Prince William jokes about ‘spreading coronavirus’ during royal trip to Dublin: ‘Sorry!’

Prince William casually joked about the deadly coronavirus outbreak during a royal visit to Dublin’s Guinness Storehouse in Ireland on Tuesday.

“I bet everyone’s like, ‘I’ve got coronavirus, I’m dying,’ and you’re like, ‘No, you’ve just got a cough,’” quipped the Duke of Cambridge to first responder Joe Mooney during an exchange that was captured on video, as shared by Time magazine.

“It does seem quite dramatic about coronavirus at the moment,” continued the 37-year-old. “Is it being a little hyped up do you think, by the media?”

Mooney seemed to offer no opinion.

However, it wouldn’t be the last time the British prince offered his own commentary about the disease.

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In the same clip, William, who was preparing to enjoy a glass of Guinness, is heard saying, “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.”

William’s statements came the same day that his grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II, was seen wearing gloves during an investiture ceremony, Time magazine reported. Some interpreted it as a precaution against coronavirus. The reigning monarch is 93 years old.

The outlet reported that more than 92,000 cases of coronavirus have been reported in over 100 countries and at least 3,085 people have died from the infection.

The United Kingdom, in particular, has at least 51 reported cases of coronavirus, according to the U.K. Department of Health and Social Care. The outlet noted that one British citizen, a male passenger who had been onboard the Diamond Princess cruise ship, died at the hospital in Japan in February.

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Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge and Prince William, Duke of Cambridge attend a reception hosted by the British Ambassador to Ireland at the Guinness Storehouse in Dublin, Ireland. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are undertaking an official visit to Ireland at the request of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge and Prince William, Duke of Cambridge attend a reception hosted by the British Ambassador to Ireland at the Guinness Storehouse in Dublin, Ireland. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are undertaking an official visit to Ireland at the request of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.
(Photo by Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images)

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Ireland, where William and his wife Kate Middleton are currently visiting, has so far seen one case. The U.K. health agency’s action plan for dealing with the disease warned that coronavirus could potentially “spread extensively” in the U.K.” and is “more likely than not that the U.K. will be significantly affected.”

Kensington Palace first announced on Feb. 11 that the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge would be visiting Ireland from March 3-5. The palace said that the short visit will “focus on the relationship between [the U.K. and Ireland], and build on the theme of remembrance and reconciliation, along with highlighting Ireland’s culture.”

It is the first time the couple has made an official visit to the neighboring country. Town & Country also noted it is the first time a royal has officially visited Ireland after Brexit.

At the time of the announcement, the palace said that William and Middleton, 38, would meet with the president of Ireland, as well as other political leaders and locals in the “creative arts, business and charity sectors.”

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Elizabeth, who traveled to Ireland in 2001, was the first British monarch to officially visit the country in a century, the outlet noted. Her son Prince Charles and his wife Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, have visited Ireland multiple times. William’s younger brother, Prince Harry, and his wife Meghan Markle embarked on a two-day tour of Ireland in 2018.

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