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Prince William attempted to make a joke about the coronavirus and it didn’t go over so well with royal fans, to say the least. During Prince William and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge’s visit to Dublin, Ireland, he awkwardly made light of the Coronavirus threat, a topic that has many people anxious and on edge.

Kate Middleton and Prince William meets Ireland's Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and his partner Matthew Barrett on March 03, 2020 in Dublin, Ireland
Kate Middleton and Prince William | Samir Hussein/WireImage

Prince William and Kate visit Ireland

Prince William and Kate are currently on a three-day royal tour of Ireland and stopped at a reception hosted by the British Ambassador to Ireland at the Gravity Bar, Guinness Storehouse, 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 said to Joe Mooney, an advanced paramedic with the National Ambulance Service, at the reception.

“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.

He joked about spreading the virus, noting, “By the way, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are spreading Coronavirus, sorry.” He added, “We’re keeping an eye on that, so do tell us if we need to stop!”

Fans weren’t amused

It wasn’t surprising to see that royal fans weren’t happy with Prince William’s jokes and many took to Twitter to share how disappointed they were by his insensitive remarks.

One fan tweeted: “How pathetic. It is not surprising that Prince William is so out of touch and ridiculous to joke about something that has killed so many.”

“Not long ago, Kate Middleton had a laugh at a homeless shelter. Today Prince William scoffs at people panicking as a result of the melodramatic rhetoric about coronavirus. What a charming couple,” tweeted another.

Another fan pointed out how this would have been received differently if it was Prince Harry and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex making the joke: “If #PrinceHarry, OR #MeghanMarkle had made this ‘joke’ that philandering #PrinceWilliam made today about the #Coronavirus, they would have been viciously EVISCERATED in print, on television, and online FOR DAYS. The world sees you for who and what you are #BritishMedia.”

Prince William addressed the crowd

During the event, Prince William shared how he was retracing the queen’s footsteps. “Catherine and I are delighted to be here tonight and are both very grateful to Robin for his generous words,” he began. “Ireland is a country that we have both heard so much about, so we are really excited to be here with you to see it first-hand for ourselves.”

He added: “In coming to the Guinness Storehouse, we are retracing the footsteps of my grandmother, who was shown how to pour the perfect pint here in 2011.”

“Ladies and Gentlemen let me tell you it is not often that I find myself following the queen to a pub. But I am looking forward to testing for myself the theory that Guinness tastes even better in Ireland than overseas,” he added.

The Cambridges’ visit is short but impactful

The Cambridges may only be in Ireland for a short time, but their tour will “highlight the many strong links between the UK and Ireland,” according to a statement from Kensington Palace.

“From its thriving cities to rural communities, the programme will take in Ireland’s rich culture, its impactful community initiatives and spectacular scenery,” the statement noted. “Following Her Majesty The Queen’s historic visit in 2011, the visit will also focus on the relationship between the two countries, and build on the theme of remembrance and reconciliation.”