Queen welcomes diplomats via video link as recovery from Covid continues

·2-min read
The Queen appears on a screen via video link from Windsor Castle, where she is in residence, during a virtual audience to receive the High Commissioner of Trinidad and Tobago, Vishnu Dhanpaul, at Buckingham Palace (PA) (PA Wire)
The Queen appears on a screen via video link from Windsor Castle, where she is in residence, during a virtual audience to receive the High Commissioner of Trinidad and Tobago, Vishnu Dhanpaul, at Buckingham Palace (PA) (PA Wire)

The Queen has welcomed two new High Commissioners to the UK as she held her second virtual audience of the week following a bout of Covid.

Wearing a floral day dress, the head of state spoke to the diplomats in Buckingham Palace from her Windsor Castle home via a video link.

The 95-year-old monarch has been holding virtual events for almost two years, after taking part in her first official video conference call in 2020 as the pandemic took hold.

The Queen during her virtual audience (Victoria Jones/PA) (PA Wire)
The Queen during her virtual audience (Victoria Jones/PA) (PA Wire)

During the audience, Vishnu Dhanpaul, who was joined by his wife, presented the Letters of Recall of his predecessor and his own Letters of Commission as High Commissioner for Trinidad and Tobago.

The same ceremony took place when Thomas Bisika, also joined by his wife, was received by the Queen as he formally took up his post as Malawi’s High Commissioner.

On Tuesday, the Prince of Wales said the Queen was “a lot better now” after she tested positive for the virus on February 20.

At the time Buckingham Palace said she was experiencing “mild cold-like symptoms” and a number of virtual events were cancelled last week.

But on the day Charles spoke about his mother’s health, she was photographed hosting virtual audiences with ambassadors for the first time since her Covid diagnosis.

Malawi’s High Commissioner Thomas Bisika and his wife during the virtual audience with the Queen (Victoria Jones/PA) (PA Wire)
Malawi’s High Commissioner Thomas Bisika and his wife during the virtual audience with the Queen (Victoria Jones/PA) (PA Wire)

The Queen has a string of high-profile events coming up which she is due to attend, including the Commonwealth Service at Westminster Abbey on March 14, and then the Duke of Edinburgh’s memorial service, also at the abbey, on March 29.

The nation’s longest-reigning monarch, who is believed to have been triple vaccinated, had just returned to something approaching normal duties after a health scare last autumn, when she contracted the virus.

In the autumn she pulled out of attending the Cop26 climate change summit, the Festival of Remembrance and then the Remembrance Sunday Cenotaph service due to a sprained back. She also missed the Church of England’s General Synod.

The Queen now regularly uses a walking stick and has been pictured looking frailer recently.

Alongside her virtual events, the Queen has been carrying out light duties during her recovery, which sees her working from red boxes containing State papers which have to be read and, where necessary, approved and signed.

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