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Queen holds virtual audience as she takes on light duties at Windsor Castle

The Queen has held a virtual audience at Windsor Castle receiving the Ambassador of Somalia.

Abdulkadir Ahmed Kheyr Abdi spoke to the 95-year-old monarch via video link from Buckingham Palace on Tuesday.

The Queen wore an orange dress, pearl necklace and one of Queen Victoria’s diamond bow brooches.

She has been resting on doctors’ orders and only carrying out light duties since she spent a night in hospital for preliminary tests on 20 October.

The Queen also missed the Remembrance Sunday service at the Cenotaph due to a sprained back.

She is currently preparing to pre-record her Christmas Day message to the nation.

She is likely to use the annual televised speech, which she writes herself, to reflect on the ongoing challenges the country faces, as well as touching on her own personal grief with the loss of her husband, the Duke of Edinburgh, in April.

The Royal Family is set to celebrate Christmas together at Sandringham after last year’s festivities were curtailed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The Queen spent Christmas Day with Philip at Windsor in 2020 without the rest of the family.

They had spent most of the year being supported by a reduced number of staff in what was nicknamed ‘HMS Bubble’.

The Queen traditionally hosts a pre-Christmas lunch for her extended family in the week before Christmas.

The event typically takes place at Buckingham Palace, but building works are likely to mean the Queen will have to hold the event elsewhere.

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The monarch was last pictured carrying out official public duties outside Windsor nearly two months ago on 14 October, when she travelled to Cardiff to deliver a speech at the Welsh Senedd.

She also spent a day at the Ascot races on 16 October and presented the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes trophy.

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