Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip have received the first dose of the coronavirus vaccine.
Buckingham Palace announced on Saturday that the Queen, 94, and her husband, 99, who are both in the high risk category, had been given vaccinations.
“The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh have today received Covid-19 vaccinations,” a Buckingham Palace spokesperson tells PEOPLE.
A royal source confirms that the vaccinations were administered by a Household Doctor at Windsor Castle. As for why the news was made public, the source says the monarch wanted to prevent speculation and inaccuracies.
Last week, Denmark’s Queen Margrethe became the first European sovereign to publicly receive a COVID-19 vaccine.
The Queen’s grandson Prince William previously tested positive for the virus in April, after his father, Prince Charles, was diagnosed.
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Back in March, the Queen left Buckingham Palace in London to self-isolate at Windsor Castle with her husband.
Since then, she has limited her engagements to small gatherings. The Queen held a scaled-down Trooping the Colour celebration in June and the knighting of fundraiser Sir Tom Moore, both behind closed doors.
She also recently canceled all her garden parties in 2021. The three parties traditionally take place at Buckingham Palace each May. She also holds one at Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh, Scotland, later in the year.
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The news came one day after Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced a new national lockdown for England and Scotland until at least mid-February.
London has been categorized as Tier 4 lockdown, meaning citizens must stay home except for approved reasons such as buying food, exercising outdoors, medical purposes or work that can’t be done from home.
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The Queen addressed the COVID-19 crisis during her annual Christmas speech, making a call for hope and unity in the face of extreme difficulty.
“Remarkably, a year that has necessarily kept people apart has, in many ways, brought us closer. Across the Commonwealth, my family and I have been inspired by stories of people volunteering in their communities, helping those in need,” she said.
“We continue to be inspired by the kindness of strangers and draw comfort that – even on the darkest nights – there is hope in the new dawn,” she continued.
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