The coronavirus scare has affected royalty and members of several royal families across the world have started taking strong preventive measures against the spread of the novel coronavirus which causes the respiratory disease COVID-19.

While Queen Letizia and King Felipe of Spain have been tested for coronavirus after the queen came into contact with an infected person, King Harald and Queen Sonja of Norway have been placed in home quarantine as a precaution. Meanwhile, Karl von Habsburg, the Archduke of Austria, has become the first royal to be diagnosed with the disease and is now being quarantined.

Queen Letizia and her husband King Felipe were tested for the virus after a government minister that the queen recently met was diagnosed with the disease. The former journalist shook hands with equality minister Irene Montero when they met at an event in Madrid last Friday. The pair was even photographed giving each other the traditional Spanish kiss on the cheek before Letizia left the meeting held with an association caring for sex workers, reports The Sun.

It was later announced that Montero had become the first Spanish government minister to be infected with the deadly virus. She and her partner Pedro Iglesias, who is himself one of Spain's deputy PMs, have both been sent to self-isolation. The results of the Spanish royals' tests are expected to be made public tomorrow.

Meanwhile, King Harald and Queen Sonja of Norway self-isolated themselves as a precaution against the deadly pandemic. The Norwegian state television reported that the royal couple is not showing any symptom, but the step has been taken as per the new preventive measures announced by the government that requires everyone returning from travels outside the Nordic countries to self-isolate. The news came just hours after the royal family announced to cancel all its events until Easter.

Spanish royals
Spain's King Felipe VI stands beside his family, Queen Letizia and princesses Leonor and Sofia during the celebration of the Spanish Congress' 12th legislature opening ceremony at the Spanish parliament in Madrid Pierre-Philippe Marcou/ AFP

The other royal houses have also been taking steps to avoid the spread of the virus. Monaco royal family indefinitely postponed their annual Rose Ball for the first time since it was started in 1954, while King Philippe and Queen Mathilde of Belgium cancelled their upcoming state visit to Italy. Denmark royals have also cancelled all official engagements for the next few weeks, including the elaborately planned 80th birthday celebrations for Queen Margrethe.