What does self isolation look like for the Royal Family? Look Inside royal Covid protocol

Princess Anne and Timothy 'a breath of fresh air' says host

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As the Omicron variant continues to spread, it seems the Royal Family are also unable to escape the wrath of COVID-19. Admiral Sir Timothy Laurence is the latest royal member to test positive for the virus, forcing both him and his wife Princess Anne into self-isolation. New Government guidelines allow a shorter isolation period – but what does it mean for the royal household and their Christmas plans?

Admiral Sir Timothy Laurence and Princess Anne will join millions of Brits in celebrating Christmas in isolation this year.

Latest Government figures have revealed that 106,122 positive coronavirus tests were reported in the UK on Wednesday December 22, bringing the cumulative total to 11,647,473.

Current Government guidelines which were updated today now advise a seven-day isolation period for those who test positive for the virus, so long as they can produce a negative lateral flow test on day six and seven.

For Princess Anne and her husband, it is just the beginning of a long seven days indoors as the rest of the Royal Family go ahead with their altered Christmas plans.

Where do the Royal Family isolate?

With a number of royal residences spread across the UK, the Royal Family are spoilt for choice when it comes to choosing a place to call home.

Despite having a number of properties to choose from, it is understood that royal members self-isolate in the place they are staying at the time of a positive test.

Princess Anne is thought to be joining her husband in isolation at their private residence on the Gatcombe Park estate in Gloucestershire.

When Kate, Duchess of Cambridge was named as a contact of a COVID-19 positive case earlier in July, it was reported that she spent the isolation period at Kensington Palace in her private family home, Apartment 1A.

Do royal staff have to be isolated?

The Monarch’s portfolio of impressive homes, ranging from Clarence House to Buckingham Palace, are staffed by hundreds of devoted workers – many of whom live on-site.

Buckingham Palace alone features 188 staff bedrooms to house enough house-keepers, butlers and cooks to tend to the 775 rooms throughout the property.

It is understood that royal staff are subject to the same guidelines as the rest of the nation regarding Covid, though Queen Elizabeth II has been known to take measures to minimise transmission within the royal household.

Earlier this year, Hello! magazine revealed that the Queen had created a staff bubble who lived alongside her during the first lockdown, which started in March, 2020.

It said: “The Queen spent most of the lockdown at Windsor Castle, where she remained in isolation with 22 members of staff, in what has been described as the ‘HMS Bubble’.”

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What is the royal protocol regarding coronavirus?

All royals test twice weekly using lateral flow tests as part of the Royal Household testing regime.

With a number of royal engagements and large events to attend, regular testing is of high importance for all members of the Royal Family.

Just like the rest of Britain, royal members are expected to follow Government isolation guidelines if named as a contact of a positive case, or if they test positive for the virus themselves.

Queen Elizabeth has made her stance on vaccinations very public, having revealed her own vaccination efforts to the public back in January when she and her late husband Prince Philip received their first doses.

It is thought that younger members of the Royal Family have followed suit, with both Kate Duchess of Cambridge and Prince William sharing images of their own coronavirus vaccinations on their official social media pages.

Which members of the Royal Family have had COVID-19?

Prince Philip was thought to be the first member of the British Royal Family to have contracted coronavirus.

The Duke of Wales contracted the virus in March, 2020 though thankfully his symptoms were mild, according to the Independent.

It was reported that during the time of his infection, Prince Philip isolated for seven days in Scotland, at his Birkhall home on the Balmoral Estate.

Despite being in close quarters with Prince Philip, Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall remained unaffected by the virus.

Shortly after his father, Prince William was the next royal to contract COVID-19 in April, 2020.

News of the Duke of Cambridge’s positive test was withheld from the public for some time to avoid alarming the nation over the health of the heir and second in line to the throne.

The 39-year-old did not tell anyone about his positive test because “there were important things going on and I didn’t want to worry anyone”, reported The Sun.

Princess Eugenie has also had a close brush with the virus following the hospitalisation of her father-in-law, George Brooksbank, back in April, 2020.

The 72-year-old was forced into intensive care as a result of the virus where he was ventilated for five weeks.

George sadly passed away in November, 2021 – just days before the christening of baby August – Princess Eugenie’s first child with Jack Brooksbank.

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