The Queen held her first virtual diplomatic encounter today, after she received foreign ambassadors at Buckingham Palace via a video call from Windsor Castle.
According to tradition, three ambassadors presented their credentials to the king but via a video link, which was organized according to medical advice.
Her Majesty, 94, is staying with Prince Philip, 99, at Berkshire’s residence during the pandemic, and announced earlier this week that she would stay at Windsor Castle for Christmas, abandoning the annual Royal Gathering at Sandringham.
A photo of the Queen at Windsor Castle during a video call with the foreign ambassadors at Buckingham Palace
The Queen (pictured) held her first virtual diplomatic encounter today, after she received foreign ambassadors at Buckingham Palace via a video call from Windsor Castle.
According to tradition, three ambassadors presented their credentials to the king but via a video link, which was organized according to medical advice. Pictured right: Sophie Katsarava, Ambassador of Georgia, who was at Buckingham Palace, London
A spokeswoman for Buckingham Palace said: “The diplomatic public is an old and traditional part of the king’s role and the hope has always been to restart it as soon as possible.”
“A variety of options were considered in line with current guidelines for reintroduction of diplomatic audiences while retaining some established ceremonial elements, such as the use of Buckingham Palace.”
She added, “At this time, and in line with medical advice, Her Majesty the Queen will hold diplomatic meetings almost from Windsor Castle.”
The Queen has three separate diplomatic meetings with Sophie Katsarava, Ambassador of Georgia, Gail Da Costa, Ambassador of East Timor also known as East Timor, Ferenc Komen, Ambassador of Hungary, and his wife Victoria Komen.
The diplomats were in the Equerry Room at Buckingham Palace while the Queen was seated in the Oak Room at Windsor Castle.
Her Majesty (pictured to the left talking to Sophie Katsarava), 94, was staying with Prince Philip, 99, at a Berkshire home during the pandemic.
The diplomatic crowd has remained virtually unchanged since the Victorian era with the ambassadors still being gathered from their embassy or residence in Landau, a ceremonial horse-drawn carriage, and taken to Buckingham Palace to present their credentials to the Queen.
Tradition was followed at the day’s unique event as top diplomats enjoyed horseback riding the streets of London to the king’s official residence.
The Queen held an audience via the video link before nearly speaking with Stephen Cottrell, Archbishop of York, upon his appointment in July.
The head of state’s last personal meeting was at Buckingham Palace on March 18, with Commodore Stephen Morehouse, outgoing commander of the aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth, and his successor, Captain Angus Eisenhai.
This comes after the announcement that the Queen and Prince Philip will spend Christmas “quietly” at Windsor Castle.
The Queen has had three separate diplomatic meetings with Sophie Katsarava, Ambassador of Georgia, Gail Da Costa (pictured), Ambassador of East Timor also known as East Timor, Ferenc Komen, Ambassador of Hungary, and his wife, Victoria Komen.
Diplomats were in the Equerry Room (pictured) at Buckingham Palace while the Queen was seated in the Oak Room at Windsor Castle.
The Queen appears on a screen via a video link from Windsor Castle, where she is staying, during a virtual meeting with Dr. Ferenc Komen, Ambassador of Hungary, and his wife, Victoria.
The couple traditionally spend the festive season with close family at Sandringham, Norfolk. But they will drop the festivities this year and stay at Windsor Castle, where they have been isolated with a “bubble” of staff since October.
It is understood that the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh will not take advantage of relaxed Covid restrictions to form a Christmas bubble with other families.
This means that the couple will spend Christmas Day without any of their four children for the first time since 1949, when then-Princess Elizabeth left the one-year-old Charles in the UK to be with Prince Philip in Malta.
Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall will spend Christmas in Highgrove, in Gloucestershire, although they expect to see the Queen and Prince Philip in Windsor sometime during the holiday season.
Camila will also spend time with her family. In Tier 2 areas, such as Windsor, up to six people from different families can mingle outdoors.
This meant that the Queen and Prince Philip could get together with family members for horseback riding or hiking the grounds of Windsor Castle.
The Queen has canceled Christmas gifts for royal employees for the first time in her reign due to Covid – as she prepares for a “ quiet ” Christmas in Windsor with Prince Philip
The Queen was forced to cancel her annual Christmas gift party for the first time in her reign due to Covid restrictions.
Each year, the 94-year-old king offers an order to each member of the royal family, which is usually served to them with Advent Christmas candy.
Past favorites include a special trinket box or photo frame engraved with a cypher character and champagne flutes.
The Queen personally hands the token of appreciation to a small group of employees beside the Christmas trees at Buckingham Palace and Windsor Castle as a special thanks for their sincere service, before heading out to Sandringham until February.
However, intimate celebrations have been canceled this year due to social distancing regulations and the need for the 94-year-old king to remain in a strict operating bubble.
The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh, who will spend Christmas “ quietly ” in Windsor Castle this year, will not personally hand out gifts to the royal staff, as has been the tradition throughout the reign of the 94-year-old king
The Queen is famous for spending thousands of pounds on her staff at Christmas, with favorites including Christmas pudding, champagne flutes or embossed trinkets, the Queen will still give gifts but, due to the pandemic, she will not personally deliver them.
The Queen and Duke of Edinburgh will spend Christmas “quietly” in Windsor Castle.
Unsurprisingly, property employees have also been informed of the cancellation of the palace’s main official Christmas party, as well as all small employee events.
The sources asserted that the Queen’s annual lunch Wednesday before Christmas for her extended family – which typically sees more than 25 royals and their children sit down for a full turkey lunch – has inevitably fallen by the wayside.
“It is a great shame, but it is inevitable and it is the right thing to do,” a source said.
The staff will still receive a gift from the Queen as usual but there will never be a special moment with Her Majesty. It’s a disappointment for her just as much as it will be for them, as it’s a very special time of the year.
And just like offices across the country, there won’t be Christmas parties at Buckingham Palace or any of the royal residences this year. It is the way it should be.