The Prince asked a paramedic: “I bet everyone’s like, ‘I’ve got coronavirus, I’m dying’, and you’re like ‘no, you’ve just got a cough’.”
The Duke of Cambridge has joked about spreading coronavirus while on a tour of Ireland.
Prince William spoke to a paramedic about the virus on the first leg of an Irish tour with the Duchess.
And the Royal questioned whether he thought coverage of the illness was “being a little hyped up.”
His comments come at a time when the couple, who are on a three-day visit to Ireland, are taking advice on the coronavirus threat.
But they will continue meeting people as usual, and William chatted to emergency workers at a reception hosted by Britain’s Ambassador to Ireland, Robin Barnett in the 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 went on to grimace with mock horror as he said: “By the way, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are spreading coronavirus, Sorry.
“We’re keeping an eye on that, so do tell us if we need to stop.”
William and Kate are known to be following guidance from Public Health England and the Department of Health and that meant “business as usual” for now, according to a royal source last night.