Queen Elizabeth wears gloves at investiture ceremony amid coronavirus scare

More than 50 people have tested positive for coronavirus in England.

March 03, 2020, 2:56 PM

Queen Elizabeth wore gloves for an investiture ceremony at Buckingham Palace on Tuesday in what royal watchers are calling a sign of the times amid the threat of COVID-19.

"This is the first time in my memory, and I’ve been covering the royal family for 30 years, that Her Majesty has worn gloves for an investiture," said ABC News royal contributor Robert Jobson. "It is clear that she is acting on advice and her doctors are taking no chances."

PHOTO: Queen Elizabeth wears gloves as she awards the MBE (Member of the Order of the British Empire) to Harry Billinge from St Austell, during an investiture ceremony at Buckingham Palace in London, March 3, 2020.
Queen Elizabeth wears gloves as she awards the MBE (Member of the Order of the British Empire) to Harry Billinge from St Austell, during an investiture ceremony at Buckingham Palace in London, March 3, 2020.
Dominic Lipinski/AP

At investiture ceremonies, members of Britain's royal family place medals on people who have been awarded honors including knighthoods and member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire. They also shake hands with the award recipients.

Buckingham Palace is not commenting on why Queen Elizabeth, 93, chose to wear gloves at today's ceremony.

She does often wear gloves at royal engagements, but wearing them for an investiture ceremony is very unusual and could be a first.

FILE PHOTO: Queen Elizabeth II awards British actress Kate Winslet a CBE (Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire) for services to drama, during an Investiture ceremony at Buckingham Palace in central London, U.K., Nov. 21, 2012.
FILE PHOTO: Queen Elizabeth II awards British actress Kate Winslet a CBE (Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire) for services to drama, during an Investiture ceremony at Buckingham Palace in central London, U.K., Nov. 21, 2012.
Dominic Lipinski/AP
PHOTO: FILE PHOTO: Frank Mullane is made an MBE (Member of the Order of the British Empire) by Queen Elizabeth II for services to families affected by domestic homicide at Windsor Castle, in Windsor, U.K., March 22, 2019.
FILE PHOTO: Frank Mullane is made an MBE (Member of the Order of the British Empire) by Queen Elizabeth II for services to families affected by domestic homicide at Windsor Castle, in Windsor, U.K., March 22, 2019.
Jonathan Brady/AP

COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus, is a respiratory illness spread primarily from person to person by people who are in close contact with one another -- about 6 feet). Adults over 65, young children, pregnant women and people with compromised immune systems from autoimmune diseases or chronic heart, lung or kidney conditions are at increased risk of complications.

The global death toll for coronavirus has reached nearly 3,000 as countries around the world continue to report their findings to the World Health Organization.

More than 50 people have tested positive for coronavirus in England.

Thomas's Battersea, the private school in London attended by two of Queen Elizabeth's great-grandchildren, Prince George and Princess Charlotte, was hit by the threat of coronavirus last week when a few students self-isolated as they awaited test results.

George and Charlotte's parents, Prince William and Kate, are continuing on with their royal engagements amid the global threat.

The couple arrived in Ireland Tuesday for a three-day visit on behalf of Queen Elizabeth.

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