The Queen took part in her first royal engagement outside of Windsor Castle since March 19 when she visited the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory at Porton Down on Thursday. The 94-year-old was accompanied on the royal visit by her grandson Prince William, but neither wore a face covering. Maintaining social distancing, the royals met with scientists providing vital support in the UK’s response to the Covid-19 crisis as well as staff who identified the nerve agent used in the horrific Salisbury poisoning in 2018.
With the engagement taking place outdoors there was no requirement for a face covering to be worn, and as a precautionary measure, every attendee due to come into close contact with the Queen had reported a negative COVID-19 test.
Several members of the Royal Family have previously been pictured wearing a face mask on their royal duties.
Critics argued the Queen should have also done so to set an example at a time when millions of Britons now face tighter restrictions.
However, a poll of more than 3,000 Express.co.uk readers has found two-thirds believe the Queen did not need to wear a face mask.
The survey conducted on Friday October 16 between 8.21am and 9pm asked 3,084 Express.co.uk readers, should the Queen have worn a face covering to set an example during her royal visit?
Two-thirds of readers, 66 percent (2,005), thought the Queen did not need to wear one to set an example and voted no.
A third of readers, 33 percent (1,053), believe the Monarch should have set an example and voted yes.
Meanwhile, just one percent (26), remained unsure and said they did not know.
A number of Express.co.uk readers were divided on the issue and let their feelings known in the comments section.
One user said: “I think every measure was taken to make the visit safe, I accept that. But I do believe all public figures including the Royal Family should set an example. It was nice to see the Queen and Prince William out and about again.”
A second reader wrote: “She should have set a better example to the people.”
A third commented: “I understand the ‘setting example’ sentiment but safety was not compromised due to tests done”
“As the majority of the UK enters tighter restrictions, seeing leaders in masks would have been a strong visual.”
Good Morning Britain host Piers Morgan wrote on Twitter: “Why no masks or social distancing? Sorry, but this is not a smart move by the Royal Family as the virus rages and the country heads into another lockdown.”
A Buckingham Palace spokeswoman said “specific advice has been sought from the medical household and relevant parties, and all necessary precautions taken”.
The Queen also arrived to the royal engagement by helicopter separately from the Prince William, who travelled by car.
— to www.express.co.uk