Prince William Is Criticized for Keeping His COVID-19 Diagnosis a Secret

On Nov. 2, it was revealed that Prince William had contracted the coronavirus (COVID-19) back in April. However, William decided to keep his condition under wrap, and the public had no idea the prince was going through such an ordeal.

But now that William’s COVID-19 diagnosis has gone public, some people are criticizing him for not being open about it much earlier.

Prince William
Prince William | Victoria Jones-WPA Pool/Getty Images

Why did Prince William keep his COVID-19 diagnosis a secret?

According to The Sun, William showed some serious symptoms of the coronavirus. A source told the outlet, “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.”

Yet, William decided he did not want the public to focus on his diagnosis. He reportedly shared at an engagement, “There were important things going on and I didn’t want to worry anyone.”

His father, Prince Charles, and Prime Minister Boris Johnson both contracted the coronavirus days before William did, and they also went public with this health issue. People now believe that if William had shared his diagnosis openly as well, there would have been worries about the line of succession and the state of the monarchy.

Some critics think Prince William should have been open about his diagnosis

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However, not everyone believes William was making the best decision for his country. For example, Richard Palmer, a royal correspondent for the Daily Express, noted that such a cover-up could increase distrust in what William and his advisers say in the future.

“If the future King contracts a potentially fatal virus that the entire world is worried about during a lockdown and he and those around him cover it up, that raises serious questions about whether we can trust anything he or his advisers say,” Palmer tweeted. “If Boris Johnson, Keir Starmer, Emmanuel Macron, Angela Merkel, Donald Trump, or Joe Biden had covered up a positive test for Covid-19, many people would not be praising them for ‘not wanting to worry people.’”

Patricia Treble, a royal contributor for Canada’s Maclean’s Magazine, agreed with Palmer. Treble wrote in a response tweet, “Cover ups are always more damaging than the original act. That a serious illness of the 2nd in line to the throne is kept secret until a journalist breaks the story six months later feels like questionable judgment and advice.”

Prince Charles was praised for revealing his COVID-19 diagnosis in March

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Prince Charles’ team revealed he had tested positive for COVID-19 on March 25. The prince reportedly only had “mild symptoms,” but Charles had been praised for being open about his diagnosis.

As reported by the Daily Express, Charles’ diagnosis came at a time when many people were still not taking the virus seriously. However, the fact that a high-profile royal like Charles could contract the virus helped to make the pandemic feel closer to home.

“It is ghoulish to contemplate, but having such a high-profile confirmed sufferer of the virus might save lives,” journalist Helen Lewis wrote in an article for The Atlantic. “When someone you know catches COVID-19—even if it’s someone you only know through a television screen—the pandemic materializes, no longer a ghost story but a concrete problem.”