A number of infectious diseases can spread from one person to another through handshakes. Since the Covid-19 outbreak, epidemiologists are advising people to wear masks and hand gloves. One person among the millions has been abiding by this advice and worn gloves for as long as anyone can tell.
Probably no one on this planet other than Queen Elizabeth II has been wearing gloves for such a long time. Glove makers Cornelia James have been making gloves for the Queen since her honeymoon in 1947. That means the 93-year-old queen has been wearing gloves in public royal events for at least 73 years.
While the gloves are an integral part of Her Majesty's iconic style, they also provide a layer of protection against the dust, and most importantly, infectious diseases that might transmit through the countless hands she shakes.
The closest person to the Queen who has so far been tested positive for coronavirus is her son Prince Charles. Although it was not possible to identify whom the prince caught the virus from, reports indicate the carrier might have been Prince Albert of Monaco.
Prince Charles and Prince Albert met each other at an event in London on March 10, and within a fortnight, both tested positive for coronavirus. Prince Albert tested positive for the virus on March 21 and Prince Charles five days after. Prince Charles also saw his mother in Buckingham palace briefly on March 12, two days after his meeting with Albert. It remains unclear whether the queen was in direct contact with her son. It is also unknown if she was wearing any gloves. Earlier photos of royal events showed the Queen holding her son's hand with her gloves on.
Some top officials of the UK government, including Prime Minister Boris Johnson have also contracted coronavirus. Johnson met the Queen on March 11 and he was diagnosed with the disease just a day after the prince tested positive. According to news reports, the prime minister has been moved to the intensive care unit in a hospital as his coronavirus symptoms worsened 10 days after the diagnosis.
Earlier, photos showed the Queen shaking hands with the prime minister without her gloves.
Meanwhile, the queen has been extra cautious about the virus since its outbreak. Last month, she was pictured wearing her white gloves during an investiture at Buckingham Palace. The monarch does not normally wear gloves at a ceremony where she pins awards on the recipient's clothing.
The Queen is now self-isolating at Windsor Castle, and is said to be in good health. Also, two weeks have passed since the queen saw the prince and the prime minister, which is considered a safe buffer. Perhaps her age-old habit with the gloves is paying off.