Queen Elizabeth II, 95, returned to her in-person royal duties on Monday as she met Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. Her Majesty had an audience with the leader of the Commonwealth nation at Windsor Castle. She discussed Russia’s invasion of Ukraine with Mr Trudeau, who is in the UK for talks over the war with the Prime Minister Boris Johnson and his Dutch counterpart Mark Rutte.
The Queen stood with the Canadian leader for a photo in front of a vase of blue and yellow flowers – the colours of Ukraine’s national flag.
The monarch’s engagement is her first since catching COVID-19 in February, days after Prince Charles and Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall, also tested positive for the virus.
Her Majesty, who celebrates her Platinum Jubilee this year to mark her 70-year reign, is known for her tireless service to the nation and the Commonwealth.
During her historic tenure as Britain’s longest-serving Sovereign, she has steered the monarchy through many difficult moments, from the Suez Crisis in 1956 to the pandemic.
As a result, she is renowned for her ability to preserve the image of the Royal Family and rarely makes any missteps.
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However, even she is involved in the occasional controversy, as a recent documentary highlighted.
During Channel 5’s ‘Secrets of the Royal Palaces’, royal experts looked back at a notorious photograph of the Queen, the Queen Mother and Princess Margaret taken in 1980 at the Queen Mother’s Royal Lodge residence to commemorate her 80th birthday, each woman wearing matching bright blue dresses.
While the photo is a touching tribute to the past, it was savaged by royal commentators.
Daily Mirror columnist Susie Boniface brutally quipped: “They’re dressed as though they’re in Cadbury wrappers like Quality Streets or something.”
According to historian Tessa Dunlop, the royal women looked as if they were part of the US sci-fi flick, ‘Star Trek’.
Curator and writer Susanna Brown added: “It could almost be an album cover for a band from the early Eighties.”
The photograph was taken by Norman Parkinson, a well-known photographer who worked for Vogue magazine.
Trusted by the Royal Family, he had taken photos of them on many other occasions.
According to Mr Parkinson’s former associate, photography expert Terrence Pepper, he wanted to shoot the royals in matching outfits and have the emphasis on their faces, rather than their clothes.
He said: “In the past, the Queen Mother had been photographed with her daughters, but they would all be wearing clothes and it was hard to concentrate on the people themselves.
“So, he came up with this idea that all three members of the family were wearing the same neutral garments and so the concentration of the photograph would be on their faces.”
‘Secrets of the Royal Palaces’ is available to stream on My5.