Queen Elizabeth II, joined by Prince William, makes her first public outing since COVID-19 isolation

Hannah Yasharoff, USA TODAY
·2 min read
Britain's Queen Elizabeth II visits the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (DSTL) at Porton Down, England, Thursday Oct. 15, 2020, to view the Energetics Enclosure and display of weaponry and tactics used in counter intelligence.
Britain's Queen Elizabeth II visits the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (DSTL) at Porton Down, England, Thursday Oct. 15, 2020, to view the Energetics Enclosure and display of weaponry and tactics used in counter intelligence.

Queen Elizabeth II on Thursday made her first public outing since going into coronavirus isolation seven months ago, accompanied by her grandson Prince William at the opening of a new center for defense technology.

Since postponing several appearances in mid-March as the coronavirus caused shutdowns in the U.K., the queen, 94, has kept her appearances to phone calls, virtual appearances and photo ops within the walls of royal grounds.

She formally opened the new Energetics Analysis Center at the Defense Science and Technology Laboratory near Salisbury, England, and unveiled a plaque, while the Duke of Cambridge presented the Firmin Sword of Peace to representatives of 102 Logistic Brigade, according to a palace news release. The two were given a private tour of the facility, shown a demonstration of a forensics explosives investigation and met with staff and members of the military.

Britain's Queen Elizabeth II arrives for a visit to the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (DSTL) at Porton Down, England, Thursday Oct. 15, 2020, to view the Energetics Enclosure and display of weaponry and tactics used in counter intelligence.
Britain's Queen Elizabeth II arrives for a visit to the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (DSTL) at Porton Down, England, Thursday Oct. 15, 2020, to view the Energetics Enclosure and display of weaponry and tactics used in counter intelligence.

Ever the monochrome outfit wearer, Queen Elizabeth displayed a matching light pink coat and hat, along with black gloves, a black handbag and a golden jeweled brooch.

Since March, the queen has showed her face to the public a handful of times while exercising caution against the coronavirus.

While staying home with husband Prince Philip for the past 10 weeks, Elizabeth marked her birthday on April 21 in low-key fashion, connecting with her family via high-tech video conference to celebrate.

Her first photo op since quarantine took place in May, when the newly-94-year-old was photographed riding a pony at Windsor Castle, where she had been semi-isolated in residence since the COVID-19 crisis hit.

The queen also posed for photos with her husband, Prince Philip, on June 1 to commemorate the prince's 99th birthday, and in July for her granddaughter Princess Beatrice's wedding, both at Windsor Castle.

More: Queen Elizabeth II back at work with video appearance to mark World Sight Day

Britain's Queen Elizabeth II (R) and Britain's Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, (C) speak with Dstl Chief Executive Gary Aitkenhead (L) as they head back to the Energetics Analysis Centre during their visit to the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl) at Porton Down science park near Salisbury, southern England, on October 15, 2020.
Britain's Queen Elizabeth II (R) and Britain's Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, (C) speak with Dstl Chief Executive Gary Aitkenhead (L) as they head back to the Energetics Analysis Centre during their visit to the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl) at Porton Down science park near Salisbury, southern England, on October 15, 2020.

On May 8, Queen Elizabeth made pre-recorded remarks on the BBC from Windsor Castle to commemorate VE Day, the 75th anniversary of the end of WWII in Europe.

She vowed that "better days will return" as she discussed the dark early days of World War II in Britain. Yet the country eventually triumphed against all odds.

"At the start, the outlook seemed bleak, the end distant, the outcome uncertain. But we kept faith that the cause was right and this belief, as my father noted in his broadcast, carried us through," she said in the address. "Never give up, never despair. That was the message of VE Day."

Contributing: Maria Puente

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Queen Elizabeth II makes first public outing since COVID-19