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Queen opts for vibrant orange dress for virtual audience

·2 min read

The Queen has held a virtual audience at Windsor Castle.

The 95-year-old head of state received the Ambassador of Somalia, Abdulkadir Ahmed Kheyr Abdi, who spoke to her via video-link from Buckingham Palace on Tuesday.

The Queen could be seen on screen wearing a vibrant orange dress, pearl necklace and one of Queen Victoria’s diamond bow brooches.

Audiences at Buckingham Palace
The Queen appearing on screen during the virtual audience (Aaron Chown/PA)

She has been resting on doctors’ orders and only carrying out light duties since spending a night in hospital for preliminary tests on October 20.

She also missed the Remembrance Sunday service at the Cenotaph due to a sprained back.

Ahead of Christmas, the Queen is preparing to pre-record her Christmas Day message to the nation.

She is likely to use her annual televised speech, which she writes herself, to reflect on the ongoing challenges facing the country, as well as touching on her own personal grief with the loss of her husband, the Duke of Edinburgh, in April.

Queen’s Christmas broadcast
The Queen’s Christmas broadcast in 2019 (Steve Parsons/PA)

The royal family is set to gather to celebrate Christmas with the monarch at Sandringham after last year’s festivities were curtailed due to the pandemic.

The Queen and Philip spent Christmas Day together at Windsor in 2020, without the rest of the family, after spending most of the year being cared for by a reduced number of staff in what was dubbed HMS Bubble.

Traditionally, the Queen also hosts a pre-Christmas lunch for her wider family the week before.

This usually takes place at Buckingham Palace, but building works at the London residence are likely to mean the Queen would have to hold this elsewhere.

Ceremonial opening of the Sixth Senedd
The Queen was last out and about on official public engagements in October (Andrew Matthews/PA)

The Queen was last pictured carrying out official public duties outside Windsor nearly two months ago on October 14, when she travelled to Cardiff to deliver a speech at the Welsh Senedd.

She also spent a day at the Ascot races on October 16 and presented the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes trophy, but this was not listed in the Court Circular as an official engagement.

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