Karl von Habsburg is the first royal to test positive for coronavirus

By Zach Harper, with files from Danielle Stacey

Karl von Habsburg, the ancestral Archduke of Austria, has been placed in quarantine after he was diagnosed with the coronavirus.

The 59-year-old, who is head of the House of Habsburg-Lorraine and also holds the ancestral title of Royal Prince of Hungary, Bohemia and Croatia, told Austria's oe24 TV network that he tested positive for COVID-19.

"It's annoying, but I'm fine," he said. "It's not the Black Plague. I thought it was the usual flu. When a friend called me that he had a positive test at a congress in Switzerland, I was also tested."

The former Member of the European Parliament added he's not panicking because of his diagnosis and has praised Austria's handling of the pandemic. He says he's self-isolating as instructed and has someone leaving food at his door.

Karl is the first member of a royal family to test positive for the virus. Last week, King Felipe VI and Queen Letizia of Spain were tested and found negative after Letizia met with a Spanish government minister who later came down with COVID-19. The King and Queen are staying home and are not attending royal engagements for the time being, on the recommendation of the Spanish government.

King Felipe and Queen Letizia of Spain tested negative for the virus last week. Photo: © Antoine Gyori/Corbis via Getty Images

Royal families elsewhere continue to react to the global pandemic.

On March 17, Buckingham Palace announced several royal events have been cancelled or postponed for the time being. These include the Maundy Thursday service at St. George's Chapel in Windsor, as have this year's Buckingham Palace Garden Parties, which the Queen hosts annually. Two additional Garden Parties that were to be given for the Not Forgotten Association and the National Trust have also been cancelled. All investitures that were to take place at the Palace will be moved to later dates.

MORE: Buckingham Palace announces changes to the Queen's diary due to coronavirus

The Chelsea Flower Show, which was scheduled to take place in May, has also been cancelled. The Queen will also move to Windsor Castle for her Easter break a week earlier. The Palace said it is likely she will stay there later than the holiday.

"As a sensible precaution and for practical reasons in the current circumstances, a number of changes are being made to The Queen's diary," a statement from the Palace reads. "These include receiving the Prime Minister, the Commanding Officer of HMS QUEEN ELIZABETH and the Bishop of Hereford. Future Audiences will be reviewed on an ongoing basis, in line with the appropriate advice."

Prince Charles and Duchess Camilla also postponed their upcoming tour of Cyprus and Jordan and the Duke of Cornwall's trip to Bosnia and Herzegovina due to the pandemic. The Earl of Wessex also postponed two engagements on March 16.

The Garden Parties the Queen was to host at Buckingham Palace this year are among the events that have been cancelled due to the coronavirus. Photo: © Dominic Lipinski - WPA Pool/Getty Images

The pandemic has also affected the Danish royals. Crown Prince Frederik and Crown Princess Mary moved their four children home from school in Switzerland.

As of this writing, the World Health Organization says there have been more than 173,000 cases of COVID-19 in 152 countries. The illness has been responsible for more than 7,000 deaths. Canada has 424 confirmed cases, according to Health Canada.

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