The Queen Is Joined By Prince William For Her First Public Engagement Since Lockdown

On Thursday, the Queen made her first engagement outside a royal residence since lockdown began.

Her Majesty, 94, was joined by Prince William, 38, to visit the top secret Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl) at Porton Down, in Wiltshire, U.K.

Ben Stansall/Pool via AP/CPImages
Ben Stansall/Pool via AP/CPImages
Credit: Ben Stansall/Pool via AP/CP Images
Credit: Ben Stansall/Pool via AP/CP Images
Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II, Prince William and Chief Executive Gary Aitkenhead, right, view a demonstration of a Forensic Explosives Investigation, with a model explosive device in a vehicle, during a visit to the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (DSTL) at Porton Down, England (Ben Stansall/Pool via AP/CP Images)
Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II, Prince William and Chief Executive Gary Aitkenhead, right, view a demonstration of a Forensic Explosives Investigation, with a model explosive device in a vehicle, during a visit to the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (DSTL) at Porton Down, England (Ben Stansall/Pool via AP/CP Images)
Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II looks on as Prince William signs the visitors book during the visit to the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (DSTL) at Porton Down, England, Thursday Oct. 15, 2020, to view the Energetics Enclosure and display of weaponry and tactics used in counter intelligence. (Ben Stansall/Pool via AP/CP Images)
Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II looks on as Prince William signs the visitors book during the visit to the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (DSTL) at Porton Down, England, Thursday Oct. 15, 2020, to view the Energetics Enclosure and display of weaponry and tactics used in counter intelligence. (Ben Stansall/Pool via AP/CP Images)

The Queen formally opened the Ministry of Defence’s high-security testing centre’s new Energetics Centre, with the pair meeting scientists working on the coronavirus response and in counter terrorism and security.

According to ITV, no cameras were allowed during the royals’ private tour due to the centre being “so operationally sensitive for the U.K.’s security services.”

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The pair were also introduced to staff involved in the response to the Novichok poisoning attack on former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in Salisbury back in 2018.

A Buckingham Palace spokeswoman said of the engagement, according to the Daily Mail: “Specific advice has been sought from the medical household and relevant parties, and all necessary precautions taken, working closely with Dstl.”

Despite some picking up on the fact neither the Queen nor Prince William was wearing a mask during the outing, the Mail reported all 48 people who were due to come into close contact with them were tested for COVID-19 by Dstl beforehand.

The tests were said to have all come back negative.

Kensington Palace declined to comment on whether William had also been tested so he could accompany his grandmother.

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The Queen’s visit comes after she left Buckingham Palace for Windsor Castle, where she stayed alongside Prince Philip, back in March when the U.K. first went into lockdown.

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