Queen has afternoon tea with Canada’s Governor General at Windsor

The monarch welcomed Mary Simon to her Berkshire royal residence on Tuesday.

15 March 2022

The Queen has hosted Canada’s Governor General for afternoon tea – the day after missing the Commonwealth Day service.

The monarch, 95, carried out the official in-person engagement, welcoming Mary Simon to her Windsor Castle home on Tuesday.

In the Oak Room, the Queen, who is also monarch of Canada, was pictured dressed in a blue and grey paisley-style patterned dress, standing – without her walking stick – as she shook hands with Ms Simon and greeted her husband, the journalist Whit Fraser.

Audience at Windsor Castle
The Queen shakes hands with the Governor General of Canada, Mary Simon (Steve Parsons/PA)

The Queen’s absence from the major Commonwealth event at Westminster Abbey on Monday was understood to be due to comfort rather than a specific illness.

The head of state, who reached her Platinum Jubilee last month, has faced a bout of Covid in recent weeks and also spent more than three months from October on doctors’ orders to only conduct light duties.

The Governor General is the Queen’s representative in Canada and acts on the monarch’s behalf to uphold the country’s system of responsible government.

Ms Simon, a former ambassador and lifelong advocate for indigenous people, is Canada’s first indigenous Governor General.

Audience at Windsor Castle
The monarch chats to her guests (Steve Parsons/PA)

She took up her post in July in the wake of a scandal over the nation’s long mistreatment of indigenous people.

Earlier on Tuesday, the Queen held two virtual audiences.

The head of state received the ambassadors of Mongolia and Tajikistan via video-link at her Berkshire royal residence.

Audiences at Buckingham Palace
Enkhsukh Battumur, Ambassador of Mongolia, and his wife Ganchimeg Purevdorj, are received by the Queen via video-link (Yui Mok/PA)

Mongolian ambassador Enkhsukh Battumur, in traditional dress, presented his letters of credence as he spoke to the monarch online.

The Queen also greeted Rukhshona Emomali, the republic of Tajikistan’s diplomat.

On Monday, the Prince of Wales represented his mother in the central London abbey for the annual celebration of the Commonwealth.

Audiences at Buckingham Palace
Rukhshona Emomali, Ambassador of the Republic of Tajikistan, presents her credentials to the Queen (Yui Mok/PA)

In her message on Commonwealth Day, the monarch said it had made her happy, during her Platinum Jubilee year, to reaffirm the pledge she made in 1947 as a 21-year-old to devote her life in service.

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