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Queen Elizabeth Goes Mask-Free at In-Person Meeting After Prince Charles’s COVID-19 Diagnosis

Queen Elizabeth appears to be in fine health following her son Prince Charles‘s brush with the coronavirus.

The monarch met in-person with the outgoing Defence Services Secretary Rear Admiral James Macleod and his replacement, Major General Eldon Millar, at Windsor Castle on Wednesday. The royal used a cane during the meeting, as she has done frequently since October, but opted not to wear a mask for the gathering, signaling that there is no longer a concern she contracted the coronavirus from her son. Citizens of Northern Ireland and England are also no longer legally required to wear masks in most public places, although they are still required in higher-risk settings like hospitals and public transportation.

Queen Elizabeth returned to Windsor Castle earlier this month from Sandringham where she traditionally spends a little over a month to commemorate the anniversary of her father’s passing and her ascension to the throne. This year, she reportedly stayed at Wood Farm, a cottage on the Sandringham property where her late husband Prince Philip spent most of his time before they moved full-time to Windsor Castle at the start of the pandemic to isolate. This is a particularly notable year for the royal as it is also the 70th anniversary of her becoming queen, an event which will be honored with an enormous Platinum Jubilee celebration taking place throughout June.

Prince Charles visited his mother at Windsor Castle for an investiture ceremony last week just two days before he tested positive for coronavirus. Following the diagnosis, a royal source told People that the queen’s health will continue to be monitored, but the palace will not provide regular updates on the matter. Days after the Prince of Wales went into self-isolation, his wife Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall also tested positive despite being triple vaccinated. A spokesman for Clarence House released a brief statement on the royal’s behalf that said, “Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cornwall has tested positive for COVID-19 and is self-isolating. We continue to follow government guidelines.”

This is the second time Prince Charles has contracted the virus. His first positive diagnosis came towards the beginning of the pandemic in late March 2020 after he developed mild symptoms while traveling to Birkhall, his country home on the Balmoral estate in Scotland. Camilla also tested negative that time and the couple self-isolated in separate rooms. 

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