King Philippe and Queen Mathilde of Belgium’s upcoming royal state visit to Italy has been postponed. The Belgian Royal Palace announced on Wednesday, March 4, that the trip would not be going on as scheduled due to the coronavirus outbreak. “At the request of the President of the Italian Republic, the State Visit of Their Majesties the King and Queen is postponed to a later date. The visit was planned from 23 to 25 March 2020,” the palace statement read.
“The current phase in the corona epidemic and the implementation of new emergency measures by the Italian authorities do not make it possible to implement the visit's program,” the statement continued. “A new date will be set by both parties as soon as possible to ensure that this visit, which confirms the excellent relations between our countries, takes place in ideal circumstances.”
The Belgian monarchs aren’t the only royals playing it safe when it comes to the coronavirus. On Tuesday, Queen Elizabeth wore long white gloves to an investiture ceremony at Buckingham Palace. Although the palace declined to confirm to The Telegraph if the Queen was taking precautions due to the rapidly spreading COVID-19 virus, The Express reported that Her Majesty hasn’t worn white gloves to an investiture ceremony in years.
Prince William was heard speaking about coronavirus to emergency workers during a visit to Dublin's Guinness Brewery with wife Kate.— NBC News World (@NBCNewsWorld) March 4, 2020
"I bet everyone's like, 'I've got coronavirus, I'm dying,' and you're like, 'no, you've just got a cough'," he said. pic.twitter.com/bLN7ztXEIw
Meanwhile,Prince William spoke about the hysteria surrounding the disease during his royal visit to Ireland. While speaking to a paramedic, the Duke said, "I bet everyone’s like 'I’ve got Coronavirus, I’m dying', and you’re like, 'No, you’ve just got a cough.’ Does it seem quite dramatic about Coronavirus at the moment? Is it being a little bit hyped up do you think in the media?" "By the way, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are spreading Coronavirus!’” he joked. “Sorry! We’re keeping an eye on that, so do tell us if we need to stop!”
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the coronavirus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person. CNN reported on March 2 that the coronavirus has killed more than 3,000 people and that there are more than 88,000 cases around the world.