Queen makes first public appearance since funeral of 'beloved' Prince Philip

Rebecca Taylor
·Royal Correspondent
·3 min read
Queen Elizabeth II appears on a screen by videolink from Windsor Castle, where she is in residence, during a virtual audience to receive Her Excellency Ivita Burmistre, the Ambassador of Latvia, at Buckingham Palace, London. Picture date: Tuesday April 27, 2021.
The Queen on a screen by videolink from Windsor Castle during a virtual audience to receive Her Excellency Ivita Burmistre, the Ambassador of Latvia. (PA Images)

The Queen has been seen for the first time since the funeral of her late husband, Prince Philip, as she made a return to royal work.

Prince Philip's funeral was held on 17 April but the Queen, 95, remained in royal mourning until 22 April, taking two weeks to grieve her husband.

On Tuesday, she carried out two audiences at Buckingham Palace, appearing via video link from Windsor Castle, where she is still living.

She was pictured smiling over the camera to Ivita Burmistre, who is the ambassador of Latvia, wearing a blue floral dress and a string of pearls.

Queen Elizabeth II appears on a screen by videolink from Windsor Castle, where she is in residence, during a virtual audience to receive Her Excellency Ivita Burmistre, the Ambassador of Latvia, at Buckingham Palace, London. Picture date: Tuesday April 27, 2021.
The Queen on the screen during a virtual audience to receive Her Excellency Ivita Burmistre, the ambassador of Latvia. (PA Images)

During the two audiences, the Queen received Burmistre, who presented the Letters of Recall of her predecessor and her own Letters of Credence as Ambassador from the Republic of Latvia to the Court of St James's.

A similar ceremony was then held for Sara Affoué Amani, who is the new ambassador from the Republic of Côte d'Ivoire. 

Watch: In Pictures - The Queen through the decades of her 69-year reign

The Queen recently had to sit alone in the quire of St George's Chapel, on the grounds of Windsor Castle, during a socially distanced funeral for the Duke of Edinburgh, who died on 9 April at the same royal residence. 

Although she has continued to carry out some of her royal engagements, Tuesday's audiences were the first time she was pictured in her work.

Queen Elizabeth II appears on a screen by videolink from Windsor Castle, where she is in residence, during a virtual audience to receive Her Excellency Sara Affoue Amani, the Ambassador of Cote d'Ivoire, at Buckingham Palace, London. Picture date: Tuesday April 27, 2021.
The Queen on screen during the audience with Her Excellency Sara Affoue Amani, the Ambassador of Cote d'Ivoire. (PA Images)

Her family members have also been making a return to work, with Prince William and Kate visiting air cadets in East Ham last week, while Princess Anne went to three hospitals in Gloucestershire, near her main home, to thank people for their work during the pandemic.

Details of a video call Sophie, the Countess of Wessex, joined last month were released on Monday evening, as she congratulated The Gambia for becoming the second sub-Saharan country to become trachoma free.

She said: "Her Majesty is so supportive of this kind of work. For her to have chosen sight as the main pillar of The Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust Fund during its time was so reaffirming.

"She has genuinely taken a personal interest in that work. When I was travelling on her behalf to be able to come back and tell her what I’ve seen, what I’ve learnt, the work that was going on... She loves collaboration; she loves it when people get together and make things happen."

The Queen had to mark her birthday while in royal mourning this year, though the period came to an end just before her great-grandson Prince Louis's third birthday.

WINDSOR, ENGLAND - APRIL 17: Queen Elizabeth II takes her seat during the funeral of Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh in St George's Chapel at Windsor Castle on April 17, 2021 in Windsor, England. Prince Philip of Greece and Denmark was born 10 June 1921, in Greece. He served in the British Royal Navy and fought in WWII. He married the then Princess Elizabeth on 20 November 1947 and was created Duke of Edinburgh, Earl of Merioneth, and Baron Greenwich by King VI. He served as Prince Consort to Queen Elizabeth II until his death on April 9 2021, months short of his 100th birthday. His funeral takes place today at Windsor Castle with only 30 guests invited due to Coronavirus pandemic restrictions. (Photo by Jonathan Brady - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
The Queen in her seat at St George's Chapel for the funeral. (WPA Pool/Getty Images)

She released a statement thanking the public for their "support and kindness" during a "period of great sadness".

Her audiences came amid speculation from experts about what the Royal Family will do following the death of Prince Philip.

Although Philip had been retired since August 2017, there is renewed interest in what a slimmed-down monarchy, reportedly advocated for by Prince Charles, will look like in the wake of his death.

Peter Hunt, former BBC royal correspondent, told the New York Times: "Fundamentally, the queen will fade away gracefully.

"COVID has helped in the sense that it has accelerated what any sensible 95-year-old woman would want to do, which is not stand on your feet all day long."

However before the Duke of Edinburgh's death, the Queen was making in-person engagements when she could, attending a ceremony at the Commonwealth War Graves Commission Air Forces Memorial, in Runnymede, Surrey.

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