Prince William jokes about spreading coronavirus during royal engagement

Prince William cracked what some critics considered to be an insensitive joke about the deadly coronavirus outbreak during a royal engagement in Dublin on Tuesday.

“I bet everyone’s like ‘I’ve got coronavirus, I’m dying’, and you’re like, ‘No, you’ve just got a cough,’” the Duke of Cambridge was caught on camera telling first responder Joe Mooney at a reception at the Guinness Storehouse.

William also asked Mooney if he thought the crisis that has killed more than 3,000 people worldwide ― nine of them in the U.S. ― was being “a little bit hyped up” by the media.

In separate footage, William was seen saying: “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.”

The context of those apparently joking comments is not entirely clear.

Check out the full video above.

William’s overall tone drew scorn from some people on Twitter, who accused him of being “out of touch” and “insensitive.”

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Day 1 of royals' Ireland tour
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Day 1 of royals' Ireland tour
DUBLIN, IRELAND - MARCH 03: Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge is seen during a meeting with the President of Ireland at Áras an Uachtaráin on March 03, 2020 in Dublin, Ireland. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are undertaking an official visit to Ireland between Tuesday 3rd March and Thursday 5th March, at the request of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. (Photo by Samir Hussein/WireImage)
Britain's Prince William, Duke of Cambridge (L), and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge (2L), are greeted as they arrive at Dublin International Airport in Dublin on March 3, 2020 at the start of a three-day visit. (Photo by Michael CHESTER / POOL / AFP) (Photo by MICHAEL CHESTER/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
Britain's Prince William, Duke of Cambridge (R), and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge (L), disembark as they arrive at Dublin International Airport in Dublin on March 3, 2020 at the start of a three-day visit. (Photo by Michael CHESTER / various sources / AFP) (Photo by MICHAEL CHESTER/AFP via Getty Images)
Britain's Prince William, Duke of Cambridge (R), and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge (L), disembark as they arrive at Dublin International Airport in Dublin on March 3, 2020 at the start of a three-day visit. (Photo by Derek FARRELL / POOL / AFP) (Photo by DEREK FARRELL/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
DUBLIN, IRELAND - MARCH 03: Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and his wife Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, meet with Ireland's President Michael D. Higgins and his wife Sabina Coyne at the official presidential residence Aras an Uachtarain on March 3, 2020 in Dublin, Ireland. (Photo by Phil Noble - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
DUBLIN, IRELAND - MARCH 03: Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge arrive for a meeting with the President of Ireland at Áras an Uachtaráin on March 03, 2020 in Dublin, Ireland. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are undertaking an official visit to Ireland between Tuesday 3rd March and Thursday 5th March, at the request of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. (Photo by Samir Hussein/WireImage)
DUBLIN, IRELAND - MARCH 03: Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge arrives for a meeting with the President of Ireland at Áras an Uachtaráin on March 03, 2020 in Dublin, Ireland. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are undertaking an official visit to Ireland between Tuesday 3rd March and Thursday 5th March, at the request of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. (Photo by Samir Hussein/WireImage)
DUBLIN, IRELAND - MARCH 03: Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge arrive for a meeting with the President of Ireland at Áras an Uachtaráin on March 03, 2020 in Dublin, Ireland. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are undertaking an official visit to Ireland between Tuesday 3rd March and Thursday 5th March, at the request of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. (Photo by Samir Hussein/WireImage)
DUBLIN, IRELAND - MARCH 03: Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge arrive for a meeting with the President of Ireland at Áras an Uachtaráin on March 03, 2020 in Dublin, Ireland. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are undertaking an official visit to Ireland between Tuesday 3rd March and Thursday 5th March, at the request of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. (Photo by Samir Hussein/WireImage)
DUBLIN, IRELAND - MARCH 03: Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge arrive for a meeting with the President of Ireland at Áras an Uachtaráin on March 03, 2020 in Dublin, Ireland. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are undertaking an official visit to Ireland between Tuesday 3rd March and Thursday 5th March, at the request of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. (Photo by Samir Hussein/WireImage)
DUBLIN, IRELAND - MARCH 03: Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge arrives for a meeting with the President of Ireland at Áras an Uachtaráin on March 03, 2020 in Dublin, Ireland. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are undertaking an official visit to Ireland between Tuesday 3rd March and Thursday 5th March, at the request of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. (Photo by Samir Hussein/WireImage)
DUBLIN, IRELAND - MARCH 03: Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge arrives for a meeting with the President of Ireland at Áras an Uachtaráin on March 03, 2020 in Dublin, Ireland. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are undertaking an official visit to Ireland between Tuesday 3rd March and Thursday 5th March, at the request of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. (Photo by Samir Hussein/WireImage)
DUBLIN, IRELAND - MARCH 03: Prince William, Duke of Cambridge sings a visitors book next to his wife Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, as they meet with Ireland's President Michael D. Higgins and his wife Sabina Coyne at the official presidential residence Aras an Uachtarain on March 3, 2020 in Dublin, Ireland. (Photo by Phil Noble - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
Britain's Prince William, Duke of Cambridge (C), and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge (L), are greeted as they arrive at Dublin International Airport in Dublin on March 3, 2020 at the start of a three-day visit. (Photo by Derek FARRELL / POOL / AFP) (Photo by DEREK FARRELL/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
DUBLIN, IRELAND - MARCH 03: (L-R) Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, President of Ireland Michael D. Higgins, Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge and Sabina Coyne pose during a meeting at Áras an Uachtaráin on March 03, 2020 in Dublin, Ireland. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are undertaking an official visit to Ireland between Tuesday 3rd March and Thursday 5th March, at the request of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. (Photo by Samir Hussein/WireImage)
DUBLIN, IRELAND - MARCH 03: (L-R) Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, President of Ireland Michael D. Higgins and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge are seen petting a dog during a meeting at Áras an Uachtaráin on March 03, 2020 in Dublin, Ireland. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are undertaking an official visit to Ireland between Tuesday 3rd March and Thursday 5th March, at the request of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. (Photo by Samir Hussein/WireImage)
DUBLIN, IRELAND - MARCH 03: Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge is seen during a meeting with the President of Ireland at Áras an Uachtaráin on March 03, 2020 in Dublin, Ireland. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are undertaking an official visit to Ireland between Tuesday 3rd March and Thursday 5th March, at the request of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. (Photo by Samir Hussein/WireImage)
DUBLIN, IRELAND - MARCH 03: President of Ireland Michael D. Higgins and his wife Sabina Coyne watch as Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge and Prince William, Duke of Cambridge ring a bell during a meeting at Áras an Uachtaráin on March 03, 2020 in Dublin, Ireland. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are undertaking an official visit to Ireland between Tuesday 3rd March and Thursday 5th March, at the request of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. (Photo by Samir Hussein/WireImage)
DUBLIN, IRELAND - MARCH 03: Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and his wife Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, meet with Ireland's President Michael D. Higgins and his wife Sabina Coyne at the official presidential residence Aras an Uachtarain on March 3, 2020 in Dublin, Ireland. (Photo by Phil Noble - Pool/Getty Images)
DUBLIN, IRELAND - MARCH 03: Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and his wife Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, meet with Ireland's President Michael D. Higgins and his wife Sabina Coyne as they stand next to President's dog at the official presidential residence Aras an Uachtarain on March 3, 2020 in Dublin, Ireland. (Photo by Phil Noble - Pool/Getty Images)
DUBLIN, IRELAND - MARCH 03: Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge and Sabina Coyne are seen taking a walk during a meeting at Áras an Uachtaráin on March 03, 2020 in Dublin, Ireland. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are undertaking an official visit to Ireland between Tuesday 3rd March and Thursday 5th March, at the request of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. (Photo by Samir Hussein/WireImage)
Ireland's Prime Minister Leo Varadkar (2L), his partner Matthew Barrett (L), Britain's Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, (2R) and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge gesture as they pose at the Government Buildings in Dublin on March 3, 2020 on the first day of their Royal Highnesses three-day visit. (Photo by PAUL FAITH / AFP) (Photo by PAUL FAITH/AFP via Getty Images)
Ireland's Prime Minister Leo Varadkar (2L), his partner Matthew Barrett (L), Britain's Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, (2R) and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge gesture as they pose at the Government Buildings in Dublin on March 3, 2020 on the first day of their Royal Highnesses three-day visit. (Photo by PAUL FAITH / AFP) (Photo by PAUL FAITH/AFP via Getty Images)
Britain's Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge (2R), Britain's Prince William, Duke of Cambridge (L) and Ireland's President Michael D. Higgins (2L) and his wife Sabina Coyne (R) and one of their Bernese Mountain Dogs are seen at Aras an Uachtarain in Dublin on March 3, 2020 on the first day of their Royal Highnesses three-day visit. (Photo by Julien BEHAL / various sources / AFP) / MANDATORY CREDIT "AFP PHOTO / JULIEN BEHAL PHOTOGRAPHY / POOL" (Photo by JULIEN BEHAL/AFP via Getty Images)
Britain's Prince William, Duke of Cambridge (L) and and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge (2R), meet with Ireland's President Michael D. Higgins (L) and his wife Sabina Coyne (R) at the at Aras an Uachtarain in Dublin on March 3, 2020 on the first day of their Royal Highnesses three-day visit. (Photo by Julien BEHAL / JULIEN BEHAL PHOTOGRAPHY / POOL / AFP) / MANDATORY CREDIT "AFP PHOTO / JULIEN BEHAL PHOTOGRAPHY / POOL" (Photo by JULIEN BEHAL/JULIEN BEHAL PHOTOGRAPHY / POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
DUBLIN, IRELAND - MARCH 03: Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge attends a commemorative wreath laying ceremony with Prince William, Duke of Cambridge in the Garden of Remembrance, at Aras an Uachtarain during day one of their visit to Ireland on March 03, 2020 in Dublin, Ireland. The Garden is dedicated to those who gave their lives for Irish independence. (Photo by Chris Jackson - Pool/Getty Images)
Britain's Prince William, Duke of Cambridge (L), Ireland's President Michael D Higgins, (R) his wife Sabina (2L) and Britain's Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge share a light moment as they look at an art installation in the grounds of the President's residence in Phoenix Park, Dublin on March 3, 2020, on the first day of their Royal Highnesses three-day visit to Ireland. (Photo by PAUL FAITH / AFP) (Photo by PAUL FAITH/AFP via Getty Images)
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A royal source told London’s Evening Standard newspaper that William and his wife Kate Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge, were being briefed about the virus threat posed by their public schedules and it was currently “business as usual” for the couple. They shook hands with people on the first day of their three-day tour of the Emerald Isle.

Queen Elizabeth II, meanwhile, on Tuesday took the rare step of wearing gloves to hand out honors at Buckingham Palace, reported Yahoo News UK, although sources would not confirm whether it was prompted by the outbreak.

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Kate Middleton attends reception in Ireland
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Kate Middleton attends reception in Ireland
Britain's Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, drinks a pint of Guinness during as she attends a special reception at the Guinness Storehouses Gravity Bar in Dublin on March 3, 2020 on the first day of their Royal Highnesses three-day visit. (Photo by PAUL FAITH / various sources / AFP) (Photo by PAUL FAITH/AFP via Getty Images)
DUBLIN, IRELAND - MARCH 03: Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge attend a special reception hosted by the British Ambassador to Ireland at Storehouse’s Gravity Bar on March 03, 2020 in Dublin, Ireland. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are undertaking an official visit to Ireland between Tuesday 3rd March and Thursday 5th March, at the request of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. (Photo by Samir Hussein/WireImage)
The Duchess of Cambridge at a reception hosted by the British Ambassador to Ireland at the Gravity Bar, Guinness Storehouse, Dublin, during their three day visit to the Republic of Ireland.
DUBLIN, IRELAND - MARCH 03: Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge and Prince William, Duke of Cambridge attend a reception hosted by the British Ambassador to Ireland Robin Barnett at the Guinness Storehouse’s Gravity Bar during day one of their visit to Ireland on March 03, 2020 in Dublin, Ireland. (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)
The Duchess of Cambridge sips from a pint of Guinness during a reception hosted by the British Ambassador to Ireland at the Gravity Bar, Guinness Storehouse, Dublin, during a three day visit to the Republic of Ireland with her husband the Duke of Cambridge.
Britain's Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, holds a pint of Guinness as they attend a special reception at the Guinness Storehouses Gravity Bar in Dublin on March 3, 2020 on the first day of their Royal Highnesses three-day visit. (Photo by PAUL FAITH / various sources / AFP) (Photo by PAUL FAITH/AFP via Getty Images)
Britain's Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, hold pints of Guinness as they attend a special reception at the Guinness Storehouses Gravity Bar in Dublin on March 3, 2020 on the first day of their Royal Highnesses three-day visit. (Photo by PAUL FAITH / various sources / AFP) (Photo by PAUL FAITH/AFP via Getty Images)
DUBLIN, IRELAND - MARCH 03: Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge attends a special reception hosted by the British Ambassador to Ireland at Storehouse’s Gravity Bar on March 03, 2020 in Dublin, Ireland. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are undertaking an official visit to Ireland between Tuesday 3rd March and Thursday 5th March, at the request of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. (Photo by Samir Hussein/WireImage)
DUBLIN, IRELAND - MARCH 03: Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge and Prince William, Duke of Cambridge attend a reception hosted by the British Ambassador to Ireland Robin Barnett at the Guinness Storehouse’s Gravity Bar during day one of their visit to Ireland on March 03, 2020 in Dublin, Ireland. (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)
The Duchess of Cambridge (left) at a reception hosted by the British Ambassador to Ireland at the Gravity Bar, Guinness Storehouse, Dublin, during their three day visit to the Republic of Ireland.
The Duchess of Cambridge (centre) at a reception hosted by the British Ambassador to Ireland at the Gravity Bar, Guinness Storehouse, Dublin, during their three day visit to the Republic of Ireland.
DUBLIN, IRELAND - MARCH 03: Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge attend a special reception hosted by the British Ambassador to Ireland at Storehouse’s Gravity Bar on March 03, 2020 in Dublin, Ireland. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are undertaking an official visit to Ireland between Tuesday 3rd March and Thursday 5th March, at the request of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. (Photo by Samir Hussein/WireImage)
DUBLIN, IRELAND - MARCH 03: Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge attends a special reception hosted by the British Ambassador to Ireland at Storehouse’s Gravity Bar on March 03, 2020 in Dublin, Ireland. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are undertaking an official visit to Ireland between Tuesday 3rd March and Thursday 5th March, at the request of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. (Photo by Samir Hussein/WireImage)
The Duke of Cambridge (right) at a reception hosted by the British Ambassador to Ireland at the Gravity Bar, Guinness Storehouse, Dublin, during their three day visit to the Republic of Ireland.
DUBLIN, IRELAND - MARCH 03: Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge attend a special reception hosted by the British Ambassador to Ireland at Storehouse’s Gravity Bar on March 03, 2020 in Dublin, Ireland. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are undertaking an official visit to Ireland between Tuesday 3rd March and Thursday 5th March, at the request of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. (Photo by Samir Hussein/WireImage)
DUBLIN, IRELAND - MARCH 03: Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge attends a special reception hosted by the British Ambassador to Ireland at Storehouse’s Gravity Bar on March 03, 2020 in Dublin, Ireland. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are undertaking an official visit to Ireland between Tuesday 3rd March and Thursday 5th March, at the request of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. (Photo by Samir Hussein/WireImage)
DUBLIN, IRELAND - MARCH 03: Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge and Prince William, Duke of Cambridge visit the Guinness Storehouse on March 03, 2020 in Dublin, Ireland. (Photo by Karwai Tang/WireImage)
Britain's Prince William, Duke of Cambridge (2L), and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge (C), attend a special reception at the Guinness Storehouses Gravity Bar in Dublin on March 3, 2020 on the first day of their Royal Highnesses three-day visit. (Photo by Paul Faith / various sources / AFP) (Photo by PAUL FAITH/AFP via Getty Images)
Britain's Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge (C) attend a special reception at the Guinness Storehouses Gravity Bar in Dublin on March 3, 2020 on the first day of their Royal Highnesses three-day visit. (Photo by Paul Faith / POOL / AFP) (Photo by PAUL FAITH/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
Britain's Prince William, Duke of Cambridge (L), and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge (C), attend a special reception at the Guinness Storehouses Gravity Bar in Dublin on March 3, 2020 on the first day of their Royal Highnesses three-day visit. (Photo by Paul Faith / various sources / AFP) (Photo by PAUL FAITH/AFP via Getty Images)
Britain's Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, attend a special reception at the Guinness Storehouses Gravity Bar in Dublin on March 3, 2020 on the first day of their Royal Highnesses three-day visit. (Photo by Paul Faith / various sources / AFP) (Photo by PAUL FAITH/AFP via Getty Images)
Britain's Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, hold pints of Guinness as they attend a special reception at the Guinness Storehouses Gravity Bar in Dublin on March 3, 2020 on the first day of their Royal Highnesses three-day visit. (Photo by PAUL FAITH / various sources / AFP) (Photo by PAUL FAITH/AFP via Getty Images)
DUBLIN, IRELAND - MARCH 03: Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge attend a special reception hosted by the British Ambassador to Ireland at Storehouse’s Gravity Bar on March 03, 2020 in Dublin, Ireland. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are undertaking an official visit to Ireland between Tuesday 3rd March and Thursday 5th March, at the request of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. (Photo by Samir Hussein/WireImage)
DUBLIN, IRELAND - MARCH 03: Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge and Prince William, Duke of Cambridge attend a reception hosted by the British Ambassador to Ireland Robin Barnett at the Guinness Storehouse’s Gravity Bar during day one of their visit to Ireland on March 03, 2020 in Dublin, Ireland. (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)
The Duchess of Cambridge (right) at a reception hosted by the British Ambassador to Ireland at the Gravity Bar, Guinness Storehouse, Dublin, during their three day visit to the Republic of Ireland.
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  • This article originally appeared on HuffPost.
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