The Queen has returned to public engagements, seven months after she went into isolation because of the coronavirus pandemic. Her Majesty, accompanied by the Duke of Cambridge, visited the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory at Porton Down in Wiltshire to pay tribute to scientists there for their work.
Amongst those receiving royal thanks during the trip were the scientists working with NHS experts on research on the coronavirus.
Neither the Queen nor the Duke of Cambridge wore masks during the engagement at the secret military facility. Buckingham Palace said this was on the advice of medics and that all those involved in the day’s events had tested negative for Covid before the duties got under way.
One of the main focuses of their visit was the official opening of the new Energetics Analysis Centre, the base for research and analysis by scientists working to stop criminal and terrorist threats linked to explosives. The royal party also heard about counter terrorism work and saw a display from the Forensic Explosives Team.
The Queen and the Duke also heard about the work carried out by military experts there following the Novichok attack in Salisbury in 2018. The Duke of Cambridge presented the Firmin Sword of Peace to 102 Logistic Brigade in recognition of their work.
The Queen’s last public engagement was in March. Since then, her duties have been carried out behind closed doors.