Queen beams brightly as she returns to work at Windsor

The monarch held a face-to-face audience with the Swiss president a day after returning from a break on the Sandringham estate.

The Queen during an audience with president of Switzerland Ignazio Cassis at Windsor Castle (Dominic Lipinski/PA)
The Queen during an audience with president of Switzerland Ignazio Cassis at Windsor Castle (Dominic Lipinski/PA)

The Queen looked on cheery form as she held a face-to-face audience with the president of Switzerland at Windsor Castle – her first official engagement since a week-long break on the Sandringham estate.

The monarch smiled broadly as she shook hands and posed for photographs with Ignazio Cassis and his wife Paola in her Oak Room sitting room.

The Queen poses for a photograph with the Swiss president and his wife (Dominic Lipinski/PA)

On Wednesday evening, her second son, the disgraced Duke of York, was stripped of his Freedom of York by councillors in the city, amid further calls for him to have his dukedom removed.

The Queen returned to her Berkshire castle a day ago after staying at the late Duke of Edinburgh’s Wood Farm cottage where she celebrated her 96th birthday.

She stood without her walking stick and was dressed in a blue and grey paisley-style patterned silk dress for the audience on Thursday.

The Queen in her Oak Room sitting room (Dominic Lipinski/PA)

She was wearing her fruit-themed sapphire and diamond grapes brooch, which features a sapphire bow and 16 small diamonds shaped like a bunch of grapes. It was inherited from the Queen Mother.

Buckingham Palace said the sovereign is hoping to attend the State Opening of Parliament in less than two weeks’ time, on May 10, but confirmation is expected closer to the time or on the day.

Her high-profile Platinum Jubilee celebrations are just over a month away.

The Queen spent her birthday on the Sandringham estate (Dominic Lipinski/PA)

The Queen, who has experienced mobility issues in recent months, has opened Parliament on all but two occasions during her reign.

The exceptions were in 1959 and 1963, when she was pregnant with Andrew and then Prince Edward, when her speech was read by the Lord Chancellor.

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