Queen Elizabeth stepped out on Thursday to make her first public appearance in seven months, as she has been in quarantine amidst the coronavirus pandemic since March.

Elizabeth, 94, made a joint appearance with her grandson Prince William, as the two of them were given a tour of the new Energetics Analysis Centre at the British military’s Defence Science and Technology Laboratory at Porton Down.

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“The Queen and The Duke viewed a demonstration of a Forensic Explosives Investigation and met staff employed in Counter Terrorism and Security, as well as Dstl staff and members of the military involved in identifying the nerve agent and subsequent clear up of the Novichok incident of 2018,” the palace wrote on Instagram. “In recognition of their work The Duke presented the Firmin Sword of Peace to representatives of 102 Logistic Brigade.”

“Her Majesty and His Royal Highness also spoke to scientists providing vital support to the UK response of the COVID-19 pandemic, working in analytic research areas and deploying microbiologists to NHS hospitals to increase testing capacities,” the palace added.

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The Queen, accompanied The Duke of Cambridge, this morning visited the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl), Porton Down, and formally opened the new Energetics Analysis Centre. The Energetics Analysis Centre is a state-of-the-art building from which hundreds of scientists conduct research and analysis to protect the UK against terrorist and criminal threats relating to explosives. The Queen and The Duke viewed a demonstration of a Forensic Explosives Investigation and met staff employed in Counter Terrorism and Security, as well as Dstl staff and members of the military involved in identifying the nerve agent and subsequent clear up of the Novichok incident of 2018. In recognition of their work The Duke presented the Firmin Sword of Peace to representatives of Headquarters South West (The regional Army command headquarters of the south west of England.) Her Majesty and His Royal Highness also spoke to scientists providing vital support to the UK response of the COVID-19 pandemic, working in analytic research areas and deploying microbiologists to NHS hospitals to increase testing capacities.

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The Queen was taken to the facility in a helicopter, while William arrived in a car. Everyone who came in contact with the two of them had just tested negative for COVID-19, and social distancing guidelines were followed throughout their visit.

“Specific advice has been sought from the medical household and relevant parties, and all necessary precautions taken,” the palace said, according to Entertainment Tonight.

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Photos from the event show that it was held outside and that nobody was wearing masks. However, it’s clear that the Queen and others stayed at least six feet away from one another as they followed social distancing guidelines. This was the first time the Queen had seen William in person since they met up at the royal family’s Balmoral Estate in Scotland over the summer.

The Queen has spent the past few months in quarantine with her 99 year-old husband Prince Philip, with sources saying she tried to make the best of the difficult situation.

“One of the nicest things for the queen is that she is getting to spend more time with her husband than she usually would,” a friend of the monarch’s told Vanity Fair. “They have dinner together in the evenings and I imagine the queen is of the generation where she dresses for dinner. She is riding out every day and is making the most of this time.”

This piece originally appeared in UpliftingToday.com and is used by permission.

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