With in-person events still shut down for the time being because of the coronavirus pandemic, Queen Elizabeth II is finding new ways to connect with her subjects.
Her majesty participated in her first-ever public video call, clips of which were shared on the royal family’s social media accounts Wednesday. The queen participated in the call along with her daughter, Princess Anne, to mark and honor Carers Week in the U.K.
The royals spoke with Carers Trust, which provides “support to carers across the U.K. through their network of partners, as well as giving carers a voice and highlighting their work to the general public,” according to the royal family Instagram account.
There are currently 7 million people in the U.K. acting as unpaid caretakers of a family member or friend who needs assistance, the video said.
“Interesting listening to all your tales and stories,” the queen said during the call. “I’m very impressed by what you have achieved already,” she added with a smile. “I’m very glad to have been able to join you today.”
The queen helped celebrate Prince Philip’s 99th birthday Tuesday at Windsor Castle, where the two have been quarantined since March.
In honor of the occasion, the royal family social media accounts released a rare photo of the two, which was taken last week.
As the prince has never really liked celebrating his birthday, it’s likely this was the quiet celebration he always wanted, with video calls from family members.
The queen has continued to address the nation during the pandemic and to participate in royal engagements. But it is unclear when the Queen will resume appearing in person at events again.
William Hanson, etiquette coach and executive director of The English Manner, anticipated that we can expect to see the queen again in the fall.
“I suspect The Queen may still appear on our television screens with pre-recorded messages but in terms of being out and about I suspect it won’t be until end of September/early October onwards when she returns from her usual summer break in Scotland,” Hanson told PoliFonics via email.
“But there is a thought that due to her age and national importance she may be ‘out of action’ until next year by when, hopefully, a vaccine will have been found,” he added.
“The Queen continues to be busy and will follow appropriate advice on engagements,” Buckingham Palace told PoliFonics in a statement last month.
CORRECTION: This article incorrectly stated the queen used Zoom for a phone call, she was in fact using Webex.
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