18:46 GMT06 June 2020
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    The UK royal family has not been spared from the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic; the heir apparent to the throne Prince Charles tested positive for the virus earlier this year, with Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Health Minister Matt Hancock also similarly diagnosed and self-isolating.

    New photos made public by Kensington Palace have shown Kate Middleton, 38, without her sapphire and diamond engagement ring, as images offer a glimpse into how the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are working from home as prescribed by the protocols amidst the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.

    The ring that once belonged to Prince William’s Mother, the late Princess Diana, is conspicuously absent in the photo from the past weekend, which shows Kate Middleton seated at a desk dressed in a rose-coloured suit, with many speculating that the removal of her most notable accessory was likely a precaution amid the coronavirus pandemic, as rings could be impeding proper hygiene measures.

    “Rings provide a protected area in which bacteria can flourish,” according to a study from researchers at Georgia State University in 2018. Hand sanitiser could also be rendered less effective by wearing rings, insisted the research.

    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) notes that “studies have shown that skin underneath rings contains more germs than comparable areas of skin on fingers without rings,” while adding that “further studies are needed to determine if wearing rings results in an increased spread of potentially deadly germs.”

    The caption accompanying the royal images says that as self-isolation and social distancing can be tremendous challenges to people’s mental health, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have pledged their support to mental health initiatives during the coronavirus.

    Netizens gushed over how “professional, elegant and charming” the Duchess looked in the images, while others thanked the royal couple for their input towards “mental health awareness”.


    COVID-19 Impacts Royals


    The COVID-19 outbreak has impacted the UK royal family, as Prince William’s father, Prince Charles, earlier tested positive for the virus.
    UK media reported on Monday that the eldest son of Elizabeth II and heir apparent to the British throne, who is 71, was now out of self-isolation, a week after testing positive for coronavirus, having spent the time at his home, Burnham, on the Balmoral Estate in Scotland.

    Clarence House confirmed that “having consulted with his doctor, the Prince of Wales is now out of self-isolation,” a spokesman for the royal was quoted by the BBC as saying.

    It was added that Prince Charles was in “good health and following government restrictions”.

    Britain's Prince Charles looks on during a visit to the London Transport Museum, in London, Britain March 4, 2020
    © REUTERS / Victoria Jones/Pool
    Britain's Prince Charles looks on during a visit to the London Transport Museum, in London, Britain March 4, 2020

    The Duke of Cornwall’s wife, Camilla, 72, although testing negative, had also been self-isolating.

    Amid concerns for the health and well-being of Prince Charles’ mother, Queen Elizabeth II, previously Buckingham Palace said the 93-year old Monarch had last seen her son on 12 March and was in “good health.”

    Britain's Queen Elizabeth II talks with MI5 officers during a visit to the headquarters of MI5, which is the United Kingdom's domestic counter-intelligence and security agency, at Thames House in London, Britain February 25, 2020.
    © REUTERS / POOL
    Britain's Queen Elizabeth II talks with MI5 officers during a visit to the headquarters of MI5, which is the United Kingdom's domestic counter-intelligence and security agency, at Thames House in London, Britain February 25, 2020.

    On 27 March, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson and the secretary of state for health, Matt Hancock, tested positive for COVID-19, with Johnson announcing his diagnosis in a video posted on social media, where he vowed to continue to lead the UK government's efforts from self-isolation.

    As the death toll from the coronavirus in the UK has reached 1,793 people, with 25,474 cases, according to figures from Johns Hopkins University, the country has been implementing stringent social distancing measures to combat the spread of the virus, with warnings against all non-essential travel, restricted public gatherings and tightened borders.

     

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