ontario news watch

Back to duty: UK queen returns to public tasks after funeral

LONDON — Queen Elizabeth II on Tuesday held her first video meetings since the funeral of her husband, Prince Philip, pressing on with royal duties as she formally accepted the credentials of new ambassadors from the Ivory Coast and Latvia.

The monarch, 95, held the virtual audiences from Windsor Castle, where she has lived during the COVID-19 pandemic, while the ambassadors were 20 miles (32 kilometres) away at Buckingham Palace in central London.

The queen, who ended a two-week period of royal mourning on Friday, wore a floral dress and pearls for the occasion.

Videos from the events were the first released for public view since Philip's funeral on April 17 at St. George's Chapel in Windsor. Strict social distancing rules forced the queen to sit alone during the service, a spectacle that touched many who had also suffered bereavement in the pandemic.

But as expected, she is now back at work, and in the public eye.

The week before the funeral, the queen attended the retirement of her Lord Chamberlain, who organizes all ceremonial events for the palace, and welcomed his replacement. Neither event was photographed.

The queen celebrated her birthday last week, using the occasion to express her gratitude for all the well-wishers who offered tributes to Philip, her husband of 73 years.

The royal family was in a "period of great sadness," but drew comfort from words of praise for the duke, she said.

The Associated Press