Prince Joachim of Belgium apologies for attending lockdown party: ‘I did not intend to offend or disrespect’

Prince Joachim of Belgium, who was diagnosed with coronavirus, has apologized for attending a lockdown party in Spain.

“I would like to apologize for traveling and not having respected the quarantine measures,” the 28-year-old said in a statement sent to People magazine on Monday through his attorney in Spain.

“I did not intend to offend or disrespect anyone in these very difficult times and deeply regret my actions and accept the consequences,” added the nephew of King Philippe of the Belgians, signing off the statement, “Joachim of Belgium.”

A Belgian court official said the royal traveled to Spain on May 26 for “professional reasons,” Spanish newspaper El Pais previously reported.

The tenth-in-line to the Belgian throne went on to attend a party in the city of Cordoba two days later, on May 28, and started showing symptoms of the virus the following day, the official said. He has since been diagnosed with COVID-19.

According to the official, Joachim followed all the quarantine measures dictated by the Belgian government and self-isolated with his parents Princess Astrid and Prince Lorenz at the Castle of Laeken in Brussels prior to his trip.

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Prince Lorenz (left) with two of his children Prince Joachim and Princess Luise Maria of Belgium attend the 80th birthday celebrations of Belgian Queen Paola on June 29, 2017, in Waterloo, Belgium. 

Prince Lorenz (left) with two of his children Prince Joachim and Princess Luise Maria of Belgium attend the 80th birthday celebrations of Belgian Queen Paola on June 29, 2017, in Waterloo, Belgium. 
(Photo by Patrick van Katwijk/Getty Images)

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People noted that an Andalusian government document obtained by Spanish newspaper El Confidencial revealed that 27 people were present at the party in Cordoba, which exceed the 15-person limit permitted under the city’s lockdown rules.

Consequently, Spanish authorities have opened an investigation into the party and ordered the 27 partygoers to quarantine. The outlet shared that anyone found to have broken the city’s lockdown rules faces fines up to $11,100.

Back in May, Joachim’s uncle Prince Laurent told Flemish newspaper Nieuwsblad that his wife, British-born Princess Claire, had been diagnosed with the virus after an unknown “lingering illness.”

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Prince Laurent of Belgium and Princess Claire of Belgium attend the festivities in the Warandepark on the occasion of the Belgian National Day in the Cathedral on July 21, 2017, in Brussels, Belgium.

Prince Laurent of Belgium and Princess Claire of Belgium attend the festivities in the Warandepark on the occasion of the Belgian National Day in the Cathedral on July 21, 2017, in Brussels, Belgium.
(Photo by Patrick van Katwijk/Getty Images)

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“Then on top of that, she was diagnosed with corona in March,” he told the outlet. “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 OK. I really hope it will be so. She is a strong woman, and I am hopeful that she will completely recover.”

Spain was the second European country after Italy to be forcefully hit by the pandemic before it also spread death in France and Britain. One of the world’s strictest lockdowns was put into place in mid-March and managed to eventually reduce the pressure on hospitals after some were overwhelmed with patients suffering from the virus.

The lockdown is gradually being relaxed as the medical situation improves.

The Spanish government has warned, however, that the threat is not over and that the loosening of restrictions could be reversed.

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said last weekend he will be asking parliament for an extension of the government’s special emergency powers for another two weeks. That enables authorities to order people to stay home.

Simon said recent hot spots caused by people holding unauthorized “fiestas” can potentially bring a major new resurgence.

“We are still at risk. Any of these outbreaks can mean a new wave of infections,” he said. “We must remain cautious.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

By gmanstopnewsmix

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