Queen Elizabeth takes unusual measure as coronavirus spreads across Britain

Queen Elizabeth has taken the unusual step of wearing gloves at an investiture ceremony at Buckingham Palace as the United Kingdom attempts to combat the spread of coronavirus.

The 93-year-old monarch was pictured on Tuesday (local time) donning white gloves as she honoured many Brits and fastened medals on them.

According to British media, while the Queen regularly wears gloves out in public, it is highly unusual for her to do so at such a ceremony. Media outlets Royal Central and The Daily Mail go as far as to say it is the first time she has ever worn gloves at the event. However, The Sun says The Queen wore gloves at a knighting ceremony in 1954.

ITV reports she hasn't worn gloves at an investiture in at least the last decade.

Buckingham Palace has declined to comment on whether the gloves were a response to the deadly coronavirus, which is understood to be most harmful to the elderly and those with pre-existing health conditions. 

Joe Little, managing editor of Majesty magazine, was cited by ITV as saying: "The Queen doesn't wear gloves at investitures, but it's a sensible precaution.

"She's six or so weeks away from her 94th birthday and she’s at an age when she’s susceptible to such a virus."

Other royals, including Prince Charles and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, were pictured without gloves at other events. 

The number of people in the UK with COVID-19 has risen to 51. It comes as the nation releases its plan to curb the spread, which includes possibly implementing measures like school closures, cancelling events, and limiting the use of public transport. 

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has warned that the number of cases could jump substantially. 

"The most important thing now is that we prepare against a possible very significant expansion of coronavirus in the UK population," he was cited by the BBC as saying. 

He believes it is more likely than not that the country will face a "challenge" in the coming weeks and months, but says he felt reassured by the nation's health service.

Johnson pointed out the importance of washing your hands, the primary advice of most health departments around the world.