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

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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.

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.

Audience at Windsor Castle
The Queen chats with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau (Steve Parsons/PA)

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.

Royalty – Queen Elizabeth II Visit to Canada
The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh on a tour of Canada (John Stillwell/PA)

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.

Audience at Windsor Castle
The Queen receives Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau during an audience at Windsor Castle (Steve Parsons/PA)

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

Last autumn she pulled out of attending the Cop26 climate change summit, the Festival of Remembrance and then the Remembrance Sunday Cenotaph service due to a sprained back.

She also missed the Church of England’s General Synod.

Audience at Windsor Castle
The Queen remarked ‘I can’t move’ at an audience in February (Steve Parsons/PA)

She remarked during a Windsor Castle audience last month: “Well, as you can see, I can’t move.”

Mr Trudeau is joining Mr Johnson as part of intense diplomatic efforts with foreign leaders to build a united front against Vladimir Putin.

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