Updated: October 17, 2020 11:06:10 am
Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II stepped out for her first public engagement since the coronavirus pandemic hit, but received criticism on social media for her decision not to wear a mask.
The 94-year-old monarch was joined by her grandson the Duke of Cambridge at the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl) near Salisbury to meet scientists providing vital support for those dealing with the pandemic. The world’s oldest monarch, who spent the national lockdown at Windsor Castle, has been carrying out her official duties online and the latest appearance was her first public engagement in seven months.
The Queen and Prince William were photographed maintaining distance from others but none of those at the event seemed to be wearing masks.
#Coronavirus: Queen and Prince William visit Dstl Porton Down without wearing masks.
Queen Elizabeth undertook her first public engagement since the #COVID19 outbreak with her grandson the Duke of Cambridge.
— SkyNews (@SkyNews) October 15, 2020
Soon, videos and photos of the royal family members garnered a lot of attention online, and a lot of criticism. Buckingham Palace said in a statement that the Queen decided not to wear a mask after consulting her own physicians and scientists at the research facility.
According to an iTV report, all 48 people who were due to come in close contact with members of the royal family were very recently tested for Covid-19 and had tested negative. Social distancing was also maintained throughout.
“The media were not allowed close to the visitors and wore face masks. The Queen also arrived by helicopter separately from William, who arrived by car,” Sky News reported.
— Chris Ship (@chrisshipitv) October 15, 2020
However, many criticised them on social media for failing to set an example as the number of cases rise and fresh restrictions have been imposed in the UK.
“The Queen should be setting an example. I can’t see how this fits with the rules everyone else is expected to follow, so the palace needs to come up with a rules-compliant explanation.”https://t.co/c3uGx75Rpx
— Republic (@RepublicStaff) October 15, 2020
(My two cents: While sensible and safe precautious were clearly made, I do worry that most people seeing the photos/videos won’t know the back story. As the majority of the UK enters tighter restrictions, seeing leaders in masks would have been a strong visual).
— Omid Scobie (@scobie) October 15, 2020
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. https://t.co/KSXBFcKaxH
— Piers Morgan (@piersmorgan) October 15, 2020
The Queen, a future King and a policeman – but no mask 😷 in sight…
Should they be setting an example and wearing one? pic.twitter.com/uSCsT9dB05
— Darren McCaffrey (@DarrenEuronews) October 15, 2020
The Queen doesn’t need a mask, not like she’s in the vulnerable category or anything 🙃 https://t.co/jUEueMigGG
— Mike P Williams (@Mike_P_Williams) October 15, 2020
Because she doesn’t want to spend the twilight of her glorious reign concealed behind a blue polypropylene filter: she wants people to see her rosy lips and radiant smile (she is still rather beautiful). History will not record her as ‘The Masked Queen’.https://t.co/TozLzf8bNN
— Adrian Hilton (@Adrian_Hilton) October 15, 2020
No wonder there’s uproar over restrictions in this country when even the monarch fails to use an opportune moment to lead by example and wear a mask. #MaskGate #Queen #Covid19UK #RoyalFamily #Britain 😷 https://t.co/TYcUOo3Eiz
— Serena A. Chaudhry (@SerenaChaudhry) October 16, 2020
And they want the public to follow the rules? 🙂 laughable. https://t.co/S7aeLQpP6h
— Rachel Doherty ❣️ (@racheeldohertyx) October 15, 2020
No mask for the Queen and future King! Lead by example! Get the country back to normal. https://t.co/h7D9drUuRC
— Sam Ward (@MrWard_) October 15, 2020
COvid doesn’t care if she’s the boss. Moreover, she’s 94 years old, and even with testing, things can go wrong.
— shernett ford (@ShernettFord) October 16, 2020
I am disappointed that the Royal Family is not practicing COVID-19 guidelines by not wearing masks. They have a social responsibility to be responsible and emulate modeling behavior. Do better as The Queen must be protected!
— Nicole Ratliff (@djnikki85) October 15, 2020
It would have been much a better sight if they’d been wearing masks. What a missed opportunity to show solidarity and send an important message to the UK and around the world 😷.
— Siobhan DeBarra (@siobhan_debarra) October 15, 2020
Essential workers in the NHS who risk their lives daily cant get tested but in order to accommodate a pr visit from the Queen, not wearing a mask, everyone around her gets tested. That says something doesn’t it? This family is so out of touch, even William. Wow absolutely unaware
— Nina (@ShakeLS) October 15, 2020
If leaders won’t wear masks, they set a poor example. Others see that they aren’t masked and think it’s okay for them to skip a mask, even though they wherever they go, not everyone will be tested around them. Why is this so hard for people in prominent positions to understand?
— Lynn R Schrader (@lynnrschrader) October 15, 2020
How extraordinary that the Queen and William should be out and about without masks. Hardly very helpful for the government’s messaging. And since the royals never do anything by accident, assume it’s a deliberate snub.
— paulmdale (@paulmdale) October 15, 2020
At this point we will have to say the Queen is a anti masker. Instead of talking about her engagement everybody will talk about why she didn’t wore a mask I mean they are so dumb you could see that coming miles away
— 🎃Just Juliette 🎃 (@SussexDetective) October 15, 2020
oh yeah sorry mikey, forgot that a global pandemic no longer exists and that if you’re royalty you dont get the virus. get a grip of yourself
— daisy ♲︎ (@daisyangelm) October 15, 2020
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