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Why the royals are at risk of illness this winter: Princess Kate, Duchess Sophie and more...

The royal family including King Charles and the Prince and Princess of Wales always have jampacked winter schedules    

Split screen photo of royals sneezing
Melanie Macleod
Melanie MacleodWellness Editor
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Come rain or shine, the royal family members are always out and about on official engagements, and while we're sure they love meeting and greeting the public, it could spell trouble for their health – especially when they're meeting so many people on a daily basis.

"The viruses that cause colds or flu spread more easily when we're in constant close contact with other people," confirms Claire Nevinson, Superintendent Pharmacist at Boots.

"A virus can also survive on hands and surfaces for about 24 hours and can be transmitted through handshakes and other forms of contact, so interacting with lots of people daily can increase the risk of infection," Claire cautions.

kate sneeze© Photo: Getty Images
Princess Kate often meets lots of members of the public

With the royals known for shaking hands, and even sometimes hugging those that they meet, this could increase their likelihood of becoming unwell.

The fact that many royals engage in walkabouts in the chilly weather could be a concern too. "You may wish to avoid spending time outside in the cold if you aren’t feeling well, and if you have more severe cold symptoms, such as a fever, chest congestion or a cough, being out in the cold could prolong your recovery or worsen your illness.

While the royals have a chic collection of coats, wrapping up warm is key if they want to remain fit and healthy for the Christmas season, with Claire emphasising the importance of wearing our woollies this winter.

William and Kate share a warm rapport with Crown Princess Victoria and Prince Daniel© Getty
The royals are advised to wrap up warm in winter!

“Even if you are well and you choose to go out in the cold it’s generally advised to wrap up warm, by wearing lots of layers and clothes made from cotton, wool or fleecy fibres as these are particularly good at helping to maintain body heat."

SEE: Princess Kate steps up health precautions at public engagements 

Avoiding the flu or a cold is particularly important for King Charles, Queen Camilla and Princess Anne, as they're over the age of 65.

"People in this age bracket are more likely to develop potentially serious complications from flu," says Claire.

 Read on for Claire's advice for staying well this winter...

How to protect yourself from a cold

Claire Nevinson, Superintendent Pharmacist at Boots shares her advice for staying well during winter...

  • Look after your personal hygiene

“There is no way to completely avoid the risk of getting ill, but there are some key steps to reduce the risk of infection for you and for others," she says.  “I would always recommend practicing good personal hygiene and regularly wash your hands with soap and warm water. This helps to remove dirt, viruses and bacteria from your hands and helps prevent a virus being transferred to surfaces, other people and objects, which can spread illnesses such as a cold, flu or norovirus infection.  

  • Eat a healthy diet 

“Eating a healthy and balanced diet, keeping hydrated, getting plenty of sleep, managing your everyday stress levels and exercising regularly is also beneficial."

  • Book your flu jab

 “I also recommend that people who are eligible for the free NHS flu jab, including those in vulnerable groups, the over 65s, pregnant women, people with certain health conditions and some carers, to get their flu jab."

Royally obsessed? Listen to the latest episode of HELLO!'s Right Royal Podcast to find out the inside scoop on what it's like to become part of the royal family.

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