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.

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.

The Queen chats with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau (Steve Parsons/PA)

(PA Wire)

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 colors of the Ukrainian flag.

The gesture was a deliberate sign of the Queen’s solidarity with the people of Ukraine, sources said.

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.

The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh on a tour of Canada (John Stillwell/PA)

(PA Archive)

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 receives Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau during an audience at Windsor Castle (Steve Parsons/PA)

(PA Wire)

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.

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.

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

(PA Wire)

The Queen now regularly uses a walking stick and has been pictured looking friar recently.

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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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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