The senior members of the royal family were all in attendance at the Commonwealth Service at Westminster Abbey on Monday. Queen Elizabeth II, Prince Charles,Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, Prince William, Kate Middleton, Prince Harry, Meghan Markle, Prince Edward, and his wife, Sophie, were all spotted at the annual service in honor of Commonwealth Day.
But there was one noticeable difference this year as the royals entered the famed London church and took their seats. No one in the royal family shook hands with any of the attendees or those presiding over the service. One royal reporter noted that Prince Charles was not shaking hands with anyone, but was rather offering a "namaste" to guests. The same reporter later tweeted it was Westminster Abbey policy at the moment to not shake hands rather than royal protocol due to the recent outbreak of coronavirus in the U.K.
Prince Charles doesn’t appear to be shaking hands with anyone but offering a ‘namaste’
— Rebecca English (@RE_DailyMail) March 9, 2020
Prince Charles appeared to pull out of a handshake as he arrived at the Commonwealth Day Service. The occasion is Harry and Meghan's final official engagement as senior royal https://t.co/6vBUBH7X9Lpic.twitter.com/wllQjcdiZb
— ITV News (@itvnews) March 9, 2020
Prince Harry was later spotted giving singer Craig David a forearm bump instead of a handshake.
— Monique Jessen (@moniquejessen) March 9, 2020
The 93-year-old queen was seen wearing gloves throughout the event. She normally does not wear during investiture ceremonies. None of the other royals were seen shaking hands at the event. This comes just days after Prince William made a quip about the ongoing coronavirus outbreaks during a visit to Ireland with Kate.
"I bet everyone's like, 'I've got coronavirus, I'm dying,' and you're like, 'No, you've just got a cough,'" William said in a clip. "It does seem quite dramatic about coronavirus at the moment."