Queen Elizabeth Chooses Not to Shake Hands at Buckingham Palace Amid Coronavirus Outbreak

Queen Elizabeth II and Saroja Sirisena
Dominic Lipinski - WPA Pool/Getty Images

ET has learned that hand shaking in the royal family is down to personal preference.

Queen Elizabeth II is abstaining from shaking hands at official events amid the coronavirus outbreak. On Tuesday, Her Royal Highness had an audience at Buckingham Palace upon meeting with Sri Lankan High Commissioner Saroja Sirisena and her husband, Dr. Sudath Talpahewa. 

In the photos, the queen was noticeably not shaking hands with her guests. While Buckingham Palace is not commenting on the decision to not greet with handshakes, ET has learned that handshaking in the royal family is down to personal preference. 

With the recent coronavirus outbreak in the United Kingdom, an estimated 373 cases, and around the world, it seems the royals aren't taking chances. On Monday, the queen and other senior royals were seen not shaking hands with any guests or officiants at the Commonwealth Day service at Westminster Abbey. At the time, royal reporters noted that this was the church's policy more so than the royals. Queen Elizabeth was also wearing gloves during the entire ceremony, which is uncommon during investiture ceremonies. 

Dominic Lipinski - WPA Pool/Getty Images
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Queen Elizabeth's grandson, Prince William, spoke about the coronavirus last week during a visit to Ireland with his wife, Kate Middleton, and seemingly made light of the outbreak. 

"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. "It does seem quite dramatic about coronavirus at the moment."

As for Queen Elizabeth, she's lived through it all! She is currently 93 and after 68 years of service, recently became the fourth longest-serving monarch in history, surpassing Mayan ruler Pakal the Great. She is already the longest-reigning British monarch.