Queen will be 'frustrated' by COP26 absence says expert
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The Queen remains at Windsor Castle following her doctors’ order to rest – but is committed to still carrying out her roles as a sovereign. And yesterday she resumed after a break her weekly engagement with the Prime Minister.
The Daily Express royal correspondent, Richard Palmer, tweeted: “The Queen gave an audience to Prime Minister Boris Johnson for the first time in three weeks last night.
“The usually weekly audiences, mostly phone conversations since the pandemic, are a chance for PMs to speak in confidence about the challenges they face.”
Their meeting was also added to the Court Circular, the official register of royal engagements.
The entry read: “The Rt Hon Boris Johnson MP (Prime Minister and First Lord of the Treasury) had an audience of The Queen via telephone this evening.”
The last recorded audience between the pair is dated October 6.
The following week, Mr Johnson was on holiday and last week the monarch had seen him in person at the reception she hosted at Windsor Castle for the Global Investment Summit.
The Queen and Mr Johnson shifted to phone meetings rather than in-person encounters in March 2020, as the Covid crisis became apparent.
At the time, Buckingham Palace announced the shift by sharing a picture of the Queen on the phone in her studio at Windsor Castle.
The caption read: “The Queen held her weekly Audience with the Prime Minister today by telephone.
“Her Majesty – pictured this evening at Windsor Castle – has held a weekly Audience with her Prime Minister throughout her reign.”
Their first in-person audience since the beginning of the pandemic took place several months later, in June 2021, at Buckingham Palace.
During the same month, the Queen met Mr Johnson in Cornwall for a reception held after the G7 summit.
There, she also met for the first time US President Joe Biden and his wife Dr Jill Biden – whom the monarch later hosted for tea at her Berkshire castle.
The Queen’s health became a cause of concern for royal watchers last week, when Buckingham Palace announced she had “reluctantly” agreed not to travel to Northern Ireland for a two-day trip marking the nation’s centenary.
In a statement released on October 20, the palace said the monarch had “accepted medical advice to rest for the next few days”.
Concern was heightened by the fact the Queen hasn’t been seen since walking her beloved dogs and skipped Sunday service at All Saints Chapel in Windsor.
Moreover, it was revealed the monarch had spent Wednesday night in a London hospital “for practical reason” after she had undergone “preliminary tests” – the results of which have not been disclosed.
However, the monarch quashed fears on Tuesday, when she appeared in public – albeit on screen – for the first time in a week.
Then, she held two audiences with incoming foreign ambassadors via video link from her home in Windsor.
Hours later, the palace announced the Queen had “regretfully decided” not to travel to Glasgow to attend the evening reception at COP26 next Monday.
She will instead deliver a video message recorded this week.
While she remains in Windsor, the Queen continues to carry out “light duties”, insiders say, including dealing with the Government’s red boxes.
Before the Chancellor’s Budget, she also held a phone call with Rishi Sunak.
The Queen has enjoyed exceptional health over the past decades and was last in hospital in 2018, when she had a successful cataract procedure.
Five years prior, she was brought to hospital after suffering from gastroenteritis.
And in the previous decade she had a surgery on her knee, which forced her to use a crutch for a few days.
However, over the years the monarch was forced to cancel planned engagements for minor ailments – such as in January 2020, when she cancelled her yearly visit to the Sandringham’s Women’s Institute branch because she was “not feeling up to it”.
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