Queen 'had second COVID jab' before first outing of 2021

Rebecca Taylor
·Royal Correspondent
·3-min read

Watch: Queen carries out first in-person public engagement of the year at Air Forces memorial to mark centenary of RAAF

The Queen is reported to have had her second COVID jab before she took on her first in-person engagement of 2021.

The monarch, who turns 95 this month, marked the centenary of the Royal Australian Air Force at the Commonwealth War Graves Commission Air Forces Memorial, in Runnymede, Surrey, on Wednesday morning, only her third engagement outside of Windsor Castle walls in the last year.

According to The Sun, she had her second COVID vaccination before the outing.

The Queen let it be known that she'd had her first vaccination in January, a rare public statement about her private health.

However she was said to be keen to ensure there was no speculation.

With her first jab administered around 9 January, it would have been required for the monarch to have her second by the end of this week – 12 weeks later.

EGHAM, ENGLAND - MARCH 31: Queen Elizabeth II during a visit to The Royal Australian Air Force Memorial on March 31, 2021 near Egham, England. (Photo by Steve Reigate - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
The Queen looked in good spirits as she attended a service in Surrey. (Getty Images)

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The UK government guidelines are that everyone should have their first and second doses of the coronavirus vaccines within 12 weeks of each other.

Earlier this week it was announced that more than 30 million people had had their first dose of the coronavirus vaccine, with 3.5 million people getting their second doses.

However it's expected there will be issues with the supply of the vaccines in April, which may affect the speed of the rollout.

Regulations in England were slightly relaxed on Monday, allowing people to meet outside in groups of six, or two households.

Watch: The Queen says her Covid-19 jab 'didn't hurt at all'

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On 12 April, pubs and restaurants will be able to open for outdoor dining.

The Queen's visit to Surrey on 31 March was her first trip outside Windsor Castle since November 2020, when she went to London for the annual Remembrance Day service at the Cenotaph.

She did not have a mask on during the service, which took place outside and with people at distance from one another.

She was with an equerry for the event, but no other family members were present.

Her equerry laid a wreath on her behalf, and she had written a message to the RAAF to pay tribute to the skill and service of the force.

EGHAM, ENGLAND - MARCH 31: Queen Elizabeth II during a visit to The Royal Australian Air Force Memorial on March 31, 2021 near Egham, England. (Photo by Steve Reigate - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
The Queen touched the wreath with her message on before it was laid at the memorial. (Steve Reigate - WPA Pool/Getty Images)

While matters of the monarch's health are not widely publicised, the Queen spoke about her experience having her first jab during one of her online engagements in February, as she urged people to think of others when deciding whether to get their vaccine or not.

Speaking to health leaders across the UK she said: "As far as I can make out it was quite harmless.

"It was very quick, and I’ve had lots of letters from people who have been surprised by how easy it was to get the vaccine.

"And the jab – it didn’t hurt at all."

She later added: "Once you’ve had the vaccine you have a feeling of, you know, you’re protected, which is I think very important.

"I think the other thing is, that it is obviously difficult for people if they’ve never had a vaccine…but they ought to think about other people rather than themselves."