Queen Elizabeth II complained about mobility issues, as she carried out her first in-person official engagements since fears emerged that she could have contracted coronavirus last week.
In video footage released of the 95 year old monarch receiving two senior Royal Navy officers at her Windsor Castle residence, she could be heard remarking “as you can see, I can’t move” as she stood while holding a walking stick.
Meeting the officers in the Oak Room sitting room at the castle, west of London, she had pointed to her left leg or foot as the area giving her discomfort.
Buckingham Palace declined to comment, but it is understood she was feeling slightly stiff rather than having injured herself or being unwell.
In a separate development, anxiety had grown about the queen’s possible exposure to Covid-19 after Prince Charles, her eldest son, tested positive for the virus for the second time, two days after meeting her.
His wife Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall, also then tested positive, and the couple have been self-isolating since, according to aides.
Buckingham Palace has not revealed whether the queen who this month marked 70 years on the throne has taken any Covid tests herself.
She held two virtual audiences from Windsor, meeting via video-link with newly appointed ambassadors from Estonia and Spain.
It was reportedly her largest in-person public engagement since an unexplained health issue last autumn that saw her spend a night in hospital and subsequently take a step back on medical advice.
The palace was criticised for a lack of transparency over the issue, eventually confirming that she had spent the night in hospital in October for “preliminary” tests, the nature of which have never been specified.
This week’s return to regular royal duties, after limiting them as the Omicron variant swept Britain in recent months, comes with the royal family mired in scandal.
The queen’s second son, Prince Andrew, settled a sexual assault civil lawsuit in the United States, reportedly for £12 million ($16.3 million, 14.3 million euros) which newspapers claim she will partly fund.
Meanwhile, police in London said they were investigating claims that a Saudi tycoon was offered UK honours in return for donations to Prince Charles’ charitable foundation.