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DUBLIN, Ireland—Prince William made an awkward Coronavirus-based gag as he and his wife, Kate Middleton, visited one of Dublin’s top tourist attractions, The Guinness Storehouse yesterday, on the first day of their state trip to Ireland.
With the country vacillating about whether or not to cancel its world famous St Patrick’s Day celebrations on March 17, nervousness about the virus is not inconsiderable in the state, despite only two confirmed cases so far.
William, however, appeared ready to treat the global health crisis with more than a modicum of insouciance, saying to Joe Mooney, a 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?”
The paramedic offered no opinion.
As William and his wife prepared to enjoy a glass of Ireland’s most famous beverage, it seemed William couldn't stop himself, joking: “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’s comments came after the Queen wore gloves to present honours during an investiture ceremony.
William and Kate shook hands with dozens of people on the first day of their tour but there was no big public walkabout.
In a short speech, William raised a few laughs when he said: “In coming to the Guinness Storehouse, we are retracing the footsteps of my grandmother, who was shown how to pour the perfect pint here in 2011.
“Ladies and Gentlemen let me tell you it is not often that I find myself following the Queen to a pub. But I am looking forward to testing for myself the theory that Guinness tastes even better in Ireland than overseas.”
Guests at the event included Game Of Thrones star Liam Cunningham, who played Davos Seaworth in the HBO series.
Earlier in the day, William and Kate visited Ireland’s Garden of Remembrance in Dublin and they have further engagements around the country today and tomorrow.