Prince William Jokes That He & Kate Middleton Are ‘Spreading’ Coronavirus While In Ireland

Prince William asked an emergency worker if the coronavirus is being ‘hyped up,’ but the Duke of Cambridge couldn’t resist lightening the mood with a joke.

Given that Prince William, 37, and Kate Middleton, 38, are about to interact with a lot of people amid their three-day royal tour in Ireland, William couldn’t resist joking that they’ll essentially be germ carriers amid the coronavirus scare. The subject came up at the start of the tour on March 4, which kicked off at a reception held inside the Guinness storehouse’s Gravity bar in Dublin. “I bet everyone’s like, ‘I’ve got Coronavirus, I’m dying’, and you’re like, ‘No, you’ve just got a cough,’” William joked with a paramedic from the National Ambulance Service, Joe Mooney.

Pressing on, William asked, “Does it seem quite dramatic about coronavirus at the moment? Is it being a little bit hyped up do you think in the media?” William then jumped onto the panic bandwagon himself, quipping, “By the way, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are spreading coronavirus! Sorry! We’re keeping an eye on that, so do tell us if we need to stop!” You can watch the Duke of Cambridge’s impromptu stand-up routine in the clip below.

Despite William’s lighthearted tone, the statistics behind this outbreak is no joking matter. The new coronavirus was detected in China’s Wuhan province in Dec. 2019, and it causes the COVID-19 respiratory disease that has taken more than 3,200 lives worldwide, NPR reported on March 4. Overall, more than 94,000 cases have been confirmed across the globe, and over 80,0000 of these cases are in Mainland China, according to the outlet. As of March 4, nine of these cases are in Ireland where William and Kate are currently touring, The Irish Times reported. The school that William and Kate’s children Prince George, 6, and Princess Charlotte, 4, attend did reportedly send four kids home, however, after they showed flu-like symptoms following a trip to Italy.

William and Kate are picking up where Queen Elizabeth II left off in 2011. Following William’s grandmother’s visit to Ireland nearly nine years ago, the royal couple will continue to carry out her work by learning “about local organisations working to support and empower young people and projects which provide opportunities to help them develop important life skills,” as well as the European country’s conservation initiatives, according to a press release issued by Buckingham Palace.

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