King Philippe of Belgium’s nephew Prince Joachim has issued an apology for attending a party in Spain amid the coronavirus lockdown. The 28-year-old Belgian royal, who has since tested positive for COVID-19, released a statement via the Córdoba law office of Mariano Aguayo, saying (via CNN) “I would like to apologize for traveling and not having respected the quarantine measures.” Joachim added, “I did not intend to offend or disrespect anyone in these very difficult times and deeply regret my actions and accept the consequences.”
Per CNN, a palace press officer confirmed that the Prince traveled to Spain on May 24 and attended a party with “12 or 27 guests” in Córdoba on May 26. Two days later, Princess Elisabeth’s older cousin tested positive for the novel coronavirus. According to CNN, authorities are now investigating whether there were more than 15 people at the event because gatherings of more than 15 people who do not live in the same household are currently not allowed due to Córdoba’s lockdown restrictions. The party’s attendees are quarantining and could face fines of up to $11,100 for breaking the Spanish government’s lockdown rules, according to El Pais.
Royal Central reported on June 1 that Joachim’s mother Princess Astrid, the King’s sister, said she would not be commenting on her son’s trip, but shared that he was getting better. Joachim isn’t the first Belgian royal to test positive for coronavirus. Princess Claire was diagnosed with corona in March. Last month, the Princess’ husband Prince Laurent told Le Soir magazine, “We do not know how, but the coronavirus has entered our household.” Prince Charles and Prince Albert of Monaco also became infected with COVID-19 earlier this year, but have since recovered.