Smiling Queen carries on with royal duties after ‘I can’t move’ remark

The monarch held virtual diplomatic audiences at Windsor Castle on Thursday.

17 February 2022

The Queen beamed as she carried on with her royal duties, holding virtual audiences the day after she confessed to having trouble moving.

The monarch, 95 was seated in front of her computer screen at Windsor Castle, where she received the Finnish and Jordanian ambassadors via video link on Thursday.

It is the latest in a run of engagements this week for the head of state amid a turbulent time for the royal family, with the Duke of York settling his sexual assault lawsuit, and the cash for honours police investigation linked to the Prince of Wales’s charity.

Audiences at Buckingham Palace
The Queen receives the Ambassador of Jordan Manar Dabbas by video link (Aaron Chown/PA)

During the two audiences on Thursday, the Queen, in a floral dress with a large brooch and her trademark pearls, could be seen smiling on screen as she chatted to the diplomats.

The ambassador of Finland Jukka Siukosaari, who was at Buckingham Palace, presented the Letters of Recall of his predecessor and his own Letters of Credence on the antique table in front of the monitor.

He was joined by his wife Mariella.

The ambassador of Jordan Manar Dabbas also presented his credentials.

Audiences at Buckingham Palace
The Finnish ambassador at Buckingham Palace during the audience – with the Queen on screen (Aaron Chown/PA)

The official engagements took place as a poll revealed the Queen’s popularity as the nation’s favourite royal has grown.

Almost half (45%) of people who took part named the monarch as one of their most liked royals, a rise of five percentage points since March 2021, Ipsos said.

On Wednesday, the sovereign, standing holding a walking stick, remarked during an in-person audience: “Well, as you can see, I can’t move.”

Her remarks raised concern for her frailty.

Buckingham Palace declined to comment but the Queen is understood to have been feeling slightly stiff, rather than having injured herself or being unwell.

Audience at Windsor Castle
The Queen at her in-person audience on Wednesday (Steve Parsons/PA)

For more than three months, she was ordered to rest and only carry out light duties after spending a night in hospital undergoing preliminary tests in October.

She faced a Covid scare last week after coming into contact with Charles, who later tested positive for the virus.

The Palace has continued to refuse to confirm whether the Queen tested positive or negative, citing medical privacy, and saying only that she was not displaying any symptoms.

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