Queen Elizabeth II Monday met with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in what was her first face-to-face encounter with anyone outside her innermost circle after recovering from COVID-19. Trudeau was on a trip to the UK for talks on the war in Ukraine with his British and Dutch colleagues, Boris Johnson and Mark Rutte, respectively.
The Queen, who is also Canada's sovereign, greeted Trudeau in front of a vase of blue and yellow flowers, which has been interpreted as a sign of support for Ukraine against Russia's onslaught.
The 95-year-old monarch tested positive for coronavirus Feb. 20, just days after Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall both caught the virus. Understood to be triple vaccinated, the Queen is thought to have experienced mild cold-like symptoms.
I can tell you in my conversation with her this morning she was as insightful and perspicacious as ever, very interested in what's going on, Trudeau told reporters. He had met the monarch since his childhood, during the 1970s, when his father, Pierre Trudeau, was one of Canada's longest-serving prime ministers.
Last Tuesday, the Prince of Wales had said his mother was a lot better now. The heir's words came after a time when rumors piled up about the Queen's health. Some news outlets even published she had passed away. But Her Majesty was pictured Monday looking chatty with Trudeau, who is after all a prime minister of one of her Commonwealth realms.
Trudeau also confirmed he and the Queen had discussed the situations we are facing, and draw on her long experience from having seen so much over these past decades.
The Queen has two high-profile events coming up this month, the Commonwealth Service at Westminster Abbey on 14 March and the Duke of Edinburgh's memorial service, also at the abbey, on 29 March. She recently spent more than three months resting on doctors' advice. 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.
The Queen now regularly uses a walking stick and has been pictured looking frailer recently. During a Windsor Castle audience last month with a group of high-ranking military officers, she said: Well, as you can see, I can't move.