The Duchess of Cornwall has been pictured in a face mask for the first time on an official royal engagement and joked about whether anyone could hear her speak.
Camilla was visiting the National Gallery in central London to meet staff involved in its Covid-19 response and reopening process. The duchess’s blue Liberty print mask was made by couture designer Fiona Clare.
After an unprecedented 111 days with its doors closed, the National Gallery started welcoming visitors again on July 8 – the first major national art museum to reopen in the UK following lockdown. Camilla complied with the gallery’s new rules for her indoor engagement.
All staff at the tourist attraction in Trafalgar Square now wear face coverings and it is recommended that all visitors do the same.
Camilla told the Gallery’s chair Lord Hall, who was wearing a clear visor, and gathered staff: "You’re the first gallery to open. I think it’s brilliant. Hopefully it’s going to inspire a lot of others to follow you on."
She prompted laughter as she pointed at her fabric mask and added: "If anybody can hear me through this… Anyway congratulations to all of you."
Members of the royal family have had to adapt to an unprecedented change in the way they carry out royal duties during the coronavirus pandemic.
Public appearances were swapped for online video calls as the Windsors followed the rules and stayed at home, but in recent weeks the royals have been carrying out socially distanced engagements.
The Prince of Wales contracted the Covid-19 disease, but isolated from Camilla, who did not catch the virus.
The Duke of Cambridge was pictured in a surgical mask when he visited the Oxford Vaccine Group’s facility in June to see work being done to find a vaccine.
The Earl and Countess of Wessex have also both seen wearing masks as they volunteered during lockdown.
Camilla also visited Boots’ Piccadilly Store to hear about their support of the charity Hestia’s Safe Spaces programme for victims of domestic violence.
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