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.
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.
— Dstl (@dstlmod) October 15, 2020
First engagement outside a royal residence for the Queen since March, who is currently at @dstlmod with Prince William to tour their new Energetics Analysis Centre and meet scientists working on the coronavirus response and in counter terrorism/security. https://t.co/yi916fKymL
— Omid Scobie (@scobie) October 15, 2020
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.”
NEW: The Queen is making her first public engagement since the lockdown right now. She is with her grandson Prince William at the Porton Down chemical weapons centre in Wiltshire
— Chris Ship (@chrisshipitv) October 15, 2020
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.
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.