THE QUEEN has held her first face-to-face audience after spraining her back and missing this year's Remembrance Sunday service.

The 95-year-old Monarch met with General Sir Nick Carter – the Chief of the Defence Staff – at Windsor Castle this afternoon.

Gen Sir Carter is preparing to step down from his role as the armed forces chief at the end of the month.

The Queen was pictured standing as she greeted Gen Sir Nick in the castle's Oak Room.

Dressed in a green, orange and white floral dress and wearing a string of pearls, the monarch – who is head of the Armed Forces – smiled and shook hands with Gen Sir Nick as they began chatting.

The Oak Room is the Queen's sitting room where she spends much of her time, and which also doubles as her office.

It is the Queen's first in-person job since October 19, when she hosted a reception for guests attending the Global Investment Summit – including billionaire business leaders like Microsoft's Bill Gates.

The Queen sparked fresh health concerns by cancelling an appearance at the Cenotaph for the first time in 22 years last weekend.

She remains on "light duties" but royal watchers are worried as she has now cancelled four public engagements in a month.

Her increasing frailty has forced her to miss the COP26 reception with world leaders in Glasgow, a two-day trip to Northern Ireland, Saturday’s annual Royal British Legion Festival of Remembrance at the Royal Albert Hall and Remembrance Sunday.

The Queen is understood to have made the decision not to attend the Cenotaph early on Saturday morning.

Cars had been readied for her departure from Windsor and police outriders had to be stood down.

ITV's Royal Editor Chris Ship said "something must have happened" between Thursday evening and Sunday morning for the Queen's position to change.

He told Good Morning Britain: “Something happened between then and Sunday morning. 

"The explanation was that it was a back strain – the reasoning was she was in such discomfort she was unable to make that car journey and also stand up for the 20 minutes or half an hour that she would need to."

Today's appearance comes after the Queen gave Prince Charles her blessing to continue with his royal tour despite her health fears.


He spoke to Her Majesty in a touching phone call to make sure she was coping with the back injury.

The Prince of Wales was reassured that he and Camilla were all clear to jet off on the first post-Covid royal venture.

The couple started their four-day trip to Jordan and Egypt in Amman, where they were welcomed by King Abdullah and Queen Rania.

The couple will also be seen at the Pyramids in Egypt.

Charles – who turned 73 on Remembrance Sunday – is filling in on more official engagements such as investitures, duties the Queen would usually have done.

But it is expected the monarch will take part in a number of audiences with dignitaries this week.

More to follow…

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