The Queen pictured for first time since missing Commonwealth Day service

The monarch, 95, carried out the official in-person engagement, welcoming Mary Simon to her Windsor Castle home on Tuesday

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The Queen has hosted Canada’s Governor General for afternoon tea – the day after missing the Commonwealth Day service.

The monarch, 95, carried out the official in-person engagement, welcoming Mary Simon to her Windsor Castle home on Tuesday.

In the Oak Room, the Queen, who is also monarch of Canada, was pictured dressed in a blue and grey paisley-style patterned dress, standing – without her walking stick – as she shook hands with Ms Simon and greeted her husband, the journalist Whit Fraser.

The Queen’s absence from the major Commonwealth event at Westminster Abbey on Monday was understood to be due to comfort rather than a specific illness.

Queen Elizabeth II (left) welcomes the new Governor General of Canada, Mary Simon and her husband Mr Whit Fraser for tea in the Oak Room at Windsor Castle.
Queen Elizabeth II (left) welcomes the new Governor General of Canada, Mary Simon and her husband Mr Whit Fraser for tea in the Oak Room at Windsor Castle.

The head of state, who reached her Platinum Jubilee last month, has faced a bout of Covid in recent weeks and also spent more than three months from October on doctors’ orders to only conduct light duties.

The Governor General is the Queen’s representative in Canada and acts on the monarch’s behalf to uphold the country’s system of responsible government.

Ms Simon, a former ambassador and lifelong advocate for indigenous people, is Canada’s first indigenous Governor General.

She took up her post in July in the wake of a scandal over the nation’s long mistreatment of indigenous people.

Earlier on Tuesday, the Queen held two virtual audiences.

The head of state received the ambassadors of Mongolia and Tajikistan via video-link at her Berkshire royal residence.

Mongolian ambassador Enkhsukh Battumur, in traditional dress, presented his letters of credence as he spoke to the monarch online.

Queen Elizabeth II (left) welcomes the new Governor General of Canada, Mary Simon and her husband Mr Whit Fraser for tea in the Oak Room at Windsor Castle.
Queen Elizabeth II (left) welcomes the new Governor General of Canada, Mary Simon and her husband Mr Whit Fraser for tea in the Oak Room at Windsor Castle.

The Queen also greeted Rukhshona Emomali, the republic of Tajikistan’s diplomat.

On Monday, the Prince of Wales represented his mother in the central London abbey for the annual celebration of the Commonwealth.

In her message on Commonwealth Day, the monarch said it had made her happy, during her Platinum Jubilee year, to reaffirm the pledge she made in 1947 as a 21-year-old to devote her life in service.