For months, the royals were only able to carry out their duties over video or phone call, due to the UK's social distancing guidelines. Now, as the country begins to reopen, they're once again undertaking in-person engagements—always in a safe, socially-distanced way. Often, these take place outside, and the Windsor in question is always careful to stand apart from others. And on Wednesday, Prince William took even further precautions, becoming the first working royal to wear a face mask in public.
The Duke of Cambridge needed to don PPE (personal protective equipment) when visiting the Oxford Vaccine Group at the Churchill Hospital. The group has made headlines for its progress toward a possible COVID-19 vaccine. William chatted with researchers who had helped develop it, as well as volunteers participating in trials for the vaccine.
The royal spoke highly of the "incredibly exciting and fascinating" work being done at the hospital, and underscored how momentous bringing a vaccine to market would be. "When it is announced that you have cracked it people will breathe a huge sigh of relief. People want there to be some sort of finality to it," he said, per the Telegraph.
In wearing a mask, William joins other royals from around the world, who've been spotted wearing them to all manner of engagements and events. Fellow Windsors (but no longer working royals) Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have also been photographed wearing protective masks, most recently while volunteering with Homeboy Industries in Los Angeles.
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