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Prince William tested positive for COVID-19 earlier this year, but the diagnosis was hidden from the public to avoid alarming the nation. The heir to the throne caught the virus in April, just days after his father, Prince Charles, contracted the disease and a celebrity biographer has suggested why the Duke’s positive test result was concealed.
In an exclusive interview with Express.co.uk, biographer Sean Smith said the decision to keep William’s diagnosis a secret was to avoid a public backlash.
He said: “If it had come out at the time, it wasn’t long after he had basically said that we were all overreacting to coronavirus.
“He made fun almost. And within a few weeks he had it.
“So I think he would have certainly suffered a bigger backlash at the time because everyone would have said you absolute fool.
Mr Smith is referring to the comments William made during a royal visit to Dublin’s Guinness Storehouse at the beginning of March.
The Duke was videoed joking about spreading coronavirus and even suggested the disease was being exaggerated by the media.
When chatting to first responder Joe Mooney, William said: “I bet everyone’s like, ‘I’ve got coronavirus, I’m dying,’ and you’re like, ‘No, you’ve just got a cough.'”
William added: “It does seem quite dramatic about coronavirus at the moment.
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“Is it being a little hyped up, do you think, by the media?”
As a result, the biographer said his public comments may well have influenced The Firm’s decision not to publicise his positive test result.
He told this website: “It certainly would have reflected very badly on him, if we would have known in April very soon after he made those remarks.
“If you say that one week and then the next week you’ve got it you look a bit foolish. But now we don’t care.”
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Mr Smith suggested that because the news has leaked amid the news of a second national lockdown and the US Presidential election, the royal cover-up has almost been swept under the carpet.
He said: “So now when we are concentrating on other things, Donald Trump and a second lockdown for instance, it has been shoved at the bottom of the agenda.”
The celebrity biographer also charted William’s comments in his new book about Meghan Markle, titled Meghan Misunderstood.
In the biography, he claimed the Duke’s comments were a “misjudgement” and suggested there would be uproar if the Duchess of Sussex had made similar remarks.
Indeed, Mr Smith told this website that if Meghan had made those comments, it would have been “front page news”.
Prince William tested positive for coronavirus in April, but kept the diagnosis secret in order to protect the public.
The Duke told one observer at an engagement: “There were important things going on and I didn’t want to worry anyone.”
William was treated by Palace doctors and followed Government guidelines by isolating at the family home Anmer Hall, in Norfolk.
A source told the Sun: “William was hit pretty hard by the virus – it really knocked him for six. At one stage he was struggling to breathe, so obviously everyone around him was pretty panicked.
“After seeing medics and testing positive – which was obviously quite a shock given how fit and healthy he is – William was determined it should be business as usual though. He was determined to fulfil his engagements.”
Meghan Misunderstood by Sean Smith (Harper Collins, £16,99) is available from November 12.
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