TOP TRENDING

Queen holds her first public royal engagement since before the lockdown


The Queen is now conducting her first public engagement outside of a royal residence in seven months since the coronavirus pandemic hit the nation.

The 94-year-old monarch was accompanied by her grandson, the Duke of Cambridge, to the Defense Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl) in Porton Down, near Salisbury, to meet scientists who are instrumental in the UK's response to the Covid-19 outbreak .

The royal couple were also introduced to employees involved in the swift response to the 2018 Novichok poisoning attack in Salisbury.

It is the first time the Queen has ventured out of a royal residence outside of her household with reduced staff – called HMS Bubble – to fulfill her duties as Head of State since her lockdown.

Her Majesty flew to the construction site in a helicopter while Prince William arrived by car.

The Queen knighted Captain Sir Tom Moore for his fundraiser in July in the grounds of Windsor Castle, where she also saw a socially distant mini Trooping the Color for her official birthday in June.

Locked in the Berkshire residence for her safety, she was busy behind closed doors, telephone audiences, video calls, and tending to her red boxes of official papers.

The Queen put on a blushing pink coat as she stepped out of her & # 39; HMS Bubble & # 39; made her way to the Energetics Analysis Center at Porton Down Science Park near Salisbury

The 94-year-old monarch, wearing an old rose cashmere coat from Stewart Parvin and a matching hat from Rachel Trevor Morgan, was accompanied by her grandson, the Duke of Cambridge

The 94-year-old monarch, wearing an old rose cashmere coat from Stewart Parvin and a matching hat from Rachel Trevor Morgan, was accompanied by her grandson, the Duke of Cambridge

The Queen and Prince William saw weapons and tactics used in counter-espionage, a demonstration of a forensic explosives investigation, and met with staff involved in the Salisbury Novichok incident

The Queen and Prince William saw weapons and tactics used in counter-espionage, a demonstration of a forensic explosives investigation, and met with staff involved in the Salisbury Novichok incident

The Queen rode Captain Sir Tom Moore for his fundraiser in the grounds of Windsor Castle in July

The Queen rode Captain Sir Tom Moore for his fundraiser in the grounds of Windsor Castle in July

Prior to the visit, heightened security measures were taken to protect the queen from coronavirus.

All 48 people who were supposed to come into close contact with the monarch and the duke were tested for Covid-19 by Dstl.

Small groups of those attending the royal visit were placed two meters apart to keep social distance.

The Queen also arrived separately from William.

A Buckingham Palace spokeswoman said: "Working closely with Dstl, specific advice has been sought and all necessary precautions taken from the medical budget and relevant parties."

However, engagement in Salisbury is amid a virus resurgence as the country battles a second wave and tighter restrictions in some areas.

The Queen, whose eldest son, the Prince of Wales, contracted a mild form of the coronavirus, delivered two rare television addresses to the nation just two weeks apart during the first wave of the Covid-19 pandemic.

She assured the country that the virus would be overcome and told the isolated, "We will meet again."

In another speech on the 75th anniversary of VE Day, she told how the message at the end of the war in Europe was: "Never give up, never despair".

The Queen was last on an official public engagement outside a royal residence when she joined the Royal Family for the Commonwealth Day service at Westminster Abbey on March 9.

It was the Duke and Duchess of Sussex's last public appearance before resigning as senior royals for a new life in the US.

The monarch traveled to Balmoral for her private summer break and then spent a few weeks in Sandringham before returning to Windsor on October 6th.

Queen, William and Dstl's chief executive, Gary Aitkenhead (right), watched a demonstration of a forensic explosives investigation using a model of explosives in a vehicle

Queen, William and Dstl General Manager Gary Aitkenhead (right) watched a demonstration of a forensic explosives investigation using an explosives model in a vehicle

The Queen and William were greeted by Dstl's General Manager Gary Aitkenhead for a tour of the Energetics Enclosure to see weapons and tactics used in counter-espionage

The Queen and William were greeted by Dstl's General Manager, Gary Aitkenhead, for a tour of the Energetics Enclosure to see weapons and tactics used in counter-espionage

The Queen and William were greeted by Dstl's General Manager, Gary Aitkenhead, for a tour of the Energetics Enclosure to see weapons and tactics used in counter-espionage.

They were also shown the state-of-the-art £ 30 million Energetics Analysis Center to meet counter-terrorism workers and see a demonstration of a forensic explosives investigation.

The couple then spoke to those involved in identifying the nerve agent after the Novichok incident and to those who worked on the decontamination cleanup.

As she signed the guest book, she joked, "Well, it proves we were here, doesn't it?

The Russian secret service was accused of being behind the attack on former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in Salisbury.

Dawn Sturgess and her partner Charlie Rowley fell ill months after the attack in nearby Amesbury, and Ms. Sturgess later died after coming into contact with a perfume bottle believed to be linked to the case.

Military teams spent 13,000 hours cleaning up. During its 355 days of operation, they took 5,000 test samples from across Salisbury and nearby Amesbury.

In recognition of their work, the Duke presented the Army Headquarters in the Southwest with the Firmin Peace Sword to go beyond their normal community duties.

(tagsToTranslate) Dailymail (t) messages