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Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip received COVID-19 vaccinations, Palace confirms

A royal source confirmed the news about the monarch and her consort on Saturday.
/ Source: TODAY

Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip have received their COVID-19 vaccinations, a royal source from Buckingham Palace confirmed Saturday.

“The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh have today received Covid-19 vaccinations,” read a statement from the palace. "A source confirms, these have been administered by a Household Doctor at Windsor Castle."

According to the statement, the news was made public to set the record straight. "To prevent inaccuracies and further speculation, Her Majesty decided that she would let it be known she has had the vaccination."

The statement said that no other details will be shared.

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Back in December, Dominic Raab, Britain's foreign secretary and one of the leaders of the United Kingdom's vaccine distribution program, told TODAY that the queen and the duke would be getting the coronavirus vaccine.

"I'm not sure they'll do it on camera, but I'm sure arrangements will be made ... like any family, they will have felt the pressures and all the worries that surround this pandemic," said Raab.

The 94-year-old monarch and her 99-year-old husband have adapted their lives to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 over the course of the past year. They skipped their traditional large family gathering for Christmas this past holiday season and the queen has also rescheduled public appearances for the sake of mitigating the risk of the coronavirus.

The royal vaccinations come just as U.K. Prime Minster Boris Johnson recently announced drastic new measures to get COVID-19 under control in the country. The more contagious U.K. variant of the virus has led to a surge in cases, pushing hospitals to their breaking point and causing a spike in death tolls.

NBC News reported that the virus has already killed more than 76,000 people in the U.K., the worst death toll in Europe and the fifth worst in the world, according to Johns Hopkins University.

The royal leaders going public with their vaccinations may help to assure people that it is safe and prudent to get the vaccine. Last month, Prue Leith, one of the judges on the popular "Great British Baking Show" (or "Great British Bake Off" as it's known across the pond) was one of the first British celebrities to publicly get the shot.

Leith called the experience a "painless jab" and encouraged others to follow suit.

In addition, a 91-year-old British grandpa went viral for his interview after getting the COVID-19 vaccination. “No point in dying now when I have lived this long, is there?” he was quoted as saying.