Queen Elizabeth II donned a face mask in public for the first time throughout the coronavirus pandemic after attending a short service at Westminster Abbey a week to mark the centenary of the burial of the Unknown Warrior.
Though the 94-year-old monarch was seen in people on many occasions over a previous couple of months, she’d been envisioned wearing a face-covering till today.
On Wednesday, during her first public participation in London since March, she wore a black mask that has been edged with white. Photographs of the service were officially published late Saturday.
“It was fantastic to visit Her Majesty in such great spirits and decent health,” Dr. David Hoyle, the Dean of Westminster, said after the ceremony. “We spoke about the centenary and the lifetime of this abbey. This is the area where she had been married and she is aware of these institutions.”
The short service was attended by only the dean along with the queen’s equerry, Lieutenant Colonel Nana Kofi Twumasi-Ankrah. The queen left a bouquet of orchids and myrtle, according to her wedding bouquet out of November 1947. She bowed her mind following prayer from the dean.
The queen had asked service to take place since the pandemic had derailed plans for the centenary of the interment of the Unknown Warrior.
The tomb is the final resting place of an unidentified British soldier that died during World War I. The body was brought back from Northern France and buried in Westminster Abbey on Nov. 11, 1920.
The ceremony took place a day in front of a four-week lockdown that came into force in England. In addition to forcing the closure of a variety of companies, places of worship are needing to operate within limitations.
Face coverings are required by legislation in certain indoor settings like on public transportation, in stores, and places of worship. The British authorities also urge they’re worn in indoor areas where social distancing might be hard and where folks come in contact with people they do not typically meet.
Other members of the royal household have been seen frequently wearing face coverings throughout the pandemic. The queen had been criticized for not wearing one final month after she visited with the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory at Porton Down in southern England along with her grandson Prince William.
The queen took the opportunity during her infrequent visit to London to go to Buckingham Palace, her official home in the funds.
Ahead of the U.K. was set into complete lockdown on March 23, the queen and her 99-year-old husband, Prince Philip, proceeded into Windsor Castle, which will be approximately 25 miles (40 km) west of London.