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Queen Elizabeth holds in-person meets week after Covid scare

By AFP
16 February 2022   |   3:00 pm
Queen Elizabeth II on Wednesday carried out her first in-person official engagements since fears emerged that she could have contracted coronavirus last week.

*Under embargo until 1200 GMT, February 6, 2022*A Buckingham Palace handout image released on February 6, 2022, shows Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II smiling as she sits in Sandringham House in Norfolk, eastern England on February 2, 2022, released to mark the start of Her Majesty’s Platinum Jubilee Year. – Queen Elizabeth II on Sunday becomes the first British monarch to reign for seven decades, in a bittersweet landmark as she also marked the 70th anniversary of her father’s death. (Photo by CHRIS JACKSON / BUCKINGHAM PALACE / AFP) / 

Queen Elizabeth II on Wednesday carried out her first in-person official engagements since fears emerged that she could have contracted coronavirus last week.

Anxiety grew after Prince Charles, her eldest son and heir to the throne, tested positive for Covid-19 for the second time, two days after meeting the 95-year-old monarch.

His wife Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall, also then tested positive, and the couple have been self-isolating since according to aides.

Buckingham Palace has not revealed whether the queen — who this month marked 70 years on the throne — has taken any Covid tests herself.

On Wednesday, a week on from the scare, she received two senior Royal Navy officers at her Windsor Castle residence west of London.

A photograph posted on the royal family’s Twitter account showed the monarch holding a walking stick and wearing a patterned dress, as she met one of the officers in the Oak Room sitting room at the castle.

This followed her holding two virtual audiences from Windsor the previous day, meeting via video-link with newly appointed ambassadors from Estonia and Spain.

Meanwhile earlier this month, on the eve of the 70th anniversary of her accession to the throne, she held a reception for locals at Sandringham, her estate in eastern England.

It was reportedly her largest in-person public engagement since an unexplained health issue last autumn that saw her spend a night in hospital.

This week’s return to regular royal duties, after limiting them as the Omicron variant swept Britain in recent months, comes with the royal family mired in scandals.

The queen’s second son, Prince Andrew, settled a sexual assault civil lawsuit in the United States on Tuesday, reportedly for £12 million ($16.3 million, 14.3 million euros) — which newspapers claim she will partly fund.

Meanwhile police in London said Wednesday they were investigating claims that a Saudi tycoon was offered UK honours in return for donations to Prince Charles’ charitable foundation.

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