Queen Elizabeth II just made her first public engagement in seven months.
Joined by Prince William, Her Majesty visited the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (DSTL) at Porton Down in Wiltshire, England on Thursday, Oct. 15.
During the appearance, the royals officially opened the new Energetics Analysis Centre. According to Buckingham Palace, the building is "dedicated to scientific research and analysis to protect the UK against terrorist and criminal threats relating to explosives."
In addition, William, 38, and The Queen, 94, viewed a demonstration of a Forensic Explosives Investigation and met with staff members who work in Counter Terrorism and Security. According to Kensington Palace, they also spoke with "staff involved in identifying the nerve agent and subsequent clear up of the Novichok incident of 2018" and also talked with members of the military who were directly involved in the incident. At one point, the Duke of Cambridge presented the Firmin Sword of Peace to representatives of the British Army's 102 Logistic Brigade in recognition of their work.
Furthermore, The Queen and William chatted with scientists providing support to the U.K. amid the global coronavirus pandemic. They learned about the analytic research and the deployment of microbiologists to hospitals to increase testing capabilities.
For the event, the monarch wore a pink cashmere coat by designer Stewart Parvin and a silk dress. She accessorized her look with a matching Rachel Trevor Morgan hat, as well as with a black bag, gloves and shoes. Of course, she also wore her signature pearls. As for William, he wore a dark coat over a suit and donned a red tie.
The BBC reported that "special safety measures were put in place to protect The Queen" amid the coronavirus pandemic. For instance, ABC News, citing the DSTL, stated people coming into close contact with the royals had tested negative to COVID-19.
As royal admirers will recall, Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip left Buckingham Palace in March and headed to Windsor to practice social distancing. According to ITV News, she then went to Balmoral castle in Scotland for the summer holiday and proceeded to spend time with the Duke of Edinburgh at their Sandringham Estate in England. Per the news organization, Philip, 99, is still there but The Queen is now staying in Windsor.
While Her Majesty has been spotted a few times over the past few months, such as at the Trooping The Colour in June and at the knighting of Captain Sir Thomas Moore in July, this marked her first engagement outside of castle walls since lockdown began.