving a ‘bit of a nightmare’ in lockdown.

The Duke said he is struggling to cope with not being able to watch EastEnders, but refused the Blackadder star’s recommendation of trying Netflix sensation Tiger King instead, adding: ‘I tend to avoid shows about royalty.’

As their virtual exchange drew to a close, Melchett reminded William to go out and clap for the NHS at 8pm, before William joked about not wearing any trousers. 

The show then cut to the Cambridges clapping on their doorstep in Norfolk as part of the weekly show of gratitude for health and social care workers.

Stephen Fry (pictured in the top right hand corner of the laptop screen) reprised his role as Melchett in Blackadder to take a Zoom call with Prince William (main) to lead fifth week of Clap For the Carers - as MILLIONS of Britons noisily salute key workers from their doorsteps

Stephen Fry (pictured in the top right hand corner of the laptop screen) reprised his role as Melchett in Blackadder to take a Zoom call with Prince William (main) to lead fifth week of Clap For the Carers – as MILLIONS of Britons noisily salute key workers from their doorsteps

April 23: William joins the family to lead fifth week of Clap For the Carers – as MILLIONS of Britons noisily salute key workers from their doorsteps 

Prince William, Kate Middleton and their children all wore NHS blue as they led the Clap for Carers on April 23.

William stood alongside Kate, Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis who all put their hands together and praise everyone from NHS healthcare workers to shop assistants who are risking their lives to keep the country going.   

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge with their children clapping for NHS and frontline workers on Thursday

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge with their children clapping for NHS and frontline workers on Thursday

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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