Mask-Free Queen Ventures Outside «HMS Bubble» To Secret Lab.

Mask-Free Queen Ventures Outside 'HMS Bubble' To Secret Lab

Queen Elizabeth II is seen after she unveiled a plaque to officially open new Energetics Analysis Centre

Salisbury, United Kingdom:

Queen Elizabeth II on Thursday made her first public visit outside a royal residence since the start of the coronavirus outbreak, visiting a top secret research lab but appearing without a face mask.

The 94-year-old monarch and her grandson Prince William visited the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl) at Porton Down in southwest England, which has been helping to study Covid-19.

"It's doubling itself again," the queen remarked when discussing the current second wave. Being told it was on the rise, she said: "Well, I suppose it was expected?"

"Predicted ma'am, yes," replied Professor Tim Atkins, who coordinated Dstl's response, to which the monarch responded: "With all these horrible new things..."

The queen and William did not wear face masks but arrived separately and stayed two metres apart, while aides said all 48 people due to come into close contact with the royals had been tested for coronavirus.

It was the monarch's first public engagement outside one of her homes -- where she has had a reduced household staff known as "HMS Bubble" -- since she attended a Commonwealth Day service at Westminster Abbey on March 9.

As coronavirus swept across the UK, she and her husband Prince Philip, 99, retired first to Windsor Castle west of London, as a precaution because of their age.

They then spent time at her residences at Balmoral, northeast Scotland, and Sandringham, in eastern England, before returning to Windsor last week.

Newsbeep


The queen made two televised addresses to the nation early on in the outbreak, which has killed more than 43,000 people in Britain -- the highest toll in Europe.

At Porton Down, the queen and Prince William also met staff involved in identifying Novichok as the nerve agent used to try to kill Russian double agent Sergei Skripal in the nearby town of Salisbury in 2018.

Skripal and his daughter Yulia survived the attack but a homeless woman who came into contact with a perfume bottle thought to have contained the nerve agent died four months later.

Britain and its allies blamed Russia and the incident prompted a mass expulsion of Russian diplomats by Western nations. Moscow denied any involvement.

During the visit the queen formally opened the new Energetics Analysis Centre, an explosive materials research centre.

She and William were due to be shown displays of weaponry and tactics used in counter intelligence.

(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

NDTV News

NDTV.com provides latest news from India and the world. Get today’s news headlines from Business, Technology, Bollywood, Cricket, videos, photos, live news coverage and exclusive breaking news from India.

https://www.ndtv.com/

Related news
Cuomo announces plans for Broadway reopening, eases more COVID restrictions.

Cuomo announces plans for Broadway reopening, eases more COVID restrictions.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo says Broadway shows can reopen at 100% capacity beginning September 14, with tickets going on sale this Thursday. He also eased other restrictions in the state and said vaccines will be offered at Yankees and Mets ba...

Metro Carriages Removed From Crash Site in Mexico

Metro Carriages Removed From Crash Site in Mexico

Mexico City workers and volunteers removed the two metro carriages, Tuesday, May 4, that crashed after an overpass collapsed the day before. ————————— READ MORE: An elevated section of the Mexico City metro collapsed and sent a subway car plunging...

Legal expert on Facebook Oversight Board's decision on Trump's suspension.

Legal expert on Facebook Oversight Board's decision on Trump's suspension.

Facebook's Oversight Board upheld the company's suspension of Donald Trump but said Facebook must review its process and decide on a longer-term solution within six months. Assistant professor of law Kate Klonick joined CBSN with a closer look at ...

PCSO Julia James’ killer ‘deliberately left phone at home to avoid detection’ cops believe.

PCSO Julia James’ killer ‘deliberately left phone at home to avoid detection’ cops believe.

POLICE on Wednesday released a photo of murdered PCSO Julia James in the clothes she was last seen wearing before she was bludgeoned to death. The mum-of-two was discovered with serious head injuries in Akholt Wood, Snowdown, Kent last Tuesday. Ju...

Congressman Colin Allred weighs in on Facebook's suspension of Trump.

Congressman Colin Allred weighs in on Facebook's suspension of Trump.

Facebook's Oversight Board has upheld the company's suspension of former President Trump but said it should be reviewed within six months. Facebook suspended Mr. Trump following the January 6 riot at the Capitol, saying he incited the violence. Re...

Live: Colombian anti-government protesters gather in Bogota.

Live: Colombian anti-government protesters gather in Bogota.

Crowds gather in Colombia amid protest violence that has rocked the Latin American country. Colombian unions were set to hold mass marches around the country on Wednesday to mark an eighth day of ongoing anti-government protests, after violence wo...