Queen returns to Windsor after reaching Platinum Jubilee milestone

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The Queen will begin her Platinum Jubilee year with a series of major events as the country gears up for celebrations to honour the monarch’s 70-year reign.

After a period of concern for the Queen’s health she appeared relaxed and in good spirits during her weekend Sandringham reception and now sources have revealed she will attend high profile engagements in March.

The monarch is expected to be seen in public with the Prince of Wales, Duchess of Cornwall and Duke and Duchess of Cambridge for the first time in months at the Commonwealth service at Westminster Abbey on March 14.

Philip’s thanksgiving service on March 29 is likely to see large numbers of the royal family attending, alongside the duke’s friends, colleagues and representatives of organisations he supported – but central will be the Queen.

After the poignant image of the monarch sat distanced from other mourners due to Covid regulations during Philip’s funeral service, she will be surrounded by those who knew and loved her husband.

The prestigious diplomatic reception, with the dress code now suits and dresses rather then white-tie and gowns, will be hosted at Windsor Castle by the Queen in a few weeks on March 2.

Publicising details of these significant events in the Queen’s diary may indicate she is returning to the working practices she followed before her health scare of recent months.

But given the age of the 95-year-old monarch, who was ordered to undertake light duties after a night in hospital last autumn, it is likely the head of state will be still mindful of the advice.

Platinum Jubilee
The Queen clearly enjoyed the Sandringham reception at the weekend (Joe Giddens/PA)

A source said: “In addition, her majesty will be resuming her normal duties of audiences, credentials and privy council meetings, continuing to mix both virtual and in-person events.”

At the weekend, the Queen held her largest in-person public engagement since the autumn, welcoming members of the Sandringham community to her Norfolk home to celebrate the Jubilee.

She used a walking stick but looked well, moved freely and clearly enjoyed meeting former Sandringham estate workers, charity volunteers and colleagues from the Sandringham branch of the Women’s Institute.