Queen Elizabeth is reportedly refraining from shaking hands with people at official events for the foreseeable future following the Coronavirus outbreak.
The 93-year-old monarch has decided to continue with her royal engagements in the UK – despite talks about the country going into lockdown in the hope of containing the virus – but is avoiding putting herself at unnecessary risk by limiting the amount of physical contact she has with members of the public.
In photographs taken on Tuesday (10.03.20) during a meeting with Sri Lankan High Commissioner Saroja Sirisena and husband Dr. Sudath Talpahewa, the queen was seen standing a meter away from the couple with her hands close to her body.
She, and other members of the Royal Family, also avoided shaking hands with any guests or officiants at the Commonwealth Day service at Westminster Abbey on Monday (09.03.20) and she also wore gloves throughout the whole ceremony.
Buckingham Palace refused to comment on the queen’s decision not to greet with a handshake but ‘Entertainment Tonight’ has suggested that such gesture in the Royal Family is down to personal preference rather than protocol.
Last week, Prince William – Queen Elizabeth’s oldest grandson – made light of the pandemic which has swept across the globe since the end of last year.
He said: “I bet everyone’s like, ‘I’ve got coronavirus, I’m dying,’ and you’re like, ‘No, you’ve just got a cough.’ It does seem quite dramatic about coronavirus at the moment.”
It’s thought more than 118,000 people have been infected with the Coronavirus – which can affect the lungs and airways – across 114 countries.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) called upon governments on Wednesday (11.03.20) afternoon to take “urgent and aggressive action” to prevent the spread of the disease, which has killed more than 4200 people to date.