Queen welcomes Canadian PM at first in-person audience since catching Covid

The Queen has held her first in-person engagement since catching Covid, meeting Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau.

The 95-year-old monarch received Mr Trudeau in an audience at Windsor Castle on Monday.

Mr Trudeau is in the UK for talks on the war in Ukraine with Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Dutch counterpart Mark Rutte.

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The monarch, who is also Queen of Canada, was pictured in a patterned dress, standing and smiling warmly at Mr Trudeau as he held her right hand in both of his.

Queen Elizabeth receives Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau during an audience at Windsor Castle, Berkshire.

Mr Trudeau was also seen laughing as the Queen gestured towards herself during the meeting in the Oak Room sitting room.

On the table immediately behind them was a large bouquet of blue and yellow flowers – the colours of the Ukrainian flag.

The gesture will be seen as a symbol of the Queen’s support for the people of Ukraine.

The monarch last week made a donation to the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) Ukraine appeal to help civilians affected by the conflict.

The head of state was not pictured with the walking stick she has been using of late.

The Queen has a strong bond with Canada.

The Commonwealth realm has been her most frequent overseas destination.

She has visited more than 20 times, including a trip as a princess, but a number of years ago she called time on her official overseas visits.

As a young child in the 1970s, Mr Trudeau met the Queen several times through his father, Pierre Trudeau, who was one of Canada’s longest-serving prime ministers.

The Queen tested positive for Covid on February 20 and has spent the last two weeks carrying out only light duties including a handful of virtual audiences.

Last Tuesday, the Prince of Wales said his mother was “a lot better now”, and the head of state was pictured holding her first virtual audiences since her coronavirus diagnosis.

The Queen has two high-profile events coming up – the Commonwealth Service at Westminster Abbey on March 14, and then the Duke of Edinburgh’s memorial service, also at the Abbey, on March 29.

The nation’s longest-reigning monarch, who reached her Platinum Jubilee milestone last month, recently spent more than three months resting, on doctors’ orders.

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