Queen Elizabeth’s first public appearance since March has left many disappointed, as the senior monarch chose not to wear a face mask in spite of British public health guidelines.
Along with Prince William, the Queen held a meet-and-greet with 48 people — yes, in the year 2020 and with the COVID-19 pandemic still raging on — on Thursday, as part of a private tour of a military lab.
A Buckingham Palace spokesperson told iTV that both senior royals were given the all-clear to go maskless by medical professionals. As well, everyone involved was reportedly social distancing and tested negative for the novel coronavirus.
But, many still felt that by not wearing face masks at a gathering, the royal pair were setting a poor example for the public.
As royal commenter Omid Scobie put it, while protocols were followed, the visuals alone fail to illustrate that; without context, seeing a 94-year-old woman and her grandson go maskless may suggest that it’s OK to be around vulnerable seniors and large groups without a face mask.
“While sensible and safe precautious [sic] were clearly made, I do worry that most people seeing the photos/videos won’t know the back story,” he tweeted. “As the majority of the UK enters tighter restrictions, seeing leaders in masks would have been a strong visual.”
Some royal watchers noted that in the absence of a face covering, the Queen’s ensemble possibly included a virus-inspired accessory: She sported a pink-and-yellow brooch that Yahoo reports has been compared to graphics of the novel coronavirus.
Here’s hoping the Queen’s next public outing will take note of the criticism of this one.
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