CLARENCE House has insisted that Prince Charles met the criteria to be tested for coronavirus by NHS Grampian.

But the news that the Royal, who was displaying “mild symptoms” of having COVID-19 over the weekend before travelling to Scotland, was given the test ahead of doctors, nurses and other key workers has sparked fury.

NHS guidelines state that patients will only be tested if they “have a serious illness that requires admission to hospital.” 

Taking to Twitter, one doctor wrote: “We as NHS doctors are being refused testing and have numerous colleagues self isolating. We are then unable to work and help people.

"This is an unjustifiable breach of NHS Scotland's own protocol. Does this man truly merit testing when essential staff are being denied?”

The future King was tested on Monday and received the results on Tuesday. It is thought he was tested at Birkhall, his home on the Queen’s Balmoral estate in Aberdeenshire.

Clarence House said in a statement: “The Prince of Wales has tested positive for coronavirus. He has been displaying mild symptoms but otherwise remains in good health and has been working from home throughout the last few days as usual. 

“The Duchess of Cornwall has also been tested but does not have the virus. 

“In accordance with government and medical advice, the prince and the duchess are now self-isolating at home in Scotland. The tests were carried out by the NHS in Aberdeenshire where they met the criteria required for testing.

“It is not possible to ascertain from whom the prince caught the virus owing to the high number of engagements he carried out in his public role during recent weeks.”

The SNP MSP Joan McAlpine tweeted: “Wish @Charles_HRH a speedy recovery. But given that his symptoms are said to be mild, like many I wonder how he was tested when many NHS and social care workers cannot get tested. 

“My nephew, who has serious asthma and a chest infection was recently refused a test.”

Journalist Mandy Rhodes wrote: “Obviously my sympathy is with Prince Charles for testing + to the virus, but he ignored travel advice, came to Scotland, & been able to get a test. My friend, a nurse, has the symptoms & is waiting for test to confirm one way or another so she can get back on wards to do her job.”

Doctors believe the earliest the Prince would have been contagious was on 13 March, the day after his last meeting with his mum.

Buckingham Palace said: “Her Majesty the Queen remains in good health. The Queen last saw the Prince of Wales briefly on the morning of 12 March and is following all the appropriate advice with regard to her welfare.”

Camilla is self-isolating separately from Charles at Birkhall and will carry on doing so for 14 days.

The couple are said not to be interacting with the small team of staff based at their home.