Great Britain

Fears as servant in regular contact with the Queen tests positive for coronavirus

A ROYAL footman in regular contact with the Queen has tested positive for coronavirus — raising fresh fears for Her Majesty.

The servant, whose duties included walking the monarch’s dogs, has been sent home and is self-isolating in the hope of fighting off the virus.

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Dozens of other royal household staff have had home tests for coronavirus although all of them have come back negative.

But there was still concern over how close the 93-year-old Queen has come to those potentially infected with the virus.

One royal insider said last night: “Everyone is terrified, not just for themselves but also for the Queen and the Duke.

“If everyone around them hasn’t been tested yet they should be and I’m sure they will be. There is a palpable sense of fear in the air at the moment.”

Last week, we told how a worker at Buckingham Palace had tested positive for coronavirus while the Queen was there.

She has since moved to Windsor Castle, where she remains in lockdown with husband Prince Philip, 98.

Some Royal Household workers are believed to have been advised to self-isolate as a precaution.

The Queen is now without some close aides as officials act with caution and restrict access to her and Prince Philip.

The footman had worked in his role for several years but was promoted to a role closer to the Queen six months ago.

Duties included taking drinks and meals to the Queen, introducing guests, handing her letters and messages and walking the dogs.

The Queen has lost all of her corgis but still has two dorgis — a corgi and dachshund crossbreed — named Vulcan and Candy.

Our insider added: “The footman would come and collect the dogs and see the Queen on a daily basis performing normal duties.

“It’s terrifying to think how close they were.”

It is not known when the servant was diagnosed or sent home and last night Buckingham Palace said the Queen remained in good health.

Our source added: “The whole thing is now becoming incredibly serious and somewhat scary.

“Everyone is wondering — who’s next and what’s next?”

The Queen and her husband are now being cared for by a skeleton staff at their personal apartments in Windsor Castle.

And royal staff usually based at Buckingham Palace, Windsor or Sandringham have been told to work from home where possible.

Those going into the royal residences have been split into small teams to try to minimise risk.

The whole thing is now becoming incredibly serious and somewhat scary. Everyone is wondering — who’s next and what’s next?

Royal officials have also met to draw up plans over what to do if the situation deteriorates — or there is death in the monarchy.

A separate source said: “There is a sense of unease over what could happen, how long this could go on for — and what to do if one of the royals dies.

“The country could be in lockdown for most of the year so they have to consider every eventuality.

“There is also concern among the staff over who else may have coronavirus as there is so much inter-mingling among workers and at different residences.”

Prince Charles, 71, is isolating at Balmoral in Scotland after testing positive on Tuesday. Wife Camilla, 72, tested negative.

It is feared he could have been infected at an event on March 10 also attended by Prince Albert of Monaco, 62, who has tested positive.

Prince Charles saw his mother after that event but medical experts believe he was not contagious.

A Buckingham Palace spokesman said last night: “The Queen is in good health and we are following all the appropriate advice. We do not comment on individual members of staff.”

The Queen and Boris Johnson hold meeting over the phone during UK lockdown as Prince Charles tests positive for coronavirus

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