Twitter is giving Her Majesty some serious side-eye for a serious wardrobe faux pas at her first public outing in seven months.
Seven months after COVID-19 hit the world, the Queen is getting back into her normal royal routine. On Thursday the 94-year-old attended her first in-person engagement outside the royal bubble since March. She and Prince William toured the new Energetics Analysis Centre at the British military’s Defence Science and Technology Laboratory. Sounds pretty standard, right? Not so fast.
Royal watchers were taken aback by one minor, but important detail: Neither the Queen nor her grandson were masked up. In fact, nobody at the event wore a mask.
Royal reporter Chris Ship explained why in a tweet:
— Chris Ship (@chrisshipitv) October 15, 2020
Royal commentator Richard Palmer also weighed in:
For all those asking why the Queen isn’t wearing a mask, all 48 people meeting her today had tested negative for Covid. Staff at Porton Down have been closely involved in the UK response to Covid-19 so do have a bit of experience in this area.
— Richard Palmer (@RoyalReporter) October 15, 2020
As Marie Claire notes, the palace explained that the decision to go sans mask was decided after consulting the queen’s medical team: “Specific advice has been sought from the medical household and relevant parties, and all necessary precautions taken, working closely with [the laboratory].” Kensington Palace didn’t comment on whether Prince William had been tested.
But Twitter isn’t having it.
The entitlement of this.
No mask wearing when you could have set an real example and shown that it is OK to wear a mask.
Instead everyone has to get tested so you don’t have to wear a mask.
Seems we aren’t “all in this together”.
That is the U.K. Covid story.
— Fionna O'Leary, 🕯 (@fascinatorfun) October 15, 2020
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 doesn’t bother. Why should I”
She should wear one for the optics alone.
— D (@davvyk) 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
At this point in the pandemic, it’s arguably known around the globe how important masks are in slowing down the spread of COVID-19. Kate Middleton and Prince William have both been snapped multiple times wearing masks. Hopefully this latest royal outing is a one-off that had more to do with trying to “return to normal” than setting an example.