Back to business! Queen Elizabeth II made her first public appearance in nearly five months on Wednesday, March 31 — two days after Britain's COVID-19 restricts were eased.
The 94-year-old visited the Commonwealth Air Forces Memorial in Runnymede, Surrey, to mark the centenary of the Royal Australian Air Force.
Runnymede is not far from Windsor Castle, which is where the Queen and her husband, Prince Philip, have been quarantining amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The Queen — who got her COVID vaccine in January — appeared to be in a cheery mood while out and about. She did not have a face mask on and looked ready for spring, as she donned a bright green outfit, a green coat and matching hat.
"It's a very long time since I've been here," she quipped when she arrived on-site.
“As one of the oldest Air Forces in the world, it is fitting to pay tribute to the efficiency, skill and sacrifice of the men and women who have served in its ranks, in Australia and overseas, during the past one hundred years,” she said in a statement. "Throughout my reign, the Royal Australian Air Force has shown immense dedication to duty and defended our freedom in many conflicts around the world."
The Queen has only left Windsor Castle twice in the past couple of months — in October 2020, she met scientists at a facility near Salisbury, and one month later, she attended the centenary of the burial of the Unknown Warrior in Westminster Abbey.
However, the Queen has been staying busy and doing plenty of virtual appearances. In mid-March, she participated in a video call for British Science Week, and shortly after, she and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall made a a rare joint appearance to thank people in the Royal Voluntary Service.
The Queen has also been dealing with the fallout of her grandson Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's tell-all interview with Oprah Winfrey.
"She has barely had any time to herself since the interview and has been in constant crisis meetings," a source shared.
"The Queen has always had a soft spot for Harry and looked out for him, so [she] is incredibly hurt and shocked that it has come to this," the insider noted. "She’s trying to be understanding and see things from Harry’s perspective, but the allegations he and Meghan have made are hard for her to digest. The interview has wreaked havoc on the royal family."