Coronavirus: Queen wears long gloves while handing out honours to members of the public

Rebecca TaylorRoyal Correspondent
Yahoo News UK
Queen Elizabeth II wore gloves for the investiture ceremony. (Press Association)
Queen Elizabeth II wore gloves for the investiture ceremony. (Press Association)

The Queen has worn long white gloves as she presented awards at an investiture ceremony.

She wore the white gloves as she handed out OBEs, MBEs and knighthoods at Buckingham Palace.

The gloves, which stretched past her wrists, are longer than the gloves she would usually wear when out and about visiting members of the public.

Although the palace would not comment on whether the monarch wore them as a precaution during the coronavirus outbreak, sources said she would be following all government advice.

At previous investiture ceremonies, she is pictured without any gloves.

The number of people diagnosed with Covid-19 has risen to 51 in the UK.

The head of the World Health Organisation has advised people over the age of 60 to avoid crowded areas.

Read more: Five ways the government's coronavirus action plan could affect you

The Queen's gloves seemed longer than the ones she wears for day to day walkabouts. (Press Association)
The Queen's gloves seemed longer than the ones she wears for day to day walkabouts. (Press Association)

It is thought to be the first time in decades she has worn gloves as, normally, the task of fastening the awards to a recipient can be fiddly.

The end of her gloves, usually black or white, are often tucked into her coat or jacket.

She wore gloves for the investiture of the Prince of Wales in 1969, but that was a high-profile, televised, open-air ceremony for her eldest son at Caernarfon Castle.

Joe Little, managing editor of Majesty magazine, said: “The Queen doesn’t wear gloves at investitures, but it’s a sensible precaution.

“She’s six or so weeks away from her 94th birthday and she’s at an age when she’s susceptible to such a virus.

“The other alternative would have been to have cancelled the investiture but the Queen is a ‘business-as-usual-monarch.”

Investitures are held in the palace ballroom and attended by more than 60 people, who receive a range of honours, from MBEs to knighthoods and damehoods. They are allowed to bring guests.

Read more: Could the coronavirus spread on public transport?

She shook hands with honours recipients with the gloves on. (Press Association)
She shook hands with honours recipients with the gloves on. (Press Association)

The Queen greets each recipient in turn and shakes their hand.

The Queen’s granddaughter Zara Tindall and her husband Mike confirmed they would not be self-isolating after returning from a holiday in Northern Italy.

Pupils at Prince George and Princess Charlotte’s school in Battersea have been in self-isolation after a trip to the same area, as a precautionary measure.

Yahoo News UK has contacted the royal palaces about their plans for dealing with coronavirus.

Boris Johnson outlined the Government’s action plan for dealing with the outbreak, including asking more people to work from home.

Read more: How could anti-bacterial hand sanitisers protect against the coronavirus?

The Queen was gloveless during the November ceremony. (Press Association)
The Queen was gloveless during the November ceremony. (Press Association)

Johnson said the outbreak could lead to a fifth of workers being absent, cause the police to drop low-priority cases and force the NHS to delay non-urgent care. Police may only deal with serious crime if there is mass COVID-19 outbreak.

The 27-page document sets out the UK-wide response to Covid-19 amid widespread concerns about the impact the virus will have on people’s wellbeing, the economy and public services.

Measures aimed at delaying the spread of the virus could include school closures, “reducing the number of large-scale gatherings” and encouraging greater home working.

The global death toll exceeded 3,000, with the virus spreading to more than 60 countries. The virus broke out in Wuhan late last year and has since infected more than 89,000 people, mostly in China.

Outside of China, there are now more than 8,700 infected and over 125 deaths.

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