It has been confirmed that the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry will not be attending the Rio 2016 Olympics in August. A royal source told Hello!: "It was under consideration at some point that some or one of them might go, but for a whole range of reasons they are not going."
Prince Harry visited Brazil in 2012 and again in 2014, even venturing into the notorious Cracolandia district of Sao Paulo – Brazil's crack cocaine capital – so security is unlikely to have been a major concern this time around.
Other reports have claimed that the royal trio were put off by the Zika virus that has struck the host country. It is believed that the duchess, mother to Prince George and Princess Charlotte, would like to have a third child and so didn't want to venture to Brazil and take the risk.
The Zika virus primarily affects pregnant women, resulting in thousands of babies being born with deformities. In addition, if a man were to get Zika through a mosquito bite, he could potentially affect his sexual partner and put their unborn baby at risk.
However, Kensington Palace has denied that the Zika virus affected the royals' decision.
It is thought that Princess Anne will be the only member of the royal family set to attend. Her equestrian daughter Zara Tindall, who won a silver medal at the London 2012 Olympics, was not selected for this year's eventing team.
William, Kate and Harry are not the only royals who will avoid the plane ride to Brazil, despite officials stating that the virus is under control. Princess Charlene of Monaco, mother to twins Prince Jacques and Princess Gabriella, will also not attend.
The retired Olympic swimmer's husband Prince Albert said: "She doesn't like what she's been reading and hearing about the Zika virus."
Other sporting names who have pulled out of the Games include Northern Irish golfer Rory McIlroy, who is engaged to fiancée Erica Stoll. "My health and my family's health comes before everything else. Even though the risk of infection from the Zika virus is considered low, it is a risk nonetheless and a risk I am unwilling to take," he wrote in a statement.
Canadian tennis champ Milos Raonic has also backed out of the games for a number of reasons, one of which is the Zika virus. “After much deliberation with my family and coaches, I am making this decision for a variety of health concerns including the uncertainty around the Zika virus,” Raonic wrote. “This was a difficult, personal choice and I do not wish for it to impact the decision of any other athlete heading to the Games,”