Prince William Learned an Important Lesson in Leadership After His Cringe-Worthy Coronavirus Joke

Prince William has been training for his role as the future reigning monarch for his entire life. Princess Diana tried to give her sons as normal a life as possible, however, she was well aware of her eldest son’s destiny. He’s been getting ready for his eventual ascension to the throne ever since boyhood.

But the Duke of Cambridge made a major mistake at a recent royal appearance when he made a joke about coronavirus (COVID-19). At the time of the comment, no one knew how serious the situation would become in a very short amount of time. Still, as a future royal leader, Prince William should have exerted more caution with his words.

Prince William
Prince William | Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images

Prince William made an insensitive joke about coronavirus

It happened while the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were on a tour of Ireland in early March. Coronavirus was spreading across the globe but still hadn’t reached pandemic status. That’s why Prince William felt comfortable enough to share a joke about the virus, which is very regrettable in retrospect.

He made the joke while attending a reception at the 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,’” Prince William quipped to Joe Mooney, a paramedic. “Does it seem quite dramatic about coronavirus at the moment? Is it being a little bit hyped up do you think in the media?” he asked.

Prince William even joked about spreading the virus himself when he said: “By the way, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are spreading coronavirus, sorry.” He continued, saying, “We’re keeping an eye on that, so do tell us if we need to stop!”

The Duke of Cambridge likely regrets his crude comments about coronavirus

The past week has changed millions of people’s outlooks about coronavirus. With travel bans, school closures, event cancellations, and restrictions on gatherings of more than 100 people, the world looks like a very different place as governments desperately try to curtail the spread of the virus to protect vulnerable citizens.

Prince William surely didn’t expect any of this to happen, otherwise he wouldn’t have made the joke. But this proves an essential point about leadership that the Duke of Cambridge needs to learn before he becomes king.

William hasn’t publicly apologized for the joke or expressed his regret over saying it. And he probably won’t draw attention to it now as the royal family tries to move past the crisis.

The royal family is canceling travel plans for now

First Prince Charles refused to shake hands at royal engagements, choosing to bow and say “Namaste” instead. Then when the situation got worse, Queen Elizabeth, Prince Charles, and other senior royals began canceling events.

“Owing to the unfolding situation with the coronavirus pandemic, the British government has asked their royal highnesses to postpone their spring tour,” a spokesperson for Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall said in a statement.

These cancellations prove that everyone in the royal family is taking coronavirus seriously now, including Prince William. But it’s all proof that senior royals should always be careful what they joke about. Hopefully, the Duke of Cambridge learned a very important lesson about restraint and always speaking carefully.