Queen ditches gloves day after wearing them for investitures

Rebecca Taylor
Royal Correspondent
Queen Elizabeth II meets President of Malta George Vella and his wife Miriam Vella during an audience at Buckingham Palace, London. (Press Association)

The Queen has ditched her gloves again, the day after wearing them for investitures at Buckingham Palace.

While giving out awards at the palace on Tuesday afternoon, the Queen was seen in long white gloves, despite it being a fiddly process to attach the medal to clothing.

But as she received the president of Malta and his wife on Wednesday, she was gloveless, shaking bare hands with the couple.

It came amid growing fears of the spread of coronavirus.

The Palace did not confirm whether the Queen wore gloves earlier in the week because of the virus, but she has not worn gloves at investitures for some time.

A royal source said she would be following government advice.

Queen Elizabeth II did not wear gloves for her audiences on Wednesday. (Press Association)

Read more: Coronavirus: Queen wears long gloves while handing out honours to members of the public

In her one-to-one audiences on Wednesday, the Queen, dressed in a vibrant red dress, met President of Malta George Vella in the Palace’s 1844 room.

She also held an audience with Cuban Ambassador Barbara Montalvo Alvarez.

The monarch shook hands with her guests, who were also without gloves.

Government advice is that people wash their hands regularly and for 20 seconds, with soap and water and use hand sanitiser.

The Royal Family posted a video on social media of the Queen meeting Vella, who tells her he “always dreamt about” meeting her, and “at last it has happened”.

The Queen replies: “Oh that’s very nice isn’t it.”

Queen Elizabeth II wears gloves as she awards the CBE (Commander of the Order of the British Empire) to Miss Anne Craig. (Press Association)

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The Queen and Philip have a special relationship with Malta as they lived there in the early years of their marriage, because the death of the Queen’s father.

Audiences with the Queen last about 15 to 20 minutes and the conversations take place in private.

She holds several throughout her working week and are usually for members of the diplomatic community, though this sometimes extends to political, religious or military leaders.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said he will continue to shake hands with people despite the outbreak of coronavirus.

Prime ministers usually have an audience with the Queen each Wednesday, where they typically shake the monarch’s hand.

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