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Queen hosts Trudeau in 1st in-person engagement since COVID

Queen Elizabeth is the Queen of Canada as well, and is close with the Canadian Prime Minister.
Credit: AP
Buckingham Palace said Sunday, Feb. 20, 2022 that Queen Elizabeth II tested positive for COVID-19, has mild symptoms and will continue with duties. (Steve Parsons, Pool via AP, File)

LONDON, UK — Queen Elizabeth II held an audience with Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Monday in her first in-person engagement since recovering from COVID-19.

Elizabeth, who is also the Queen of Canada, met with Trudeau at Windsor Castle, where she has stayed since the outbreak of the pandemic. Trudeau was in the UK for talks on the Ukraine war with Prime Minister Boris Johnson and their Dutch counterpart, Mark Rutte.

The queen has a firm attachment to Canada, a nation she has visited more than 20 times.

The pair have known each other for some time. Trudeau met the monarch several times as a child because his father, Pierre Elliott Trudeau, was one of Canada’s longest-serving prime ministers.

Pictures from the engagement show Trudeau warmly embracing Elizabeth's hand in both of his. They both smile warmly.

The palace’s Feb. 20 announcement that Elizabeth had tested positive test prompted concern about the 95-year-old monarch. She canceled several virtual events over the next several weeks, increasing concern and prompting well-wishes from across Britain's political spectrum. 

The palace has declined to offer day-to day commentary on the monarch’s health, citing her right to privacy. But palace officials have said that Elizabeth has been fully vaccinated including a booster shot.

Even after contracting the virus, the queen continued with “light” duties at Windsor Castle.

Last month, just days before the palace announced the queen's diagnosis, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said he was scrapping the remaining COVID-19 restrictions in England, including the requirement for people with COVID-19 to self-isolate, even as he acknowledged the potential for new and more deadly variants of the virus. 

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