Queen Elizabeth II appears in public wearing mask for the first time

The royal wore a black and white face covering for a private service at Westminster Abbey

Britain's Queen Elizabeth II looks at the grave of the Unknown Warrior during a service to mark the centenary of the burial of the Unknown Warrior ahead of Remembrance Sunday at Westminster Abbey in London on November 4, 2020.  In the small private ceremony, The Queen honoured the Unknown Warrior and the Royal Family’s own associations with the First World War and the grave at Westminster Abbey.
As part of the ceremony, a bouquet of flowers featuring orchids and myrtle - based on Her Majesty’s own wedding bouquet from 1947 - was placed on the grave of the Unknown Warrior in an act of remembrance. The gesture reflected the custom of Royal bridal bouquets being placed on the grave, a tradition which began in 1923 when Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon, the future Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother, laid her bouquet as she entered the Abbey in memory of her brother Fergus, who was killed at the Battle of Loos in 1915.
The grave of the Unknown Warrior is the final resting place of an unidentified British serviceman who died on the battlefields during the First World War. The serviceman’s body was brought from Northern France and buried at Westminster Abbey on 11th November 1920 after a procession through Whitehall.  / AFP / POOL / PA WIRE / Aaron Chown

Britain's Queen Elizabeth II has been seen wearing a face mask in public for the first time.

Ahead of Remembrance Day on Wednesday, November 11, the 94-year-old queen made a private trip to the grave of the Unknown Warrior in Westminster Abbey on Wednesday, November 4. The visit marked the centenary of his burial.

For the occasion, the queen wore a black hat, coat, shoes and gloves, paired with a black face mask with a white border. It has not been announced if the piece was tailor-made or bought for the royal.

England is in the first week of its second national lockdown and it is the law to wear face coverings in a number of indoor settings, including places of worship.

LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 04: Queen Elizabeth II inspects a bouquet of flowers placed on her behalf at the grave of the Unknown Warrior by her Equerry, Lieutenant Colonel Nana Kofi Twumasi-Ankrah, during a ceremony in Westminster Abbey to mark the centenary of the burial of the Unknown Warrior on November 4, 2020. The grave of the Unknown Warrior is the final resting place of an unidentified British serviceman who died on the battlefields during the First World War and whose body was brought from Northern France and buried at Westminster Abbey on 11th November 1920. (Photo by Aaron Chown - WPA Pool/Getty Images)

Following the visit, a royal aide said: "The grave of the Unknown Warrior is as relevant and poignant today as it was when her majesty's grandfather and father stood in the abbey at its side 100 years ago.

"It holds enormous significance for the country and the royal family. The queen was keen that the centenary was marked appropriately."

The grave of the Unknown Warrior in Westminster Abbey represents all of those who died in the First World War, who have been left unidentified or with unknown resting places.

Britain's Queen Elizabeth II touches a bouquet of flowers to be layed at the grave of the Unknown Warrior to mark the centenary of the burial of the Unknown Warrior ahead of Remembrance Sunday at Westminster Abbey in London on November 4, 2020.  In the small private ceremony, The Queen honoured the Unknown Warrior and the Royal Family’s own associations with the First World War and the grave at Westminster Abbey.
As part of the ceremony, a bouquet of flowers featuring orchids and myrtle - based on Her Majesty’s own wedding bouquet from 1947 - was placed on the grave of the Unknown Warrior in an act of remembrance. The gesture reflected the custom of Royal bridal bouquets being placed on the grave, a tradition which began in 1923 when Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon, the future Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother, laid her bouquet as she entered the Abbey in memory of her brother Fergus, who was killed at the Battle of Loos in 1915.
The grave of the Unknown Warrior is the final resting place of an unidentified British serviceman who died on the battlefields during the First World War. The serviceman’s body was brought from Northern France and buried at Westminster Abbey on 11th November 1920 after a procession through Whitehall.  / AFP / POOL / PA WIRE / Aaron Chown

Criticism for not wearing a mask

The queen's last public engagement took place in October, when she met with scientists at the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory with her grandson, Prince William. Neither of the royals wore face coverings or masks for the engagement, which was greeted with criticism.

However, following the visit, a Buckingham Palace spokesman said that "specific advice had been sought ... and all necessary precautions taken".

Britain's Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, (L) stands by as Britain's Queen Elizabeth II (R) unveils a plaque to officially open the new Energetics Analysis Centre at the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl) at Porton Down science park near Salisbury, southern England, on October 15, 2020. - The Queen and the Duke of Cambridge visited the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl) where they were to view displays of weaponry and tactics used in counter intelligence, a demonstration of a Forensic Explosives Investigation and meet staff who were involved in the Salisbury Novichok incident. Her Majesty and His Royal Highness also formally opened the new Energetics Analysis Centre. (Photo by Ben STANSALL / POOL / AFP)

Last week, it was reported that Prince William contracted the coronavirus in April but kept it secret to avoid causing alarm.

His illness followed that of his father, Prince Charles, and UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, influencing William's decision not to go public at a time of much tension in the UK.

"William was hit pretty hard by the virus. It really knocked him for six," a source told The Sun.

"At one stage, he was struggling to breathe so obviously everyone around him was pretty panicked.

"After seeing medics and testing positive, which was obviously quite a shock given how fit and healthy he is, William was determined it should be business as usual, though.

"He was determined to fulfil his engagements."

These engagements extended to 14 telephone and video calls during April.

They included calling NHS staff, opening the Nightingale Hospital in Birmingham, and appearing in a Comic Relief sketch with British actor and author Stephen Fry.