Who's been the best and the worst during lockdown?
Leaving aside Prince Andrew (everybody is fed up with hearing about him), the head of his family, Queen Elizabeth II, has now been spotted out and about in the grounds of Windsor Castle, enjoying a ride on one of her horses. Of course, meticulously following lockdown rules. As she's now 94 years old, she's not rolling up her sleeves and getting involved in front line work these days, but has shown inspirational and reassuring leadership during the crisis.
Most recently on VE Day with her message of fortitude ('never give up, never despair'), promoting Captain Tom Moore to the rank of honorary Colonel and, in early April, her televised Easter message of hope ('we will meet again').
Meanwhile in Sweden, Prince Carl Philip and Princess Sofia, generally regarded as Europe’s most attractive royal couple, have been two of the most proactive royals during the pandemic. Princess Sofia, 35, a former model, signed up to take a three-day medical course and became a healthcare assistant. Not to be outdone, Carl Philip, 40, then rejoined the military. The King’s only son, who was a Major in the Swedish Navy, has been serving as a reserve officer at the Operations Command Centre, which is supporting and coordinating the country's response to the crisis.
It's difficult being a royal, so they say, particularly at a time like this. What's the best thing to do? Get too involved and you could be accused of meddling in matters best left to experts; go into hiding and you could be accused of shirking responsibilities.
Knowing what’s absolutely the wrong thing to do is a lot simpler, and high on the list headed ‘What on earth are you playing at?’ is to fly across Europe for an internship in Spain, then instantly travel across that country to attend an illegal 27-person high-society lockdown party, whereupon you contract coronavirus and have to publicly apologise.
That was how the end of last week panned out for the 10th in line to the Belgian throne, 28 year old Prince Joachim. On Sunday he said he deeply regretted his actions, and would accept “all the consequences” – which may include a fine, as well as whatever comes of the mild symptoms he’s been experiencing after testing positive for Covid-19. So, don't go near him if you spot him at another party in the next couple of weeks!
Elsewhere in Europe, the 76 year old wife of Crown Prince Aleksandar Karadjordjevi, heir to Serbia’s now-defunct throne, may not technically rule over anything these days, but even from voluntary lockdown in her palace in Belgrade, she remains a tireless philanthropist. Through one of her charities, the Princess Katherine Foundation, she has donated £450,000 in medical supplies to 17 hospitals across the Republic.
Queen (the band, not the monarch) is arguably most famous for its mega-hit single Bohemian Rhapsody. If you haven't seen the sensational spoof video - Coronavirus Rhapsody - you absolutely have to watch it!