Queen joined by members of Royal Family to give a Christmas thank you to key workers
Watch: Queen joins Royal Family to thank volunteers at Windsor
The Queen has been joined by three of her children and her grandson Prince William for a Christmas carol event to thank key workers and volunteers for their work during the coronavirus pandemic.
The Queen, 94, hosted her son, Prince Charles, and his wife Camilla, her daughter Princess Anne, as well as her youngest son Prince Edward and his wife Sophie and grandson Prince William and wife Kate on Tuesday afternoon in the open air Quadrangle at Windsor Castle.
To kick off the afternoon, the Salvation Army band played Hark The Herald Angels Sing and The First Noel, and the Queen could be seen quietly singing along.
She stayed to thank the band and as she turned back into the castle, William was heard saying: “Bye, Gran.”
The event marked the final stop on the whistle stop tour on the royal train which William and Kate have taken on over the last three days.
Prince William and Kate left Euston on Sunday evening, heading for Scotland, and since then have travelled around the country thanking different groups of people for their help in the response to coronavirus in the UK.
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The Queen and the royal party listened to Christmas carols, before meeting Commissioners Anthony and Gillian Cotterill – the Territorial leaders of The Salvation Army in the UK and Ireland.
Mr Cotterill said: “The Queen was saying she was just so happy we were able to play some carols because she thinks this will be the only time she’ll be able to hear carols, and she was disappointed we didn’t sing.
“Sometimes we’re playing musicians and other times we’re a choir, at an event like this it’s better to have the band as you can hear it for miles.”
Mrs Cotterill added: “I did see the Queen mouthing some of the words – so that was nice.”
The Queen wore a ‘Christmas red’ coat by Angela Kelly, and red gloves, and carried her black bag. The Duchess of Cambridge, who had worn a red coat all day, changed into a dark green coat before arriving at the castle.
The Queen thanked the band and the Salvation Army for their work over Christmas.
The Duke and Duchess of Cornwall, Princess Anne, the Earl and Countess of Wessex and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge then spent time thanking volunteers from organisations and charities in Berkshire who will be working or volunteering over Christmas.
It marks a rare occasion for the Queen to be able to carry out an in-person engagement. It’s also the first time she has been seen with so many members of the Royal Family since the March lockdown.
She has been living in Windsor Castle for most of this year, with her husband Prince Philip, and has been unable to take on many in-person events because at 94, she is clinically vulnerable.
However she has held many virtual engagements, and was able to visit Porton Down in Salisbury in person earlier this year, before England went into a second lockdown.
Berkshire is in Tier 2, which would usually mean the rule of six applies outdoors.
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But as the event is part of Her Majesty’s work, there are exemptions to the general rules.
William and Kate, both 38, found themselves criticised for their trip around the UK as ministers in both the Scottish and the Welsh devolved governments show reluctance at the royal engagements.
Nicola Sturgeon suggested the trip over the border took place despite the royal household being told about travel restrictions, while Vaughan Gething, the Welsh health minister, said he would have preferred if no one was making unnecessary trips.
But the UK government backed the trip. After at first appearing to distance himself from it, Boris Johnson released a statement making it clear he backed the royal couple and calling it a morale boost.
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