Since returning to in-person public engagements, the British royal family has practiced social distancing

By Stephanie Petit
July 28, 2020 11:25 AM
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Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall just skipped the chauffeured car in favor of walking to work.

Prince Charles' wife, who celebrated her 73rd birthday earlier this month, was snapped making her way through London on foot from her Clarence House home on Tuesday for a day of royal engagements. She blended in with passersby sporting a denim dress, accessorized with a turtle brooch and carrying a beige handbag.

Camilla also kept with coronavirus safety precautions by wearing a Liberty print mask by Fiona Clare. Since the British royal family has returned to in-person visits last month, they have opted for social distancing measures over face coverings, making Camilla the first member of the family to step out in a mask.

Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall
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Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall
Karwai Tang/WireImage
Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall
Karwai Tang/WireImage

Camilla's first stop of the day was to the National Gallery, which recently reopened to the public, to tour the recently renovated Room 32. Staff from the National Gallery wore face shields throughout their visit, which Camilla admired.

"Look at those visors!" she said. "I cannot speak through this. It’s quite hard having a conversation. Those visors are much easier."

Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall
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"You must be glad to be back," Camilla told staff. "It's lovely to see this place open. It’s lovely to see relative normality."

Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall
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The royal also visited Boots Piccadilly Store, a pharmacy and convenience store, to hear about their support of the charity Hestia's Safe Spaces program for victims of domestic violence, one of her key causes. She also learned about the company's response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall
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After months of quarantining at their Scottish home and doing royal engagements virtually, Camilla and Prince Charles — who tested positive for COVID-19 in March — have both returned to in-person visits. However, Camilla shared how social distancing and other precautions changed their outings.

"It’s very strange, we went to Gloucester the other day to thanks these wonderful NHS frontline workers," Camilla recently said on BBC Radio. "But I wanted to go up to them and shake their hand and say, 'You’ve done such wonderful job,' but it didn’t feel quite the same standing in my little circle, don’t move left or right. You had to shout thank you, and it’s very different."

Prince Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall
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Camilla also admitted she previously "really hated the Internet," but found it to be "brilliant" during lockdown as she used it to communicate with family and friends. Still, she found video engagements to be no replacement for the real thing.

"It is about connecting and you know it's lovely talking to people," she said. "I like talking to people and sitting and looking at peoples' faces, and you can't really on screens, I mean you see their faces, but you don't get the animated look that you get looking at a real person."