Why Queen Elizabeth's latest appearance has the internet seeing red

Remember back in 2018, when Russia allegedly tried to assassinate former Russian spy, Sergei Skripal, and his daughter using a deadly nerve agent? The top-secret, military facility that headed up the investigation, Porton Down, is getting a new Energetics Analysis Centre, meant to "protect the UK against terrorist and criminal threats relating to explosives" (via itv and Instagram). It's only natural that the former princess-turned World War II car mechanic, Queen Elizabeth II, wanted to inaugurate it. During her Oct. 15, 2020 visit (shown above), Porton Down's employees showed Her Royal Majesty, who was accompanied by Prince William, counter-intelligence weapons. The Queen also met with the scientists who identified Novichok as the poison gas used in the assassination attempt against Skripal, and microbiologists involved in COVID 19 research. 

It's hard to think of a more (quite literally, volatile) occasion for Her Highness's first appearance since the UK's COVID 19 lockdown. This story, after all, has all the makings of the beginnings of a James Bond flick. But in the visit's aftermath, it wasn't an explosive new update about the nerve agent Novichok that had the internet seeing red. (To our knowledge, no such revelation has been made.) It was the Queen's get-up.  

Why the internet is outraged at Queen Elizabeth's Porton Down appearance

It wasn't so much the "what." (Pink and pearls have never failed Queen Elizabeth before.) It was the "what not," and more specifically, what Queen Elizabeth was not wearing. A face mask. In fact, itv says that neither the Queen nor Prince William nor anybody else in the facility deigned to wear one. Royal reporter Chris Ship addressed the issue on Twitter, assuring followers of the Royal Family that Her Majesty had "consulted her own medics and those who work at [the Defense Science and Technology Laboratory - dstl]."  Ship further noted that "Apparently all the staff at [Porton Down] were tested for coronavirus before The Queen's visit – and all returned negative results." 

The Twitterverse wasn't buying it. "So people are going to see these images and think 'queen doesn't bother. Why should I' She should wear one for the optics alone," vented one angry, royal follower. "What about healthcare workers? She should just stay in isolation and give the tests to them," exclaimed another, who added, "They need them, lives are depending on it. This is outrageous." Journalist Benjamin Butterworth fanned the flames further when he brought Megxit into the conversation, and caught the tabloid, Express' attention. He pointed out on talkRADIO that "If any [Porton Down employee] had an incorrect negative test that puts [Queen Elizabeth] at significant risk," and that "It's got nothing to do with Meghan Markle but I'm sure she would have worn a mask."