The Queen wore a face mask in public for first time for Westminster Abbey visit

·2-min read

From Harper's BAZAAR

The Queen has worn a face mask for the first time in public. The 94-year-old monarch was making a personal pilgrimage to the grave of the Unknown Warrior in Westminster Abbey to mark the centenary of his burial.

The private visit comes ahead of Remembrance Day commemorations on Sunday (November 8).

The grave of the Unknown Warrior is the final resting place of an unidentified British serviceman who died on the battlefields during the First World War and whose body was brought from Northern France and buried at Westminster Abbey on 11th November 1920.

The Queen wore all black for the sombre service which the monarch had requested, due to the Covid-19 pandemic postponing planned Remembrance events across the UK.

Her Majesty's Equerry, Lieutenant Colonel Nana Kofi Twumasi-Ankrah, was pictured placing a bouquet of flowers at the grave of the Unknown Warrior on behalf of the Queen during the ceremony.

Photo credit: WPA Pool - Getty Images
Photo credit: WPA Pool - Getty Images
Photo credit: WPA Pool - Getty Images
Photo credit: WPA Pool - Getty Images

A royal aide described the Queen's attendance as a "simple but deeply personal act".

"The grave of the Unknown Warrior is as relevant and poignant today as it was when Her Majesty's grandfather and father stood in the Abbey at its side 100 years ago," the aide said.

"It holds enormous significance for the country and the Royal Family. The Queen was keen that the centenary was marked appropriately."

Last month, the Queen and the Duke of Cambridge attracted criticism for not wearing face coverings as they visited the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl) at Porton Down near Salisbury. It was the monarch's first engagement outside of a royal residence since lockdown in March.

Buckingham Palace responded by affirming that medical advice was sought and implemented prior to the visit. Dstl said it had tested all 48 people who were due to come into contact with the royal visitors and all had tested negative for Covid-19. Prince William was also tested negative before coming into contact with his grandmother.

Social distancing measures were also observed throughout the engagement.

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