Queen hosts virtual meetings 24 hours after missing Commonwealth Day

Queen hosts virtual meetings 24 hours after missing Commonwealth Day

March 15, 2022

Queen hosts two virtual meetings 24 hours after missing Commonwealth Day service: Monarch, 95, talks with Mongolian and Tajikistan ambassadors over video link from Windsor Castle

  • Queen back at work again today after pulling out of  Commonwealth Day service
  • She issued a Commonwealth Day Message on day she was supposed to attend
  • Buckingham Palace announced four days ago that she had pulled out or day

The Queen was back at work today at two virtual meetings after missing Monday’s Commonwealth Day service.

Her Majesty conducted the internet Audiences via video link from Windsor Castle.

The first was Enkhsukh Battumur who was presented his Letters of Credence as Ambassador from Mongolia to the Court of St. James’s.

Then Ganchimeg Purevdorj was received and presented the Letters of Recall of her predecessor and her own Letters of Credence as Ambassador from the Republic of Tajikistan to the Court of St. James’s.

On Monday, the Prince of Wales represented his mother in Westminster Abbey for the annual celebration of the Commonwealth.

The Queen, who has just recovered from Covid, pulled out of attending the high-profile event – due to her comfort rather than a specific illness.

Queen Elizabeth II appears on a screen via videolink from Windsor Castle, where she is in residence, during a virtual audience today

The virtual audience to received Her Excellency Rukhshona Emomali, Ambassador of the Republic of Tajikistan, and her husband Shamsullo Sohibov, at Buckingham Palace, London.

Prince William, Camilla, Prince Charles and Kate speak upon their arrival at Westminster Abbey in London yesterday

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.

She had been set to be joined at the Commonwealth Service on Monday by some 1,500 guests celebrating Britain and the international grouping based around its former colonies.

She is the queen and head of state in Britain and 14 other Commonwealth nations or realms around the world, including Australia, New Zealand and Canada – a group which comprises about a quarter of the world’s population.

A royal source told MailOnline: ‘It’s not a great surprise that the Queen won’t be attending the Commonwealth Day service.

‘Anyone who reaches the age of 95 would find it difficult to stand for long periods of time. She has said herself that she has been finding it difficult to walk lately. She has also been recovering from Covid.

‘I don’t think anyone really expected her to attend under the circumstances. She has to take things steady. She will be disappointed but it is a sensible precaution.’

She is understood to be extremely ‘regretful’ about missing what would have been her first public appearance since October.

‘People forget that the Queen is almost 96,’ said one insider. ‘She hasn’t hidden the fact that she is now using a walking stick. Mobility is an issue.’

Prime Minister Boris Johnson speaks in front of Charles, Camilla, William and Kate at Westminster Abbey

Pictured: The Prince of Wales speaks to guests at the annual Commonwealth Day Reception at Marlborough House in London

‘My life will always be devoted in service’: The Queen’s Commonwealth Day Message in full 

In this year of my Platinum Jubilee, it has given me pleasure to renew the promise I made in 1947, that my life will always be devoted in service. 

Today, it is rewarding to observe a modern, vibrant and connected Commonwealth that combines a wealth of history and tradition with the great social, cultural and technological advances of our time. That the Commonwealth stands ever taller is a credit to all who have been involved.

We are nourished and sustained by our relationships and, throughout my life, I have enjoyed the privilege of hearing what the relationships built across the great reach and diversity of the Commonwealth have meant to people and communities.

Our family of nations continues to be a point of connection, cooperation and friendship. It is a place to come together to pursue common goals and the common good, providing everyone with the opportunity to serve and benefit. In these testing times, it is my hope that you can draw strength and inspiration from what we share, as we work together towards a healthy, sustainable and prosperous future for all.

And on this special day for our family – in a year that will include the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting and the Commonwealth Games – I hope we can deepen our resolve to support and serve one another, and endeavour to ensure the Commonwealth remains an influential force for good in our world for many generations to come.


It is understood that the Queen, who contracted Covid last month, is determined to attend Philip’s memorial and may even be ‘pacing herself’ in public so that she can.

Officials met at Windsor to discuss the situation with her and it was felt that ‘discretion was the better part of valour’.

It was decided it would be ‘impolite’ and ‘disruptive’ to make a decision on Monday morning, hours before it was due to go ahead, so they decided to make a decision ‘there and then’.

She is still expected to attend a service of thanksgiving for the life of Prince Philip, her husband of 73 years who died aged 99 last April, at London’s Westminster Abbey at the end of March.

Senior royals attending the Commonwealth Day service on Monday included Charles’ wife Camilla, and Prince William and his wife Catherine.

But Buckingham Palace revealed that the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester will ‘no longer attend, following the duke’s positive test for Covid.’

‘The Queen’s Commonwealth Day message will be distributed in the usual way,’ the spokesperson added.

Princess Alexandra, Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Commonwealth secretary-general Baroness Scotland, high commissioners, ambassadors, senior politicians and dignitaries from across the UK and Commonwealth, faith leaders and more than 600 schoolchildren and young people attended the service.

It featured the world premiere of the musical piece Beacon Of Brightest Light, inspired by the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, composed by Debbie Wiseman.

The event, organised by the Royal Commonwealth Sociey, began with a procession of Commonwealth flags and members of the royal family will meet people involved in the service at the end.

It also featured the Queen’s Commonwealth Day message.

The last Commonwealth Day service at Westminster Abbey was held in March 2020, as coronavirus cases spiralled and just before Britain locked down for the first time.

It was also the last royal event attended by the queen’s grandson, Prince Harry, and his wife, Meghan, before their shock departure from the United States.

The Queen has made fewer appearances in public during the Covid-19 pandemic, with many of her engagements switching to virtual events.

The Queen last met a group of people in public on February 5, the eve of reaching her Platinum Jubilee, when she hosted a reception at her Sandringham home for local charity workers, volunteers and former staff from her Sandringham estate.

Concerns were raised about the Queen’s health when she spent a night in hospital last October, missed a string of events and was advised to undertake light duties by royal doctors.

In November, she pulled out of hosting world leaders at a UN climate change summit in Glasgow, and cancelled an appearance at the Remembrance Day parade due to a bad back.

She has been seen using a walking stick for the first time, and heard complaining about mobility issues, even before her Covid diagnosis.

She had only returned to something approaching normal working practices just before contracting Covid-19.

She had been expected to attend three engagements this month, including the Commonwealth Service.

Another one – a diplomatic reception at Windsor Castle – had already been postponed because the government felt the timing was inappropriate.

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