Queen Elizabeth has made her first public engagement outside of her residences since the coronavirus pandemic hit the UK.

Queen Elizabeth

Queen Elizabeth

The 94-year-old monarch was joined by her grandson, Prince William, in visiting the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory at Porton Down near Salisbury, Wiltshire, on Thursday (15.10.20) morning to officially open the new Energetics Analysis Centre.

The two royals met with scientists who work on highly-classified research and analysis to protect the UK against criminal and terrorist threats, including staff who were involved in identifying the nerve agent novichok and the clear-up of the Salisbury poisoning in 2018.

The queen and William also spoke to those who have been helping with the response to coronavirus through research and deploying microbiologists to NHS hospitals to help increase testing capacities, and were also due to see a demonstration of a Forensic Explosives Investigation (FEL) .

Over the last few months, the queen and her husband, Prince Philip, have largely shielded at Windsor Castle, though they travelled to Balmoral in Scotland for their annual summer break in August before heading to Norfolk, where the Duke of Edinburgh has remained though his wife is now back in Windsor.

The queen has only been seen in public within the castle grounds, once for a military parade to mark her official birthday, and again in July when she knighted Captain Sir Tom Moore.

However, she has been carrying out virtual engagements.