The Queen carried out virtual audiences at Windsor Castle today in what were her first official engagements in seven days since she was ordered to rest by doctors.
It is the first time the head of state has been seen – albeit on a screen – since she hosted a busy evening reception for the global investment summit on October 19. The Queen cancelled a trip to Northern Ireland and had preliminary tests in hospital the following day during her first overnight stay at a medical facility in eight years.
Today, the 95-year-old monarch wore a yellow dress and three-strand pearl necklace, and smiled as she was pictured on a computer screen while sat in a room at Windsor. The Queen was also photographed at Windsor in an image released on the royal family’s social media accounts.
The monarch was shown side on, smiling as she sat in a chair with her hands in her lap, in front of her computer screen. On the table were the Queen’s folded glasses and several pages of typed briefing notes for the audiences.
She greeted the ambassador from South Korea, Gunn Kim, who was at Buckingham Palace dressed in Korean clothing including a traditional hat known as a gat. The Queen also held a virtual audience to receive the ambassador from Switzerland, Markus Leitner, accompanied by his wife Nicole, who were also both at the Palace.
Among those welcoming her return to duties today was Dickie Arbiter, her former press secretary, who tweeted: ‘It’s so good to see the Queen back at work today and in such good spirits conducting two video link audiences from Windsor Castle.’ Royal expert Roya Nikkhah added: ‘Good to see the Queen is all smiles back at work.’
It is still hoped that the monarch will be able to lead the Royal Family at the Cop26 climate summit in Glasgow next week, either in person or via videolink. A final decision will be made later this week. Buckingham Palace said yesterday that the Queen was still in good spirits and undertaking some ‘light duties’ while resting.
The Queen was photographed at Windsor Castle today in a picture released on the royal family’s social media accounts. The monarch was shown side on, smiling as she sat in a chair with her hands in her lap, in front of her large computer screen. On the table were the Queen’s folded glasses and several pages of typed briefing notes for the audiences
Queen Elizabeth II appears on a screen via videolink from Windsor Castle this morning
The Queen on screen via videolink from Windsor Castle this morning during a virtual audience to meet the ambassador from South Korea, Gunn Kim, who was at Buckingham Palace
The ambassador from South Korea, Gunn Kim, is seen at Buckingham Palace this morning
The Queen also held a virtual audience today to receive the ambassador from Switzerland, Markus Leitner, accompanied by his wife Nicole, who were also both at Buckingham Palace
Swiss ambassador Markus Leitner at Buckingham Palace this morning as he meets the Queen
Today is the first time the Queen has been seen – albeit on a screen – since she hosted a busy evening reception for the global investment summit at Windsor Castle on October 19 (above)
Queen Elizabeth II hosted a reception for international business and investment leaders at Windsor Castle on October 19
The monarch is being looked after by the Medical Household, her expert team of royal physicians.
She is due to attend events in Scotland next week as part of a flurry of royal Cop26 engagements involving the Prince of Wales, the Duchess of Cornwall and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge between November 1 and 5.
Queen hasn’t walked dogs for nearly a week
The Queen has not been able to enjoy her daily walk with her dogs for almost a week after being told to rest by doctors.
Sources say the monarch has been taking their orders to rest seriously after she was kept in hospital overnight on Wednesday for ‘preliminary investigations’.
The Queen, 95, has two corgi puppies and dorgi Candy, a cross between a corgi and a dachshund. One of the highlights of her day is being driven to walk them near Frogmore on her Windsor estate, where Harry and Meghan once lived.
Family and friends believe these daily excursions are a ‘tonic’ and have helped keep the Queen so healthy in her nineties.
But instead the dogs have been walked by staff since her hospital stay. Buckingham Palace said yesterday that the Queen was still in good spirits and undertaking some ‘light duties’ while resting.
It is still hoped she will be able to lead the Royal Family at the Cop26 UN climate change summit in Glasgow next week, either in person or via video link. A final decision will be made towards the end of this week.
On the royal family’s website, the Queen is still listed as attending a reception on November 1 as part of the climate change conference.
She had a busy schedule of engagements in the first weeks of October following her return from Balmoral.
Her hospital stay was kept a secret and only confirmed by the Palace when it was revealed by a newspaper.
Last week the BBC’s veteran Royal Correspondent Nicholas Witchell faced a backlash last night after questioning whether Buckingham Palace undermined public trust by failing to reveal the Queen had been admitted to hospital.
In forthright comments, Mr Witchell said that journalists and the public had not been ‘given the complete picture’.
He added: ‘The problem, it seems to me, is that rumour and misinformation always thrive in the absence of proper, accurate and trustworthy information.’
But his remarks provoked criticism online. ‘Nicholas Witchell is honestly so infuriating,’ one Royal watcher wrote on Twitter. ‘The Queen is 95 and like most her age, she’ll be in and out of hospital for various tests because that’s what happens at that age no matter how fit you are. She doesn’t need to disclose her every move, let her have some dignity.’
Another Twitter user wrote: ‘He’s a pompous a***, full of his own self importance. Bring back Jennie Bond. She was classy.’
A third asked: ‘Since when has the Queen been answerable to Nicholas Witchell?’
A BBC stalwart, Mr Witchell, 68, famously provoked royal displeasure in 2005 when, during a press conference in the Swiss ski resort of Klosters, he asked Prince Charles about his forthcoming marriage to Camilla Parker Bowles.
Under his breath, Charles was heard to mutter to Princes William and Harry: ‘I can’t bear that man. I mean, he’s so awful, he really is.’
Her Majesty’s return to duties today comes after it emerged she has not been able to enjoy her daily walk with her dogs for almost a week after being told to rest by doctors.
October 16 — Queen Elizabeth II attends Champions Day at Ascot Racecourse in Berkshire
October 13 — Dame Imogen Cooper is received by Queen Elizabeth II at Buckingham Palace, London, where she was presented with The Queen’s Medal for Music for 2019
October 12 — Queen Elizabeth II uses a walking stick as she arrives to attend a service at Westminster Abbey in London
October 10 — Queen Elizabeth II is seen on her way to The Royal Chapel of All Saints in Windsor as she returns to church
October 6 — Queen Elizabeth II gestures as she meets members of the Royal Regiment of Canadian Artillery to mark the 150th Anniversary of the foundation of A and B Batteries, at Windsor Castle
October 4 — The Queen is shown the baton that will carry her personal message at Buckingham Palace in London ahead of the launch of the Queen’s Baton Relay for the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games
October 2 — Queen Elizabeth II shakes hands with First Minister Nicola Sturgeon as Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall looks on at the opening of the sixth session of the Scottish Parliament
Sources say the Queen has been taking the doctors’ orders to rest seriously after she was kept in hospital overnight last Wednesday for ‘preliminary investigations’.
Prince Andrew lawsuit ‘will cast cloud over Queen’s Platinum Jubilee’
The Queen’s platinum jubilee is set to be dogged by her son Palace Andrew’s court drama, in what a royal expert has described as ‘grim news’ for Buckingham Palace.
Documents lodged in New York show the civil case of rape and sexual assault being brought against him by Jeffrey Epstein’s victim is to go ahead as quickly as possible.
Judge Lewis Kaplan has ruled, with the agreement of both parties, that all disclosures and depositions should be completed before July next year.
This means that key moments in the case will be heard in the run-up to the official national celebrations to mark the Queen’s 70 years on the throne.
And royal commentator Richard Fitzwilliams said that there will now be a ‘cloud’ over the festivities, caused by Andrew’s ‘atrociously ill-advised friendship with Epstein’.
The commemorations will last throughout the year and will see senior royals – except Andrew – travel around the country and overseas. The events will culminate in a four-day bank holiday over the first weekend of June.
One of the highlights of her day is being driven to walk her dogs near Frogmore on her Windsor estate, where her grandson Prince Harry and Meghan Markle once lived.
Family and friends believe these daily excursions are a ‘tonic’ and have helped keep the Queen so healthy.
But the dogs have been walked by staff since her hospital stay.
The Queen was seen using a walking stick for the first time at a major engagement during a Westminster Abbey service on October 12.
On Thursday October 21, she was said to be in ‘good spirits’ after her hospital stay and back at her desk, undertaking light duties.
But she missed a church service at Windsor on Sunday.
Royal sources had briefed the Sunday Times that the Queen was ‘knackered’ due to a busy social life and preference for late night television, as having a hectic run of engagements in October.
The Queen’s husband of 73 years the Duke of Edinburgh died six months ago at the age of 99.
Buckingham Palace would not comment on whether the monarch has received her booster Covid-19 jab, but given her age it is likely she has already had it.
A Buckingham Palace spokesman said today: ‘Her Majesty The Queen today conducted two virtual audiences via video link from Windsor Castle.
‘His Excellency Mr Gunn Kim was received in audience by The Queen today via video link and presented the Letters of Recall of his predecessor and his own Letters of Credence as Ambassador from the Republic of Korea to the Court of St James’s. Mrs Hee Jung Lee was also received by Her Majesty.
‘His Excellency Mr Markus Leitner was received in audience by The Queen and presented the Letters of Recall of his predecessor and his own Letters of Credence as Ambassador from the Swiss Confederation to the Court of St. James’s. Mrs Leitner was also received by Her Majesty.’
The Queen’s busy schedule before a night in hospital
The Queen attended a number of engagements before spending a night in hospital on Wednesday last week. She was ordered to rest by doctors and advised to miss a trip to Northern Ireland following her busy schedule.
Here is what the 95-year-old monarch has been up to since her return to Windsor Castle at the start of October:
– October 6: The Queen holds two virtual audiences at Windsor with the Greek ambassador and the ambassador for Belize.
She meets Canadian troops from 1st Regiment Royal Canadian Horse Artillery, and later has a telephone audience with Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
– October 7: The Queen, with the Earl of Wessex, launches the Queen’s Baton Relay for the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games from the forecourt of Buckingham Palace.
– October 12: The Queen, accompanied by the Princess Royal, attends a Westminster Abbey service of thanksgiving to mark the centenary of the Royal British Legion.
She uses a walking stick at the abbey – the first time she has done so at a major event.
– October 13: The monarch has a face-to-face audience with pianist Dame Imogen Cooper to present her with the Queen’s Medal for Music. She also holds three other audiences.
– October 14: On an away day to Cardiff, the Queen delivers a speech at the sixth session of the Welsh Senedd.
– October 16: The Queen enjoys a day at the races at Ascot, and presents the trophy after the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes during the Qipco British Champions Day.
– October 18: She holds a virtual audience with the new Governor-General of New Zealand, Dame Cindy Kiro.
– October 19: The Queen has three engagements – two virtual audiences with the Japanese ambassador and the EU ambassador, and then hosts an evening reception at Windsor Castle to mark the Global Investment Summit.
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