Queen Elizabeth II went outdoors for her first public engagement outside the royal residence since March. The 94-year-old monarch, however, created a buzz as she was not wearing a face mask.
Future King Prince William accompanied Queen Elizabeth II, and the pair went to Salisbury to visit a high profile laboratory on Thursday.
After the United Kingdom experienced the height of the first COVID-19 wave, the monarch isolated herself with her husband, Prince Philip, at the royal residence.
Months after Queen Elizabeth stepped back from her royal duties and had the other senior members of the Royal family stepping in for her, the Queen returned appearing stronger.
The Queen and her grandson were criticized for not setting a good example to millions of citizens that they represent or their avid loyal fans.
Both were accompanied by an executive from The Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl) to "view displays of weaponry and tactics used in counterintelligence." The pair also met 48 staff members at the laboratory, reported Yahoo.
Since the Queen and the Duke of Cambridge skipped donning face masks, particularly when there is a revival of confirmed novel coronavirus cases in Europe, netizens remarked they are "disappointed" with the act. From touting it as "disgraceful" to questioning why they are exempted from adhering to the COVID-19 guidelines, social media users unleashed serious condemnation.
Queen Elizabeth II arrived at the royal engagement near Salisbury, transported by a helicopter, and was photographed in a rose-colored cashmere coat.
A social media user wrote on Twitter along with a photograph of the Queen, the Duke, and a police officer, "The Queen, a future King, and a policeman - but no mask insight... Should they be setting an example and wearing one," reported Cosmopolitan.
However, the two royals were following social distancing measures.
According to a Buckingham Palace statement, the Queen chose not to wear a face mask upon consulting her doctors and scientists at the Porton Down military research building. A palace spokesperson remarked both senior working royals were given the all-clear to go maskless by health professionals.
Royal commenter Omid Scobie stated that while safety guidelines were followed, the mere visuals failed to illustrate that. The expert indicated witnessing the royals go maskless could suggest that it is alright to be around high-risk seniors and large clusters without a face mask. He tweeted he was concerned that most people seeing the pictures are not aware of the back story.
"Loose Women" presenter Carol McGiffin came to the defense of the monarch, saying, "I don't think it's up to the Queen to set an example. I'm glad she didn't wear a mask," reported Express.
All 48 people who were due to come in close contact with the royal members were reportedly recently tested for COVID-19 and had a negative diagnosis.
The press was not given permission to position themselves close to the visitors and donned face masks.
Queen Elizabeth II also arrived by helicopter while Prince William was transported by a car.