The Queen has worn gloves for the first time at a Buckingham Palace investiture since she started doing them in 1952 amid warnings about the spread of coronavirus and the deadly danger it poses to the over-80s.
The 93-year-old's decision to cover her hands to the elbows came as the Government warned the death rate for people infected is 'significantly ramped up' among the elderly.
Her Majesty is known for wearing gloves when she meets members of the public at public events or garden parties - but not at investitures where she hands out gongs and knighthoods to her subjects.
Today it appears she wore them for the first time in her reign as around a mile away in Downing Street Boris Johnson unveiled the Government's 'battle plan' to tackle a major outbreak of the killer infection on British soil.
Mr Johnson insisted that he wouldn't be giving up shaking hands with people amid mixed messages about whether it is safe and repeated his advice that washing hands with soap and hot water is the safest way to kill coronavirus.
But a royal source said the Queen would be following any advice from the Government.
The Queen, who has carried out investitures since 1952, has worn gloves for the first time as she handed an MBE to D-Day veteran Harry Billinge today
Her Majesty never usually wears gloves at the Palace events, shown here knighting Alastair Cook without her hands covered
William and Kate are representing the royal family uin Ireland over the next three days - but chose not to wear gloves as they landed in Dublin today
A gloveless Prince Charles speaks with Oscar winning British composer Rachel Portman during a reception in the new Performance Hall, after presenting her with an honorary Fellowship award during the Royal College of Music's Annual Awards Ceremony
The head of state usually hands out the honours without gloves, as she carries out the fiddly task of fastening the awards to a hook on the recipients' lapels.
The oversized gloves, which stretched past the Queen's wrist, appeared much longer than the ones she usually wears when out and about meeting the public on official engagements.
However, Prince William and Kate didn't wear gloves as they started their three-day trio to Ireland this afternoon and Prince Charles was also gloveless at a Royal College of Music event
Today the Queen smiled as she gave Butterflies star Wendy Craig, 85, her CBE in a ceremony where Norfolk novelist Rose Tremain was also made a dame for her services to writing.
D-Day veteran Horace 'Harry' Billinge was given an MBE, which he dedicated to his fallen comrades who 'inspired' him.
The former Royal Engineer, who was just 18 when he stormed the beaches in German-occupied Normandy on June 6 1944, said it was 'wonderful' to meet the Queen.