Piers Morgan lambasted the Queen and Prince William for appearing in public without wearing a face mask today, calling it ‘a smart step from the royal family’.
Royal author Omid Scobie also suggested it was a missed opportunity to showcase a “ strong visual ” amid the country’s ongoing fight against the coronavirus.
The 94-year-old monarch, who belongs to the ‘at risk’ age group for Covid-19, was joined by her grandson at the Defense Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl) in Porton Down near Salisbury for his first public engagement since the lockdown. .
The duo met with scientists who worked in the wake of the 2018 Novichok attack and are currently supporting the UK’s response to the coronavirus outbreak.
But while the pair maintained strict social distancing and arrived separately by helicopter and car, neither chose to wear face covers – with the 48 people expected to come into close contact with the royal family tested in prerequisite for Covid-19 by Dstl.
Omid Scobie accused the royal family of wasting an opportunity to showcase a ‘strong visual’ today amid the country’s fight against coronavirus after the Queen (pictured) and Prince William appeared in public without wearing face mask.
The 94-year-old monarch, who belongs to the ‘at risk’ age group for Covid-19, was joined by her grandson at the Defense Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl) in Porton Down near Salisbury for his first public engagement since the lockdown.
In response to a tweet from Kensington Palace about the event, GMB host Piers tweeted: ‘Why no masks or social distancing? Sorry, but this is not a smart move by the Royal Family as the virus rages on and the country heads to yet another lockdown.
Mr Scobie, who wrote the controversial Finding Freedom biography which raised eyebrows for its praise and intimate knowledge of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, tweeted this afternoon: ‘No masks for anyone at today’s engagement, but Buckingham Palace confirms the Queen has seen her own doctors and all @dstlmod staff tested negative prior to the visit. ”
He then continued with another tweet, writing: ‘My two cents: While reasonable and safe precautions were clearly taken, I’m afraid most people who see the photos / videos don’t know the story. As the majority of the UK impose tighter restrictions, seeing leaders in masks would have been a strong visual [sic]”.
The two men’s tweets sparked a heated discussion, with a number of people accusing the monarch of sending a ‘wrong message’ by not wearing a mask.
A Twitter user commented in response to Mr Scobie: ‘Bad form, another of the rules that apply to the plebs but not the elite. Especially since Charles also flaunted them.
In response to a tweet from Kensington Palace about the event, GMB host Piers tweeted: ‘Why no masks or social distancing? Sorry, but this is not a smart move by the Royal Family as the virus rages on and the country heads to another lockdown ”
Omid Scobie shared back-to-back tweets in which he suggested executives such as royals wearing masks would have been a ‘strong visual’
Another wrote: “Absolutely terrible message. We don’t even have to go through the problem of the incubation period. The optics are terrible as the country falls into deeper and deeper disorder and public figures scoff at wearing basic masks. Sigh.’
“Masks must be worn regardless of testing. This virus is still active, ”exclaimed another.
Broadcaster Piers Morgan also criticized the monarch’s decision not to wear a mask, saying it was ‘not a smart move’, while lobby group Republic said the Queen should have given the example by wearing a face mask.
Others have observed how the rules look different for the elite, after Donald Trump was pictured removing his mask upon his return to the White House after being treated for coronavirus.
Mr Scobie’s thread sparked a heated discussion, with a number of people accusing the monarch of sending a ‘wrong message’ by not wearing a mask
However, some Twitter users felt that Piers and Mr. Scobie were making a problem out of thin air, with a tweet: ‘At first I thought it was wrong that @RoyalFamily Queen and @KensingtonPalace weren’t wearing masks , but the reality is that wearing masks is not the law, they have all tested negative and are all socially left behind. Ppl shouldn’t try to make a drama out of a non-story.
Another wrote: ‘Bore off everyone has tested before and negative. There is no problem here.
And one added: ‘Her Majesty The Queen would never have come out if it wasn’t safe to take on something else or to suggest it’s a total sense of irresponsibility again, I will say if it wasn’t for sure she wouldn’t be here. ”
“Not worth two cents,” wrote another. “ She may have a medical exemption to wear it. Have you ever thought about this?
Some Twitter users, however, felt that Mr Scobie was making a problem out of thin air, given that everyone present at the engagement had tested negative for Covid-19.
Today marked the first time the Queen had left a royal residence in seven months, outside of her low-staffed home – dubbed HMS Bubble – to serve as head of state.
Royal author Robert Jobson told MailOnline the Queen has chosen not to wear a mask in an attempt to send a message of calm and hope to the public.
The commentator said the royal had followed the advice of her doctors who said it was safe to forgo a mask and the necessary steps were being taken to protect everyone present from the risk of Covid.
Mr Jobson said: ‘The Queen made sure there was a royal security bubble. She created a safe area where there was no danger to herself or anyone else.
“It sends a message of confidence to the people; she goes back to work, she goes about her business as usual, but without taking any risks. She reassures the public that things should run smoothly, wherever it is safe to do so.
“In a calm message, she says you can make it work and things will get back to normal.
Kensington Palace declined to say whether the Duke was also required to undergo a test to be able to accompany his grandmother.