Joachim, 28, who is ninth in line to the throne, traveled to Madrid on May 24 for professional reasons, Spanish news outlet El Pais reported. The BBC reports that Joachim had gone there for an internship and also is known to have a longstanding relationship with a Spanish woman.
After arriving in Madrid, he took a high-speed AVE train to the southern city of Córdoba, where he attended a party the following day. It is while at the party that he allegedly contracted the virus, the BBC reported. The Epoch Times wasn’t able to independently confirm this.
The young prince was reportedly among 27 people at the party, and the Belgian royal family confirmed to Flemish newspaper Het Laatste Nieuws that he’s since been diagnosed with COVID-19, and has mild symptoms. He must quarantine in Spain for two weeks.
Spanish police are investigating the gathering; the 27 people who attended are in quarantine and may face a fine of between 600 euros ($666) and 10,000 euros ($11,100) for breaking Córdoba’s lockdown rules, which state that no more than 15 people are permitted to attend private parties or gatherings.
Spanish newspaper El Confidencial, which cited a document from the Andalucian authorities, was first to report the story but didn’t identify the prince.
Rafaela Valenzuela, a representative of the Spanish government in Córdoba, condemned the party, calling those who attended “irresponsible,” and noting that the number of people who attended “multiplied, could cause an outbreak,” which would set the city back after passing phase 2 of its coronavirus deescalation plan.
“I feel surprised and indignant, given that at a moment of national mourning for so many dead, an incident of this type stands out,” she said. “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.”
Prince Joachim is the second member of the Belgian royal family to have contracted COVID-19, after Prince Laurent confirmed earlier this month that his wife, Princess Claire, was diagnosed with the virus in March.
“Six months ago, we were hit because Claire became seriously ill, a lingering illness as they call it. Then, on top of that, she was diagnosed with Corona in March,” he told Flemish newspaper Nieuwsblad.
Prince Laurent thanked two specialists for their care, saying, “Her illness was discovered in an early stage. The treatment is now over. We can do nothing now but wait and hope she will be okay. I really hope it will be so.
“She is a strong woman, and I am hopeful that she will completely recover.”
Spain is currently emerging from strict lockdown measures after witnessing some of the highest number of CCP virus cases and deaths in the world. In April, Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez announced a four-stage plan to begin easing the lockdown.
As of May 31, the country had 239,228 infections and 27,127 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University, which is tracking the pandemic.