The Queen recently attended her first in-person engagement since March alongside her grandson, Prince William, Duke of Cambridge. Since the coronavirus was declared a global pandemic in March, the Queen has only appeared via video calls from her home. At the first outing, the Queen and her grandson toured and met with staff at the new Energetics Analysis Centre at the British military’s Defence Science and Technology Laboratory, 90 miles outside London.
One thing people were quick to pick up on was the fact the Queen and Prince William weren’t wearing masks.
A number of people took to social media to share their feelings on the matter, with many thinking it was unfair and sets a bad example to others.
One person tweeted: “The Queen, a future King and a policeman – but no mask in sight…. Should they be setting an example and wearing one?”
Another person asked: “Should they all have had a mask on? Setting an example to the British public?”
Why doesn’t the Queen have to wear a mask?
The reason the Queen doesn’t have to wear a mask when she’s out and about is actually a very logical one.
A Palace spokesperson said the decision to go out mask-less was decided after a consultation with the monarch’s medical team.
They said: “Specific advice has been sought from the medical household and relevant parties, and all necessary precautions were taken, working closely with [the laboratory].”
Royal reported Chris Ship also confined that all laboratory staff underwent coronavirus tests before the monarch’s arrival, with all tests yielding negative results.
Kensington Palace declined to comment on whether or not the Duke of Cambridge had been tested.
Royal commentator Joe Little told Herald Scotland: “The Queen and the Duke of Cambridge will inevitably be criticised for not wearing a face mask, but medical advice was sought while the royal visit was being planned and social distancing seemingly maintained throughout.
“The Queen’s first official engagement away from a royal residence for the first time in seven months delivers a visible and timely reassurance that daily life can continue during the pandemic in a modified form, even for someone in their 95th year.”
However, not everyone thought this was good enough reason for the Queen to skip out on wearing a mask.
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In response to Mr Ship’s Twitter post about the coronavirus testing of staff members at the laboratory, one user wrote: “Wonderful.
“And every person who sets their eyes in these images will know that immediately, won’t they? No.
“So people are going to see these images and think “queen [sic] doesn’t bother. Why should I”
“She should wear one for the optics alone.”
Piers Morgan also hit out a the Royal Family, slamming the move as “not smart”.
Mr Morgan tweeted: “Why no masks or social distancing? Sorry, but this is not a smart move by the Royal Family as the virus rages & the country heads into another lockdown.”
The Queen is 94-years-old, putting her in the vulnerable category for coronavirus.
She has been living in a covid-secure bubble in Windsor Castle, with a dedicated team of staff around her at all times.