Palace mix-up as Aussie fire chief's invite cancelled amid coronavirus outbreak

Sarah CartyFeatures & Style Editor
Yahoo Lifestyle

It’s usually a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to travel to Buckingham Palace and meet with a member of the royal family. 

And that was the case for New South Wales Rural Fire Service commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons, who was invited to the Queen’s London residence to meet with Prince Charles for a dinner hosted by the Prince’s Trust Charity.

New South Wales Rural Fire Service commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons has been invited to Buckingham Palace to meet Prince Charles. Photo: AAP
New South Wales Rural Fire Service commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons has been invited to Buckingham Palace to meet Prince Charles. Photo: AAP

However, Shane Fitzsimmons has been left temporarily disappointed after receiving correspondence just days before he was due to depart Australia for the UK, asking Australian guests to stay away. 

In an official letter, the Prince’s Trust Australia chairman, John Landerer, wrote to Mr Fitzsimmons, explaining that due to the outbreak of coronavirus they were asking international guests not to travel for the event. 

“The main fear is that visitors may not be able to leave London,” the letter read, according to the Daily Mail.

“This would be most unfortunate. We feel, however, you will agree it is for the better.” 

However, the publication has now claimed that the letter was actually a ‘miscommunication’ and a spokesperson for the Prince’s Trust has told them that “some incorrect information was shared with a small number of Australian guests”.

The Prince's Trust claims it was a miscommunication and international guests are welcome at the dinner. Photo: Getty Images
The Prince's Trust claims it was a miscommunication and international guests are welcome at the dinner. Photo: Getty Images

Prince William under fire for Coronavirus joke

It comes as Prince William has hit headlines all over the world for making a coronavirus joke while meeting a paramedic in Ireland. 

The Duke of Cambridge was caught on camera joking with the man about the virus that has people across the globe terrified, making what some have deemed inappropriate jokes about an illness that has claimed the lives of more than 3000 lives and counting.

Speaking with paramedic Joe Mooney of Ireland’s National Ambulance Service while visiting the Guinness Storehouse, the Duke asked if he had seen any hysteria around the outbreak.

“I bet everyone’s like ‘I’ve got coronavirus, I’m dying’, and you’re like ‘No, you’ve just got a cough’,” he said, before asking the paramedic’s opinion around the illness.

“Does it seem quite dramatic about coronavirus at the moment? Is it being a little bit hyped up do you think in the media?”

Taking a jovial tone, the royal pulled a face and joked about criticism around his and Kate’s decision to continue to shake hands with members of the public on their national tour.

“By the way, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are spreading coronavirus, sorry,” he laughed with the group.

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