Covid: Queen Elizabeth's advisers missed an opportunity over face-mask – Scotsman comment

Queen Elizabeth has faced criticism for not wearing a mask on her first public engagement outside a royal residence in seven months.

Friday, 16th October 2020, 12:30 pm
Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Cambridge (centre) speak with Gary Aitkenhead of the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (DSTL) at Porton Down (Picture: Ben Stansall/PA Wire)
Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Cambridge (centre) speak with Gary Aitkenhead of the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (DSTL) at Porton Down (Picture: Ben Stansall/PA Wire)

The campaign group Republic said the Queen should have been “setting an example” by wearing a face-covering during her visit to the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory at Porton Down, near Salisbury.

Neither she nor her grandson William did so, although they walked two metres apart and all those who came into contact with them had been tested for coronavirus.

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It is hard to blame the 94-year-old monarch after such a long and illustrious reign during which she has barely put a foot wrong as our head of state.

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Queen criticised for not wearing face covering on first public engagement outside royal residence since March

But, for her advisers, this seems like a missed opportunity. Even if she had worn a mask for a few minutes, at the most appropriate part of the visit, it would have created a sensation.

Pictures of the Queen wearing a mask would have been spread by the media – mainstream and social – not just in this country but all over the world.

A mask made especially for the occasion could have been sold to raise money for charities helping those suffering most in these terrible times. And it could have had an effect on attitudes to mask-wearing among those who appear curiously resistant to this simple and effective precaution. Given the affection for the Queen in the US, it might even have helped undo some of the damage caused by Donald Trump, who dismissed mask-wearing before belatedly relenting.

So, perhaps, royal aides may wish to reconsider their advice to the Queen for her next engagement.

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