Queen uses a walking stick as she views hand-decorated luxury pieces

One will stick at it! Beaming Queen uses a walking cane on official engagement after vowing she DOES ‘hope to attend’ Philip’s memorial service despite claims she refuses to be seen using a wheelchair because she ‘wants to look the part’

  • The Queen was all smiles as she used a waking cane on official engagement at her Windsor Castle home  
  • Monarch wore half-moon glasses to examine luxury artefacts by British craftwork firm Halcyon Days
  • It comes as 95-year-old ‘hopes to attend’ thanksgiving service to remember Prince Philip next Tuesday
  • Source previously claimed Her Majesty does not want to be seen in public in a wheelchair over fears of replicating a ‘haunting’ photo taken of her late sister Princess Margaret in the months before her death

The Queen was all smiles as she stood with her walking stick at an official engagement at her Windsor Castle home this week after it was revealed she hopes to attend a thanksgiving service to remember her late husband Prince Philip at Westminster Abbey next Tuesday.

Elizabeth II – currently in residence at Windsor Castle – was pictured wearing half-moon glasses to examine the luxury artefacts by British craftwork firm Halcyon Days, which is held in such high esteem by the royal family and has three Royal Warrants.  

The 95-year-old monarch was due to visit the Halcyon Days factory in Staffordshire in 2020 to mark its own Platinum Jubilee of 70 years, but plans were put on hold when the pandemic struck – and instead she was visited at her home on Wednesday. 

Royal aides recently announced details of The Duke of Edinburgh’s upcoming service, which will ‘give thanks to his dedication to family, nation and Commonwealth and recognise the importance of his legacy in creating opportunities for young people, promoting environmental stewardship and conservation, and supporting the Armed Forces’.

The palace has yet to confirm whether the Queen will be present at the service, with a source saying that she still ‘hopes to attend’. The event will be broadcast live on BBC One from 10.30am until 12.15pm.

The Sun on Sunday  previously reported that Buckingham Palace is planning a ‘military-style’ operation to ‘get the Queen to attend her late husband’s memorial service while keeping her out of view from paparazzi’.

The monarch is expected to be flown 15 minutes by helicopter from Windsor Castle to Buckingham Palace for the event and will then be driven the short distance from the Palace to Westminster Abbey, sources have claimed.  

One source told the Mail on Sunday that Her Majesty does not want to be seen in public in a wheelchair over fears of replicating a ‘haunting’ photo taken of her late sister Princess Margaret in the months before her death.

It comes after the Queen pulled out of the Commonwealth Day service last week over concerns for her ‘comfort’ on the 60-mile trip, and whether she could manage having to sit in Westminster Abbey for more than an hour.

Her biographer Robert Hardman also revealed on Wednesday to GB news that Her Majesty was in ‘very good spirits’ amid recent reports that she is relying on a wheelchair. 

Robert, who is the author of the new book ‘Queen of Our Times: The Life of Elizabeth II’, said: ‘She is the Queen, she wants to be seen as the Queen, she wants to look the part.’

The Queen, 95, now uses a walking stick, confessing to mobility problems, and usually carrying out only light duties at Windsor

The Queen was all smiles as she viewed a display of hand-decorated teapots brought to Windsor Castle for her to see 

Taking a closer look at the antique pieces, the Queen held a small oval Windsor Castle trinket box with a red base, decorated with a black and white painting of the monarch’s favourite royal residence

October 20, 2021: The Queen is admitted to King Edward VII’s Hospital in London for tests and kept in overnight ‘for practical reasons’, just hours after cancelling a visit to Northern Ireland.

October 26: She pulls out of attending the following week’s Cop26 climate summit in Glasgow.

November 14: She has to miss leading the nation’s remembrance of its war dead at the Cenotaph because of a back sprain.

February 10, 2022: Prince Charles is diagnosed with Covid less than 48 hours after seeing his mother.

February 17: The Queen says at an engagement that she is having trouble walking.

February 20: She tests positive for Covid herself. She later cancels several virtual audiences. Sources said this was due to sounding rather hoarse as a result of the effects of the virus. She returns to hosting online events on March 1.

March 7: Welcomes Canada’s Justin Trudeau to Windsor with a broad smile.

March 11: Pulls out of attending Commonwealth Day Service 

 

The Queen and Philip’s second son Prince Andrew is planning to be present at the thanksgiving service next week, despite him paying an estimated £12million earlier this month to settle out of court in a US civil sexual assault case with accuser Virginia Roberts.

But Prince Harry will not travel to the UK for the service amid ongoing legal action that he is taking against the Home Office over Metropolitan Police protection, which he believes he should still be entitled to when in the UK, despite quitting royal duties and moving to California. His spokesman said earlier this month that he ‘plans to visit the Queen, his grandma, as soon as possible’ but there has been no confirmation of when this might be.

Other Royal Family members expected to be in attendance next Tuesday include Prince Charles; Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall; Prince William; Kate, Duchess of Cambridge; Prince Edward; and Sophie, Countess of Wessex. 

There will also be representatives from the Queen and Philip’s royal household, representatives from Philip’s regimental affiliations in the UK and the Commonwealth, and members of the clergy and other faiths.  

Much has changed since the outbreak of Covid-19, with the Queen now using a walking stick, confessing to mobility problems, and usually carrying out only light duties at Windsor. 

The extended audience on Wednesday was a rethinking of the original engagement, with the factory’s work and skills being brought to the Queen instead – on a minor scale.

Dressed for spring in a silk floral day dress and wearing her favourite three-string pearl necklace, the Queen appeared in her element, smiling broadly as she was shown the presentation.

The intricately-decorated coffee cups and saucers and enamelled boxes were laid out on a white linen-covered table in the White Drawing Room.

The Queen was said to have particularly enjoyed the visit, picking up some of the tiny enamelled boxes to inspect them.

Her Majesty appeared in high spirits as she viewed the display of artefacts from British craftwork company, Halcyon Days

Wearing half-moon glasses to examine the artefacts, including antique enamelled trinket boxes, she peered at the luxury pieces by British craftwork firm Halcyon Days

It comes as her biographer Robert Hardman revealed on Wednesday to GB news that Her Majesty (pictured) was in ‘very good spirits’ amid recent reports that she is relying on a wheelchair

Among the items was a selection of the earliest designs – the company was founded in 1950 just two years before the start of the Queen’s reign.

Taking a closer look at the antique pieces, the Queen held a small oval Windsor Castle trinket box with a red base, decorated with a black and white painting of the monarch’s favourite royal residence.

She also picked up a larger rectangular trinket box, edged in lavender, featuring three colour portraits of her late mother the Queen Mother as a young woman. 

The enamelled piece was released in 2005 and features Samuel Warburton’s 1923 triptych painting of the Queen Mother in the year she married the Queen’s father.

The Queen Mother was an avid fan of the firm’s creations, and first commissioned an enamel box in 1970 of her London home Clarence House.

Other members of the royal family soon followed suit, and the Queen Mother went on to issue the company’s first Royal Warrant in 1972.

The intricately-decorated coffee cups and saucers and enamelled boxes were laid out on a white linen-covered table in the White Drawing Room

Her Majesty met Dr Peter Harper from the British craftwork company as she viewed a display of artefacts to commemorate the company’s 70th anniversary in the White Drawing Room at Windsor Castle

The monarch also saw Halcyon Days’ first ever ‘year box’ – from the Silver Jubilee of 1977 – and viewed new Platinum Jubilee pieces which are dark blue and painted with platinum flowers of the realm.

She was especially taken with the Castle of Mey tea range, admiring the pastel floral detail, which was inspired by the Queen Mother’s favourite flowers including primulas, pansies and Albertine roses.

Perched on the crook of the Queen’s left arm was her trademark black patent Launer handbag, and she also held her walking stick as she stood to look at the display.

She wore a sentimental piece of jewellery – her Flower Basket brooch – a basket of gem-studded flowers set with diamonds, sapphires, rubies and emeralds, which she was given by her parents in 1948 to mark the birth of her first child, Prince Charles.

Peter Harper, owner of the firm, and Pamela Harper, chairman and chief executive, talked the Queen through the pieces.

Mrs Harper described the event as a ‘great privilege’, saying afterwards: ‘We are deeply honoured and the experience was simply fabulous.’

Perched on the crook of the Queen’s left arm was her trademark black patent Launer handbag, and she also held her walking stick as she stood to look at the display

The Queen wore a sentimental piece of jewellery – her Flower Basket brooch – a basket of gem-studded flowers set with diamonds, sapphires, rubies and emeralds, which she was given by her parents in 1948 to mark the birth of her first child, Prince Charles

Peter Harper, owner of the firm, and Pamela Harper, chairman and chief executive, talked the Queen (pictured) through the pieces

Susan Jones who, along with fellow master artisan Susan Shakespeare, performed the demonstrations for the Queen, said: ‘The experience was truly, truly wonderful and one that not many have had and I’m still a bit in shock.

‘We were so nervous, but Her Majesty’s nature made us feel so relaxed. It was absolutely amazing.’

Princess Alexandra’s granddaughter Zenouska Mowatt, who is the company’s head of marketing, was also present.

Established to revive the artisan craft of enamelling on copper, Halcyon Days’ master artists employ traditional techniques which have been handed down for generations.

The company, which has an enamel factory in Wolverhampton and a fine bone china and jewellery factory in Stoke-on-Trent, is one of only 14 firms in the world to hold all three Royal Warrants, by appointment to the Queen, the Duke of Edinburgh and the Prince of Wales.

The monarch met Pamela Harper (right) and Dr Peter Harper from British craftwork company, Halcyon Days as she commemorated the company’s 70th anniversary in the White Drawing Room

Her Majesty shook hands with Pamela Harper of Halcyon Days as she displayed artefacts to commemorate the company’s 70th anniversary in the White Drawing Room at Windsor Castle

It is the only supplier of objets d’art to the royal household.

The event was the Queen’s first official face-to-face engagement with a number of people for more than seven weeks since her Platinum Jubilee reception at Sandringham House.

She contracted Covid in February and also spent more than three months from October under doctors’ orders to only conduct light duties.  

One Wednesday, her biographer Robert Hardman, said: ‘Mobility is something of an issue now.’ However, it’s not lowered her mood, with Robert adding: ‘I’m told by those very close to her that she’s in very good spirits, you know – absolutely pin sharp as ever.’

Susan Shakespeare, master enameling artisan from British craftwork company, Halcyon Days, demonstrates traditional methods of enamel decoration in the White Drawing Room at Windsor Castle

Susan Jones, master gilder from British craftwork company, Halcyon Days, demonstrates traditional methods of gilding in the White Drawing Room at Windsor Castle

Susan Shakespeare showcasing her skills during the visit to Windsor Castle on Wednesday

A display of artefacts from British craftwork company, Halcyon Days, in the White Drawing Room at Windsor Castle, Berkshire, viewed by the Queen to commemorate the company’s 70th anniversary

He continued: ‘But, but there is a mobility [issue] inevitably when you’re coming up to your 96th birthday and also dignity, I think it’s terribly important.

‘She is the Queen, she wants to be seen as the Queen, she wants to look the part.’

Mr Hardman’s comments come two days after Christopher Biggins told GB News he’d been told the Queen was now largely confined to a wheelchair. 

The entertainer said it was ‘very sad’ but that he hoped she’d be well enough to enjoy the upcoming anniversary celebrations.

He said: ‘I have heard that the reason she’s not doing a lot of the events that she should be doing and cancelling them is because she is in a wheelchair. She doesn’t want to be seen because she’s very proud.’ 

 

 

 

 

The Queen and Philip’s second son Prince Andrew is also planning to be present, despite him paying an estimated £12million earlier this month to settle out of court in a US civil sexual assault case with accuser Virginia Roberts.

But Prince Harry will not travel to the UK for the service amid ongoing legal action that he is taking against the Home Office over Metropolitan Police protection, which he believes he should still be entitled to when in the UK, despite quitting royal duties and moving to California. His spokesman said earlier this month that he ‘plans to visit the Queen, his grandma, as soon as possible’ but there has been no confirmation of when this might be.

Other Royal Family members expected to be in attendance next Tuesday include Prince Charles; Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall; Prince William; Kate, Duchess of Cambridge; Prince Edward; and Sophie, Countess of Wessex. 

Last week, the Queen missed the Commonwealth Day service which was also at Westminster Abbey – a decision understood to be related to her comfort rather than a specific illness. But she has continued with light duties including virtual audiences conducted via videolink and the occasional face-to-face audience at Windsor Castle.

Next Tuesday’s service will ‘in particular pay tribute to the Duke of Edinburgh’s contribution to public life and steadfast support for the over 700 charitable organisations’ with which he was associated throughout his life.

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