The Prince of Wales has revealed the Queen is “a lot better now” following her bout of Covid as she carried out virtual events meeting diplomats.

Charles’ comment came during a visit to Essex to formally present Southend with the Letters Patent granting it city status following the death of MP Sir David Amess.

Earlier the Queen was photographed hosting virtual audiences with ambassadors for the first time since her Covid diagnosis.


The head of state’s recovery seemed to be progressing as she appeared via videolink from her Windsor Castle home to speak to dignitaries at Buckingham Palace after postponing a number of similar engagements last week.

The monarch tested positive for the virus on February 20 and Buckingham Palace said at the time she was experiencing “mild cold-like symptoms”.

But during their visit to the UK’s newest city, the prince and his wife went on a long walkabout on the seafront and Janice Jacom, 64, an admin worker from a local golf course, asked about the Queen’s health.

She said: “I asked the prince about his mother and he said ‘she’s a lot better now – it was very mild’. It was a bit worrying as the Queen is getting on a bit, but I think she’s absolutely wonderful.”

On Tuesday the Queen received His Excellency Mr Carles Jordana Madero, who presented the Letters of Recall of his predecessor and his own Letters of Credence as ambassador from the Principality of Andorra to the Court of St James’s.

The Queen during a virtual audience to receive the Ambassador of Chad, Kedella Younous Hamidi, at Buckingham Palace, London (Victoria Jones/PA)
The Queen during a virtual audience to receive the Ambassador of Chad, Kedella Younous Hamidi, at Buckingham Palace, London (Victoria Jones/PA)

He was joined by his wife Soraia Maria Valls Pinilla.

She also received His Excellency Mr Kedella Younous Hamidi, who presented his Letters of Credence as ambassador from the Republic of Chad to the Court of St James’s.

During the two audiences the Queen wore a green dress with a large brooch and her trademark pearls.

It comes after a diplomatic reception the monarch was due to host at Windsor Castle on Wednesday was also postponed.

The Queen was due to meet hundreds of members of the Diplomatic Corps but Buckingham Palace said on Saturday she had accepted the Foreign Secretary’s advice to delay the event. It is understood the decision was made because of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

She has a string of high-profile events coming up that she is due to attend, including the Commonwealth Service at Westminster Abbey on March 14, and then the Duke of Edinburgh’s memorial service, also at the Abbey, on March 29.

The nation’s longest reigning monarch, who is believed to 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.

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

Her light duties as head of state include working from her red boxes, sent to her every day and containing policy papers, Foreign Office telegrams, letters and other State papers which have to be read and, where necessary, approved and signed.