Queen Elizabeth II has gone back to work with her first official public engagements since the funeral of Prince Philip on April 17.
The Queen’s husband sadly passed away on April 9 at the age of 99. The Duke of Edinburgh had been by Her Majesty’s side for over 70 years.
On Prince Philip’s death, the Family instigated a two-week period of mourning, whereby only certain appropriate duties were carried out by family members. Those that did perform official engagements wore black as a mark of mourning.
However, this official mourning period came to an end on April 23, meaning normal duties have now resumed. The Queen officially returned to work today, Tuesday, 27.
Queen Elizabeth held an audience with two new ambassadors
Her Majesty’s return to the affairs of state took the form of receiving two new ambassadors to the United Kingdom. At Windsor Castle, the Queen granted two separate virtual audiences to the ambassador from the Republic of Latvia and the ambassador from the Republic of Côte d’Ivoire.
The two ambassadors were Her Excellency Mrs. Ivita Burmistre from Latvia and Her Excellency Mrs. Sara Affoué Amani of the Côte d’Ivoire.
They both presented Letters of Recall, indicating that their predecessors had been summoned back to their respective countries, and they then presented their Letters of Credence (a fancy phrase for credentials) to the Court of St. James.
The Royal Family official Twitter account marked the occasion by posting a couple of pictures of the ambassadors presenting their credentials along with a picture of the smiling Queen herself.
This procedure is generally a formality, which the Queen conducts with all incoming ambassadors. Normally, the fresh-faced new ambassadors receive a one-to-one twenty-minute meeting at Buckingham Palace. Still, Her Majesty has spent the year social-distancing due to COVID-19, so these meetings are currently done virtually.
The Queen did appear in public at a Royal function just four days after the death of her Royal Consort. She attended a ceremony at Windsor Castle for Lord Chamberlain Earl Peel, who retired as the royal household’s most senior official. He had dealt with a lot of the arrangements for Prince Philip’s funeral.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have also returned to work
A number of other Royal engagements have been attended in recent days by other members of the family. Last week, Prince William and Kate Middleton visited cadets at the Air Training Corp in East London. Prince Philip had served as Air-Commodore in Chief to the RAF Air Cadets, and Kate Middleton became an Honorary Air Commandant in 2015.
The Princess Royal, Princess Anne, recently visited three hospitals to talk with and lend support to medical workers who are on the front line fighting the COVID-19 pandemic.
Debate and discussions have been taking place since Prince Philip’s death over the future of the monarchy, with some commentators suggesting that the Queen may begin to step aside from royal duties to allow Prince Charles to shoulder more of the burden.