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Grand return of Elizabeth II in public for a tribute ceremony to Prince Philip

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Queen Elizabeth II of England took part in a religious ceremony on Tuesday in tribute to her late husband, Prince Philip, a first appearance after having canceled several engagements in recent months for health problems. The Queen has greatly reduced her schedule since her hospitalization in October 2021.

It is her big comeback in front of her subjects: after having canceled several engagements in recent months for health problems, Queen Elizabeth II participated on Tuesday in a religious ceremony in tribute to her late husband, Prince Philip. The 95-year-old monarch, in a dark green coat, arrived at Westminster Abbey on the arm of her son Andrew, whose first public appearance this is also after the amicable agreement reached with the American Virginia Giuffre who accused him of sexual assault.

A lightened agenda for the queen since October

The queen this time wanted to be present for this ceremony which is held almost a year after the death of the man who was her husband and her “rock” for 73 years, who died at the age of 99. The funeral of the Duke of Edinburgh had been organized in a small committee due to restrictions linked to the coronavirus pandemic. It is a rare appearance for Elizabeth II, who has considerably lightened her agenda since a night of hospitalization in October for examinations, the nature of which has never been revealed. She has retreated since the start of the pandemic to Windsor Castle, about forty kilometers from London.

In mid-March, the dean of the British royal family had again canceled at the last minute her participation in a religious service organized as part of the annual Commonwealth Day. The sovereign, who recently passed the milestone of 70 years of reign, recently admitted having difficulty moving around and was seen leaning on a cane, as was the case on Tuesday. According to press reports, she uses a wheelchair in private, and a golf cart in Windsor Gardens, while a stairlift has been installed at her Scottish residence in Balmoral. The queen had also been infected with Covid-19 in February, showing mild symptoms.

Prince Harry and his wife Meghan absent

The ceremony for Philip pays tribute to the one who supported Elizabeth II for more than seven decades. Her death in April 2021, shortly before her 100th birthday, took place against a backdrop of strict anti-Covid restrictions, symbolized by the image of the Queen sitting alone in Windsor Chapel. Elizabeth had met at 13 years old Philip, who was 18 years old. They were married in November 1947. Last winter, during her traditional Christmas address, she confided how much her “mischievous” look and her laughter she missed.

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To pay homage to him, members of the British royal family and many foreign crowned heads gathered, including the King of Belgium, the King of Spain and the King of Sweden, as well as political leaders such as Prime Minister Boris Johnson. Among the absentees is Prince Harry who, with his wife Meghan, announced in 2020 to relinquish his leading role within the British royal family. The couple and their two children now live in California. Present were the four children of Elizabeth II and Philip, Charles, Anne, Andrew and Edward.

Andrew kept a low profile after the sexual assault charge

Long described as the favorite son of Elizabeth II, Andrew is keeping a low profile after being accused by American Virginia Giuffre of having sexually assaulted her in 2001. Threatened with a trial in the United States, the 61-year-old prince is finally reached a confidential agreement with his accuser in February. Her arrival with the queen on Tuesday was immediately commented on by the press as a sign of the sovereign’s support for her son.

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As Elizabeth II gradually hands over, her family remains turbulent, like the recent move of Prince William, second in line to the throne, and his wife Kate to the Caribbean. This tour was marked by hostile protests in Belize and criticism of the family’s historical ties to slavery. Despite the scandals that regularly shake her family, Elizabeth II remains at the zenith of her popularity. Four days of festivities are planned in June in the United Kingdom to celebrate his 70 years of reign, his “platinum jubilee”.

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