Belgian prince gets COVID-19 after breaking lockdown at party in Spain

Outrage at Belgium’s Prince Joachim, 28, as he catches coronavirus after flying 1050 miles to Spain to attend a party with his girlfriend and 26 others in breach of lockdown

  • Prince Joachim of Belgium attended an illegal private party in Spain on Tuesday
  • The Belgian Royal Household confirmed he has now contracted coronavirus
  • The 28-year-old was allowed to travel to Madrid for business reasons
  • But the party on Tuesday took place in the city of Cordoba in southern Spain 
  • Here’s how to help people impacted by Covid-19

A Belgian prince has been diagnosed with coronavirus just days after attending a private party in Spain which breached social distancing rules. 

Prince Joachim, the nephew of King Philippe of Belgium and ninth in line to the throne, attended the party on Tuesday in a private house in the city of Cordoba.

The prince, 28, had arrived in Madrid two days earlier for a business trip but then took a high-speed train to Cordoba, where his long-term girlfriend Victoria Ortiz grew up.

Prince Joachim of Belgium (pictured middle) has been diagnosed with coronavirus a few days after attending a private party which broke lockdown rules in Cordoba, Spain

The prince (pictured) is the nephew of King Phillipe of Belgium and is ninth in line to the throne

The prince, 28, travelled to Madrid on a business trip on Sunday but then took a high-speed train to Cordoba (pictured) on Tuesday

According to Spanish news outlet El Pais, 27 people attended the private party, which is nearly double the number of people (15) currently allowed to congregate under one roof in the Andalusian city. 

The same news organisation says the Belgian Royal Household confirmed that Prince Joachim attended the party.

All the guests who attended the party are now in quarantine, while it is not clear whether the prince contracted the virus at the party or whether he already had the virus beforehand.  

Prince Laurent of Belgium, another of Joachim’s uncles, confirmed the virus has been contracted by at least one member of his family.

He said: ‘We do not know how, but the coronavirus has entered our household.’

‘For weeks now, we have hardly gone out – only to shop and for sports.’ 

The party has been branded as ‘completely irresponsible’ by Spanish authorities, with police in the country investigating the party.

Those found guilty of breaking lockdown restrictions could face fines of between 600 and 10,000 euros. 

Speaking about the party, Rafaela Valenzuela, the Spanish government’s sub-delegate in Cordoba, said: ‘I feel surprised and indignant, given that at a moment of national mourning for so many dead, an incident of this type stands out. 

‘It’s completely irresponsible, because that number of people multiplied could cause an outbreak, and that would mean that Córdoba, after passing to Phase 2, would have to take a step back.

‘That is unforgivable. The police are investigating not just the observance of confinement measures, but also the breaking of other rules, given that we are still under a state of alarm. The virus is still out there.’

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