Queen carries out virtual engagements at Windsor Castle

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Business as usual! Smiling Queen carries out virtual engagements at Windsor Castle she prepares to mark the first anniversary of Prince Philip’s death

  • Queen, 95, carried out a virtual engagement from Windsor Castle today
  • She welcomed the Ambassadors of Libya and the Republic of Congo
  • Comes days ahead of the anniversary of the Duke of Edinburgh’s death 

The Queen continued with her official duties today as she prepares to mark the first anniversary of the Duke of Edinburgh’s death this weekend. 

The monarch, 95, appeared via video link from Windsor Castle to welcome the ambassadors of Libya and the Republic of Congo, who presented their credentials at Buckingham Palace. 

Dressed in a vibrant cyan and pink floral ensemble, the Queen looked sprightly as she chatted to the dignitaries from the comfort of her Berkshire home. 

Keep calm and continue working: The Queen continued with her official duties today as she prepares to mark the first anniversary of the Duke of Edinburgh's death this weekend

Keep calm and continue working: The Queen continued with her official duties today as she prepares to mark the first anniversary of the Duke of Edinburgh’s death this weekend

Emotional milestone: The Queen will mark a year since her husband's death on Saturday. Pictured, the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh in a touching photo taken in 2007

Emotional milestone: The Queen will mark a year since her husband’s death on Saturday. Pictured, the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh in a touching photo taken in 2007

It comes as the Royal Family prepares to mark the first anniversary since the death of Prince Philip on April 9, 2021. 

His service of thanksgiving was held at Westminster Abbey last Tuesday. 

The Queen was joined by Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, visiting royals, and some 1,800 guests as she paid a final tribute to her beloved husband of 73 years. 

There were fears the Queen would be unable to attend due to mobility issues, however she made the journey from Windsor Castle to London. 

Controversially, she was escorted by her disgraced son Prince Andrew. 

To the shock of many in the congregation, the shamed royal, 62, escorted his mother all the way down to her front-row position – in full view of the live broadcast cameras – after travelling with her from Windsor.

Royal welcome: Pascal Gayma, the Ambassador from the Republic of the Congo, presents his credentials at Buckingham Palace while the Queen appears via video link

Royal welcome: Pascal Gayma, the Ambassador from the Republic of the Congo, presents his credentials at Buckingham Palace while the Queen appears via video link

Virtual engagement: Mr Gayma bowed to the Queen as she appeared via video link from the comfort of Windsor Castle

Virtual engagement: Mr Gayma bowed to the Queen as she appeared via video link from the comfort of Windsor Castle 

Tradition: Mr Gayma presents his papers to the Queen. The engagement was previously done in person but is now carried out over video link

Tradition: Mr Gayma presents his papers to the Queen. The engagement was previously done in person but is now carried out over video link

It had been expected that the Dean of Westminster would take the Queen to her seat, with Andrew behind. 

The Queen’s decision to have Andrew accompany her comes despite him paying up to £12million earlier this month to settle a US civil sexual assault case – and it will be seen as a major signal of support to her second – and some say ‘favourite’ – son.

The Daily Mail revealed today that senior royals had ‘reluctantly’ accepted Andrew would travel with the Queen to London because they live so close to each other.

But they had hoped ‘common sense’ would prevail and that Andrew would not seek to play a prominent role in his first public appearance since he struck the out-of-court settlement with Epstein victim Mrs Giuffre, 38.

Public farewell: The Queen with Prince Andrew at the Duke of Edinburgh's service of thanksgiving at Westminster Abbey last Tuesday

Public farewell: The Queen with Prince Andrew at the Duke of Edinburgh’s service of thanksgiving at Westminster Abbey last Tuesday 

A family source said that senior royals – including Prince Charles and the Duke of Cambridge – were ‘dismayed’ by events and that Andrew’s decision to put himself ‘front and centre’ of the service had caused ‘consternation’.

Following the public memorial, the Queen is expected to mark the anniversary of her husband’s death privately at Windsor. 

On April 21 the Queen will celebrate her 96th birthday. 

This summer the Queen will commemorate 70 years on the throne with a Platinum Jubilee celebration.  

Questions remain as to what involvement Andrew, who paid millions out of court to settle a civil sexual assault case, will have in the Jubilee, amid suggestions he could appear at the service of thanksgiving and even the Epsom Derby despite stepping down from public duties.

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