Queen Elizabeth II is back on her feet and today held her first in-person engagement since beating COVID-19.
The monarch held an audience with Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau at Windsor Castle after he arrived in the United Kingdom to join talks with British prime minister Boris Johnson and Netherlands prime minister Mark Rutte about the war in Ukraine.
The queen—who was photographed without her walking stick—appeared upbeat as she shook hands with Trudeau in the castle’s Oak Room, which featured a prominently displayed vase of blue and yellow flowers mirroring the colours of the Ukrainian flag.
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A royal source tells BAZAAR.com that the choice of blooms was “no coincidence” and “served as a sign of the queen’s solidarity with the people of Ukraine.” Her blue dress, which she accessorized with the blue sapphire-and-diamond Prince Albert brooch, was also a purposeful choice.
Of his time with the monarch, Trudeau later told reporters, “I was able to talk about the situations we are facing and draw on her long experience from having seen much over these past decades. I have had the privilege of knowing Her Majesty for about 45 years now, and I can tell you that in my meeting with her this morning, she was as insightful and perspicacious as ever. We had a really useful conversation about global events, as we always do.”
Though the queen carried out virtual engagements last week, today’s audience was the clearest sign that the royal has fully recovered from the coronavirus, which she tested positive for on February 20—just days after Prince Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, contracted the virus.
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The queen has a strong bond with Canada and has visited the Commonwealth country more than 20 times during her reign. Trudeau has often spoken fondly of his meetings with the head of state, whom he first met as a child when his father, Pierre Trudeau, was Canada’s prime minister for 15 years.
Today, the Trudeau government officially backed a plan put forward by Johnson to ramp up the international aid response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, including more military aid for the Ukrainian Armed Forces.
In recent days, Trudeau has stressed that sanctions are the biggest weapon the West can deploy against Russia, but there is growing pressure on NATO to execute a stronger response after the military alliance turned down a direct plea from Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky to create a no-fly zone to protect civilians.
This article originally appeared in Harper’s BAZAAR US