THERE was a genuine air of shock around the world when it was revealed that Prince Charles, the Prince of Wales and heir to the throne of the United Kingdom, had tested positive for Covid-19.

He is the most famous Royal person yet to contract the disease. Monaco’s Prince Albert – the 62-year-old and Charles met at a reception a fortnight ago – was the first head of state to announce he had tested positive. The first member of a royal family to catch it was Karl von Habsburg, 59, the archduke of Austria. The head of the house of Habsburg-Lorraine called into Austrian TV channel oe24 to reveal his diagnosis. He said: “It’s annoying, but I’m fine. It’s not the black plague. I thought it was the usual flu. When a friend called me that he had a positive test at a congress in Switzerland, I was also tested.”

Charles is said to be approaching his illness with similar aplomb, but at 71, he is older than the other two royals and in the age group which has suffered many thousands of deaths already. From the descriptions so far, it appears he has a milder version of Covid-19 though obviously it is a worrying time for the Duchess of Cornwall and the royal family in general.


CHARLES is the longest-serving and oldest heir apparent in British history. He is also the longest-serving Prince of Wales, surpassing in 2017 the record set by Edward VII, son of Queen Victoria.

In Scotland he is known as the Duke of Rothesay, but his full titles are as follows: His Royal Highness Prince Charles Philip Arthur George, Prince of Wales, KG, KT, GCB, OM, AK, QSO, CC, PC, ADC, Earl of Chester, Duke of Cornwall, Duke of Rothesay, Earl of Carrick, Baron of Renfrew, Lord of the Isles and Prince and Great Steward of Scotland. Those last five titles are all Scottish, and are very rarely referred to even by the Unionist press, not least because as Earl of Carrick, he is the latest in a direct line descended from Robert the Bruce.

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His great uncle, the former King Edward VIII, used to call himself Lord Renfrew when he wished to travel incognito. Charles preferred Mountbatten, Windsor or Wales.


HE has been around so long we think we know everything about Charles, but recent biographies have portrayed him in considerably different ways. The fact are well knwon, however.

The National:

He was born on November 19, 1948, as the first grandchild of King George VI who would die in 1952, making Charles’s mother Queen and him the heir apparent to her.

Aged four, he famously sat between his aunt, Princess Margaret, and his grandmother Elizabeth the Queen Mother, at his mother’s coronation.

He was closer to the Queen Mother than anybody in his immediate family and Lord Mountbatten was his main mentor. Charles was educated at Gordonstoun where he was subjected to bullying before gaining an undistinguished Bachelor of Arts degree from Cambridge University.

He served in the Royal Air Force and Royal Navy and in 1981, he married Lady Diana Spencer and they had two sons: Prince William, born on June 21, 1982, and Prince Harry, born on September 15, 1984.

Amid reports of adultery on both parts, Charles and Diana divorced in 1996 and she was killed in a car crash in Paris the following year.

In 2005, he married his former lover Camilla Parker Bowles, who became Duchess of Cornwall.

Prince Charles has become known for his espousal of many causes including multiculturalism and environmentalism. His Prince’s Trust and Prince’s Foundation charities have done sterling work for youth and heritage.

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As Prince of Wales and Duke of Rothesay he has no actual constitutional role in England or Scotland, and has been rebuked for overstepping the mark in his interference in legislation.

“You call it meddling,” he told an interviewer. “I would call it mobilising, actually.”


THERE is no doubting his love for Scotland and particularly the north east. He may have loathed Gordonstoun but he loved its surroundings and enjoyed frequent visits to the Castle of Mey, home of the Queen Mother.

The National:

He inherited Birkhall, where he is now self-isolating, from the Queen Mother, and while he has curtailed much of his hunting, fishing and shooting activities, they were an important part of his life in Scotland for decades.


THIS may be in very bad taste but the death rate in the over-70s from Covid-19 makes the chance of his passing at least a possibility, albeit a slight one.

Plague and infectious disease have always been the “great levellers” and the royal family has suffered down the centuries.

The most famous Scottish monarch to die of an infectious disease was the aforementioned Earl of Carrick, Robert the Bruce.

To this day historians argue whether or not he died from leprosy, but it is argued that he also suffered from other infectious diseases. It may be that his final home, a manor in what is now West Dunbartonshire, was razed for fear of infection.

Smallpox killed Queen Margaret of Scotland, daughter of Henry VIII, but Mary, Queen of Scots, survived it. Another Queen Mary, wife of William, Prince of Orange, succumbed to smallpox as did a host of members of the House of Stuart and no less than five reigning monarchs in royal houses across Europe.

In 1892, influenza killed Prince Albert Victor, the Duke of Clarence, who was the oldest son of King Edward VII and would have succeeded to the throne.