Queen Elizabeth II held her first royal engagement ever since she self-isolated herself. However, she faced divisive backlash for not wearing a mask.
After the U.K. experienced the peak of the first wave of COVID-19 cases, Queen Elizabeth II isolated herself with Prince Philip.
Months after the immediate heir to the thrones covered her duties, Her Majesty came back looking braver and stronger than ever. However, she immediately received criticism when she returned after failing to wear a mask.
On Thursday, Prince William accompanied Queen Elizabeth II during her first public engagement. They drove themselves to the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory located in Porton Down, Salisbury.
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The Queen, accompanied The Duke of Cambridge, this morning visited the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl), Porton Down, and formally opened the new Energetics Analysis Centre. The Energetics Analysis Centre is a state-of-the-art building from which hundreds of scientists conduct research and analysis to protect the UK against terrorist and criminal threats relating to explosives. The Queen and The Duke viewed a demonstration of a Forensic Explosives Investigation and met staff employed in Counter Terrorism and Security, as well as Dstl staff and members of the military involved in identifying the nerve agent and subsequent clear up of the Novichok incident of 2018. In recognition of their work The Duke presented the Firmin Sword of Peace to representatives of Headquarters South West (The regional Army command headquarters of the south west of England.) Her Majesty and His Royal Highness also spoke to scientists providing vital support to the UK response of the COVID-19 pandemic, working in analytic research areas and deploying microbiologists to NHS hospitals to increase testing capacities.
While it should be a celebratory event, people quickly called out the Queen for not wearing a mask.
Although everyone on the site tested negative for COVID-19, the country shared mixed sentiments over Queen’s decision.
Experts defended Queen Elizabeth II
During Friday’s episode of ITV panel show Loose Women, its presenter defended Her Majesty and applauded her.
Per Carol, she does not think that the Queen should set an example for all the people in the country. Instead of joining those people who criticized the monarch, the presenter expressed her relief over the issue.
“I’m glad she didn’t wear a mask,” the presenter said. “Just stop it.”
She also told her co-panelists that people need to learn how to stop telling everyone off in everything.
Meanwhile, Stacey Solomon said that that the work event became a mask-free place for the Queen.
“It’s not going against the rules if they were all tested,” she said before Linda Robson added, “For my own grandmother, wearing a mask is a real struggle.”
Although Robson respected her decision, she wished Her Majesty wore a face mask for “her own health and safety.”
What the people said
Meanwhile, the debate took over Twitter, as well. It then saw that 62 percent of viewers thought that Queen Elizabeth II should have worn a mask.
“Apparently we all need to wear a mask (or face-covering!),” one Twitter user said. “Evidently, not…it’s the old one rule for one. She obviously didn’t see the advert, ‘I wear a mask to protect my mates’. No wonder we’re all b****y confused!”
“I think she’s 94 years old and the queen and she can do what she likes,” another one said.
Featured image courtesy of NASA/Bill Ingalls, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons