Richard E Grant didn't want to catch COVID-19 from Prince Charles.

Richard E Grant

Richard E Grant

The 64-year-old actor raised eyebrows when he wore protective rubber gloves to meet the 72-year-old royal at the Prince's Trust And TK Maxx & Homesense Awards at London Palladium on March 11 last year but he has revealed he did so because he had been advised by a medical professional to protect himself from the potentially deadly virus that has swept the globe over the last year and a half.

Speaking to the Radio Times magazine, he said: 'I’ve been vigilant about it. [COVID] I’m not a hypochondriac, by any means, I’ve just been careful. Another (New York party) guest, who was in the medical profession, said, 'Get face masks and gloves.'

"So I got a whole box and when I came back to England wore them wherever I went."

Detailing the reaction he got from onlookers when he met Prince Charles, Richard added: "Someone said, 'What the hell are you doing [shaking his hand with gloves on]?' But I didn’t want to catch it."

Prince Charles later revealed that he had caught Coronavirus - just days after he had appeared at the event - but was only experiencing "mild symptoms."

A statement said at the time: "The Prince of Wales has tested positive for coronavirus. He has been displaying mild symptoms but otherwise remains in good health and has been working from home throughout the last few days as usual.

"The Duchess of Cornwall has also been tested but does not have the virus. In accordance with government and medical advice, the Prince and the Duchess are now self-isolating at home in Scotland.

"The tests were carried out by the NHS in Aberdeenshire where they met the criteria required for testing. It is not possible to ascertain from whom the Prince caught the virus owing to the high number of engagements he carried out in his public role during recent weeks."

Prince Charles made a full recovery.