Queen could be asked to wear a face mask as a 'role model'

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·Royal Correspondent
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LONDON COLNEY, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 20: Queen Elizabeth II presents the Chatham House Prize 2019 to Sir David Attenborough at the Royal institute of International Affairs, Chatham House on November 20, 2019 in London Colney, England. (Photo by Eddie Mulholland - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
The Queen and David Attenborough have been suggested as those who could wear masks to set an example. (Getty Images)

The Queen should be asked to wear a face mask to set an example to Britons, according to a government adviser.

Face coverings will be made compulsory in shops in England from 24 July, following weeks of mixed messages and a cabinet split on their effectiveness in preventing the spread of coronavirus.

As the government prepares to enforce them, an adviser has suggested they should make use of popular figures to help encourage Britons to wear them.

According to The Times, Professor Robert West, a member of the government’s SPI-B behavioural science advisory group, said: “David Attenborough and the Queen, that’s who they want.

“I’m surprised how little use has been made of role models.”

The Queen, 94, has been isolating in Windsor Castle since mid-March, spending the longest amount of time in her Berkshire home for some years.

Britain's Queen Elizabeth II attends a ceremony to mark her official birthday at Windsor Castle in Windsor, southeast England on June 13, 2020, as Britain's Queen Elizabeth II celebrates her 94th birthday this year. (Photo by TOBY MELVILLE / POOL / AFP) (Photo by TOBY MELVILLE/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
The Queen was able to attend a scaled down version of Trooping the Colour. (Getty Images)

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She has released video messages and taken part in virtual engagements as she seeks to play her role in lifting the country’s spirits.

She would usually be in Balmoral in Scotland for her summer break by this time of year, but it’s not clear yet whether she will be able to go there.

Scotland’s first minister Nicola Sturgeon has hinted she would impose travel restrictions on England if necessary to stop the virus spreading.

Buckingham Palace said the Queen would continue to follow government advice in regards to coronavirus.

Prince William, her grandson, and the Countess of Wessex, her daughter-in-law, have been seen wearing masks in the UK, while on official engagements.

Britain's Prince William, Duke of Cambridge (2L), wearing PPE (personal protective equipment), of a face mask or covering, eye protection and an overall as a precautionary measure against spreading COVID-19, meets scientists including Christina Dold (R) during a visit to the manufacturing laboratory where a vaccine against the novel coronavirus COVID-19 has been produced at the Oxford Vaccine Group's facility at the Churchill Hospital in Oxford, west of London on June 24, 2020, during a visit to learn more about their work to establish a viable vaccine against coronavirus. (Photo by Steve Parsons / POOL / AFP) (Photo by STEVE PARSONS/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
William wore a mask when he visited Oxford to meet the team developing a vaccine. (Getty Images)

Read more: 100 things the Royal Family has done in 100 days of lockdown

William wore a mask in Oxford as he visited the team developing a vaccine for COVID-19, and Sophie has been seen wearing masks and gloves where necessary for her volunteer work.

However the royals have kept the bulk of their in-person engagements outside, meaning they are not required to wear them.

The Queen was seen wearing gloves at one of her investitures back in March before lockdown was implemented in the UK, and the Royal Family has been avoiding handshakes for several months.

She was able to attend a scaled down version of her official birthday celebration, Trooping the Colour, but it’s not known when she might return to more in-person engagements.

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