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Queen holds telephone audience with PM despite Covid

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he Queen has held her weekly telephone audience with the Prime Minister despite having Covid-19, Buckingham Palace said.

The monarch, 95, who tested positive for coronavirus on Sunday, cancelled virtual audiences on Tuesday as she continued to suffer from mild cold-like symptoms.

A Buckingham Palace spokesman said: “Her Majesty did speak to the Prime Minister this evening.”

The Queen and PM Boris Johnson in 2019 (Victoria Jones/PA) / PA Wire

There will have been much to discuss during the conversation with Boris Johnson on Wednesday evening, with the Government dealing with the escalating crisis in Ukraine.

Mr Johnson is also embroiled in the partygate saga, with the Metropolitan Police investigating a dozen events, including as many as six which the PM reportedly attended.

The Queen’s advanced age, Covid diagnosis, frailer appearance and recent health scare mean her medical team will be keeping a close eye on her progress, but being well enough to speak to the Prime Minister will be taken as an encouraging sign.

The nation’s longest reigning monarch, who will have been triple vaccinated, recently spent more than three months resting, on doctors’ orders.

In the autumn, she pulled out of attending the Cop26 climate change summit, the Festival of Remembrance and then the Remembrance Sunday Cenotaph service due to a sprained back. She also missed the Church of England’s General Synod.

The Queen now regularly uses a walking stick and has been pictured looking frailer recently.

The Queen during an audience last week (Steve Parsons/PA) / PA Wire

She remarked during a Windsor Castle audience last week: “Well, as you can see, I can’t move.”

Next week, the head of state has a major engagement on March 2 when she is due to host the Diplomatic Reception and meet hundreds of dignitaries at Windsor.

Mr Johnson is the 14th prime minister of the Queen’s long reign.

The pair have held their weekly audiences – which follow Prime Minister’s Questions in the Commons – by telephone for much of the pandemic, with the monarch usually seated in her Oak Room sitting room taking the call on an old-fashioned phone.

But Dominic Cummings – the former chief aide to No 10 – claimed Mr Johnson wanted to visit the Queen in person early during the pandemic despite Downing Street staff already falling ill with virus.

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