The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are taking advice on the Coronavirus threat, but will continue meeting people as usual, it emerged last night. William talked about the infection as he chatted to emergency workers at a reception hosted by Britain's Ambassador to Ireland Robin Barnett in the 17th floor Gravity Bar at Dublin’s Guinness Storehouse.
He asked Joe Mooney, an advance paramedic with the National Ambulance Service: "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?" he asked.
Prince William in Ireland
"By the way, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are spreading Coronavirus!’” he grimaced in mock horror. “Sorry! We’re keeping an eye on that, so do tell us if we need to stop!”
MORE: Prince William and Kate kick off whirlwind tour of Ireland - best photos from day one
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge in Ireland
The couple shook hands with dozens of people on the first day of their tour and are expected to continue to do so, based on advice they are being given. A royal source said last night the couple were following guidance from Public Health England and the Department of Health and that meant “business as usual” for now. "This is a discussion we have been having and everything we are doing should continue as usual," said the source.
MORE: Prince William and Kate Middleton's cutest twinning moments - see photos
William and Kate enjoyed a pint of Guinness at the historic Dublin brewery of the Irish Stout, with the Duke toasting his hosts in Gaelic, raising his pint and saying 'Slainte'. He also addressed the guests from the worlds of sport, film, television and the armed forces in Irish, calling them "dhaoine uaisle" – "Ladies and Gentlemen".
"Catherine and I are delighted to be here tonight and are both very grateful to Robin for his generous words," said the Duke. "Ireland is a country that we have both heard so much about, so we are really excited to be here with you to see it first-hand for ourselves. In coming to the Guinness Storehouse, we are retracing the footsteps of my grandmother, who was shown how to pour the perfect pint here in 2011. Ladies and Gentlemen let me tell you it is not often that I find myself following The Queen to a pub! But I am looking forward to testing for myself the theory that Guinness tastes even better in Ireland than overseas!”
William continued: "Thank you for all that you do to support the very special relationship between our two countries. It has been a pleasure to meet so many of you this evening who demonstrate the breadth of our connections across the arts, sports, uniformed services, education and research, and charity sectors. We value it as we do your friendship and are committed to strengthening it further."
The Guinness Storehouse tells the story of the famous Irish tipple, from the brewing process to the brand’s history in Dublin, and is Ireland’s top international visitor attraction, welcoming 1.7million people in 2019. Almost a quarter of visitors to the Irish capital cite the Home of Guinness as their main reason for visiting the city.
Make sure you never miss a ROYAL story! Sign up to our newsletter to get all of our celebrity, royal and lifestyle news delivered directly to your inbox.