Palace keen to show Queen’s recovered after health scare by plugging royal return to work

Queen holds in-person audience after missing Cenotaph event

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The Queen, 95, appeared virtually on Thursday to speak with Vietnam’s ambassador, after holding a face-to-face meeting with the outgoing chief of defence, General Sir Nick Carter, on Wednesday. This audience at Windsor Castle was the Queen’s first outing in weeks amid a run of missed appearances due to health concerns.

On Thursday, the Royal Family’s official Twitter account posted: “Today The Queen held a virtual Audience with His Excellency Mr Nguyen Hoang Long, Ambassador from Vietnam.

“There are more than 170 Ambassadors and High Commissions based in London.

“Each have an Audience of The Queen after taking up their role.”

Concerns over the health of the longest-reigning monarch, 95, have grown over recent weeks and were addressed by her son, the Prince of Wales, on Wednesday.

Speaking from Jordan, Prince Charles commented that the Queen is “alright, thank you very much.”

He told Sky News royal correspondent Rhiannon Mills: “Once you get to 95, it’s not quite as easy as it used to be.”

The oldest heir apparent in British history exclaimed: “It’s bad enough at 73!”

Her Majesty did not attend the Remembrance Sunday service at the Cenotaph after injuring her back just before the event.

A statement from Buckingham Palace said that the Queen was “disappointed” to miss the service, but, “having sprained her back, [she] has decided this morning with great regret that she will not be able to attend today’s Remembrance Sunday service at the Cenotaph.”

The Palace had previously described Her Majesty’s “firm intention” to attend after missing a slew of public engagements since the latter half of October.

The Queen spent a night in hospital in central London on October 20 but returned home to Windsor Castle promptly after preliminary tests.

It was her first overnight stint in hospital in eight years.

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It followed a last-minute cancellation to her planned visit to Northern Ireland earlier in October, where she was to attend a service in Armagh to mark the centenary of its creation.

Princess Anne travelled to Northern Ireland in her mother’s stead to unveil a tribute to mark the occasion.

The Princess Royal also accompanied Her Majesty to mark the centenary of the Royal British Legion at Westminster Abbey at the beginning of October, when the Queen was spotted using a walking aid.

It was the first time Her Majesty used a walking aid for comfort, rather than a specific medical reason.

Her Majesty also opted to address the delegates of the COP26 UN climate change conference in Glasgow via pre-recorded message, rather than travel to Scotland with other senior royals.

Her Majesty accepted medical advice to rest, and only conduct “light” duties, including virtual meetings rather than in-person engagements.

As part of her recuperation, she flew by helicopter to her Sandringham estate on the Norfolk coast for a brief stay away from her home at Windsor.

The Queen’s absence at these high-profile meetings – instead represented by members of the Royal Family in her stead – has highlighted a pattern of senior royals stepping up and taking on increased responsibility as the Queen’s health falters.

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