Queen Elizabeth II has made her first public appearance in months at a thanksgiving service for her late husband Prince Philip. The Queen was seen entering Westminster Abbey on Tuesday alongside her second son Prince Andrew and walked to her seat alone.
Her appearance has eased concerns about her health after cancelling several engagements in recent months. Elizabeth — who recently recovered from COVID-19 — did not attend a Commonwealth Day service at Westminster Abbey earlier this month but did continue with other scheduled engagements, including in-person audiences. The 95-year-old monarch was deeply involved in planning the thanksgiving service, which included hymns and tributes from his charities.
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Around 1,800 family members and guests attended the memorial, including Prince Albert of Monaco, Denmark’s Queen Margrethe, King Harald and Queen Sonja of Norway, and King Felipe VI and Queen Letizia of Spain. Prince Philip’s funeral last year had been held in a small chapel amid strict COVID-19 restrictions and only 30 people were able to attend. The Queen was forced to sit alone wearing a black mask as she mourned the loss of her husband.
Philip — who the Queen had called her “rock” for 73 years — died on 9 April at the age of 99.
Young people participating in the prince’s Duke of Edinburgh’s charity and youth cadet associations lined the steps of the abbey to greet guests for Tuesday’s service.
The service also marked the first appearance of Andrew after a settlement was reached with American Virginia Giuffre, who accused the British royal of sexual assault.
Prince Harry, who has moved to live in the United States with his wife Meghan, did not attend the service.