Queen holds face-to-face meeting in first engagement since missing Remembrance Sunday service

It is the first time in nearly a month that the monarch has been pictured carrying out an in person engagement since she hosted a reception for the global investment summit at Windsor on October 19.

She held a face to face audience with Prime Minister Boris Johnson last week but was not pictured doing so.

The Queen’s missed engagements

The national Remembrance Sunday service is just one of a key number of engagements the Queen has missed over the past few weeks.

Northern Ireland

The Queen cancelled a two-day trip to Northern Ireland at the last minute on October 20.

Buckingham Palace announced she had been ordered to rest by her royal doctors on the morning she was due to begin the visit.

The Palace said the monarch was resting at Windsor Castle but it later emerged she was secretly admitted to hospital that afternoon for “preliminary investigations”.

She spent the night at King Edward VII’s Hospital – her first overnight hospital stay in eight years.

Cop26 climate change summit

The Queen was due to travel to Scotland to address world leaders on November 1 at the crucial environmental summit and attend a major reception with other members of the royal family.

But five days before the event, the Palace said the Queen had “regretfully decided that she will no longer travel to Glasgow to attend the evening reception of Cop26”.

Instead, the Queen recorded a video message calling on leaders to rise above politics and tackle the global warming crisis.

Festival of Remembrance

Each year, the royal family gathers at the Royal Albert Hall for a poignant commemorative event on the night before Remembrance Sunday.

The Festival of Remembrance, where poppy petals fall from the ceiling during the two-minute silence, is dedicated to all those from Britain and across the Commonwealth who have served in the military and sacrificed their lives.

On October 29, the Palace said the Queen had been advised to rest for at least a further two weeks and she would miss the Festival of Remembrance

The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall instead lead royals, including the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, at the event.

Remembrance Sunday

It was the Queen’s “firm intention” to be at the national service of remembrance on November 14, the Palace said on October 29, with her attendance confirmed in details released on Armistice Day on November 11.

But less than two hours before she was due to appear, it was announced she would no longer be present because of a sprained back.

The Queen, head of the Armed Forces, attaches great importance to honouring the war dead.

It is only the seventh time she has missed the ceremony during her reign.

The other instances include four occasions when she was on overseas visits to Ghana in 1961, Brazil in 1968, Kenya in 1983 and South Africa in 1999.

She was not present during the 1959 and 1963 services as she was pregnant with her two youngest children.

The General Synod

The Queen also missed the General Synod.

She was not at the Synod service at Westminster Abbey on Tuesday November 16, nor the opening inauguration session at Church House, the Westminster headquarters of the Church of England, afterwards.

The Queen is Supreme Governor of the Church of England and has a strong Christian faith, and the General Synod is the church’s national assembly.

It is believed to be the first time the Queen has missed her five-yearly visit to the General Synod in its 51-year history, according to Buckingham Palace.

In 1970 – the year the Synod replaced the Church Assembly – she became the first sovereign to inaugurate and address the gathering in person.

Since then she has inaugurated and addressed the opening session every five years after diocesan elections.

The 2020 elections were postponed to this year due to the pandemic.

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